Tom Westerberg, 2013 RECORD: 16-0 5A Div. I State Champions
THE PLAYERS: Kyler Murray (Sr., QB), Jaylen Guyton (Sr., WR), Bobby Evans (Sr., OL), Brian Cornell (Sr., OL), Cody Wheeler (Sr., OL), Jaylon Jones (Jr., DB), Greg Little (Jr., OL), Camrin Manning (Sr., DL), Divine Diggs (Sr., LB)
THE WORD: While much of the attention centers around Murray and the offense, Westerberg will be focusing on rebuilding his defense. Jones is the only returning starter on a defense that saw six graduates receive Division I scholarships. Murray (1,283, 19 TDs rushing, 3,672, 46 TDs passing), who has offers from 20 major college programs, returns for his third season as a starter. He's one of the most dynamic playmakers in the history of Texas High School Football and he'll leave AHS as maybe their most celebrated player. He'll have Guyton (42-1,029, 13 TDs receiving) as a top target, but, more importantly, the likes of Evans (committed to Oklahoma), Cornwell, and Wheeler back to protect him on the offensive line. Little (6-5, 292) also is expected to contribute up front. There are few easy weeks for the Eagles. Allen's non-district schedule includes matchups with defending 4A DI champion Denton Guyer and Dutch Fork, S.C. The Eagles are the favorite in the new nine-team district, which added the Lewisville and Flower Mound schools and dropped McKinney. The next-to-last regular season game, at Plano West, could very well decide the district championship.
Claude Mathis, 2013 RECORD: 14-1 5A Div. I State Semi-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Bryce English (Sr., DL), Kevin Thomas (Sr., WR), Akile Davis (Sr., WR/TE), Chris Orr (Sr., LB), Kendall Jennings (Sr., OL), Damon Weaver (Sr., DB), Larry Nixon (Sr., RB), Jatory Sparks-Brown (Sr., RB), Ke'Juan King (Sr., OL), Tristen Wallace (Jr., QB), Kadarrian Nixon (So., WR)
THE WORD: After enjoying the best season in school history in 2012 losing in the state semi-finals the Eagles followed it up with another historic season. The only team to defeat DeSoto a year ago was state champion Allen 42-35 in the 5A Division I Semi-Final in a thriller. The Eagles once again will compete for the state title with six offensive and four defensive starters back along with a host of talent from an 8-2 district championship JV squad. English who at one point was committed to Texas will lead the defensive line and two other players who will sign FBS scholarships as well will lead the offense. Thomas who hauled in 60 passes for 815 yards and six touchdowns already has offers from Clemson and Indiana and Davis another wide receiver who picked up 36 receptions for 426 yards and six touchdowns and has offers from both Indiana and North Texas. Along with a strong group of receivers an improved offensive line and a strong group of linebackers could lead the Eagles to another run at a state title. Two of the team's weaknesses entering the season will be at defensive line and the kicking game. One of the team's top newcomers will be quarterback Wallace at 6'2 230 who Mathis calls big time talent, with a great arm and a legit dual threat.
Gary Joseph, 2013 RECORD: 15-1 5A Div. II State Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Rodney Anderson (Sr., RB), Colin Wilder (Jr., DB), Kyle Porter (Jr., RB), Travis Whillock (Jr., DB), Sy Slater (Sr., DB), Garrett Doiron (Jr., QB), Paddy Fisher (Jr., LB), Jesse Brown (Sr., DL), Kyle Williams (Jr., RB), Tony Mullins (Jr., WR), Jovanni Stewart (Jr., DB)
THE WORD: Everything looked perfect for the Tigers last season, who rolled through 15 opponents on the way to the Div. II-5A final. If not for a stout Cedar Hill team, which Katy beat for the title in 2012, the Tigers would have gone back to back. Regardless winning 31 of their last 32 games is quite the achievement and the scary part is 2013 was considered by most Katy fans to be a bit of a rebuilding year. Despite sending another wave of talent to the college ranks, the Tigers will again be among the favorites to win it all. It starts by having one of the most dominating players in the state in Anderson, who ran for 1,167 as a freshman and never looked back. His size and speed make him dangerous between the tackles and in open space. But the Tigers also have another productive back in Porter, who led the team in rushing during the regular season while Anderson battled injuries. Junior QB Doiron should only get better - he took over fulltime late last year. The junior class as a whole is strong, especially on the defensive end. Several sophomores started on that side of the ball so expect the Tigers to have one of the top defensive units in the entire state. DB Slater is the senior leader of a junior heavy secondary, he's a flat out playmaker who always seems to be in the right place to make a game changing play.
