IN PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
CEDAR PARK TIMBERWOLVES
ENROLLMENT: 1,847 (4)
2014 RECORD: 12-4 5A Div. II State Finalist
THE COACH: Open
THE PLAYERS: Jakob Heins (Sr., LB), Augustine Tambe (Sr., LB), Jack Grimm (Sr., ATH), Brenden Solete (Sr., DL), Jack Merrill (Sr., OL), Eli Duane (Sr., OL) Colin Kramer (Sr., DB), Tyler Lavine (Jr., RB/LB), Jav Guidry (Jr., ATH), Hunter Valk (Jr., DB), William Harris (Jr., DL), Elisha Guidry (So., DB), Johnathan Kelly (So., OL), Mac McCaskill (Sr., LB), Tommy Lavine (Sr., WR), Collin Kramr (Sr., DB), Baxter Robinson (Sr., QB), Hayden Craig (Jr., RB/P), Rocky Ferony (Sr., WR) THE WORD: The Timberwolves will be expected to make another march towards a state championship in 2015, returning nine starters on defense and six starters on offense, but they’ll have to get it done under a new HC as Joe Willis departed in late May to take over at Colleyville Heritage. Cedar Park will have to find a new quarterback and replace the Hutchings brothers, but there is plenty of talent in the cupboard, including playmakers like Jack Grimm (927 total yards, 8 TD), Hayden Craig and Jav Guidry (293 rushing yards). Versatile Grimm can play a number of positions, so expect the new staff to move him around and get the ball in his hands as much as possible. The Timberwolves offensive line is led by Merrill and Duane, who started 31 of a possible 32 games a year ago. Augustine Tambe returns to lead the defense after recording 120 tackles and an interception in 2014. Jav Guidry, who led the team with seven interceptions a year ago will lead a talented secondary, Elisha Guidry was a revelation as a freshman for CPHS starting eight games as a freshman and picking up a pair of interceptions. Kramer, who missed ten games due to injury should step right in and add to an already solid secondary unit along with Valk who had a pair of interceptions as well in 2015. Jakob Heins was a second team all-district pick and he’ll team with Mac McCaskill (82 tackles) to anchor the Timberwolves defense at linebacker. The Timberwolves are well aware their district is considered among the deepest districts in the state regardless of classification and it will once again be a tough battle week in and week out, there are certainly no freebies in District 25-5A.. Cedar Park came within 21 seconds of claiming the school’s second ever state championship a year ago, but fell short in a classic state title game to Ennis, 38-35.
LEANDER VANDEGRIFT VIPERS
ENROLLMENT: 1,879 (3)
2014 RECORD: 12-3 5A Div. I State Semi-Finalist
THE COACH: Drew Sanders
THE PLAYERS: Travis Brannan (Sr., RB), Paxton Segina (Sr., WR) Baker Oliver (SR., OL), Max Cooley (Sr., OL), Kenny Wood (Sr., OL), Cody Walther (Sr., DB), Culver Sumner (Sr., DB), Alex Fernandes (Jr., QB), Holton Greenfield (Jr., OL), Jake Helton (Jr., OL), Sam Brod (Jr., DL)
THE WORD: Vandegrift High School, which split off from the attendance zone of Cedar Park High School, reached new heights and put itself on the Texas high school football map in 2014 by finally knocking off the Timberwolves and reaching the state semi-finals. The Vipers’ season was ended by Temple, but it should be a springboard for a program on the rise. Vandegrift isn’t expected to take a step back in 2015, as Sanders’ squad returns eight starters on offense and nine starters on defense. Offensively, running back Travis Brannan returns to lead the Vipers after posting 2,680 yards on the ground and accounting for 42 total touchdowns last season. The Vipers aren’t just dangerous on the ground, however, as wide receiver Paxton Segina had 20 touchdown catches and was honorable mention all-state as a junior. The offensive line is stacked with talent, led by Culver Sumner. Vandegrift will have to replace an all-state quarterback, but an experienced defense that returns the entire linebacker and secondary group should take some pressure off the offense early in the season.
