TPI 5A-4A State Tournament Team Capsules

Matt Stepp, Matt Diggs and Alan Zepeda take a detailed look at all 64 of the "Big School" teams scheduled to play this weekend at the State Tournament!

Baytown Lee Ganders

Qualified: Winner Manvel

Pre-Tournament Rank: 1

About the Ganders: Ranked as our favorite to once again win the tournament this is a team with everything. At quarterback is the underrated Josh Jones who hse a leaper deluxe to throw to in Michael Mahan. Mahan flat out can go get the ball in traffic. Also look for Kevin Craft and Jarvis Moore to get plenty of action. The defense has plenty of talent also with Reggie Butler and Thomas Bates leading the way. This is a veteran squad that has the talent and experience to take it all. After winning the title in 2005 the Ganders fell to Rockwall in the semi-finals last year.

Abilene Eagles

Qualified:Winner Abilene

Pre-Tournament Rank: 2

About the Eagles: Abilene has developed into an elite 7 on 7 team over the past 5 years. In the past two years Abilene has lost a total of one game, and that was at last year's State Tournament when the Eagles fell to Baytown Lee in the Round of 16. Abilene is loaded at WR with two potential Division 1 prospects in Kortney McDow and J.J. James both are deep threats but they can also make tough catches on the short routes. AHS junior QB Steven Warren led the Eagles to a berth in the State Tournament while senior Spens Lackey was recovering from a shoulder injury. Lackey returned for the final SQT and the Eagles are at full strength. Abilene the past two State Tournaments has defeated the eventual tournament champion in pool play, in 2005 AHS knocked off Baytown Lee and in 2006 the Eagles drilled eventual state champion Colleyville Heritage.

Katy Tigers

Qualified:Winner Rosenberg Terry

Pre-Tournament Rank: 3

About the Tigers: Katy has earned another trip to the state tournament once again after missing the State Tournament in 2006. Even more so, Katy has not lost a single game this summer in 7-on-7 play. Quarterback Bo Mitchell has shown this summer, along with last season, that he belongs with Houston's top signal callers. He has good and capable receivers in Terrance Avie and Joey Fuda. Running back Aundre Dean is also looking good out of the backfield as a target. On defense, the Tiger defensive backfield is solid. Look for them to snag plenty of interceptions. Katy will have a great showing in College Station and they are a threat to win the title.

Lewisville Hebron Hawks

Qualified:Winner Southlake Carroll

Pre-Tournament Rank: 4

About the Hawks: Hebron has excelled in 7 on 7 this season. The Hebron varsity knocked off both Plano East squads in a warm-up tournament. Move-in WR Patrick Robertson will play both ways and most certainly will dazzle audiences in College Station. Tanner Marsh has been a key at QB - although he may not have the same success in 11 man football, he has been improving and accurate in 7 on 7 play. Keep an eye on RB Darius Staten who can go from a complete stop to full speed faster than just about anyone. On the defensive side of the ball LB Garrett Shinkle is the leader of the defense. Hebron gained huge confidence in knocking off Southlake Carroll - marking the first time in eight years Southlake did not win their own tournament.

Colleyville Heritage Panthers

Qualified:Winner Colleyville Heritage

Pre-Tournament Rank: 5

About the Panthers: Colleyville won the state tournament last year and did very well beforehand. Their spring practice consisted of 7 on 7 drills, so they were noticeably more sharp than other teams at their own tournament. Heritage is a perennial 7 on 7 power and should be watched, despite having a new group of players. Although they are not seasoned at varsity, they are seasoned at 7 on 7 which makes them a dangerous draw for anyone. Players to watch for the Panthers include QB Tyler Little and shutdown CB Eddie Foster.

Wolfforth Frenship Tigers

Qualified:Winner Amarillo Caprock

Pre-Tournament Rank: 6

About the Tigers: Frenship has amassed enough talent to really make some noise at this year's State Tournament. The Tigers last year were eliminated in the Round of 32 by Abilene, as the State Tournament proved to be the only time in 2006 QB Seth Doege was able to wear the blue and gold due to an injury suffered in practice before the start of the season. Doege is healthy and he's got plenty of weapons at his disposal including RB Michael Connor and WR's Nick Hanslik and Trey Whaley. The defense is led by CB Eddrick Wiggins and CB Geron Moore. If Doege gets hot Frenship will be a tough out for anyone come time for bracket play.