4. CEDAR HILL
Joey McGuire, 2013 RECORD: 14-2 5A Div. II State Champions
THE PLAYERS: DaMarkus Lodge (Sr., WR), Richard Moore (Sr., LB), Aca'Cedric Ware (Sr., RB), Justin McMillan (Sr., QB), Darrell Miller (Sr., DB), Denvre Daniels (Sr., WR), Brooks Ralph (Sr., K) Randy Chrystian (Sr., OL), Kobe Idumwonyi (Sr., TE), Justice Powers (Sr., OL), Demarcie Perry (Sr., LB), Kyle Goss (Sr., DB) Desmond Duncan (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: One Division I prospect after another lines the Cedar Hill roster as they look to play for their third consecutive state championship after defeating Katy for the title 34-24 a year ago. With eight starters back on offense McGuire says this could be the most explosive offense Cedar Hill has ever had which isn't a good sign for those slated to play the Longhorns. Leading the way is Lodge who has been offered by Baylor and Texas Tech after hauling in 72 passes for 1,665 yards and 22 touchdowns earning offensive MVP honors. Ware the team's leading rushing is also back after picking up 1,270 yards and 11 touchdowns and has been offered by Florida, Iowa, Texas Tech and Houston. Daniels who caught 42 passes for 530 yards and rushed for 443 yards has an offer from Colorado State. McMillian who coaches say has the strongest arm they have ever had at Cedar Hill will try to follow up on a season where he threw for 2,367 yards and 29 touchdowns. Moore, who has offers from Baylor, Texas Tech, OSU, Houston and Iowa, will lead a defense after making 144 tackles a year ago including 30 for a loss. Miller who Houston has also offered to made 42 tackles. The only question mark would be on the defensive side of the ball where experience and depth in the defensive line along with experience at safety. If they can fill those holes, expect the Longhorns to be playing at AT&T Stadium once again.
Tony Heath, 2013 RECORD: 14-2 5A Div. I State Finalist
THE PLAYERS: JoColbie Butler (Sr., RB), Willie Williams (Sr., OL), Ryan Deshotel (Sr., TE), Deonte Givens (Sr., DL), Ronnie Fraser (Sr., DL), Ryan Diaz (Sr., WR), Jacob Blumrick (Sr., QB), Justice Reece (Sr., DB), Josh Reynolds (Sr., OL), Terrance Jones (Sr., LB), Adam Jewel (Jr., OL), Joey Longoria (Jr., DL), Braxton Penrice (Jr., DL), Zane Gonzales (Jr., LB), Chase Foster (Jr., RB), Davier Pinkston (So., RB), Daniel Petty (So., WR), Connor Blumrick (So., QB)
THE WORD: The Oilers return nine starters on offense and seven on defense from 2013's state finalist team which fell to Allen 63-28. Hoping to once again return to the week 16 game in 2014 is the team's leading rusher in senior running back JoColbie Butler (5'9, 170, 4.39) who ran for 1,536 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. Quarterback Jacob Blumrick (6'2, 185, 4.89) will have two of his main targets back in tight end Ryan Deshotel (6'3, 230, 5.2) and receiver Ryan Diaz (5'10, 170, 4.49). Diaz hauled in 350 yards on 25 receptions last year. The offensive line returns almost intact with guard Willie Williams (6'2, 260) and tackles Josh Reynolds (5'10, 243) and Adam Jewel (6'2, 233). The defensive front will be one of the better run stopping units in the district with the return of tackles Ronnie Fraser (5'11, 222, 4.97) and Joey Longoria (5'11, 245) and end Deonte Givens (6', 209). The three combined for 126 tackles in 2013. Coach Heath says "We are looking forward to the 2014 season. Many of the seniors on this team saw the commitment of last year's seniors in order to compete in week 16. With the influx of some of our younger kids, we have the potential of having an outstanding year."