CEDAR PARK VISTA RIDGE RANGERS
ENROLLMENT: 1,990 (2)
2014 RECORD: 8-3 5A Div. I Bi-District Playoffs
THE COACH: Rodney Vincent
THE PLAYERS: Isaiah Vilaire (Sr., RB), Matt Snow (Sr., QB), Tyler Harris (Sr., DB), RJ Phillips (Sr., LB), Jeremiah Chambers (Sr., LB), Harper Geracci (Sr., OL), Bryce Doll (Sr., RB), Jay Mobley (Sr., DL), Caleb Welch (Jr., DB), Brennan Eggers (Sr., OL), Trey Weidner (Sr., OL), Jamil Pittman (So., WR), Cody Williams (Sr., TE) Dalton McKay (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: Cedar Park Vista Ridge shocked a lot of people by making the playoffs in a crowded district 25-5A. Many felt the Rangers were one year away from reaching those heights, but the team pulled some upsets and reached the bi-district round of the playoffs before running into Cinderella story Austin LBJ. That loss should make this year’s version of Vista Ridge even more dangerous, especially considering the talent that the Rangers have returning under head coach Rodney Vincent. His team returns nine starters from an offense that averaged 455 yards and 38 points per game in 2014. The Rangers also return seven players on a defense that improved as last season wore on. The Rangers boast a ton of depth along the offensive and defensive lines, and Vincent says this will be the strongest team he has had since arriving at Vista Ridge. Matt Snow, a senior quarterback, makes the offense tick. He compiled 1,441 rushing yards and 1,785 passing yards as a junior while accounting for 51 total touchdowns.
MARBLE FALLS MUSTANGS
ENROLLMENT: 1,125 (8)
2014 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Matt Green
THE PLAYERS: Cade Cool (Jr., QB/WR), Daven Manning (Jr., RB), Eric Cauble (Sr., WR/DB), Jacob Metcalf (Sr., WR/DB), Ryan Becker (Sr. OL/DL), Dalton Mayberry (Jr., RB/LB), Peyton Emery (Sr., WR), Howard Lindsey (Jr., OL/DL), Dawson Atwood (Jr., DL), Rudy Cruz (Jr., DL)
THE WORD: District 25-5A is one of the toughest districts in the entire state, and it is even tougher when you’re the smallest school in the district. That is the challenge that the Marble Falls Mustangs and head coach Matt Green face in 2015. It is the same problem the school faced in 2014, missing out of the playoffs in a competitive and stacked district. Depth was the issue for Marble Falls in 2014 and it is likely going to an issue in 2015, as well. Cade Cool, who mostly played wide receiver as a junior, will likely take over at quarterback this season. He only attempted four passes last year, but he’ll be dangerous with his feet because of his athleticism. Daven Manning will be the focal point of the rushing attack and Eric Caubie, Jacob Metcalf and Peyton Emery will get plenty of chances at wide receiver in the spread attack. The offensive line will be led by Ryan Becker, who already holds a D1 college offer and will likely play defensive line at the next level.
DRIPPING SPRINGS TIGERS
ENROLLMENT: 1,480 (6)
2014 RECORD: 3-7
THE COACH: Galen Zimmerman
THE PLAYERS: Jacob Graner (Sr., OL), Ethan Fernea (Sr., DB), Alex Dance (Sr., LB), Shep Shephard (Sr., WR/QB), Nick Bever (Sr. WR), Bobby Credeur (Sr., RB), Joe Fex (Jr., RB), Noah Orr (Jr., LB), McKenly O’Neal (DL), Reese Johnson (Jr., DB), Foster Reynolds (Jr., OL), James Vantrease (Jr., DL), Cullen Young (Jr., TE), Josh Embry (So., DB), Camden Beaty (So., OL)
THE WORD: Despite going 3-7 in the first season under head coach Joe McBride expectations loomed large for the Tigers entering the 2015 season. However, a spring decision by McBride to take the Coppell athletic director job leaves a lot of doubt for Dripping Springs on the football field. In steps Galen Zimmerman who has spent one season at DSHS as OC, prior he was HC at Frisco Liberty where ironically enough he also followed Joe McBride. Even with a new coach Dripping Springs returns a lot of experience, which should be the strength of this team. The Tigers return eight starters on offense and nine starters on defense. Running back Joe Fex recorded 1,406 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in 2014. Shep Shephard had 1,309 yards passing and accounted for six touchdowns. Will Wittenburg is the team’s leader in receiving yards after posting 393 yards and four touchdowns last season. It is always going to be tough for Dripping Springs to compete with the LISD and Georgetown schools that dominated the district in 2014, but if the players adapt to their new coach and system, Dripping Springs could be a surprise team in 2015.