Stephenville Yellow Jackets

Qualified:Winner Burnet

Pre-Tournament Rank: 7

About the Yellow Jackets:Stephenville has been one of the top teams in 7 on 7 for quite sometime, last year the ‘Jackets advanced all the way to the quarter-finals before being eliminated by eventual State Champion Colleyville Heritage. Oklahoma State commit QB Kody Spano has developed into one of the top QB prospects in the state and he excels in the 7 on 7 format. RB Trey Taylor is a versatile threat on the underneath routes. The ‘Jackets play a physical style on defense and Texas Tech commit DB Cody Davis is the heart and soul of that defense. Stephenville is experienced and they have good depth and they are a title contender.

Houston Langham Creek Lobos

Qualified:Winner Cypress Creek

Pre-Tournament Rank: 8

About the Lobos: Another Houston Area team that lives for the 7 on 7 tournament. Leading the way will once again be Max Jenkins who has established himself as a D1 caliber quarterback. Kameron Shamlin and Barry Abubert are a pair of key targets on offense. This is a young squad but they have been near flawless during the 7 on 7 regular season. The Lobos are led on defense by DB Obinna Akujoubi. LCHS is a threat to win the entire tournament as they feature a big time QB and an excellent group of skill players.

Plano East Panthers

Qualified:Winner Rockwall

Pre-Tournament Rank: 9

About the Panthers: The Panthers return an offensive nucleus featuring QB Riko Smalls. Riko has plenty of speed and size this season, including receivers Kevin Smith and Mikey White. The defense is pretty stout as well, playing hard nosed physical defense. The Panthers get over-anxious at times, but in a one game setting, they could beat anyone. PESH won the only SQT they played in at Rockwall, the Panthers if they can get on a roll Saturday are dangerous as they have one of the deepest teams in the tournament.

Rosenberg Terry Rangers

Qualified:Runner-Up Cypress Creek

Pre-Tournament Rank: 10

About the Rangers: Tim Teykl's Ranger squad is back once again and have their usual band of talented players. The defense is where this squad can do damage with safeties Lekenwic Haynes and Anthony Brown being among the best at the tournament. Zach Nowak heads the team into the tournament. Terry will be a tough out as they are a strong squad this year.

Houston Stratford Spartans

Qualified:Runner-Up Texas City

Pre-Tournament Rank: 11

About the Spartans: Stratford will probably do better than last year even though the Spartans are traveling with only a handful of experienced receivers. Quarterback Andrew Luck will probably rise to the occasion giving Stratford the best possible chance to advance out of pool play. Wide receivers BJ Griffin and Grant Josey are two of Luck's top targets and will likely see a lot of action. If the Spartans can hold their opponents to 21 points are less, look for them to make it to the semifinals because Luck will put them in the end zone plenty of times.

Katy Cinco Ranch Cougars

Qualified:Wiinner Texas City

Pre-Tournament Rank: 12

About the Cougars: Cinco Ranch heads back to College Station despite having fewer skilled players than last year. But, the offense led by Shane Ros will likely shock some spectators with his strong left arm. Look for the Ros-to-TJ Cardone connection to be all too common. Also, the athleticism of Will Morris will help Cinco Ranch on both sides of the ball. If the Cougars make it out of pool play, they may have trouble in the higher rounds of competition because of experience.

Mesquite Skeeters

Qualified:Winner Wylie

Pre-Tournament Rank: 13

About the Skeeters: QB Kelly Page has shown no ill-effects from season ending knee surgery last year. Although he wears a brace, his arm strength is just great. Mesquite has a strong offense including several great receivers in Adrian Richards. Terrence Baker is a gritty defensive player who will end up with his share of interceptions on the tournament. Mesquite is susceptible to 7 on 7 formations in the middle of their defense. Mesquite played in two SQTs this summer losing in a heartbreaker in the Arlington Bowie semi-finals to Arlington Lamar, but they rebounded to win the Wylie SQT title.

Lake Travis Cavaliers

Qualified:Winner Round Rock

Pre-Tournament Rank: 14

About the Cavaliers:Lake Travis junior QB Garrett Gilbert first made his mark last year at the State Tournament when in pool play he shredded the Plano East Panthers defense led by now Texas LN Keenan Robinson. Gilbert now with a full season under his belt has emerged as one of the top QB prospects in the state and he has the ability to put LT on his back and lead them to wins over more talented teams. WR Jason Bird is his top target, while rangy CB Sean Robinson leads the defense. LTHS qualified by winning the Round Rock SQT and the Cavaliers have only lost one game in SQT play all summer. The only real weakness for the Cavaliers may be a lack of speed on the defensive side of the ball.

