2009 Team Insider: Manvel Mavericks

Wins over Houston area 4A powers La Marque and Texas City highlighted Alvin Manvel's first season of varsity play, but coach Kirk Martin is ready to unleash the potential of QB Dexter Foreman as the Mavericks prepare to compete for a playoff spot in the always-rugged District 24-4A.

In its first varsity season, the Alvin Manvel Mavericks immediately showed their potential, staying in pursuit of a District 24-4A playoff berth until the final week. Wins over La Marque and Texas City were indicators that coach Kirk Martin's wide-open spread offense would have to be respected, while the Mavericks came within a play of upending eventual Region III champion Friendswood.

With 15 returning starters, the Mavericks (3-6, 3-4 in District 24-4A) must be considered a threat for not only a playoff spot, but the 24-4A title. Again, the key to success will come from the offense, where junior quarterback Dexter Foreman (6-3, 205) returns after throwing for 1,301 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2008. Foreman also ran for a team-best 296 yards and two scores and has established himself as one of the state's top signal callers in the Class of 2011.

Receivers Saquwan Edwards (6-2, 170), Xavier Reed (6-0, 165) and Chris Colwell (5-10, 170) all return, giving Foreman his top three receivers. There are high hopes for senior Mike Yarborough (6-2, 190), who showed big-play potential. Trevion Alexander (5-10, 200) will take the bulk of the carries, but Reed -- who averaged 12 yards per carry on 23 attempts -- will also factor in the ground attack.

Manvel welcomes back four starters on the offensive line, led by 6-2, 270-pounder Martin Pospisl. Joining him on the line will be Clint Weekly (6-2, 240), Cameron Schlegel (5-10, 250) and Bryce Barbabosa (6-1, 260).

A year of varsity play should give the seven returning starters on defense the confidence to elevate their game. Senior Sterling Diggs (5-11, 300) is the interior anchor of the Mavericks' 4-2-5 scheme. End Two Willis (6-3, 220) has drawn attention from college scouts with his potential as an edge rusher.

Junior Shaka Sterling (6-0, 190) will return at one of the linebacker spots, while seniors Sammy Mendez (6-0, 195) and Caleb Duff (5-10, 180) will also contribute. Promising defender Jeremy Ragland (5-10, 205) will also play linebacker, but could also see time in the secondary.

The secondary will be led by cornerback Forest Jones (6-1, 170) and safety Justin Luna (5-11, 165).

The element of surprise won't be in the Mavericks' favor this fall, but Manvel won't need it. With the exception of Angleton, the bulk of 24-4A will be in various stages of retooling, which should give the Mavericks the opening needed to secure a playoff berth.

BEST CASE: Foreman becomes a weekly highlight reel and an improved defense makes stops at critical junctures.

WORST CASE: The rest of 24-4A has long memories of what the Mavericks did to them in 2008.

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