ENROLLMENT: 1,797 (5) 2014 RECORD: 7-3
THE COACH: Jason Dean
THE PLAYERS: Jo’vanta Grimble (Sr., WR), Beau Corrales (Jr., WR), Dakota Cahill (Sr., RB), Hunter Creasy (Sr., DT), Ben Purcell (Sr., OL), Richard Bueno (Sr., WR), Logan Olson (Sr., TE), Cole Rickerson (Sr., DB), Kade Clapper (Sr., OL), Chase Travis (Jr., OL)
THE WORD: In what proved to be one of the toughest districts in all of Class 5A, the Georgetown Eagles missed out on the playoffs despite winning seven games and going 4-3 in district play. The Eagles return eight starters on offense, but the biggest question mark on that side of the ball will be at quarterback. Georgetown lost Ben Bottlinger to graduation after last season and must find someone to replace that production. Whoever steps up at quarterback will have plenty of skill position players to get the ball to, however. Cahlil had 1,220 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns last season at running back and Grimble nearly hit the 1,000 yard mark at wide receiver. The Eagles will need that offense to lead the team early as it replaces eight players on defense, but head coach Jason Dean feels like he has the players he needs to fill those voids in 2015. The district race is expected to be tight, but Georgetown should be in the thick of the race once again.
GEORGETOWN EAST VIEW PATRIOTS
ENROLLMENT: 1,404 (7)
2014 RECORD: 9-3 5A Div. II Area Finalist
THE COACH: Robert Davies
THE PLAYERS: Corbin Neffendorf (Sr., DL), Brandon Garrett (Sr., LB), Aaron Corona (Sr., LB), Paul Barron (Sr., DB), Mason Klinger (Jr., RB), Civon Lewis (Jr., RB), Tori Davis (So., RB), Cornelio Garcia (Sr., ATH), Austin Moreno (Sr., QB), Leo Ramirez (Jr., OL)
THE WORD: Georgetown East View has made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in just three full seasons as a varsity program, but making it three in a row will be a difficult challenge for the Patriots. After reaching the Area Round of the Class 5A playoffs in 2014, East View will have to replace the core nucleus of talent that led the Patriots to so much instant success. Head coach Robert Davies returns just one starter on each side of the ball and must replace 36 lettermen lost to graduation. The defense will be anchored by returning first-team all-district defensive lineman Corbin Neffendorf, who 79 tackles and five sacks as a junior. Offensively, East View will be relying on players that weren’t featured in 2014. Quarterback Austin Moreno completed all nine of his pass attempts last year and had one start, but it’ll be his team for the first time. The Patriots’ leading returning rusher and receiver had less than 100 yards in each category last season.
ENROLLMENT: 2,008 (1)
2014 RECORD: 0-10
THE COACH: Tim Smith
THE PLAYERS: Raymond Gibson (Jr., RB), Malik Jones (Jr., DB), Serigo Garza (Jr., OL/DL), Gabriel Sanchez (Sr., WR), Parker McNeil (Jr., QB), Michael Berry (Sr., TE), Brandon Plumer (Sr., RB), Zeke Garcia (Jr., DL), Seth Venner (Jr., DB), Malcom Wright-Harris (Jr., LB)
THE WORD: The 2014 season is one Leander Lions coaches, players and fans would like to forget. Leander was winless last season and hopes to get back on track in 2015, but it won’t be under former head coach Lee Bridges, who took an athletic director job within Leander Independent School District in the spring. In steps former OC Smith, who will try and restore the roar in Leander. The Lions do have some experience coming back at the skill positions, but the defense will have to be much improved for Leander to make a push in one of the toughest districts in Class 5A. Parker McNeil should enter the season as the starting quarterback after completing 46-of-94 passes and five touchdowns as a sophomore. Raymond Gibson should lead the backfield and tight end Michael Berry had 34 catches and four touchdowns as a junior. Malik Jones and Seth Venner should give Leander some talent in the secondary, while Sergio Garza will be a big piece of the defensive line. A player to watch is junior linebacker Malcom Wright-Harris, who was on varsity as a sophomore.
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