Brownwood Lions

Qualified:Runner-Up Abilene

Pre-Tournament Rank: 15

About the Lions: A regular at the State Tournament, the Lions had a disappointing end to their run in Aggieland last year as they were upset in 2OT by San Antonio Clark in the first round of single elimination play. QB Casey Pachall is considered the top QB prospect in the Class of 2009 as he combines great size with a big arm and tremendous decision making ability. Pachall has several weapons at his disposal including WR/DB Kenny Vaccaro, RB Corey Burr and WR/DB Jarrod Howrey. Vaccaro besides being a top weapon on offense is probably the Lions best cover defender as he combines sub 4.5 speed with a lanky 6'1 frame. The Lions struggled in early SQT play missing several key players who were in the UIL baseball playoffs but once they got to full strength they have been a juggernaut.

Plano Wildcats

Qualified:Runner-Up Colleyville Heritage

Pre-Tournament Rank: 16

About the Wildcats: For arguments that 7 on 7 means nothing, look no farther than the Plano Wildcats. A team that typically runs during the regular season, getting their air legs under them doesn't hold much water come August. Plano uses two QBs including Michael Sheffield. Rex Burkhead plays receiver and defensive back where he is a dual threat at both. Kris Lott could have a breakout performance at wide receiver if he is healthy.

Arlington Bowie Volunteers

Qualified:Winner Arlington Bowie

Pre-Tournament Rank: 17

About the Volunteers: Bowie has arguably one of the best 7 on 7 talent rosters in the whole tournament. Whether or not they are healthy and bring their full complement of players will determine their success. Christian Matthews (QB) and Roddy Maginot (WR) did not see time when they actually did qualify. With the talent and experience Bowie has, they will definitely be a tough out if they are at full strength. One of the best games this summer was their semifinal battle against Plano at the Colleyville Heritage SQT, which they lost by one point.

Round Rock McNeil Mavericks

Qualified:Winner Lake Travis

Pre-Tournament Rank: 18

About the Mavericks:Another of the Central Texas sleepers is the McNeil Mavericks making their first trip to the State Tournament. Their obvious headliner is DB Aaron Williams who in coverage is the best in the state and is fully capable of taking the opposing team's top WR out of the game. In a pinch you may even see Williams out on the offensive side of the ball also. QB Jake Fenske could turn into one of those QB's who really makes a name for himself at the State Tournament as not many know about him but he's a top talent. Top weapons on offense for the Mavs are WR Derek Litteral and WR Chris Tyrone. McNeil is 7-1 in SQT play this summer with their only loss coming to Lake Travis at the Round Rock SQT.

Klein Forest Golden Eagles

Qualified:Winner Cypress Falls

Pre-Tournament Rank: 19

About the Golden Eagles: Senior QB Ford Lakin makes a trip to College Station as he begins his last season at the helm. He has some excellent targets in Deonte Patrick, Jared Jenkins, and Damian Payne. Leading the way on defense are Marquis Wright with Payne in the mix also. KF is not mentioned often among the top teams in Houston but they have the talent to make some noise.

Rockwall Yellow Jackets

Qualified:Runner-Up Rockwall

Pre-Tournament Rank: 20

About the Yellow Jackets: Rockwall will be led by the experienced QB Braden Smith. Rockwall doesn't have much coming back in the running back department or in the receiver department, but they do have capable athletes. Aaron Arterburn and his brother Trevor Arterburn give Rockwall a dangerous 1-2 combination. Jarron White could be trouble out of the backfield for opponents with his speed - and his small size will make him elusive and hard to catch.

Southlake Carroll Dragons

Qualified:Runner-Up Southlake Carroll

Pre-Tournament Rank: 21

About the Dragons: Although Southlake has a D1 list of offensive weapons, they weren't able to use possibly their best one, Tre Newton at their tournament. Riley Dodge and Blake Cantu looked great as well as Chris Brainard. Defensively, the Dragons looked very porous and might have to win games in 7 on 7 with their offense. If Newton travels with the team to College Station, it would be hard to find an offense that clicks on more cylinders than what the Dragons can produce. Because they are SLC typically the Dragons wind up being everyone's Super Bowl, even in 7 on 7 and typically the Dragons have fared well at A&M but they haven't been able to get past the Round of 16 the past two years.

Port Arthur Memorial Titans

Qualified:Runner-Up Baytown Lee

Pre-Tournament Rank: 22

About the Titans: Always talented, always tough, never an easy game to go against the Titans are back again. They have another talented quarterback in senior Patterson Clay with Freddie King, Rashaun Brown and Solomon Jones all looking to stretch the field. Defense will be led by David Whitmore who has already committed to a division one school. PAM advanced to the Quarter-Finals last year at the State Tournament.

