This is the best district in the State of Texas when it comes to talent, winning and just flat-out being ultra-competitive. North Shore is coming off yet another State Championship in 2021, making it three in the last four seasons.
Atascocita is not going anywhere with a plethora of young talent and experience, while C.E. King, Summer Creek and Beaumont West Brook will duke it out for the last few spots.
PREVIOUS DISTRICT PREVIEWS (2022)
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Kaleb Bailey, North Shore
OFFENSIVE MVP: Zion Brown, Atascocita
DEFENSIVE MVP: Jayven Anderson, North Shore
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Darein Hargrove, Summer Creek
SLEEPER TEAM: Humble Wildcats
North Shore Mustangs
Summer Creek Bulldogs
C.E. King Panthers
Beaumont West Brook Bruins
Beaumont United Timberwolves
NORTH SHORE MUSTANGS
Winners of three of the last four State Championships at the UIL’s highest classification and beating DFW-power Duncanville in all three has solidified the “Eastside Dynasty”. They put that on their newest ring, which is No. 5 in program history. Kaleb Bailey, who started at QB as a freshman and was named the 6A DI State Championship Game Offensive MVP, is back with a full offseason under his belt with OC Willie Gaston. Bailey was dangerous last year, he will be even more so in 2022. David Amador will be his top target as the UTSA-commit eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving a year ago and had the state-title-clinching touchdown reception in the 17-10 win over Duncanville. The backfield will be loaded with talent as Rashaad Johnson is back to anchor that group with sophomore Dre Hardeman (who has a UTSA offer) getting his first real varsity action. Hardeman is the son of North Shore great Tiki Hardeman, who went on to Texas A&M. Other names on offense include Omarion Dudley (OL), Terrence Guillory II (WR) and Christopher Barnes (WR). Defensively, Jacoby Davis, Evan Jackson, Jayven Anderson and Devin Sanchez will lockdown opponents passing games for the Mustangs. Also, watch out for Jaylon Joseph rushing off the end as well and Marlon Germany at linebacker. The defense got better with the addition of Elijah Fields from Spring, and on offense, Deion Deblanc will be a weapon over from Eisenhower.
Craig Stump enters year 11 leading Atascocita and for the last nine, the Eagles have finished either first or second in district play. Then, for the past seven seasons, Atascocita has turned that into at least a thirdround playoff run. Last year, they fell in the State Quarterfinals to North Shore. QB Zion Brown, who was named the District 21-6A Newcomer of the Year last season, was thrown into the fire a bit as a sophomore but played well. Brown passed for north of 2,000 yards and rushed for nearly 700 more and has gotten even better this offseason. Expect Tory Blaylock to tote the rock more this season, after blazing through college camps this summer running 4.4 40-yard dashes and piling up the offers. Nate Kibble will be looked to lead an offensive line that has now produced two NFL Draft picks, while Texas A&M-commit Samu Taumanupepe will anchor the defensive line. Also, watch out for Jadon Ducos at linebacker and Braylon Conley at defensive back for the Eagles as offense stoppers. Other names to take note include TC Lee (WR) and Pharrell Gordon (DL).
SUMMER CREEK BULLDOGS
Summer Creek was on the brink of a program-defining win in the playoffs a year ago as they nearly beat Katy in the State Quarterfinals, which is the deepest playoff run in program history. This team has a bunch of talent coming back. It starts with second-team, all-district quarterback Jahrik Jones (1,465 yards, 5 TDs) running the offense and Lloyd Avant, a first teamer from last year, running out of the backfield. Avant rushed for 1,794 yards and 27 scores last season. First-team, all-district receiver Corey Nichols and second teamers Maxwell Huisintveld (TE), Roriyon Richardson (WR) and Christian Crockett (OL) and honorable-mention picks Kordell Rodgers (TE) and Viliami Salakielu (OL) are all set to return. Defensively, first teamers Paul Singleton (LB – 42 tackles) and Darein Hargrove (CB – 5 INTs) are back along with honorable-mention picks Darien Riley (DL – 5 sacks) and Kyran Duhon (DL). Other names to take note of include Jaylen Mays (DT), Mati Tomas (ATH), Chad Woodfork (DE), Melvin Nichols (WR) and Jeyden Coleman (DT).
