TPI Houston Area 4A Countdown: #9

Behind versatile D.J. Monroe, the Angleton Wildcats look to break into what will be a very competitive District 23-4A this fall, placing them in the No. 9 spot in the TPI Houston Area 4A countdown.

If the Angleton Wildcats played in any other 4A district, they would be a solid choice to earn a playoff berth. Unfortunately, they happen to reside in District 23-4A, which has produced seven state titles between La Marque and Texas City in the last 12 years.

Still, Fenis Vanover's team will be in the thick of the postseason chase after finishing 5-5 in 2006. Most of the excitement surrounding the Wildcats centers around RB/CB D.J. Monroe, who established himself as one of the most explosive players in the state with a 1,229-yard, 11-TD season.

Monroe averaged more than seven yards per carry while also becoming one of the premier lockdown corners in Texas, which is one reason why he was quickly scooped off the recruiting boards by the University of Texas.

Angleton is not just the Monroe Show. QB Gregory Grant improved as the season went on and returns for his senior year. Junior RB Michael Terry will become more involved in the offense and will give defenses something to worry about beyond Monroe. The Wildcats will have to replace all-district WR/KR Paris Hobbs; MacKenzie Hammack is the leading choice to fill the role.

Travis Walthall was a second-team 23-4A selection and will anchor the offensive line. The Wildcats have seven linemen returning, which will give the offense a considerable boost.

Defensively, Ivora Thompson gives the Wildcats an all-district first teamer on the line. Ryan Veselka is another returning lineman that has potential along with Cornelius Murchison.

Casey Page will bounce between linebacker and the secondary. Hammack will move from wideout and also play linebacker. Darrell Gardner and John Mangum will also get significant playing time as well, with Cody and Jody Yates factoring in.

Monroe will lead the secondary. Page, Grant, Waylon Jones, Andrew Ramirez and Roger Cantu will also see action.

Angleton has the makings of a team that can advance a round or two in the playoffs, but getting there will be the hard part. A win over either La Marque, Friendswood or Dickinson would go a long way toward determining their fate.

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