6. EULESS TRINITY
Steve Lineweaver, 2013 RECORD: 11-3 5A Div. I State Quarter-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Patrick Vahe (Sr., OL), Tipa Galeai (Sr., DL), Ja'Ron Wilson (Jr., RB), Tyler Natee (Jr., RB), Saia Mose (Sr., OL), Matthew Munoz (Sr., DB), TK Kautai (Sr., LB), Kyle Unga (Sr., LB) Chris Daniels (Jr., DL), Latu Maile (Jr., TE), Fred Adams (Jr., RB)
THE WORD: Trinity will face its toughest district tests in years being grouped with Southlake Carroll and Coppell in what should be an exciting three team race for the title. The Trojans will once again rely on their defense early on as they return six starters. Unga who was in on 108 tackles a year ago is the leading returner in what should be a defense that will hard to run on. While Munoz picked off three passes a year ago, the pass defense could be an area of concern. The offense which has four starters back will again have to fill a void at quarterback where Tyler Averitt is expected to earn the job. While he is new, he will have a solid backfield behind him in Wilson (1,343 yards and 22 TD's) and Natee (436 yard rushing and 169 receiving). Wilson, burst on the scene as a sophomore and showed he's more than capable of carrying the load full time heading into his junior season. Vahe, a Texas verbal commit will lead an offensive line that once again should be big and strong up front. Trinity will be able to run the ball without a doubt, the key will be offensive balance, if they can get the passing game to at least be a threat they can make a run.
7. Cibolo Steele
Scott Lenhoff, 2013 RECORD: 12-2 5A Div. II State Quarter-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: LG Williams (Sr., QB), Bryson Denley (Jr., RB), Jaylen Harris (Sr., WR), Antoine Wesley (Jr., WR), Matthew Beland (Sr., OL), Terrence Steele (Sr., OL), Mark Jackson (Jr., DL), Zach Edwards (Sr., DL), David Willoughby (Sr., LB), Marquee Allison (Sr., LB), Marcos Gutierrez (Sr., LB) Anthony Johnson (Sr., DB), Mark Frankhouser (Jr., DB)
THE WORD: Lenhnhoff made his debut last year after Mike Jinks left to become an assistant at Texas Tech. Lehnhoff helped the Knights continue their winning ways with a District 28-5A championship and a trip to the Division I Region IV finals, which ended in a 42-41 loss to San Antonio Johnson. Now, Lehnhoff and the Knights are looking for another big year. Only this time they'll be trying to accomplish the goal in a tougher neighborhood that includes local powers Smithson Valley and Converse Judson. The Knights have the talent to handle the grind. On the offensive side, Williams returns from a District 28-5A Offensive Player of the Year campaign where he passed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns, while rushing for 914 yards and nine touchdowns. Williams' leadership and experience should be valuable to a balanced offense that also features Denley, who rushed for 762 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Harris, who was on the receiving end of 26 receptions for 415 yards and four touchdowns. Beland and Steele's presence on the line should make those in the backfield feel secure. However, they'll need help from newcomers. Defensively, the Knights are stout up front with All-28-5A performers Jackson (45 tackles, 4.5 sacks) and Edwards (44 tackles). Gutierrez (89 tackles), Allison (88 tackles) and Willoughby (28 tackles) provide support from the LB corps. The secondary should be in good hands with Johnson (25 tackles, one interception) and Frankhouser (50 tackles, two picks).
