District 20-5A 2009 Outlook

It's about that time again and Texas Prep Insider has got you covered. We have started our 2009 coverage of state's districts. Our snapshots are free, but stay tuned for more information on your favorite teams and players.

Predicted Order of Finish (Division I teams all CAPS) 
1. HOUSTON LAMAR
2. Houston Chavez
3. Houston Madison
4. HOUSTON WESTSIDE
5. Houston Bellaire
6. Houston Milby

Quick 2008 recap (season finish)
This is usually a competitive district, one with exciting game each week. But it seems as though every year the same four teams advance to the postseason. Last year, it was a tough Madison (8-3) team that went three rounds deep. Followed by Lamar (8-2) as the area finalists while Chavez (5-4) and Westside (5-4) both made early exits in bi-district. Bellaire (3-6) was once again on the outside looking in, winning only one district game which was against Milby (0-9). The Cardinal program had a late coaching change and now coach Trey Hermann takes over. 

2009 Breakdown
For many years now, the Lamar team has been the big boys on Houston ISD. And as one Houston area coach recently pointed out to me, "you can't be the man until you beat the man." And so the Redskins will stand tall at No. 1 until otherwise noted.

But make no mistake, they do deserve this spot and have 10 starters returning to the team. The offensive charge will be led by an underclassman, but proven in quarterback Bram Kohlhausen (6-2, 185). Taking the starting reins last year as a sophomore, Kohlhausen threw for just under 1,000 yards and tossed 12 touchdowns. He will have targets like Jordan Bilbo (5-11, 170) and Markell Templeton (5-11, 165) to make things happen on the receiving end.

Out of the backfield, Patrick Andrews (5-10, 200) and Orlando Crawford (5-9, 230) will handle the ground game. Andrews was the team's leading returner with 544 yards and six touchdowns.

Defensively, the secondary will be one of the best in the district with safety Neiko Conway (5-11, 160) leading the way. Earl Foster (6-1, 190) and Drew Bostick (5-8, 155) will also be in the backfield. 

Will this be the year that Lamar gets past the area round? We'll see.

The truth of the matter is if Chavez can put together a defense to match the strength of the offense, the Lobos would take the No. 1 spot. Of course, in defense (no pun intended) of Chavez, returning 16 starters, 10 on offense, is always a start in the right direction.

Success for the Lobos on offense will go as far as the arm of Andre Kelly (6-2, 185). Now a veteran to the game, Kelly threw for over 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. On the receiving end will more than likely be Jafus Gaines (6-0, 175) and Traymond Brown (6-2, 210). What will help open up the passing attack will be the ground game led by Mark Cole (5-8, 190) who had over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns himself. 

Defensively, there are still a few question marks, but linebackers James Johnson and Tim Gay, along with ball-hawking safety Roland Veal make up the strength of the ‘Blue Dog' defense.

If there is one thing for certain, it's that Madison coach Ray Seals, despite loss of starters to graduation, seems to always field a tough, competitive Marlin team each year. And though he lost plenty on both sides of the ball, 2009 will be no different. 

In fact, offensively, most, if not all of his playmakers have left. But there is quite a bit of confidence in Terrence Smith (6-0, 275) and Chris Payne (5-10, 170).

On defense, there is some experience returning up front with proven underclassmen Stephen William (5-10, 220) and William Moore (6-1, 190). These two will hold down the first line of defense while Josh Randle (5-8, 190) leads the linebacker corp. In the secondary, Luck Britton (5-10, 170) and Alan Gillespie (6-0, 165) hauled in seven interceptions between the two of them.

Talk about dynamic duos, Westside has one of those with quarterback Otis Seals (6-3, 205) and running back Frank Williams (5-8, 180). Seals, who took the starting job last season, had significant yardage complied by ground and air scoring 22 touchdowns. Williams, a three-year starter, had over 800 yards and seven touchdowns. Look for Williams' numbers to improve for his senior season.

Linebacker Stephen Thompson (6-1, 225) will lead a defense that was ranked No. 3 in 20-5A (281 yards per game). Thompson ended the year with 88 tackles. 

Talent has never been an issue at Bellaire, but the Cardinals are looking to get to the postseason after missing out the past few years. Twelve starters return to a team that got three wins last year. For 2009, look for quarterback Adrian Nelson (6-4, 195) to perform well distributing the ball to receivers Derwyn Lauderdale (5-11, 170) and Chris Hensley (5-9, 170). 

When the Cardinals are not going to the air, running back Eric Deveaux (5-11, 190) will keep the chains moving. Tackle Joe Okafor (6-6, 270) is the top returning lineman. 

As for Milby, it may be difficult to expect a lot more than the 2008 results. There are 14 starters coming back, and that could give the Buffalos a needed boost. Quarterback Darius Jenkins (6-4, 185) will be one to keep an eye on.


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