Ray Garza is an Alvin ISD lifer.
He has been tasked with leading the Iowa Colony Pioneers, the district’s newest school.
In just its second year of varsity play, the Pioneers are 4-0 as they head into Class 12-4A-DI play which is filled with long-time power programs.
“This is my home,” he said. “This is my community. My mom still lives in the house I was raised in and it’s an honor to lead Iowa Colony. I’ve been able to stay in one place and raise my own family, while having been a part of the district’s winning tradition.”
Garza played at Alvin High and tried his hand in college football at Blinn. He would graduate from Texas A&M and did his student teaching in Alvin. He was on coach Kirk Martin’s first staff at Manvel High School and was a part of the winning culture of “Hoka Hey”. He was the defensive line coach when the Mavs reached the State Finals in 2011.
He would follow Brad Butler to Alvin ISD’s next new school – Shadow Creek. The Sharks played for a State Title in 2018, the first year it truly played a varsity schedule. Shadow Creek would go on to win State in 2019.
“I’ve been a part of some big games around here,” he said. “And I’ve had some tremendous mentors.”
Garza was a no-brainer to open Iowa Colony. The Pioneers took their lumps last season, going 2-8 on the season. They played a varsity schedule with freshmen and sophomores but were extremely competitive.
“We are building a family culture here,” he said. “We are much-improved because we have simply had our kids for another year of development. From the offseason boot camp and summer work outs, we have come together as a family. It runs throughout the school because so many of our kids play multiple sports. Our kids are seeing their hard work pay off as we evolve as a program.”
Running the offense is sophomore Cam Renfro, a dual-threat QB with over 800 yards of total offense and 15 scores. He is joined in the backfield with RB Eric Mosely III, who has burst onto the scene. The receiving room is loaded with four WRs with over 100 yards. Jacody Miles, the 2022 District Newcomer of the Year, is dynamic with the ball in his hands either running, receiving or returning.
Antoine Martin, Jr. is a speedster with length to stretch the defense, while freshman Carson White and junior Landy White are also primary targets. The line is led by center Tyson Windham.
“We have some pretty special receivers for Cam to throw to,” he said. “He is understanding the offense really well with another year of experience. Mosely has run really well and Windham diagnoses things up on the line. Our defense is making plays with some very talented kids who work really hard.”
Chris Johnson is the star at defensive end at 6-foot-3. He has an offer from Baylor.
“When your best player is your best leader, that goes a long way,” Garza said. “He keeps everyone on track.”
Bruce Robinson, Henry Kalu, Haydon Caston and Treshaun O’Neal lead a fast and physical linebacking corps, while Jeremy Gardner patrols the secondary.
“We are off to a great start, but we are in a very competitive district,” Garza said. “There are some great programs with a lot of tradition and great coaches. We will be tested every Friday in a playoff atmosphere. You want that pressure to make a playoff spot. It makes you focus one week at a time.”
Absolutely "on brand" as Garza builds his colony.
It's a cross-town rivalry on Friday night as the Prosper Rock Hill Blue Hawks prepare to host the Prosper Eagles. Both teams have been known to produce big time playmakers and they will look to showcase that on Friday night at Prosper ISD's Children's Health Stadium. VYPE DFW takes a look at these two teams and what fans can expect heading into this matchup:
Prosper Eagles (3-1, 1-0)
Off to an expected dominant start this season, the Prosper Eagles have only recorded one loss-- a hard-fought battle against Rockwall in week three. Despite their loss, the team has posted statement victories against the likes of Euless Trinity (42-41), Sachse (49-13), and last week's 31-28 victory over Denton Guyer.
Joshua Martinez-- averaging over 80 rushing yards per game-- and Blake Summers help lead a strong offense made up of major playmakers like Lathon Latiolais, Austin Hailey, Leonel Anguiano, Nathan Tenbarge, and others. Prosper is strong on their feet as well as in the pocket this season; this offense will be a tough one for Rock Hill to overcome. The defense-- led by the likes of Javan Henry, Landon Faison, Jayden Beasley, Jackson King, and others-- is ready for anything entering week two of district play.