Brenham Cubs

Qualified:Runner-Up Round Rock

Pre-Tournament Rank: 23

About the Cubs: Once again the Cubs bring a great and talented squad to the tournaemnt. The biggest difference this year is the lack of experience for some of the players. On offense is where the questions are, who will establish themselves as the next great Cub receiver should be on everyone's minds. Versatile Lester Ward is the top option along with FB Ryan Roberson. On defense is a talented lot with brothers Kendrell and Kendrick Washington being a talented pair, and linebacker Kyle Mangan helping out.

Lufkin Panthers

Qualified:Winner Lufkin

Pre-Tournament Rank: 24

About the Panthers: Always a contender for the state tournament but they have never won the big game at Texas A&M. Lufkin brings talent, skill and pure athleticism to the 7 on 7 game and are always dangerous. This year's squad is interesting because five sophomores come to town. At quarterback will be Jeffrey Claybon who is a junior with Jeremy Nobles also a strong passer. The top receivers are James Davis and Eric Johnson. Defense will be interesting this year with a lot of new faces but one vet, Darrius Terry is back to lead the squad.

The Woodlands Highlanders

Qualified:Winner The Woodlands

Pre-Tournament Rank: 25

About the Highlanders: This will be the youngest team that the Highlanders staff has brought to College Station with juniors and sophomores all over the starting lineup. A pair of talented young receivers are must sees in Alex Tweedy and Ryan Eastman who wowed the crowed at The Woodlands 7 on 7 SQT with their great catches.

South Garland Colonels

Qualified:Winner Tyler Lee

Pre-Tournament Rank: 26

About the Colonels: South Garland has plenty of talent, and they were able to finally qualify in East Texas. South Garland has been blessed with being put in some tough pools, so they are now battle hardened. Nick Florence looks to take over the GISD passing records from Jordan Reever this season. Steven Osborne will be a tough cover for anyone with his range. Courtney Osborne is a top flight receiver with Joseph Ibiloye. Austin Moss will clog up the middle, and Terry Asante provides a safety plug out of the backfield. Cornelius Wilson may have a breakout tournament with the focus on the other speed athletes. Man for man the Colonels have as much talent as anyone at the State Tournament.

Katy Taylor Mustangs

Qualified:Runner-Up Rosenberg Terry

Pre-Tournament Rank: 27

About the Mustangs: The 7 on 7 ranks have several teams that are mainstays year in and year out and the Mustangs are one such team. Running back Marchellous Martin, Cullen Pabody, and Blake Peters are the players to watch. Taylor qualified by finishing second at the Rosenberg Terry SQT.

Amarillo Palo Duro Dons

Qualified:Runner-Up Amarillo Caprock

Pre-Tournament Rank: 28

About the Dons: Overlooking the Dons because they are from West Texas would be a huge mistake for anyone. PD has the athletes to match up with anyone in the state, and they'll be out with something to prove. In 2005 Palo Duro qualified for the State Tournament but they were unable to attend and Ft. Bend Dulles to their place, this time PD is making the 500 plus mile trek to Texas A&M. PD is led by WR Cedric Johnson who is capable of taking a game over. The Dons feature a strong secondary led by O'Quinn Young and Dustin Lyesight. The Dons qualified by finishing second at the Amarillo Caprock SQT, the Dons lost to Wolfforth Frenship 34-27.

Coppell Cowboys

Qualified:Runner-Up Granbury

Pre-Tournament Rank: 29

About the Cowboys: Coppell was a late addition to the field at the Granbury SQT and the Cowboys made the most of it by pulling a big upset over West Mesquite to qualify for the State Tournament. QB Dalton Williams has emerged over the summer as the unquestioned leader of the Cowboys offense. WR Trevor Trudell and RB Evans Okotcha are the top weapons on the offensive side of the ball for CHS. Coppell has a very good secondary anchored by Devin Smith who is one of the top defensive players in the entire tournament. Coppell won't dazzle you on offense with a lot of deep passes or blazing speed but they execute very well on offense and will prove to be a tough out.

Killeen Kangaroos

Qualified:Winner Paris

Pre-Tournament Rank: 30

About the Kangaroos:Another potential sleeper team is Killeen, the Kangaroos blitzed through the competition in NE Texas at the Paris SQT and they are dangerous. QB Alijawon White is a big time playmaker and has progressed this summer with his passing ability. White's two favorite targets are T.J. Hill and Levi Fuson, the top defensive player is DB Justin Harkress. Killeen isn't considered a major threat to make a lot of noise on Saturday but they have the talent to pull an upset over a higher ranked team.

