North Shore is dialed in… from the band playing over and over as their opponents prepare to snap the ball to the load management of their athletes.
The attention to detail coach Jon Kay and his staff pride themselves on make the Mustangs “The Brand” in Texas high school football – winning four of the last seven State Titles and seven straight Region III Final appearances.
The ‘Stangs are 13-0 going into their game with Atascocita (11-2), who they beat 16-13 earlier in the regular season for the District 21-6A title.
Despite what their record indicates, the Mustangs have been through some adversity. Starting QB Kaleb Bailey has been out for the season since the CE King game (Week 5) with a knee injury. Enter WR and UTSA commit David Amador who took over the reins of the offense for a while. Evan Jackson has also filled in at QB recently, allowing Amador to return to his WR spot.
“At this time of year, everyone is ground to a nub in Class 6A football,” Coach Jon Kay said. “We are just trying to keep 11 healthy players out there.”
Jackson will likely run the offense against Atascocita.
“He has a tremendous football IQ,” Kay said. “He is one of our best defensive backs and now has moved to the offensive side of the ball. He’s also our punter and is a great return man.”
Whoever plays QB will have a dynamic duo in the backfield.
“Our OC Willie Gaston has done a great job managing our backs Rashaad Johnson and D’Andre Hardeman,” Kay said. “They are critical and he has been load-managing them for weeks. We see a lot of teams who have great backs but after 200 carriers, they aren’t the same player. Our guys are just hitting their stride and have fresh legs.”
Defensively, it’s been a team effort at every level.
“Our defensive line has carried us,” he said. “Cortney Brooks, Nicholas Goins, Jaylon Joseph and Elijah Fields are extremely underrated up front. Javon Coles (LB) has been lights out along with Marlon Germany. The secondary has also played really well creating turnovers.”
All that being said, all eyes will be on Randall Reed Stadium in New Caney this Friday Night at 7 pm, as North Shore lines up against their local nemesis Atascocita.
“It just one of those vicious and highly-respected rivalries,” he said. “We both know what each other brings to the table and at the end of the game… good football has been played. It will be a war that will go down to the final whistle. That’s the football you want to see this time of year.”
Championships are on the line at the TAPPS level, while for UIL schools a spot in the state semifinals is on the line. We've got rematches and intriguing matchups across the board. We take a look at 11 matchups happening across the Austin/San Antonio area.
HILL COUNTRY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL VS LOGOS PREP
Thursday, December 1st, 7:00PM | Waco ISD Stadium, Waco Texas
Hill Country Christian had it's closest win of the year since their win against Heritage Christian early in the season. They came away with a 4 point win over Emery Weiner and will now look to play Logos Prep who defeated Veritas 62-52 in the semifinals.
SHINER ST. PAUL VS LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN
Saturday, December 3rd, 12:00PM | Waco ISD Stadium, Waco Texas
The 5-peat is on the line against Lubbock Christian on Saturday after their 37-21 win over Sacred Heart last week. Lubbock Christians first year in TAPPS Division IV after being in Division III last season has seen them go 11-1 behind QB Bax Townsend who we have covered on our VYPE Recruit Spotlight show. The Cards will want to limit him if they want to win it all once again.
SHINER VS REFUGIO
Friday, December 2nd, 7:00PM | San Marcos' Rattler Stadium, San Marcos Texas
Don't be surprised to see the stands packed to capacity Friday in San Marcos. These teams almost seemed destined to meet year after year in the playoffs. This year, and next year too at least, they are also district foes. Refugio got the better of Shiner in that one 38-27 with a 19 point 4th quarter. Dalton Brooks will be looking to get one more title before leaving for College Station, while for Refugio they are looking to win a state championship for the first time since the 2019-2020 season.
POTH VS TIDEHAVEN
Friday, December 2nd, 7:00PM | San Marcos' Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos Texas
I've said it since the beginning, this Poth team has the chance to go all the way this year. Standing in their way now? Tidehaven. Poth came away with an impressive 55-13 win last season. This round last year saw their team come up short against Franklin, and now they will need to get past a good Tidehaven team to make the Semi's. Their defense will have to make some huge stops as Tidehaven comes in averaging over 35 points per game.
LLANO VS EDNA
Thursday , December 1st, 7:00PM | San Marcos' Rattler Stadium, San Marcos Texas
12-1 Edna squares off against undefeated Llano with a trip to the state semi-finals on the line. For Edna their were some tight games against Randolph and Blanco to get here while Llano has cruised fairly easily to get here. The key to this one will be making Llano uncomfortable. They have only been in a few close games this year so what happens if Edna can get up on them early.
WIMBERLEY VS LAGO VISTA
Friday, December 2nd, 7:30PM | Hutto's Memorial Stadium, Hutto Texas
In a rematch from Week 10 Wimberley and Lago Vista face off once again. This time with way more on the line. In the Texans 31-28 win over the Vikings in the regular season, Lago Vista had a lead heading into the 4th quarter before a touchdown by the Texans sealed that one. This one is a coin flip and I will look to how will Cody Stoever plays for the Texans. If he can play like he did against the Vikings last time I can see a state semi-final appearance in their future.