8. LAKE TRAVIS
Hank Carter, 2013 RECORD: 12-2 5A Div. II State Semi-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: James Bailey (Sr., DB), John Brewer (Sr., LB), Dominic De Lira (Sr., QB), Tevin Paul (Jr., DL), Chris Roller (Sr., DB), Grant Foster (Sr., WR), Jeffrey Gibbs (Jr., OL), Pheno Pearson (Sr., DL), Abe Willows (Jr., RB), Cade Green (So., WR)
THE WORD: After a disappointing Class 5A debut in 2012, Lake Travis reached the state semifinals in 2013 before falling to eventual Division II champion Cedar Hill. Carter will enter his fifth season as Lake Travis' all-time winningest coach, and the former defensive coordinator returns six starters from a defense that allowed 14.3 points per game in 2013. That group played extremely well late in the season and that momentum should carry into the 2014 season. The Lake Travis offense also returns six starters, but the unit will have to reinvent itself now that running back Shaun Nixon is at TCU. A lot more of the offense will fall to QB De Lira who is back after throwing for nearly 2,400 yards and 25 touchdowns during his 2013 debut, and Foster has put together two solid seasons at the wide receiver position. The Cavaliers will also turn their offense over to new coordinator Mike Wall, who was last seen directing Georgetown's high-scoring offense during the Eagles' run to the 2012 Class 4A, Division I title game.
9. SPRING WESTFIELD
Corby Meekins, 2013 RECORD: 13-1 5A Div. I State Quarter-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Ed Oliver (Jr., DL), Latevius Downs (Sr., RB), Akpaffiong Tisdel (Sr., RB), Rayquan Jones (Sr., RB), Austin Opara (Sr., TE), Jeremy Edwards (Jr., DB), Johmarco Kizzie (Sr., DB), Tyrique Murray (Sr., DL), Toby Weathersby (Sr., OL), Cordel Iwuagwu (Sr., OL), Tyrie Cleveland (Jr., WR), Danny Young (So., LB), Zac Newbell (Sr., WR), Eric Pouncy, II (Sr., WR)
THE WORD: The Mustangs made a run to the region finals last season before running into eventual champion Allen. One of the state's top programs - Westfield has 35 wins over the last three seasons - will again be considered a favorite for the region and state crowns. Helping make that claim are talented offensive and defensive lines. On the offensive end, Weathersby (6-5, 290) and Iwuagwu (6-3, 285) will both play at the next level. Opara is an all-district pick and will be valuable in the run and pass game. Oliver was the district's top defensive newcomer last year and is the younger brother of Marcus Oliver, who signed with Houston in February. As far as the skill positions, Westfield's ground game is in good hands with Downs, a 1,200-yard runner with good speed. Cleveland transferred from Houston Northbrook, where was a star in both football and basketball. Kizzie is the defense's top returning tackler and should only get better. He'll lead a unit that has another wave of up-and-coming playmakers like Edwards and top sophomore Young.
10. GALENA PARK NORTH SHORE
Jon Kay, 2013 RECORD: 12-1 5A Div. I State Quarter-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Tyler Moore (Sr., OL), Chukuemeke Egbule (Sr., TE), Tristan Houston (Sr., RB), Darius Mouton (Sr., DB), Eric Monroe (Jr., DB), Dorrance Armstrong (Sr., DL), Derec Burks (Sr., DB), Micah Long (Jr., QB), Justin Green (Sr., RB), Dominic DeRiggi (Jr., OL)
THE WORD: Coach Jon Kay steps in after David Aymond shocked fans by stepping down and taking the Galena Park ISD athletic director position. Kay was the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the Mustangs before accepting the new job of head coach in March. Kay has been with the school for 16 years and knows the tradition and is familiar with the players right away. Kay inherits a strong team that includes senior running back Tristan Houston, who ran for 1,495 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. Junior quarterback Micah Long steps into the starting role under center after running for 639 yards as sophomore running back. Long saw action as a backup quarterback as well during his sophomore season and has blazing speed that will make the Mustangs dangerous. Senior right end Chukuemeke Egbule was an all-district pick last year is a formidable blocker in sealing off the edges for the Mustangs. Senior defensive back Darius Mouton and junior defensive back Eric Monroe were both first-team all-district picks. Monroe had four interceptions and Mouton had three a year ago. The coaching change should have minimal impact on North Shore has no shortage in talent.
