Written by Keith MacPherson
IN PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
GALENA PARK NORTH SHORE MUSTANGS
ENROLLMENT: 4,531 (1)
2014 RECORD: 8-5 6A Div. I Regional Semi-Finalist
THE COACH: Jon Kay
THE PLAYERS: Maciah Long (Sr., QB), Tyler Boudreaux (Sr., RB), Bryant Badie (Jr., ATH), Deondrick Mitchner (Jr., WR), Dominic Deriggi (Sr., OL), Kieston Roach (Jr., DB), Andrew Hyancinth (Sr., LB), Britt Larkin (Sr., DL), Jaylen Thomas (Jr., DB), Patrick Davis (Jr., WR)
THE WORD: After starting the year 2-4, the Mustangs rattled off six consecutive wins, reaching the regionals semifinals before falling to Cy Ranch 31-27. The Mustangs will have to replace a slew of players off that team that finished 8-5 a year ago but have a strong group of prospects moving through the program. Quarterback Maciah Long returns for his senior season after throwing for 2,251 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior last season. Long was also second on the team in rushing with 767 yards. The Mustangs lost both their top rusher and top three receivers to graduation but a strong junior class should help replenish the coffers. Bryant Badie is a speedy athlete that played quarterback until being moved to varsity as a sophomore last year. Junior wide receiver Deondrick Mitchner has speed and has shown big play potential. Junior defenisive back Kieston Roach led the team with four interceptions last season. Senior linebacker Andrew Hyancinth and defensive lineman Britt Larkin were both first-team all-district selections. North Shore has some holes to fill but the athletes are there to make the Mustangs a formidable threat right away.
ENROLLMENT: 2,370 (4)
2014 RECORD: 7-3
THE COACH: Averion Hurts
THE PLAYERS: Jalen Hurts (Sr., QB), Eterrious Giles (Sr., WR), Anthony Means (Sr., WR), Tre’michael Tutt (Sr., DB), Tuciano Pope (Jr., DB), De’Andre Matthews (Sr., LB), Gil Bernal (Jr., OL), Ripkin Wisdom (Sr., OL), Blake Stanley (Jr., DE), Davion Guillory (Sr., LB)
THE WORD: After starting the year 5-0, the Falcons caught the attention of many in the state last year. Things took a downward turn in the second half of the seasons, though, as Channelview finished 3-3 in District 21-6A play, missing the playoffs. The Falcons lose all-everything running back Chris Jefferson but still return a strong cast of characters. Four-star quarterback recruit Jalen Hurts is back for his fourth year on varsity. Hurts, the son of head coach Averion Hurts, threw for 2,546 yards while running for another 941 as a junior last season, he ended his recruitment this off-season with a verbal to Alabama. Hurts will have favorite target Eterrious Giles back at his disposal. Giles hauled in 30 receptions for 617 yards as a junior last year. Tre’michael Tutt and Tuciano Pope were both all-district picks for the defense last year. Ripkin Wisdom is the team’s center and will anchor an offensive line that will be asked to protect Hurts. Channelview can once again be a dangerous team if the Falcons can find an answer to replacing Jefferson and thus establishing a steady run game.
DEER PARK DEER
ENROLLMENT: 4,218 (2)
2014 RECORD: 8-3 6A Div. I Bi-District Playoffs
THE COACH: Chris Massey
THE PLAYERS: Cameron Thompson (Sr., QB), Sammy Linton (Sr., RB), Jerrick Callis (Jr., FB), Logan Berryhill (Sr., WR), Brandon Smith (Sr., WR), Blake Stephenson (Sr., LB), Greg Vincent (Sr., DL), Chase Keng (Jr., DB), Will Gilchrist (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: The Deer made reached the bi-district playoffs after an 8-3 regular season a year ago. Deer Park returns a slew of offensive talent as it tries to improve upon last season’s performance. Senior quarterback Cameron Thompson is back after throwing for 1,113 yards and running for 136 more on the ground. He has his favorite target back in first-team all-district wide receiver Logan Berryhill, who caught 32 yards for 525 yards. Senior running back Sammy Linton ran for 474 yards on 82 carries as the second option out of the Deer Par backfield last year. Senior offensive lineman Will Gilchrist will play tackle for the Deer and is an imposing figure at 6-foot-3, 295-pounds. Senior linebacker Blake Stephenson led the team in tackles last year and was an all-district pick. Stephenson is a high-motor player that has a nose for the football. Deer Park won its final two games of the season over Channelview and Baytown Sterling respectively to earn its playoff berth. Pearland dismissed Deer Park in the first round 41-12.