College Station A&M Consolidated

Qualified:Winner A&M Consolidated

Pre-Tournament Rank: 31

About the Tigers: AMC is one of the pioneers in 7 on 7 and after missing the 2006 State Tournament they are back. The Tigers struggled in early SQT play in Central Texas, but they finally got their legs under them and won their own SQT. AMC's fortunes will ride on QB Dominic Preston, Preston is a streaky passer but when he's hot he is sizzling. WR Wes Schill and RB Curtis Jackson are Preston's top two weapons on offense. AMC does have the advantage of playing in familiar territory and sleeping in their own beds Friday night could prove to be an advantage they have along with Bryan.

Arlington Lamar Vikings

Qualified:Runner-Up Arlington Bowie

Pre-Tournament Rank: 32

About the Vikings: No one plays a more frustrating brand of 7 on 7 than Arlington Lamar. The Vikings looked great at the Arlington Bowie tournament - which was the only time they were healthy. QB Ben Sherrard looked great at times, but tends to be a better QB within a system. Sean Harrison and Lazarus Anderson are two big bodied receivers that will be hard to defend in jump ball situations. Lamar is a veteran of 7 on 7 play and they are no strangers to the big stage, but their performances at Texas A&M haven't been great. Lamar will look to erase that trend in 2007.

Odessa Permian Panthers

Qualified:Winner Wolfforth Frenship

Pre-Tournament Rank: 33

About the Panthers: After not playing in SQT play in 2005, the Panthers are now making their second consecutive trip to the State Tournament. MOJO won the 7 on 7 State Championship back 2003 when they knocked off Burnet. The Panthers this year are led by WR/DB Melvis Pride who combines good speed, size and a knack for always coming up with the ball regardless if he is on offense or defense. Permian's defense is also led by DB Andrew Amoyaw who teams with Pride to form a solid combo.

Cypress Fairbanks Bobcats

Qualified:Runner-Up The Woodlands

Pre-Tournament Rank: 34

About the Bobcats: To the disappointment of many, superstar RB Sam McGuffie was not on the submitted roster but this still looks to be one of the top teams at the tournament. McGuffie is likely being held out of the tournament to prevent the risk of any injuries. Cy Fair loves 7 on 7 football and always does well at the State Tournament. Some players to watch include receiver Andrew Hegarty, tight end Colby Goodwin and safety Michael Elliott among others.

Channelview Falcons

Qualified:Winner Baytown Lee

Pre-Tournament Rank: 35

About the Falcons: Senior Garrett Beal leads a talented Channelview squad that already has two D1 commits among the squad. Leading the way will be Duriel Harris, Jackie Hinton, Zachary Loudd, Ernest Thompson and Chris Hawkins on offense. On defense Hinton, Hawkins, Denzel Granderson, Henry Long, and Dominique Jefferson are the ones to watch. Channelview is making their first trip ever to the State Tournament this year.

Beaumont West Brook Bruins

Qualified:Winner Houston Madison

Pre-Tournament Rank: 36

About the Bruins: Several players are possibilities at quarterack with David Falgout starting during the Spring Game, Christian Lewis might get playing time also. For passing you have Ryan Grant, Albert Williams and Christian Michael likely to get a lot of looks along with Blake Chavis. The defense has Michael Williams as their shut down corner with talented young sophomores at linebacker. West Brook is a definite sleeper as they are as talented as anyone and they excel typically in the 7 on 7 format.

Cypress Creek Cougars

Qualified:Winner Katy Taylor

Pre-Tournament Rank: 37

About the Cougars: Jacob Thompson leads the Cougars squad who always seem to bring the "A Game" to College Station. The Cougars always play best against the tougher squads and are a team that likes to pull off upsets. RB Mike Miori and WR Hayden Krc are the top two options for the Cougars who don't have a ton of big names but they are solid.

Fort Bend Austin Bulldogs

Qualified:Winner Katy Cinco Ranch

Pre-Tournament Rank: 38

About the Bulldogs: Big senior quarterback Benn Fairbanks leads the way as he will be looking for seniors Chris Wilson and Tre Green to throw the ball to. On defense Korey Jarka and Brandon August leads the way. Fort Bend Austin qualified by winning the Cinco Ranch SQT in a bit of a surprise.

