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VYPE Top 10 Male Athletes of the Year

HOUSTON – In a year with so many phenomenal performances, making this list was extremely hard.

But, VYPE Chief Content Officer Matt Malatesta and Managing Editor Joshua Koch managed to get the list down to the Top 10 and even named the No. 1 overall Male Athlete of the Year.

Here is the countdown.



10: Jamarian George, Shadow Creek Football

In Shadow Creek's first varsity season it was the dynamic talent of Jamarian George that guided the Sharks offense. The senior led the team to a 15-0 mark and a berth in the Class 5A Division I State Championship game against Highland Park. George was a solid passer (2,961 yards, 33 TDs) but also could hurt you with his legs (457 yards and 11 TDs). George was a solid leader in the backfield and was a catalyst in Shadow Creek having a historic season.

9: Ryan Schoppe, La Porte Cross Country & Track

Only a junior, Ryan Schoppe is cementing himself as one of the best long-distance runners in the city. In the fall, Schoppe took second at the UIL State Cross Country meet with a time of 14:43.88. This came after finishing 25th the previous year. Schoppe improved his time in a year by nearly a full minute. Then in the spring at the UIL State Track and Field Meet, Schoppe took gold in the 3200-meter race (8:52.73) and silver in the 1600-meter race (4:07.47). It was a banner year for Schoppe medaling in all three of his events at state.

8: Matthew Thompson, Cy Ranch Baseball

For the past two years, Matthew Thompson has been one of the top pitchers in the city. This season, that even included throwing a no-hitter in the playoffs. Thompson helped guided Cy Ranch to a state tournament appearance in 2018 and a regional final appearance this year. Thompson went an impressive 13-0 this season with a 0.87 ERA, striking out 124 and walking 41 in 72 2/3 innings. Thompson finishes his high school career with a 31-3 record, having played on varsity all four years. His career ERA stands at 1.55 exiting Cy Ranch. In the 2019 MLB Draft, Thompson was taken with the 45th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox.

7: Sahvir Wheeler, Houston Christian Basketball

Back-to-back SPC Championships is what Sahvir Wheeler gets to walk away with after a stellar high school career. Wheeler is heading to Georgia to continue his playing career. Wheeler was one of the most dynamic basketball players on the private school circuit in his time in Houston.


6: Grant Gunnell, St. Pius X Football

Record-breaker should be the nickname of Grant Gunnell. Because that's exactly what he did in his time at St. Pius X. One of the most highly touted private school recruits in recent years, Gunnell set the standard for quarterback play in the city. Gunnell finished his career breaking the all-time passing yards and passing touchdowns record in Texas high school football history. Gunnell finished his senior season with 4,752 yards and 53 touchdowns through the air. The senior only threw seven interceptions and completed 68 percent of his passes. Gunnell is off to Arizona, where there is a good chance he will get some quality playing time as a freshman in Kevin Sumlin's offense come next fall.

5: Devon Achane, Fort Bend Marshall Football

Speed, speed and more of it. That is the proper way to describe the talents of Devon Achane. The junior finished the year as the leading rusher and receiver for the Buffs in their run to the Class 5A Division II State Championship game. In the playoffs, Achane surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark on four occasions. In the final three games of the year, Achane rushed for 404 yards and seven touchdowns. Achane was a machine in the playoffs and is a huge threat coming back in 2019.

4: Calvin Solomon, Klein Forest Basketball

Calvin Solomon was a key piece to Klein Forest reaching the Class 6A State Championship game against Duncanville. Solomon was named the VYPE Public School Basketball Player of the Year and is definitely one of the athletes of the year after his performance in 2018-2019.

3: Shadrach Banks, North Shore Football

Shadrach Banks emerged this season as one of the most dangerous wide receivers in Texas. Heading into the state championship game against Duncanville, the sophomore had 51 catches for 1,120 yards and 15 touchdowns. Banks showed off his power time and time again throughout the playoffs, shedding would-be tacklers off like they were nothing. Banks was one of Dematrius Davis' favorite targets in 2018 and he will be again in 2019 as North Shore tries to repeat as Class 6A Division I State Champions.

2: Daniel Manibog, Katy Wrestling

One of the most prolific wrestlers in Houston history just wrapped up his high school career. Daniel Manibog wrapped his career with three-straight state titles in three different weight classes. Manibog is bound for Oklahoma State. It will a hard act to follow for someone in Houston to match his success on the local, state and national level. Expect him to be competing for college national titles and Olympic gold in the coming years.


1: Matthew Boling, Strake Jesuit Track

Is there really any surprise with this pick? There shouldn't be. Matthew Boling took the track world by fire this spring and did it on the track and the sand pit. Boling was one of the most talked about track athletes in the country this spring because of his blazing times in the 100-meter dash. At the UIL State Track and Field meet, Boling didn't disappoint. In the long jump he won gold with a leap of 25-feet-4.50 inches, which he got on his second attempt.

Then later came the show.

With him lining up for the 100-meter dash, more than 25,000 fans in attendance rose to their feet and roared as he flew down the track. Boling set a new national record with a time of 10.13, which broke Henry Neal (Greenville HS) record of 10.15 set in 1990. The fastest man in America did it.

Then in the final event of the night, Boling ran the final 400 meters of the 4X400-meter relay in 44.74 seconds.

It was an amazing year for Boling, who hadn't competed in the 100-meter dash for a few years and didn't start running it until Spring Break this year. He was amazing and is the VYPE Male Athlete of the Year.

Jorge Calderon's soccer play helped put Pflugerville Hendrickson on the map the last few years, and resulted in a strong end to his high school career. One example of this was his VYPE Austin Public School Boys Soccer Player of the Year poll win, which followed 10,162 of the 23,155 total votes.