THE PLAYERS: Carlos Strickland (Sr., WR), Anthony Wheeler (Sr., LB), Malik Jemison (Sr., LB), Da'Leon Ward (Jr., RB), Kylan Johnson (Sr., DB), Jacoby Williams (Jr., QB), Savon Rollison (Sr., WR), Anthony Smith (Sr., DL), Danzell Sims (Jr., RB/LB), Clarence Henderson (Jr., OL), Cer Martin (Sr., DL), Zach Abercrumbia (Sr., DL)
THE WORD: Last season Skyline advanced at least three rounds into the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, and Samples has plenty coming back in 2014 for another run. Strickland and Wheeler are at the top of the list, as both have more than a dozen offers from major Division I programs and are rated in the top 150 overall in the nation. Strickland (6-5, 200) provides matchup problems for most defenses with his size and good hands. He averaged 21.8 yards per catch and scored 10 TDs as a junior. Wheeler is listed at linebacker, but he plays quite a bit at defensive end in the 4-3 set. He's one of the most disruptive defensive players in the state and opposing offenses will have to scheme around him. Williams seems to be the heir apparent to Sederian Copeland at QB, while Ward returns at RB after a sophomore season that saw him run for 853 yards, 6 TDs, and seven yards per carry. Rollison is another key target at receiver. He averaged 15.3 yards per catch and scored 10 TDs receiving in 2013. As always talent is abundant at Skyline and they'll be a major threat in Region II once again.
Kirk Martin, 2013 RECORD: 12-2 5A Div. II State Quarter-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Will Locket (Sr., DB), Shane Jackson (Sr., LB), Gary Haynes (Sr., WR), Collin Scott (Sr., LB), Qyalan Clay (Sr., RB), Deontay Anderson (Jr., DB), Reggie Hemphill (Jr., WR), D'Eriq King (Jr., QB), Joey Mejia (Sr., DL), Jordan Carmouche (Jr., LB), Sean Dykes (Jr., WR), D'Vaughn Pennamon (Jr., RB), Austin Taylor (Sr., DL), D'Angelo Gallegos (Jr., DL), Hasaun Glasgow (Jr., DL), Leonard Owens (Sr., RB), Hunter Hagdorn (Jr., WR), Austin Alexis (Sr., WR), Dominic Montano (Sr., K)
THE WORD: The Mavericks are coming off a successful 2013 season which saw them make a run to the 5A Region III Finals where they lost to Katy 56-14. There should be enough coming back for Manvel to make another playoff run. Dual threat quarterback D'Eriq King (5'10, 175) is back after putting up eye popping numbers as a sophomore where he passed for 2,628 yards and 36 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 1,289 yards and 17 TDs. Two of Kings favorite targets return in receivers Gary Haynes (5'9, 170) and Reggie Hemphill (6'2, 180). Haynes hauled in 876 yards receptions while Hemphill recorded 569 yards. Three year starter Qyalan Clay (5'7, 155, 4.4) and junior D'Vaughn Pennamon (6'1, 210, 4.4) will get the bulk of the carries at running back. The defense returns six starters with defensive back Will Locket (6', 180, 4.4) being among the best defensive players in the district. Locket recorded 52 tackles and three interceptions last season. Linebackers Shane Jackson (6', 215) and Collin Scott (6'1, 225, 4.5) combined for 175 tackles in 2013.
