2008 Team Insider: Fort Bend Elkins

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By Butch McReynolds

FORT BEND--The Elkins Knights would like nothing more than to be crowned with their first trip to the state playoffs since 2002 as 11 starters and 20 letter winners return from last year's disappointing 4-6 squad.

Coach Robert Crivellari will have some key players to replace, especially in linebacker Blake Slaughter, a talented head knocker now at Kansas State.

The squad must also find a replacement for blue-chip quarterback/athlet Broderick Thomas, who is now calling the signals over at Houston Madison. However, fear not as coach Crivellari thinks he has found his quarterback in Dean Brantley, a versatile 6-1, 175-pounder who threw for over 600 yards a year ago. Brantley should have a dandy corp of receivers to throw to, including all-state candidate Jordan Jolly, a fleet 175-pound junior who caught 35 passes for 682 yards and seven touchdowns a mere sophomore last year. Senior Nick Harwell, a 180-pound burner, gives Brantley another superb target for the pass happy Knights.

Jake Matthews has proven to be more than just the son of former Houston Oiler Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Jake is an upcoming 270-pound junior who has a bunch of college scouts already drooling.

Senior Luke Burkhalter returns as a running back in the Knight backfield while kicker Lewis Gray is back to handle those chores for the squad. Defensively the Knights are on the look out for some big defensive lineman, as the well has apparently gone temporarily dry. Phillip McKinnion, a speedy 225-pound defensive end is solid, but the Knights are hoping some of the youngsters develop quickly.

Marky Hightower is one newcomer Coach Crivellari is not afraid to hurl into the game fires, while the squad returns a solid group of linebackers in Jeff Smith, Jonathan Irving and Jameson Miller.

Like several other members of district 23-5A hoping to gain one of the four playoff spots available, the Knights will have only one non-district game this year, but it will be a dandy. The Knights are slated to travel over to Rosenberg to do battle with defending Class 4A state champ Lamar Consolidated, a group of Mustangs that expect to once again be loaded for the upcoming campaign.

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