This is the only district in Texas to have three teams make the regional semifinals. And as we take a look at District 25-4A, one can't help but notice a strong line-up of teams. The obvious stand out is Lake Travis, a team coming off its second consecutive State Championship with a streak 30 straight wins going. Will Lake Travis' win streak come to a halt? That question might be answered when the Cavaliers face nearby foe Austin Westlake in the second match up of 2009. The Cavaliers will likely claim the district title with, but Killeen and Dripping Springs will not roll over and could give them a run for their money. The face off between Dripping Springs and Lake Travis in the last week of the season may be the hottest game of the year for this district.
Predicted Order of Finish (Division One in Bold)
1. Lake Travis
3. Dripping Springs
4. Pflugerville Hendrickson
7. Marble Falls
2008 Finish: 16-0 (4A Division I State Champions)
Despite losing 2008-2009 Gatorade Player of the year Garrett Gilbert to graduation, Lake Travis will look to make another run at the 4A title. QB Michael Brewer (6-1, 180) will obviously have big shoes to fill, but he does have the pedigree for the job. Brewer will be protected by experienced lineman, led by Ian Kelso (6-0, 265). On the receiving end, Andy Erickson (5-10, 170) and Conner Floyd (6-2, 180) will all be key in the Cavaliers' aerial assault. Erickson is the leading returner with 69 catches for 665 yards and six touchdowns while Griffin Gillbert (6-5, 190) is one to keep an eye on as well. There should be plenty of depth at this position with more than eight guys in rotation.
Four defensive starters return for the Cavs, and it is clear where the strength lies. At the linebacker position, Quinton Crow (6-1, 215) and Ian Lazarus (5-10, 195) return after racking up almost 300 tackles between the two of them. The Cavaliers also hope to keep K Kramer Fyfe (5-10, 165) busy this season after making five field goals and 90 PATs as a junior.
2008 Finish: 9-5 (loss to Lake Travis in the regional quarterfinals 71-9)
The Kangaroos had a great year before meeting up with a familiar team in state champions and district rivals Lake Travis. But that's OK as the Roos return 13 starters, including QB Micheal Cummings (5-11, 175) who will have plenty of targets to throw to with Mithchell Salak (6-0, 175), Ja'Coire Baker (5-11, 170) and Rodney Brown (6-0, 175) at the wide reciever positions. Cummings, a dual threat, rushed for more than a thousand yards. Joining him in the backfield will be RBs Jaquail Haskins and LeMarquis Jones (5-9, 165).
2008 Finish: 10-2 (loss to Kerrville Tivy in the area round)
Dripping Springs, like last season, will feature a two-man rotation at QB, with both Jacob Moore (6-1, 200) and junior Jeff Tuck (6-0, 200) both taking time under center. The two combined for more that 1,300 passing yards in 2008. Veteran offensive lineman Greame Ramsey (5-10, 205) leads the way while Conner Jetton (6-1, 195) will him in the trenches. This combo will help make room for RB Kaleb Syring (6-1, 190) in the Tigers' ground attack.
The Tiger's will likely find their biggest challenge to be rebuilding their defense which lost eight seniors. Of the three returning starters, LB David Lawrence (5-11, 170) will lead the way.
After squeaking by Marble Falls 27-26 last season, the rematch on September 25 could be a game of interest.
2008 Finish: 10-4 (loss to Kerrville Tivy in the regional quarterfinals 45-14)
Another team with some big holes to fill, the fate of Hendrickson will like like lay in how the team's young players develop. They lost 26 starters to graduation, but they to return outstanding LB Juan Astencio (5-11, 208, 4.5) who had 145 tackles last season, including 18 for losses.
The primary playmaker on offense will be RB Kenny Williams (5-11, 205) who had 1,651 yards and 15 TDs last year. On defense, four starters return, Terrence Simmons (6-0, 245) lead the way.
2008 Finish: 6-4
Two wins in district last year kept the Hippos out of the postseason. There is plenty of rebuilding to do on offense, especially at the skilled positions. RB Joel Rothrock (180) and FB Charleston Fields (220) are two faces fans can expect to be in the backfield. At signal caller, sophomore QB Ryan Higgins (6-0, 185) and junior QB Thorn Alondre (5-9, 160) will both vie for the starting job this season. Higgins had a stronger passing game in spring practices, but Thorn, who also has spent time as a cornerback, is more of a dual threat. TE Nehemiah Hicks (6-4, 230) will play on both sides of the ball, but is known for his defensive presence.
Speaking of the defense, Hutto will feature a 3-3-stack defense this year. Coach Lee Penland is confident that this setup will allow his linemen to use their quickness abilities against movement and the slant. In the backfield, FS Jabari Prewitt (5-9, 170) and CB Alondre both had impressive seasons against the run. Alondre hauled in two interceptions as well.
This young team could have some things to say as they attempt to make the playoffs in their second year at the 4A level.
2008 Finish: 0-10
After two consecutive winless seasons, new coach Joey McQueen will look to help put a W on the scorecard for the Badgers. McQueen who has made the playoffs in 13 or his 18 years of coaching Texas football will institute a Slot-T offense, which will be heavy on the run. The Badgers do return 12 starters, six on each side of the ball.
2008 Finish: 4-6
With 11 returning startres, the Mustangs have some experience on their side, but improving on last year's season won't be easy in this competitive district. It will take some work to get things turned around, but look for RB Austins Sparks (6-0, 210) to get the job done. He had over 750 yds. and eight touchdowns last season. DB Justin Garcia (5-8, 150) had four interceptions last year.
District 25-4A 2009 Outlook