BOERNE VS CALALLEN
Friday, December 2nd, 7:30PM | Alamo Stadium, San Antonio Texas
Somebody is about to have their first loss of the season. Both of these teams have look great all season behind their quarterbacks. For the Greyhounds Sophomore Jaxon Baize has been phenomenal throwing for over 3,000 yards and 46 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. Meanwhile, Senior quarterback Bryce Burrnett has gotten it done in the air on the ground with over 1,500 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. Whichever defense can hold the opposing quarterback in check will be the key.
LIBERTY HILL VS CORPUS CHRISTI FLOUR BLUFF
Friday, December 2nd, 7:00PM | Farris Stadium, San Antonio Texas
3 points. That is all Alamo Heights allowed from the Panthers in the first half of last weeks game between Liberty Hill and Alamo Heights. But that still wasn't enough as Liberty Hill would score 34 2nd half points to escape with a 37-32 win. As always the Panthers leaned on the trio of Juniors Joe Pitchford, Noah Long and Ben Carter. Meanwhile after a close game of their own in the area round, Flour Bluff rebounded last week with a 66-42 win over Veterans Memorial behind 7 touchdown passes from Sophomore quarterback Jayden Paluseo (22/33 for 325 yards). If you go off of similar opponents this one should be a barn burner that could come down to a final possession.
SMITHSON VALLEY VS COLLEGE STATION
Saturday, December 3rd, 2:00PM | The Pfield, Pflugerville Texas
Marquise Collins may have missed the entire season with an injury but that hasn't stopped College Station from getting back to the Regional Finals. Meanwhile Smithson Valley has continued it's dominate season by beating a really good offensive squad in Fulshear 31-13. The biggest question going into this game is the status of Senior Quarterback Chase Senelick who went down with an apparent shoulder injury early in the 4th quarter of their game against Fulshear. Junior Ryland Walker was great in replacement, but at that point the Chargers already had a comfortable lead. What's going to happen when it's 0-0. Good thing for the Rangers they have a whole week to prepare. Plus if the defense can play like they did last week it may not matter.
DRIPPING SPRINGS VS VANDEGRIFT
Friday, December 2nd, 7:00PM | Gupton Stadium, Cedar Park Texas
This one has been on everyone's radar since Week 1. It was then that Dripping Springs won on a game ending field goal 23-20. But make no mistake, neither of these teams are the same as they were in Week 1. Both of these teams have played exceptionally well since then with both playing dominate football. A potential favor for Vandegrift though? They've played some tight playoff games, in bi-district against Bowie and last week against Harlan. They were actually down last week before having a stellar second half performance. Performing under pressure and having revenge on their mind has to favor the Vipers. But if you're asking me to pick against Austin Novosad, I don't know if I can at this point in the season.
BRENNAN VS WESTLAKE
Saturday, December 3rd, 2:00PM | The Alamodome, San Antonio Texas
Brennan made history last week by for a San Antonio team by beating Lake Travis something that hadn't been done in a long time (Lake Travis was 14-0 over the last few season as well against SA schools). Brennan relied on their defense which shut down Lake Travis for most of the game. They will need to do that against a team that hasn't lost in 53 games. The key to this one will be the Westlake offense against Brennan's defense. The Chaps offense has taken it's time in some games to find a rhythm. If the Bears defense can have one of those games and the Brennan offense can put up some points, the pressure will be on Westlake to respond. Ashton Dubose and Avron Carter will be key to making that happen as they were last week against the Cavs. This one may be a close one similar to the Chaps games against Dripping Springs and Lake Travis. Can the Bears do what the Tigers and Cavs couldn't?
After narrowly losing in the State Championship last season, the girls' basketball team from Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy is back with a “State Title or Bust” mentality.
Winning a title could very well be in the Lions’ future.
This team returns leaders such as last year’s MVP Molly Steed, along with seniors MK Kloesel and Aubrey Davis. Watch out for senior Georgia Freeman, who is a constant inside the locker room.
“The girls have got a great legacy in front of them -- pardon the pun,” said coach Audra May. “They’ve seen how far we can go, and they know what’s possible. They’ll work hard to get there, and they know what our expectations are every single year.”
The team veterans will be supported by a talented group of younger players to include sophomores Charlotte and Ginger Freeman and freshman Ava Brieger.
May will also be bringing a newer look to Legacy Prep’s usual game plan.
“We’re installing a new offense to give us kind of a refresh,” May said. “It’s because the team is built a little differently than it has been in the past. But, defense will be the name of the game. It’ll be fast and furious.”
The Lions are back on the court this weekend at the Brentwood Christian Invitational.
Join the #VYPETEAM
Get up to date news from all over the country!