Mike DeWitt, 2013 RECORD: 9-2 5A Div. I Area Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Charles West (Sr., RB), Connor Williams (Sr., TE), Skyler Bonneau (Sr., QB), Bo Anderson (Sr., LB), Jacob Murray (Sr., DB), Chris Biggurs (Sr., DL), Josh Fink (Jr., WR), Parker Wilson (Sr., RB), Obi Obialo (Jr., WR), Bryce Vonzurmehlen, (Sr., DB), Tyler Hopkins (Sr., LB)
THE WORD: First year coach DeWitt gets thrown right into the fire joining Carroll, Trinity and Heritage in his head coaching debut. He was a the DC under former HC Joe McBride who left to take over at Dripping Springs. The Cowboys are used to solid competition though losing only two games last year one to Allen the other to DeSoto. The cupboard isn't bare though as six offensive and four defensive starters return. West (1,193 yards, 15 TD's) was a first team all-district selection. Also back is first team all-district selection Bonneau who threw for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns while getting picked off just twice. Fink (361 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Wilson were both first team all-district selections and will help the offense, but the key will be if the offensive line who graduated all five starters can learn quickly. Anderson, an Army All American selection recorded 114 tackles, will anchor the defense. Murray, who picked up 55 tackles along with Biggurs will be counted on heavily. Other players to watch defensively are Vonzsurmehlen and Hopkins. Expect Coppell to retain their identity as a tough physical team that plays smashmouth football.
14. DENTON GUYER
John Walsh, 2013 RECORD: 14-2 4A Div. I State Champions
THE PLAYERS: Carl Thompson (Sr., DL), Derek Watson (Sr., DL), Jordan Wallace (Sr., DB), Michael Carrillo (Jr., LB), Shawn Robinson (So., QB), David Haynes (Sr., QB/WR), Anthony Taylor (Sr., RB), Isiah Correa (Sr., DL), Alex Honey (Sr., WR), Adam Scott (Sr., WR), DeMarcus Owens (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: The Guyer Wildcats didn't just defend their Class 4A Div. I state championship in December, they capped a season that will never be forgotten after the in-season loss of a teammate after the accidental shooting death of fullback Nate Maki. After the incident, Guyer reeled off 15 straight victories, even though one was forfeited for use of an ineligible player. Once Guyer got to the title game, the Wildcats made it look pretty easy in defending their title against a San Antonio Brennan defense that had previously been historically stingy. With record-setting quarterback Jerrod Heard off to Texas, teams might underestimate Guyer, but that'd be foolish. The Wildcats have an embarrassment of riches at quarterback to replace Heard, including his backup of the past two seasons, David Haynes and Shawn Robinson, who started as a freshman at Saginaw Chisholm Trail and looks like he could be the next Heard. In fact after spring ball Robinson was the favorite and got the starting nod as Haynes moved back to receiver. All that talk about Guyer's offense leaves out the fact the Wildcats return eight starters on what was arguably their best defensive unit in program history a year ago. Don't be shocked if Guyer is playing at AT&T Stadium in late December.
15. THE WOODLANDS
Mark Schmid, 2013 RECORD: 10-3 5A Div. I Regional Semi-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Patrick Carr (Sr., RB), Chris Andritsos (Sr., QB), Corey Sanders (Sr., LB), Chris Bell (Sr., WR), Geoff Keating (Sr., DB), Alex Common (Sr., OL), Kade Markle (Sr., DB), Roman Trevino (Sr., OL), Brandon Barnett (Sr., DL), Antoine Winfield (Jr., DB), Hunter Moore (Jr., WR), Jake Coll (Sr., DB), Nick Purcell (Sr., DL)
THE WORD: The Highlanders have averaged 10 wins over the last six seasons, a stretch that includes a trip to the state quarterfinals (2011) and region semifinals (2013). Chances are there will be more of the same this fall. The defense, which returns seven starters, will be a strength behind its experience and depth. But don't forget about an offense (six returning starters) led by Andritsos, who already has a baseball state championship under his belt. Carr already has one 2,000-yard rushing season under his belt and could be line for another big year. Common and Trevino both return up front. On the defensive side, Keating and Winfield have a chance to be a dominant duo against numerous spread offenses. Each picked off a pair of passes last year. Barnett was an all-district pick along the defensive line. Making the playoffs shouldn't be a problem, but time will tell if the Highlanders can make it through a tough region.