Garland Lakeview Centennial Patriots

Qualified:Runner-Up Wylie

Pre-Tournament Rank: 39

About the Patriots: No one wanted to get into the tournament more than Lakeview Centennial. An unlikely team to advance to College Station, Lakeview Centennial won a triple overtime game and a three way tiebreaker by one point on an extra point to advance. DB Corrigan Powell is a must see player and will light up the College Station afternoon. The Patriots will try and show they aren't just happy to be at Texas A&M and they'll be out to prove the doubters wrong.

Tyler Lee Red Raiders

Qualified:Winner Granbury

Pre-Tournament Rank: 40

About the Red Raiders: Tyler Lee had to work to qualify - playing at no less than four tournaments before they finally were able to get past the semifinal round. Tyler Lee is breaking in new skill position players, and they don't have too much chemistry. They are a darkhorse due to their athletes. Brandon Rogers looks to start at QB, and Jaszman Mitchell if used effectively at RB could break big gains with his sub 4.3 speed. RB/DB Jamaal Mitchell is also a big time threat for Lee.

Georgetown Eagles

Qualified:Runner-Up Lake Travis

Pre-Tournament Rank: 41

About the Eagles: Georgetown is making their second straight trip to Texas A&M, last year GHS was just happy to be there but this year they are out to make some noise. GHS is led by QB Morgan Mickham who is a sensational athlete and an underrated passer. The secondary may be the Eagles big strength led by DB's Maina Musa, Cameron Giese and Ben Youngblood. Georgetown is a solid group but they don't look to be a major threat, advancing to the winners bracket may be the most the Eagles can do.

Bryan Vikings

Qualified:Runner-Up A&M Consolidated

Pre-Tournament Rank: 42

About the Vikings: Bryan much like arch rival A&M Consolidated missed the 2006 State Tournament, but the Vikings managed to qualify at AMC's SQT. BHS has a great group of offensive weapons and the Vikings are dangerous. Players to watch include QB Garrison Kickham, WR Jeriet Swint, WR Gary Hammond along with RB Monterral Washington. A lack of experience on the defensive side of the ball will likely hurt the Vikings against teams who are able to match up and slow down their explosive offense.

Katy Mayde Creek Rams

Qualified:Runner-Up Katy Cinco Ranch

Pre-Tournament Rank: 43

About the Rams: Another young squad making the trip to College Station. Mayde Creek joins four other Katy ISD teams in making the tournament. The top targets on offense should be Sherrif Thomas and Chris West. On defense the players to watch include Chase Hooper, Lamar Coward, Mason Hooper, and Thomas Campbell.

San Antonio MacArthur Brahmas

Qualified:Runner-Up Alamo Heights

Pre-Tournament Rank: 44

About the Brahmas: This looks to be another San Antonio squad with their strength on defense. Jordan Terrell is a talented junior in the secondary where he will be joined by senior Mark Kyle, junior Micah Baker and senior Ryan Hardway who were all listed among the Brahmas top recruiting prospects. MacArthur is making their first trip to the State Tournament.

Midland Lee Rebels

Qualified:Runner-Up Wolfforth Frenship

Pre-Tournament Rank: 45

About the Rebels: Midland Lee surprisingly enough has never qualified for the State Tournament until 2007, the Rebels are led by the multi talented Corey Petro who can do it on offense and defense. DB Kyle Logsdon is another key cog for the Rebels. On offense Lee QB Jason Nash has developed nicely as a passer and besides Petro he'll look to RB Amiuel Carr as a safety valve. After failing to qualify in their first SQT at Abilene, the Rebels put together a strong performance at Frenship's SQT to advance to state.

Cedar Park Timberwolves

Qualified:Runner-Up Burnet

Pre-Tournament Rank: 46

About the Timberwolves: Another one of many teams making their first trip to College Station the Timberwolves dinked and dunked their way to a runner-up finish at the Burnet SQT. RB Dedrick McKnight is a force out of the backfield especially in 7 on 7 as he has proven to the CPHS' most reliable offensive threat. QB Michael Conchran directs the offense and his two top downfield threats are WR Jamie Knight and Travis Smith. A lack of athleticism in the secondary is the main weakness for CPHS.

Forney Jackrabbits

Qualified:Runner-Up Tyler Lee

Pre-Tournament Rank: 47

About the Jackrabbits: Forney first got on the radar at the Wylie tournament when they played Rockwall and North Mesquite very close. Forney took North Mesquite to overtime before they couldn't withstand the Stallion attack. Forney will have speed, but they probably won't have the depth to make a serious run to the championship bracket - although they could spoil any team's hopes that look past them. QB Landon Hartwick has a rocket arm, keep an eye on RB/DB Peter Smith and WR Chad Laury.