C.E. KING PANTHERS
Think about this. In 2016, C.E. King went 1-9. Then the switch flipped. In comes Derek Fitzhenry as the head coach, they improve and all of a sudden, the Panthers have now made the playoffs for four-straight seasons. In 2021, C.E. King posted its first 10-win season since 2014. Fitzhenry has now changed positions to just be the Athletic Director, while defensive coordinator George Young moves into the big chair. Starting on the defense, Utah-commit Jo’laison Landry will be solid at defensive end, joined by Colorado-commit Kam’Ron Bizor, who moves in from Jack Yates. Lavonte Johnson has athleticism running through his blood as his father played ball at LSU. Other key returners include second-team receiver Elias Dejean and second-team defensive lineman K’mard Kimble (44 tackles). Jo’Laison Landry, Zaylon Davis and Texas-commit Dylan Spencer (8 sacks) were all named honorable-mention picks off the line as well. Will Hicks (73 tackles) was an honorable-mention selection at safety. Other names to remember include Logan Mackey (SS/CB), Wyndell Mitchell Jr. (QB), Denim Johnson (QB) and Anthony Bates (OL).
BEAUMONT WEST BROOK BRUINS
It wasn’t that long ago that Beaumont West Brook was playing for the big trophy in AT&T Stadium. Now, inside the state’s toughest district, the Bruins are trying to find their way back. Coming off a 5-5 season, coach Chuck Langston returns four starters on offense and three on defense. The lone all-district selection from a year ago who returns is honorable-mention pick Braxton Chambers on the defensive line. Jayvon Sorrell will play both ways for Beaumont West Brook at receiver and corner. Christian Spencer and Jeremiah Jordan return to the offensive line, while defensively Chambers (DL) and John Hardin (LB) will be the leaders of their position groups. Also, watch out for John Hardin (LB), Terrell Smith (ATH), Rae’G Dailey (WR) and Jabarous Broussard (DL) as players to watch.
The Wildcats in their first year under Marcus Schulz, who came over from Splendora, went 2-8 overall. Now, in year two, Humble looks to get back into the playoff picture, which they reached in 2019 with a magical 10-win season. Texas Tech-commit TJ West is the star of the show. West was a second-team, all-district receiver a year ago and will be the big target for Tristen Bernard, who passed for more than 1,500 yards a year ago. Defensively, Jacory Johnson will quarterback the defense at linebacker after piling up nearly 120 tackles a year ago, followed by Jetavin James, who had 88. Johnson was a second-team, all-district linebacker in 2021. James was an honorable-mention pick along with defensive lineman Isiah Quezada. Also, watch out for junior Ayden Alvarez on the offensive line for the Wildcats.
Third-year coach Cale Melton heads into the season hoping to find some wins after going 2-8 (2020) and 1-9 (2021) in his first two seasons at the helm of the Mustangs. Kingwood does return second-team, alldistrict receiver Ty Boatright and on defense Josh Pelfrey (72 tackles) at outside linebacker. Pelfrey was a second-team, all-district pick as a junior. Boatright led the team in receiving with 264 yards in catching 30 passes mostly from Trey Reese, who had 849 yards passing with four scores in 2021. Defensively, Cameron Burkes will be the returning leading tackler after notching 79 a year ago along with four sacks. Josh Gil also returns at punter for Kingwood.
BEAUMONT UNITED TIMBERWOLVES
The Timberwolves have seen ultra-success on the basketball court, winning back-to-back 5A State Championships. Now, can they athletic success carry over to the football field and into Class 6A as Beaumont United makes the move up? Jonathan Martin will guide the offense at quarterback, while Christian Gladney will anchor the defense on the line. This jump will be tough for United, especially in such a football power district. Other names to take note of include Weston Davis (OL), Jacob Green (OL/DL), Gatieus Coleman (RB) and Anthony Hawkins (LB).
As the Football season begins to creep up on us, it's time for fans to pick who they believe should have the honor of being the VYPE HOU Preseason Public School Running Back Of The Year! With plenty of area athletes graduating, the Houston area will see a rise in the young athletes making a name for themselves this fall. Be sure to get your vote in!
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Ridge Point is the familiar name, having firmly established itself as a premier brand in the Greater Houston area.
Coach Rick LaFavers has the Panthers on the up, up, up. Hightower, however, is the new kid on the block; not just in 20-6A, but 6A. The Hurricanes are making the move up in class but return much of the dynamic athleticism and potent playmaking that led it to the 5A-DI Regional Final last year.
As far as the rest of the district, Clements is hoping to sustain last season’s momentum and Travis is a playoff contender year in and year out. But don’t sleep on anyone else. All—as in, every other team—return substantial experience and could upset anyone if taken lightly.