16. PORT ARTHUR MEMORIAL
Kenny Harrison, 2013 RECORD: 8-4 5A Div. II Area Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Cory Dauphine (Sr., RB), Kameron Martin (Jr., RB), C.J. Levine (Sr., DB), Jaron Johnson (Sr., DL), Vernon Samuels (Sr., OL), Jacorie Jones (Sr., DB), Jeremiah Washington (Sr., OL), Brandon Lumpkin (Sr., LB), Morgan Ford (Sr., DB), Khaleb Fobish (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: The Titans overcame a slow start to the year to reach the second round of the playoffs, one win further than their playoff run the previous year. Memorial will try to continue to build on its recent run of playoff success and has a powerful backfield to fuel its effort. Junior running back Kameron Martin ran for 1,060 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago. Martin will be joined in the backfield by senior running back Cory Dauphine, who ran for 565 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Titans have three seniors returning to their offensive line in Vernon Samuels, Jeremiah Washington and Kahleb Fobish. Senior defensive back C.J. Levine highlights the team's defensive returning starters. Levine was a first-team all-district pick after snagging six interceptions in his junior season. Senior defensive lineman Jaron Johnson had five sacks last year and is provides a steady pass rush. Senior defensive back Jacorie Jones was fourth in tackles last year and will help provide leadership to the secondary. The Titans will have to replace their quarterback, but if they can, expect them to return to the postseason again this year.
17. SOUTHLAKE CARROLL
Hal Wasson, 2012 RECORD: 11-2 5A Div. I Regional Semi-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Ryan Agnew (Sr., QB), King Newton (Sr., DL), Parker Fentriss (Sr., WR), Joel McClellan (Sr., LB), Clark Parr (Sr., LB), Andy Chelf (Sr., DB), Grant Stewart (Sr., OL), Grant McFarlin (Jr., RB), Lil'Jordan Humphrey (Jr., RB), Ryan McGiboney (Sr., WR)
THE WORD: The Dragons only return three offensive starters, from a team that got knocked out by new district foe Trinity 42-38 in the regional semi-finals, but one of those is Agnew at quarterback. Agnew threw for 3,195 yards and 29 touchdowns completing 200 of 316 passes a year ago will lead the team offensively. While some of his top targets are gone (9 of 11 who caught passes a year ago) the one who does return is Fentriss who picked up 14 receptions. The defense which returns five starters will carry the team early. Newton at defensive line returns after recording 79 tackles including 12 for losses. McClellan who picked up 81 tackles along with Chelf who had the second highest tackle total on the team at 107 will be the focus. Other players to watch for on offense will be McFarlin (485 yards) and Humphrey (627 yards) at running back and McGiboney at receiver. It's for sure the Dragons will be battled tested before district play with games against Austin Westlake, Tulsa Union, Midland Lee and Abilene.
THE PLAYERS: PJ Mbanasor (Sr., DB), Tazh Maloy (Sr., RB), Blake Browning (Sr., OL), Josh Wydermyer (Sr., DB), Jordan Williams (Jr., ATH), Dajour Collins (Sr., LB), Niko Delacruz (Sr., LB), Reggie Daniels (Sr., WR), Brandon Flynn (Jr., OL), Bryan Espinosa (Sr., K), Niyi Akeredolu (Sr., DL), Tre Thomas (Sr., DL)
THE WORD: The Hawks went undefeated against district opponents over its two seasons at the Class 5A level, and the Hawks return nine starters and 17 lettermen for their 2014 title run. 2013 ended in disappointment as after posting their first unbeaten season in school history, the Hawks playoff run was cut short in a loss to Austin Westlake in bi-district. With Browning back to block, big things should be expected from Maloy, who scored 19 touchdowns in 2013 and had three of those touchdowns cover at least 85 yards. Developing secondary options to go with Maloy will be critical for the Hawks. Daniels who is coming off a 342-yard receiving season, will keep opposing defenses honest and could be that top second option. Hendrickson has four players who compiled at least 78 tackles last season, and Collins and Delacruz both earned all-district honors on a defense that allowed 12.5 points per game. Hendrickson graduated two Football Bowl Subdivision-level defensive backs, but the presence of Mbanasor and Wydermyer should have rival quarterbacks thinking twice this fall. Mbanasor is one of the most highly recruited DB's in the state.