Cypress Falls Golden Eagles

Qualified:Runner-Up Cypress Falls

Pre-Tournament Rank: 48

About the Golden Eagles: Rarely has a team been so devastated by graduation as Cy Falls has. This is a major rebuilding year yet they managed to get into the tournament. Cy Falls last year behind that strong senior class advanced all the way to the Quarter-Finals at the State Tournament and then coupled that with a state runner-up finish in the fall. Leading the way will be Junior quarterback Kolby Gray who will be looking for speedy RB Shane Turner.

Sherman Bearcats

Qualified:Runner-Up Paris

Pre-Tournament Rank: 49

About the Bearcats: After struggling to score points in early league play and in their first SQT, the Bearcats finally figured things out and they made a great run all the way to the finals at the Paris SQT. SHS won't be awestruck by the environment this year at Texas A&M after advancing to the State Tournament last year. QB Matt Rome has some good weapons at WR including speedy RB Waymon James and WR's Codi Morris and Greg Millerick. In short yardage situations the Bearcats will have a secret weapon in 6'7 TE Jeremy Gray who is a big time recruit at DE. Sherman is a team not to be overlooked despite the low ranking.

Temple Wildcats

Qualified:Winner Alamo Heights

Pre-Tournament Rank: 50

About the Wildcats: Add Temple to the list of first time entries into the State Tournament, the Wildcats qualified in surprising fashion by winning the Alamo Heights SQT. The irony is that the Alamo Heights SQT was the Wildcats first ever SQT!! Temple has several speedy offensive weapons but it all starts with QB Chase Moore, if he plays well THS will be competitive. Temple's top weapons on offense are RB LaQuinton Idlebird and WR Tevin Reese. Temple's lack of 7 on 7 experience will likely make it tough to advance to the winners bracket but they have the athletes to pull an upset in a one game situation.

Alvin Yellow Jackets

Qualified:Runner-Up Manvel

Pre-Tournament Rank: 51

About the Yellow Jackets: The Yellow Jackets will be lead on offense by several seniors including receiver Jeremy Allen with running backs Ashton Jefferson and Vincent Wydermyer also players to watch. The defense has a pair of talented safeties in seniors Willie Davis and Ethan Windsor. This is an experienced squad with no sophomores expected to make the trip. This will be the second straight trip to College Station for AHS.

McAllen Rowe Warriors

Qualified:Winner McAllen

Pre-Tournament Rank: 52

About the Warriors: The Warriors are going to "come out and play" once again in the tournament after an excellent previous showing. Leading the way will be quarterback Mike Enriquez who will be a senior this season. Top targets are Cameron Gatling, Alex Chalk and Travis Chafin. Watch out for this squad, they have a talented senior quarterback who did some serious damage to defenses last year. Rowe has established itself as the top 7 on 7 team in the Valley, which has a record 4 teams in the State Tournament this year.

San Antonio Clark Cougars

Qualified:Runner-Up Brownwood

Pre-Tournament Rank: 53

About the Cougars: This team's strength appears to be on defense where Barry Pillow, Desmond Anthony, Carlos Bernal and Grant Powell all bring experience and ability to the game. On offense the picture is more cloudy since Clark HS lost 10 starters from last year's football squad. Clark is making their second straight trip to Texas A&M after advancing to the Round of 16 last year. We don't expect that kind of success from a very young Clark team this year.

El Paso Montwood Rams

Qualified:Runner-Up El Paso Hanks

Pre-Tournament Rank: 54

About the Rams: Montwood is making their first ever State Tournament appearance and they have some good skill talent. RB's Josh Flores and Domingo Torres are both good options out of the backfield and WR's Jason Donaldson and Danny Perez. The Rams have a lack of speed on the defensive side of the ball and that will be their undoing as the competition at Texas A&M will be much tougher than anything they've seen.

Keller Central Chargers

Qualified:Winner Grapevine

Pre-Tournament Rank: 55

About the Chargers: The Chargers started their 7 on 7 season in embarassing fashion, getting beat pretty bad at Colleyville Heritage - including nearly a 50 point loss at the hands of Plano. Keller Central has three very good receivers in Jarred Darden (a junior you'll hear more about), Ed Amerson and Jacob Drinkard. D'Andre Hicks will be a speedy force out of the backfield. The defense is rather porous, and Keller Central would need a favorable pool to advance.

