Welcome to the 2020 football season. What a weird offseason it was for everyone. There was not a summer camp circuit for player to go showcase their talents at. In-person recruiting came to a screeching halt and the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected everyone.
(Bold Denotes Playoffs)
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
Most Valuable Player
Jalen Milroe, Tompkins
Julius Loughridge, Mayde Creek
Trevor Woods, Taylor
Breakout Player of the Year
Bobby Taylor, Katy
SINCE 2015, KATY ISD HAS PRODUCED A STATE CHAMPION AND MULTIPLE STATE SEMIFINALISTS. THE DISTRICT IS MUCH MORE THAN A ONE-TEAM SHOW, CONTRARY TO POPULAR OUTSIDE OPINION. IT'S AS COMPETITIVE, TOP TO BOTTOM, AS IT HAS BEEN IN QUITE SOME TIME AND THIS SEASON WILL BE NO DIFFERENT.
The Katy defense this season is "loaded". Six players hold high-DI offers – seniors S Dalton Johnson (86 total tackles, 2 fumbles caused, 2 INTs), CB Hunter Washington, LB Shepherd Bowling and juniors S Bobby Taylor, LB Ty Kana (95 total tackles) and DE Malick Sylla. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Sylla has sky-high potential is a national recruit. Offensively, senior QB Bronson McClelland (1,689 passing yards, 20 TDs) is a heady signal-caller with an impressive arm, but he'll need unproven talents like senior Taylor Saulsberry and junior Nic Anderson to lift a receiving corps void of varsity experience. Senior back Jalen Davis (946 yards, 12 TDs) will get the majority of the carries in 2020.
KATY TAYLOR MUSTANGS
Taylor is riding high after a storybook 2019 campaign.
Six offensive starters and seven defensive starters return off the state semifinalist squad, highlighted by dominant senior linemen Bryce Foster (6-foot-5, 300-pounds) and Hayden Connor (6-foot-6, 325-pounds; Texas commit). Others to note are senior ballhawk S Trevor Woods (165 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 INTs) and senior bulldozing RB Casey Shorter (1,369 yards, 15 TDs – Army-commit). Senior QB J Jensen (2,049 yards, 17 TDs) is a natural leader with a strong arm. Sophomore WR Keaton Kubecka is someone to keep an eye on. Senior K Renan Baeta is money, making 18 of 24 field goals last season (with a long of 48) and 48 of 50 point-after attempts.
KATY TOMPKINS FALCONS
Tompkins only returns two offensive starters from last year's program-best 11-2 team, but the Falcons still have arguably the most talented player in the district in senior QB and Alabama-commit Jalen Milroe (2,689 yards and 29 TDs; 300 yards, 7 rushing TDs) calling the shots. Senior RB and Tulsa-commit Marquis Shoulders (1,050 rushing yards, 13 TDs) had a breakout year last season as a No. 2 back. The offense will be aided by two key transfers, shifty senior RB Sherman Smith and speedy junior WR Joshua McMillan II. Defensively, Tompkins will be stout. Senior DB Colby Huerter (96 total tackles, INT, fumble caused, fumble recovered) is a playmaking stat-stuffer and he'll lead a unit that features junior LB Temisan Aliban (78 total tackles, 2 fumbles caused), senior S Dru Polidore (46 total tackles, 2 INTs) and senior LB Kobee Madriz (93 total tackles, INT).
MAYDE CREEK RAMS
The 2019 campaign was a banner one for Mayde Creek. The Rams went 9-3 and won their first playoff game since 1997. However, it's a new start for Mayde Creek in 2020. Head coach Mike Rabe departed to take over Jordan High and in is former Alief Taylor leader Brian Randle. Randle has four offensive starters and two defensive starters returning, including senior RB Julius Loughridge (1,527 yards, 14 TDs), versatile senior QB/WR Donte Jones (3 passing TDs, 7 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs), senior 6-foot-2 WR L'Den Skinner and senior S Joseph Kinyock (101 total tackles, 4 INTs). Mayde Creek's offense will get a boost with move-in Jace Wilson (Furman-commit) from Del Valle. The dual-threat Wilson was the District 25-6A Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2019 after passing for 2,526 yards and scoring 31 total touchdowns. The Rams also have one of the top long snappers in the Houston area in 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior Max Dietz. The Rams are young at some key positions and overall depth is a concern, but there is more than enough to compete for another playoff spot.
MORTON RANCH MAVERICKS
Morton Ranch has gone 5-5 each of the last two seasons, heartbreakingly on the brink of the playoffs each time. This year, the Mavs could break through. The Mavs return six offensive starters and five defensive starters. The rocks at the core are senior QB Jaymarcus Wilson, a dynamic dual threat; senior 6-foot, 205-pound LB Sam Hampton; and junior RB Karsten Christopher. The offensive line is buoyed by senior high-DI prospect Aaron Sessions (6-foot- 6, 285-pounds). Be on the lookout for 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore DE David Hicks, who has the potential to cause havoc against any offensive front with his athleticism and size. Coach Ron Counter likes his team's senior experience, but it will be balanced with promising sophomore talent, such as RB Santana Scott.
SEVEN LAKES SPARTANS
The Spartans return four offensive starters and three defensive starters from a 4-6 team. Senior QB Cristian Beltran (1,273 yards, 8 TDs) has the benefit of a year's experience of varsity under his belt, and he'll have help in senior RBs Milton Jones (805 yards, 12 TDs) and Nick David-West (364 yards, 4 TDs). The offensive line, anchored by senior 6-foot-5, 240-pound tackle Sam Treadaway, is young. Defensively, Seven Lakes will be led by senior LB Adam North (44 tackles) and senior DL Hayden Pratt. Six of Seven Lakes' defensive front seven graduated from last season, so senior LBs Kane Stroman and Jeremy Foster are expected to step up and contribute.
CINCO RANCH COUGARS
The Cougars went winless in coach Chris Dudley's first year at the helm of the program. Cinco Ranch returns 10 total starters off that team. The Cougars' marquee talents are 6-foot-5, 305-pound senior OL Ethan Onianwa, a Rice-commit who also had offers from Baylor, Arizona and Arizona State, among others. Junior LB Kasey Murry (72 tackles, 5 sacks) will lead the defense. Senior QB Evan Dunn and senior RB Caleb Leapheart showed promise in spurts last season. Dudley says he will have more depth and more athleticism at skill spots, but with only 21 returning lettermen, this season is another one of growth.