19. ARLINGTON MARTIN
Bob Wager, 2013 RECORD: 10-3 5A Div. 1 Regional Semi-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: DaQuaylyn Thomas (Jr., LB), Nic Smith (Jr., RB), Jalum Bouldin (Sr.,RB), Josh Watson (Sr., LB), Trip White (Sr., DB), Eric Walker (Jr., QP/P), Alex Shamshourn (Sr., OL), Jared Phipps (Sr., DB), Krystian Levy (Jr., WR), Tyler Wilson (Jr., WR)
THE WORD: The Warriors claimed the district 3-5A championship in 2013 with the exact same cast of characters the team will face in their new 4-6A district in 2014. Martin is led by a running attack that includes Smith, who rushed for more than 1,400 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, along with Bouldin, who finished with 649 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. Smith has started since his freshman year and could be poised for a big junior season in Martin's ground oriented attack. With Walker returning at quarterback and two receivers in Levy (408 yards, three touchdowns) and Wilson (188 yards, one touchdown) who saw significant playing time and a returning all-district center (Shamshourn), Martin's offense returns largely intact. The Warriors special team is also strong, as Walker doubles as the team's punter, and White (10.21 avg.) and Phipps (21.82 avg.) returning punts and kicks respectively. The loss of DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) was big for the Warriors, Martin will field possibly the strongest linebacker corps in the district this season with Watson (141 tackles, seven sacks) and Thomas, last year's Defensive Newcomer of the Year. Add a defensive backfield that includes Phipps and White (111 tackles, five take aways), and things should be solid on the defensive side of things as well. Arlington and Bowie may give the Warriors some trouble, but look for Martin to repeat as district champs.
20. CONVERSE JUDSON
Sean McAuliffe, 2013 RECORD: 11-3 5A Div. I State Quarter-Finalist
THE PLAYERS: Weston Vekasy (Sr., QB), Malik Taylor (Jr., RB), Blaine Albrecht (Sr., TE), Michael Akai (Sr., WR), Nick Ortiz (Sr., WR), Abdul Beecham (Sr., OL), Tim Deleon (Sr., OL), Austin Garza (Sr., OL), Nick Wilberger (Sr., OL), Jakob Alonzo (Sr., OL), Kalab Paris (Sr., DL), De'Andre Ellison (Sr., DL), De'ontray Ellison (Sr., DL), Devion Perry (Sr., DL), Christopher Terrell (Sr., DL), Jaelyn Holmes (Sr., DL), Jonte Turner (Jr., LB), Alton Robinson (Jr., LB), Rashawn Pickens (Sr., LB), Corey Mika (Se., LB), James Tonsall (Sr., DB), Keivon Ramsey (Sr., DB), Dominic Cameron (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: Mark Smith left Judson after a two-year stint this past winter to take over San Antonio Madison's program. McAulffe, a former Judson player who was serving as defensive coordinator on Smith's staff, takes over a program not only traditionally rich, but loaded with talent and experience from seven offensive and five defensive starters. Offensively, the Rockets are well-equipped on the line with handymen Beecham, Deleon, Garza, Wildberger, Alonzo and Albrecht providing the blocking. Playmakers are plentiful. Vekasy was 2,000-yard passer Rayjohn Austin-Ramsey's understudy last season, but had a few opportunities to show his skills, passing for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He appears ready to be the offensive leader. More playing time should also be available for Taylor, who rushed for 223 yards and a TD in a backup role. Receiving is also a bright spot with Akai (44 receptions for 740 yards, seven touchdowns). Although Akai is the top go-to guy, the Rockets have other options with Ortiz and Albrecht. Judson's defense should keep things rocking, especially in the secondary where Cameron, who had five interceptions a year ago, and Ramsey (127 tackles) return for encores. Big plays are also expected from the Ellison duo on the line and the LB crew of Turner, Robinson, Pickens and Mika.