PREVIOUS DISTRICT PREVIEWS (2022)
Ridge Point Panthers
George Ranch Longhorns
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jeremy Payne, Hightower
OFFENSIVE MVP:Ezell Jolly, Ridge Point
DEFENSIVE MVP:Taylor Davis, Ridge Point
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR:Joseph Stewart Jr., Hightower
RIDGE POINT PANTHERS
With 13 starters returning (8 defense) from a Regional Semifinalist, coach Rick LaFavers is hopeful the Panthers are “on the road to AT&T (Stadium).” Finding a way to go deeper in the playoffs is the next step for the perennial Region III-6A power (five double-digit win seasons in the last eight years). LaFavers likes his team’s overall speed and athleticism, playmaking and defense. Depth on the O-line is a concern. Leading the pack for the Panthers are senior DB Taylor Davis (87 tackles, 4 INTs, 2 pick-6s), senior 6-foot, 190-pound RB Ezell Jolly (864 yards, 12 TDs), senior DB Ryan Ramey (32 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 INTs), senior 6-foot-7, 270-pound OT Peyton Farmer, senior 6-foot-2, 215-pound LB James Walley (73 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 4 sacks) and junior 6-foot-1, 180-pound ATH Mason Dossett (433 yards, 5 TDs rushing; 127 yards, 3 TDs receiving). Senior 6-foot-3, 270-pound DT DK Kalu will be welcomed back with open arms after missing most of last year due to injury. Keep an eye on senior DT James Eaglin, junior WR Ashton Bethel-Roman, senior 6-foot-3, 210-pound TE Carter Groen and junior QB Samson Wheeler.
FORT BEND HIGHTOWER HURRICANES
Cornelius Anthony had a terrific debut leading his alma mater to the Class 5A-DI Regional Final last year. Now the Hurricanes make the step up to 6A. Twelve starters (7 offense) return, including a pair of dynamic skill players in junior RB Jeremy Payne (1,099 yards, 9 TDs) and junior 6-foot-3, 195-pound WR Zion Kearney (233 yards, 2 TDs). Payne is rapidly emerging as one of the elite talents in the Class of 2024. Defensively, senior CB Santana Wilson (27 total tackles, 2 fumbles caused, INT) and senior 6-foot-1, 225-pound DE Treylon Beloney (18 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries) star, along with steady complement of playmakers in junior 6-foot-2, 235-pound DE Robert Staten Jr. (14 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 4 fumbles caused) and junior 5-foot-11, 290-pound DT Dailon Ellis (5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks). Hightower has question marks in depth along the offensive and defensive lines, as well as at quarterback. Speaking of QB, keep a close eye on sophomore Joseph Stewart Jr., who could be special because of his athleticism and raw ability.
FORT BEND CLEMENTS RANGERS
Clements enjoyed its best season since 2009 last year, going 7-4 and making it to the playoffs. What’s the encore? Well, for one, 13 starters (8 offense) are back, which is a nice start. The Rangers will be led by junior 6-foot-2, 195-pound QB Gunner Chenier (1,164 yards, 8 TDs), senior WR Gabriel Moacyr (126 yards, 12.6 yards per catch), senior 6-foot-2, 195-pound ATH Michael Kasemervisz, senior WR Joey Mongogna (55 yards), junior 6-foot-1, 360-pound OL Carson Talley, junior 6-foot-4, 250-pound OL Zack Yuan, senior OL Lex Demeris and senior OL Brian Navarro on offense. Defensively, it’s senior 6-foot-1, 225-pound ILB Ferris Refai (95 tackles, 2 sacks) and senior DL Alex Aguirre (15 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks in 8 games) pacing Clements. Key newcomers are junior RB John Lewis, sophomore WR Max Cimino and senior RB Julian Wilson. Coach Bobby Darnell said he hopes the offensive and defensive lines are strengths. The secondary has the least experience as a unit and is a concern.
FORT BEND TRAVIS TIGERS
The Tigers are on a streak of nine straight years of making the playoffs. It’s likely they make it 10 in a row. Nine starters (6 offense) return from a 6-5 Bi-District finalist. Travis is young on defense and will need to find a No. 1 back. Still, there is still enough talent in the cupboard. Senior 6-foot-1, 175-pound WR Robert Sims (589 yards, 9 TDs) and junior 6-foot-1, 165-pound WR Brent Johnson make for a dynamic duo for senior QB Dru Sissom, the coach’s son. Sissom played sparingly as a backup last season but completed 4 of 6 passes for a TD. Defensively, the linebackers are solid in senior Anthony Oliver (35 tackles, 2 fumbles caused, sack in 6 games), junior Tomison Olorunfemi (51 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 fumbles caused) and junior 6-foot, 185-pound Temi Osinaike. The Tigers are otherwise thin on defense.
FORT BEND BUSH BRONCOS
Bush coach Allen Aldridge likes what he has coming back this season. Thirteen starters (7 offense) and 26 lettermen return from a 5-6 Bi-District finalist. Leading the way is senior 6-foot-2, 185-pound DB/WR Paul Omodia (26 tackles, INT), senior 6-foot, 220-pound RB/LB Allen Aldridge III, senior 6-foot-1, 200-pound LB/DE Isaac Buoye (36 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 4 fumbles caused), senior 6-foot-3, 230-pound TE Broc Boutte, senior 6-foot-2, 315-pound OL/DT Ikenna Nwakor, senior 6-foot, 195-pound DB/LB Bryce McDonald (43 tackles, 5 tackles for loss), senior 6-foot, 195-pound LB Preston Davis (24 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 fumble recoveries in 4 games), senior 6-foot, 220-pound LB/DE Kosy Okoroafor (39 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks) and senior WR Jamon Cooley. Bush will need to find stability at QB and RB. Keep a watch out for senior OL Douglas Lawson, senior WR Jose Citan, junior WR/DB Nathaniel Walker, junior LB Joachim Nicolau, junior QB Antione Eakins, junior DB/WR Reginald Williams and junior OL Fernando Padilla.