Prosper Rock Hill Blue Hawks (1-3, 0-1)
Rock Hill hasn't had the start that they quite hoped for in their 2023-24 campaign. Their only victory came in a week three toppling of Plano East (42-14). However, that's not to take the Blue Hawks lightly. This team's opponents so far have been known to be strong teams that are on the rise in the area. Justin Northwest (21-13), Fort Worth TImber Creek (21-14), and Denton Braswell (34-14) have all beaten Rock Hill, but not without a fight from the Blue Hawks.
Victor Chionuma is explosive for the Rock Hill Blue Hawks as he averages over 100 yards per game. Alongside Connor Morrison, Isaiah Orlandi, Tyler Miller, Christian Lewis, Jayden Bradley, and others, this offense has the potential to set tones each and every game if they learn how to harness the power that they have. The defense is led by the likes of Jonah Bowman (who is averaging over 12 tackles a game), Jayden Bradley, Aidan Guerrero, Chris Nguri, Cyncere Lindsey, Nick Butler, and more. Ready to do whatever it takes to fend off Prosper, this team is geared up and ready to go.
What To Expect
Last season these two teams faced off in a 49-0 match that went in Prosper's favor. Rock Hill wants to put a stop to Prosper more than anything. Fired up and having faced challenging teams already, fans shouldn't count Rock Hill out just yet. Prosper is poised and ready to set the tone from the get-go on Friday night. With a team striving to go undefeated in district play, Prosper will make sure they have what it takes to fend off an upset.
Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, September 22nd.
In week five of Texas High School Football, CW33's Thursday night broadcast focuses on a matchup between The Colony and Denton Ryan. VYPE DFW takes a look at the teams and lays out what fans can expect heading into this head-to-head battle:
The Colony Cougars (1-3, 1-1)
With a 1-2 start on the season, the Cougars are looking to travel to Denton on Thursday night to face off against the Denton Ryan Raiders. The team posted a 19-16 week one loss followed by a 49-35 loss to Royse City. Turning a leaf in week three, the team hosted Fort Worth South Hills for a 48-7 victory, but in week four the Cougars battled hard and ultimately fell against a strong Burleson Centennial squad (33-14).
1-1 in district play, The Colony gears up to face one of the toughest opponents in their district. Led by Xavier Green who is averaging about 76 receiving yards per game, Kendrick McClodden who is averaging 75 rushing yards per game, Riley Stewart with an average of 47 receiving yards per game, Chase Glover, Harold Gibson, Carson Cox, and more, this offense is going to have to figure out how to get around the wall that is Denton Ryan's defense. With a strong defense led by William Adegbenro, Ivan Bliznick, Sean Keenen, and more, The Colony fans can expect a great effort.
Denton Ryan Raiders (3-0, 2-0)
Undefeated so far this season, the Denton Ryan Raiders are back to their usual antics on the field. Week one saw a season-opening and hard-fought 27-24 victory over New Braunfels on the road before a week two BYE. In week three, the Raiders posted a home-opening 49-7 victory over Azle. Last week, the Denton Ryan Raiders traveled to Saginaw and secured a 40-0 victory for their second week of district play.
Jose Melendez averages roughly 60 receiving yards per game while Nemo Warmate averages nearly 80 rushing yards per game. Combining with Braeden Mussett, Byran Simmons, Zo Hill, Tre'Vaugh Reynolds, and others, this offense is solid and knows how to set the tone from an early start in most of their games. The defense-- led by Ashton Choice, Uzziah Warmate, Elijah Wallace, Tyran Chappell, Caleb Parks, and others-- can be expected to put up big stops on Thursday night.
What To Expect:
Both teams have a unique style of play. Fans can expect The Colony to use their first four weeks of adversity as motivation to play hard against the Denton Ryan Raiders. Denton Ryan fans can expect to see a Raider team that is geared up and ready to score early in front of a home crowd.
Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Billy Ryan High School. If you're not able to make the game, be sure you tune in on CW33 for all the action!
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