BEAUMONT WEST BROOK BRUINS
ENROLLMENT: 2,433 (3)
2014 RECORD: 5-6 6A Div. II Bi-District Playoffs
THE COACH: Kevin Flanigan
THE PLAYERS: Keith Corbin (Sr., WR), Jacoby Harris (Sr., LB), Christian Bluiett (Sr., DL), Justin Essex (Sr., QB), Cameron McKinney (Sr., RB), Will Gavrelos (Sr., WR), Dan Moore Jr., (Jr., OL), Alfred Beverly (Sr., OL), Desmond Veals (Jr., LB), Innis Gaines (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: The Bruins reached the postseason in coach Kevin Flanigan’s third season at the helm, falling to Manvel in the bi-district playoffs. The Bruins have high hopes for this season as the team returns a good deal of experience with seven returning starters on both sides of the ball. Senior quarterback Justin Essex threw for 1,418 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Essex has a good arm – he completed 60 percent of his passes – but also threw 14 interceptions. Essex will benefit from having first-team all-district wide receiver Keith Corbin return. Corbin snagged 59 receptions for 987 yards and 11 touchdowns. Senior running back Cameron McKinney will be the feature back for the Bruins after running for 482 yards as a junior a year ago. West Brook will be trying to replace all-district running back Demarcus Smith, who ran for 1,547 yards in 2014. Senior defensive lineman Christian Bluiett was a first-team all-district selection last year and will anchor the defense. The Bruins will be dangerous again and will be in the playoff mix yet again.
LA PORTE BULLDOGS
ENROLLMENT: 2,258 (6)
2014 RECORD: 6-5 6A Div. II Bi-District Playoffs
THE COACH: Jeff Lareau
THE PLAYERS: Austin Upshaw (Jr., QB), Casey Motley (Sr., OL), Logan Jackson (Sr., OL), Eric Kendzior (Sr., LB), Terrel Bernard (Jr., LB), Vince Chachere (Sr., DB), Nathan Redd (Sr., RB), Devohn White (Sr., DB), Xavian Henry (Sr., LB), Ryder Rae (Jr., OL)
THE WORD: The Bulldogs went young in a lot of areas last season and they are hoping it will payoff for not only this upcoming season, but the next as well. Junior quarterback Austin Upshaw burst onto the scene as a sophomore last year, running for 1,067 yards and throwing for 705 more. With a year under his belt and playoff experience, Upshaw should be expected to take another step forward in his development under-center for the Bulldogs. Senior offensive linemen Casey Motley and Logan Jackson were both first-team all-district picks and will pave the way for a run-heavy Bulldog offense. La Porte will have a couple of key holes to fill on offense as starting running back Britt Grant and starting wide receiver David Terrebonne both are gone to graduation. Senior linebacker Eric Kendzior had 113 total tackles last year – the best on the team. Junior linebacker Terrel Bernard was an all-district selection as a sophomore. Senior defensive back Vince Chachere is expected to be a leader in the secondary after receiving all-league honors last year.
BAYTOWN STERLING RANGERS
ENROLLMENT: 2,271 (5)
2014 RECORD: 5-5
THE COACH: Pete Gareri
THE PLAYERS: Jerat Parrino (Sr., RB), Dequan Allen (Sr., DL), Matt Corbett (Jr., QB), Nathaniel Charles (Jr., RB), Ben Harman (Sr., OL), Cade Cason (Jr., OL), Nick Davis (Sr., DB), Chase Lewis (Sr., DB), Michael Garcia (Jr., LB), Courtney Bell (Sr., WR)
THE WORD: The Rangers began the year 5-0 before falling to Port Arthur Memorial in Week 6. It was all downhill from there as Sterling finished the year on a five-game losing streak, missing the playoffs with a 1-5 district record. The Rangers will be looking to put the late season meltdown behind them with a new year ahead. The run-heavy Rangers lost both of their leading rushers from a year ago – both went over 1,000 yards a piece. Senior Jerat Parrino returns and was first-team all-district at fullback. Parrino will lead the way for the next cast of running backs for the Rangers. Junior quarterback Matt Corbett started as a sophomore for Sterling and is expected to be better with a year of experience under his belt. Offensive linemen Ben Harman and Cade Cason both weigh in north of 300 pounds and will anchor up front for the Rangers. Senior defensive backs Nick Davis and Chase Lewis both started as juniors and are expected to be leaders among the defense.
PORT ARTHUR MEMORIAL TITANS
ENROLLMENT: 2,110 (7)
2014 RECORD: 3-7
THE COACH: Kenny Harrison
THE PLAYERS: Kadon Harrison (Jr., QB), Kameron Martin (Sr., RB), Marcus Younger (Sr., RB), Kevin Chaney (Jr., OL), Jerry Fontenot (Sr., OL), Lorenzo Henderson (Sr., LB), Torello Atkins (Jr., DB), De’andre Angelle (Jr., WR), Mykel Thomas (Sr., DL)
THE WORD: The Titans had an up-and-down season last year, showing glimmers of hope for a brighter future along the way. Junior quarterback Kadon Harrison, the son of head coach Kenny Harrison, threw for 929 yards last season as a sophomore to go with five touchdowns. Memorial loses 1,200-yard rusher Corey Dauphine but returns Kameron Martin, who run for 884 yards and a team-high 17 touchdowns. Senior running back Marcus Younger will see his role expanded after rushing for 143 yards in his junior season. Offensive linemen Kevin Chaney and Jerry Fontenot both return and will pave the way for an offense that averaged 251.3 yards per game on the ground a year ago. Senior linebacker Lorenzo Henderson led the team in total tackles last season. Junior defensive back Torello Atkins showed promise as sophomore and will help a defense that returns five starters. Despite missing the playoffs and going 1-5 in league play, Memorial was competitive throughout district action. The Titans played within two touchdowns against playoff teams La Porte (41-35), West Brook (29-14) and North Shore (40-28).
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