FORT BEND DULLES VIKINGS
Twelve starters (7 defense) return from a 4-6 team. Coach Shane Byrd said the linebackers and secondary are strengths. The O-line is a concern. Paving the way in Dulles’ Wing-T offense is senior RB Cole Hodges (161 yards), junior 6-foot-3, 225-pound TE/DE Victor Aderungboye (108 yards, TD receiving), senior OL Chaseton Bobino, senior OL/DL Tyler Clayton and junior Jonah Talamantez. Leading the defense is senior DE/TE Anthony Garza (13 tackles, sack), senior 6-foot, 220-pound LB Trayveon Richard (44 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, INT), junior 6-0 DB/WR Carter Truscott (42 tackles, 10 passes defensed, 3 INTs), senior DB Maxwell Cotton (40 tackles, INT) and senior LB Justin Ofoma (38 tackles). Newcomers expected to make an impact are junior 6-foot-2, 170-pound QB Kason Byrd, senior RB Ade Simaze, senior DL Jackson Prong, sophomore Micah Owens and junior Adrien Phan.
RICHMOND GEORGE RANCH LONGHORNS
The Longhorns return eight starters (5 offense) from a 5-5 team that missed out on the playoffs. Three of those five returning offensive starters are linemen. Senior 6-foot-3, 300-pound tackle/guard Hanzlah Rana is the rock of that line. George Ranch will go with some experienced, yet unproven, skill players in junior QB Deion Drinkard (238 yards, 2 TDs passing; 32 yards, TD rushing), senior 6-foot-4, 180-pound WR Gregor Jones (101 yards, TD) and junior RB Jaden Shelton (270 yards, TD, 6.8 yards per carry). Defensively, the Longhorns have some consistent playmakers in junior CB Kennard McGuire (24 total tackles, 5 passes defensed), senior 6-foot-3, 200-pound DL Jacques Franklin (24 total tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks) and junior LB Trevion Aikens (27 total tackles TD), but will need others to step up big-time, especially in the secondary.
FORT BEND ELKINS KNIGHTS
Knights coach Dennis Brantley said the offensive line, quarterback and defensive line are strengths this year. Depth is a concern. Fourteen starters (8 offense) return from a 2-8 team. There are viable stalwarts on offense in senior 6-foot, 195-pound QB Isaiah Smith (803 yards, 3 TDs passing: 89 yards, 8 TDs rushing), senior 6-foot-2, 220-pound RB/LB Avion Stewart (178 yards, 2 TDs), senior WR/DB Assad Abbas and senior WR Jakson Hart (361 yards, 3 TDs). Defensively, Abbas and Stewart will also have a profound effect. Other key returners are junior OL Armond Owens, senior OL Ben Feit, junior OL Deandre Pittman, senior center Cameron King, junior LB Israel Cheers, senior OL/DL Noah Tristan, senior DB/WR Dexter Jackson, senior DL Ashton Payne and junior DB/WR Braelon Thompson.
FORT BEND AUSTIN BULLDOGS
Austin coach Mike Arogbonlo said there are no glaring holes this season as 15 starters (8 defense) return from an 0-10 team. Arogbonlo said he feels very good about where the Bulldogs are as a team. They only lost eight seniors, and the strengths? QB play, O-Line, secondary, D-Line and receivers. Not shabby. Leading the charge are senior ATH Jamal Franklin (373 yards, 4 TDs receiving; 229 yards, 4 TDs rushing), senior 6-foot-2, 195-pound WR Daniel Oloso (391 yards, 5 TDs), senior 6-foot-3, 255-pound OL Aries Stevens, senior OLB Martell Jones, senior WR/DB Jayson Tanifum, senior 6-foot-3, 230-pound DL Lotanna Ume-ezeoke, sophomore WR Mason Cress, senior RB Thusuan Gibbs, junior DB Hugh Rolls (52 tackles), senior DB Royell Salmon, junior OL Da’leyon Benard and junior OL Cooper Rodden. Key newcomers are sophomore RB David Bishop, senior ILB Raylon Holmes and junior DL Mike Ume-ezeoke. Arogbonlo said he is excited about the defense under new coordinator Trey Herrmann, previously head coach at Danbury and Katy Taylor.
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