The Terry Rangers captured the District 23-4A title last season, but coach Tim Teykl and his staff are confident 2009 can be even better.
For starters -- and the Rangers return 11 from a 6-5 club -- Terry will have a wealth of experience on the field. Couple that with a junior varsity and sophomore team that finished with a combined 15-2-1 record, and the program has every reason to believe it can hang on to their district crown.
Matt Reid (5-9, 160, 4.59) will be the featured back this season after sharing the running load with DeMarcus Buford last season. Reid earned all-district honors by averaging nearly eight yards per carry and scored five touchdowns on just 67 attempts and should easily eclipse the 492 yards he gained in 2008. The run-oriented Rangers will also return quarterback Ray Cervenka (5-11, 185, 4.7), who will also garner a significant amount of carries while also attempting to improve his 47 percent completion percentage.
Bryce Johnson (seven catches) is the Rangers' top returning receiver and will be joined outside by senior Trey Kramer (5-11, 165, 4.5). Ronald Salazar (6-3, 260) will play some tight end along with lining up at center.
As usual, the Rangers' offense will thrive behind a big, physical line. Senior Cole Whering (5-8, 295) is the anchor of the unit and a returning all 23-4A performer. Junior Caleb Williams (6-3, 251) has promise, along with junior Tim Powers (6-0, 204) and senior Matt March (5-10, 266).
The Rangers' defense held five opponents under 10 points last season, including a shutout of Texas City in the first round of the playoffs. Terry brings back five players on that side of the ball, led by defensive tackle C.J. Guerra (5-10, 245), who was named the 23-4A defensive newcomer of the year. Fellow tackle Keith Booker (5-8, 245) was also an all-district selection, while ends Hardin Douglas (6-2, 207, 4.6) and Emmanuel Hernandez (6-0, 219) -- both juniors -- also help comprise the Rangers' split-6 scheme.
Linebacker Donald Sanford (5-10, 205, 4.7) returns for his senior season after earning all-district accolades, while Robert Stone (5-11, 235, 4.8) brings experience to the position.
Speed will not be a problem in the secondary, while seniors Jerald Danner (5-10, 176, 4.5), Andre Gilliam (5-11, 178, 4.5) and L.L. Miller (5-10, 179, 4.5) lead a unit that was one of the area's toughest to pass against in 2008.
Terry won't win style points, but their physical, methodical brand of play has made them a sure bet to reach the postseason in recent years. Teykl has done an outstanding job of maximizing his talent, and there is no reason to think the Rangers won't be bidding for another postseason run.
BEST CASE: Reid goes over 1,000 yards rushing and the defense remains one of the area's best.
WORST CASE: The Rangers rely on the pass too much to Teykl's liking.