Houston Lamar Redskins

Qualified:Runner-Up Houston Madison

Pre-Tournament Rank: 56

About the Redskins: The Redskins always find a way to make it into the tournament and this year is no exception. Alving Johnson heads the squad but there are a ton of talented players to throw to. Eric Lair is a big-time tight end recruit while Kalvin Guyton is a must watch junior who is ready for a huge junior season. On defense Johnson will be a factor along with linebacker Dwayne Buggs. The Redskins always have some solid talent and they won't be an easy out.

NRH Richland Rebels

Qualified:Runner-Up Grapevine

Pre-Tournament Rank: 57

About the Rebels: The Rebels qualified for their first State Tournament in 3 years, Richland is led by a star on the defensive side of the ball in LB Victor Jones who will also contribute on the offensive side of the ball. QB Phil Gonzalez continues to mature and get better and better each week, his favorite targets are WR Ralph Tiquia and WR Nathan Burns. Richland hasn't had much success in SQTs in 2007 in fact the Rebels are 5-6 in 3 SQTs they have played in this summer.

Granbury Pirates

Qualified:Winner Brownwood

Pre-Tournament Rank: 58

About the Pirates: Granbury in their first and last SQTs posted a combined record of 2-4 and at times didn't look good. The Pirates led by QB Steven Darrow however at the Brownwood SQT out together a strong performance to qualify for state for the second time in three years. Darrow's top targets are WR Cody Sillivent and WR Tyler Miller. GHS is led on defense by DB Devon Davis. Overall, the Pirates are more athletic than the group that qualified for state in 2005 but on a whole they still don't have the horses to compete with the top teams in the state.

Carthage Bulldogs

Qualified:Runner-Up Lufkin

Pre-Tournament Rank: 59

About the Bulldogs: The only 3A team in the field, the Bulldogs shunned playing in the Small School SQT's and decided to enter the Lufkin SQT. Little did the Bulldogs know they'd roll past the big schools in the SQT and advance to the State Tournament. Carthage is led on the defensive side of the ball by speedy DB Rodney Chadwick, who has some big time sidekicks in DB's Byron Kirkling and Kendrick Jackson. On offense CHS is led by QB Si'Darius Blackshire and RB Gary Tatum. Carthage is dangerous but being the smallest school in the field doesn't help them too much and that lack of depth may cause problems.

Weslaco Panthers

Qualified:Runner-Up McAllen

Pre-Tournament Rank: 60

About the Panthers: Junior Dylan De Leon will lead the upstart Panthers as they head for College Station glory. A target to watch is the ultra-fast Mishak Rivas who runs a 4.3 forty according to his coach. Rivas who has gotten some Division 1 looks could really get his name on the map with a big performance this weekend. Jerry Espinoza leads the defensive squad which looks to have more experience than the underclassmen laden offensive group.

Katy Seven Lakes Spartans

Qualified:Runner-Up Katy Taylor

Pre-Tournament Rank: 61

About the Spartans: Seven Lakes has a pair of quarterbacks to watch in junior Dalton Livingston and sophomore Chris Duda. Their top target figures to be Anthony Kendrick. The defense squad looks solid with Taylor Ward, Ty Trevathan, Lyle Beloney, and Clay Almeida all on the recruit watch list. The Spartans are making their first ever trip to Texas A&M for the State Tournament this year.

El Paso Franklin Cougars

Qualified:Winner El Paso Hanks

Pre-Tournament Rank: 62

About the Cougars: Franklin makes the long trip to Texas A&M after winning the Hanks SQT. The Cougars qualified in 2005, but they failed to advance in 2006. QB Billy Hayes directs the offense and his two top weapons are RB Vince Gomez and WR Ron Panton. The Cougars are led on defense by CB Jon Logenbaugh. Overall, Franklin may be happy just to win a game or two as a lack of depth and athletes may hinder their chances.

San Benito Greyhounds

Qualified:Winner Corpus Christi Ray

Pre-Tournament Rank: 63

About the Greyhounds: Abel Aguirre leads the Greyhounds for this year's team with Angel Martinez being a top target of his. The team has quite a few seniors so that leadership might help them in the tournament. San Benito is another on the long list of schools making their first trip to Texas A&M.

Mercedes Tigers

Qualified:Runner-Up Corpus Christi Ray

Pre-Tournament Rank: 64

About the Tigers: The Tigers will be lead by Alex Trevino who is a good prospect at running back. The team had a lot of holes to replace due to graduation so it will be interesting to see who steps up in the tournament. MHS qualified on the final weekend of SQT play for the big schools.


The Old Coach Top Stories