"I feel honored," said Calderon. "It feels amazing to know that I received around 10,000 votes. The support that I get from my friends and family is unbelievable. I'm truly blessed and grateful for everything."

Another example of this was his all-state honorable mention honor as a junior and his second-team all-state nod as a senior.

"I would've not been able to do it without my teammates, Coach Stern, and assistant coaches Maddux and Castro [because they] always push me to do my best and give my everything in the field," said Calderon.

While Hendrickson soccer is thankful for Calderon's performances, he will also think highly of his time with the high school program.

"It's really hard to pick a special moment from my time in Hendrickson High School because, with the team I had, it was always fun," he said. "But for me, something I'm going to miss is the bus rides before and after the games and tournaments. That's probably something that is always going to stay with me. There was such an amazing vibe between everyone in the team [and] every moment was incredible with them."

Now that Calderon's graduated, he's refocused for the next stage of his career. One of the more exciting opportunities ahead is his college soccer commitment.

"My plan now that I'm done with high school is [to] go to Concordia University Texas and play soccer, get my business degree, and why not try to get into a pro or semi-pro soccer team," he said. "I'm excited for what's next!"

Soccer obviously keeps Calderon busy, but he also enjoys himself away from the game.

"During my free time, I'm always spending time with my friends," he said. "We like to go play volleyball a lot, [we're] always doing something active, and they like to try beating me on FIFA, but they never can."

For more sports coverage, follow Thomas (@Texan8thGen) and VYPE (@VYPEATX) on Twitter.

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With the 2019 football season drawing near, here are our top five preseason private school football teams in Louisiana:

5) Lafayette Christian Academy

After closing last season by scoring 42 points in a half to lock up its second consecutive state title, Lafayette Christian has plenty of momentum heading into its 2019 campaign. The powerful Lafayette offense—which averaged over 54 points per game in the state tournament—will once again feature speedy four-star athlete Sage Ryan. With weapons all over the field, the Knights look ready to capture the three-peat in 2019.


4) Notre Dame

Notre Dame went on a blistering state championship run in 2018, scoring over 40 points in every tournament game and ousting Catholic High-New Iberia 42-21 in the final. Following last year's undefeated season, the Pioneers bring back quarterback Ben Broussard, as well as a solid running back in C.J. Thibodeaux. Notre Dame has played to a consistently excellent standard—having won 51 of its past 53 games—and should continue to do so this upcoming season.


3) Catholic (Baton Rouge)

Catholic has made the state finals three times in the past four years, and its success will likely continue in 2019. Despite losing in a lopsided affair against Curtis in last year's state championship, the Bears are set up to bounce back strong. With All-Metro running back Josh Parker returning, the Catholic offense can rely on a strong ground game.


2) University Lab

University Lab's devastating offense brought the Cubs their second consecutive state championship last season. At the state tournament, the Cubs never scored less than 43 points in a game. Now in pursuit of a three-peat, U-Lab looks to continue its dominance. The Cubs will likely continue to score at a high clip, as they boast the state's most prolific receiver duo in four-star Theodore Knox and three-star Reginald Johnson. The U-Lab defense, featuring four-star defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy, is also staunch.


1) John Curtis Christian

The defending state champions were utterly dominant in their 2018 campaign, capping off a perfect season with a 49-7 rout of Catholic in the Division I final. With a strong cast of returning players, the Patriots show no signs of slowing down. Versatile three-star athlete Corey Wren is a proven playmaker with game-breaking speed. On defense, three-star defensive end Angelo Anderson is a stalwart on the strong side.

With the 2019 football season drawing near, here are our top five preseason public school football teams in Louisiana:

5) Destrehan

Despite falling short of the state finals last season, Destrehan is dangerous. The Wildcats' 2018 season ended with a 67-57 barnburner against eventual champions Zachary in the state semifinals, but they come into 2019 with firepower on both sides of the ball. Four-star running back Kyle Edwards and four-star wide receiver Quincy Brown are game changers on the offensive end while three-star defensive end Noah Taliancich will be terrorizing quarterbacks from the strong side edge.


4) Warren Easton

As the returning 4A state runner-ups, Warren Easton comes into the 2019 season with top-end talent. Four-star recruit and first team All-State center Sedrick Van Pran will be paving the way for fellow four-star recruit, running back Ashaad Johnson, all season long. Competing with 4A rival Edna Karr is no easy task, but the Fighting Eagles have cemented their position as a worthy contender.


3) West Monroe

After losing to Zachary by just three points in the 2018 state final, 17-time state champion West Monroe will look to reclaim its title this year. The Rebels are equipped to do so, with yet another talented squad slated to hit the field in 2019. The redoubtable defensive unit—led by second team All-State safety Brooks —will be crucial to WM's success next season.


2) Edna Karr

Edna Karr, a 4A dynasty and the defending state champions, will return a loaded line up in 2019. Riding a 26-game win streak, the Cougars will be chasing a four-peat. Three-star cornerback Jamie Vance will anchor the secondary while wide receiver Destyn Pazon—who recently clocked a 4.5 second 40 yard dash at the Rivals Combine—has the potential to be a major difference maker on offense.


1) Zachary

The defending state champions are poised for another title run in 2019. Matching their 2018 championship season should not be a problem for the Broncos, as they return a formidable defense and the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Keilon Brown. Zachary's aerial assault will continue throughout 2019, as Brown will be throwing to five-star wide receiver Chris Hilton. Also look for wide receiver Jeremiah Grimes and tight end Jalen Bolden to shine as targets for Brown this year.

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