Welcome to the 2020 football season. What a weird offseason it was for everyone. There was not a summer camp circuit for players 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: Blake Bost, Port Neches-Groves
Offensive MVP: Reggie Branch, Crosby
Defensive MVP: Bruce Erekson, Santa Fe
Breakout Player of the Year: Semaj McCall, Texas City
Sleeper Team: Kingwood Park
THIS IS GOING TO BE A FUN DISTRICT. BARBERS HILL IS COMING OFF A DISTRICT TITLE SEASON, WHILE CROSBY IS ON THE RISE AGAIN AND SETX POWERS PORT NECHES-GROVES AND NEDERLAND SLIDE INTO THIS DISTRICT. THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN!
BARBERS HILL EAGLES
The Tom Westerberg-led Eagles are coming off their best season since 2001, which was the last time they won 11 games. Prior to last season, the last time Barbers Hill stood atop the district was 2011. Can the Eagles do it again? They will have to replace District MVP Christian Kaopua at QB. First-team, all-district receiver Cameron Cauley (960 yards, 16 TDs) is back along with Canden Grogan (451 yards). In the backfield, Garret Hagler returns after rushing for 851 yards a year ago. Opening the holes for Hagler will be Eli Burch. He will have to fill the shoes of USC-signee Casey Collier. Defensively, watch for Isaiah Marcel and Josh King-Bradley on the line. The duo could be super disruptive in 2020. Ashton Hamby, who was a second-team pick, will hold down the secondary at corner.
The Cougars returned to the postseason in 2019 after missing it the previous year. Jerry Prieto enters year two
as the head of the Cougars. Prieto does bring back a pretty dynamic backfield in Reggie Branch and Deniquez Dunn. That duo combined for more than 3,600 total yards. Branch and Dunn will be the catalysts to this offense. Jaylen Herman (621 yards, 9 scores) returns as the leading receiver target. The defensive unit will have to replace Hunter Bailey, who led the team in tackles (112) and sacks (6) a year ago. Jamauri Johnson (51 tackles, 3 sacks) will be one to watch, along with Sir Hill (59 tackles) and Michael Ray (41 tackles, 2 INTs).
PORT NECHES-GROVES INDIANS
The PN-G Indians have rumbled into the playoffs for seven-straight seasons. Some would consider 2019 to be
a bit of a down year, just on the premise that they did not surpass 10 wins, which they had done for the previous three years. Blake Bost will be the one to try and wheel this team back into double digit victories again. Bost last year at QB passed for 2,505 yards and 15 scores. Brady Nail will be the top target for Bost at receiver. Defensively, watch for linebackers Christian Sullivan (60 tackles) and Dean Guidry (45 tackles, 1 INT) will lead that corps, which brings back four starters.
Nederland went 4-7 overall last year and got knocked out in the first round. The Bulldogs return a pair of solid backs including Josh Mazyck, who rushed for over 1,000 yards and 12 scores. Kade Scott is the other back that will get some time. Kyndon Fuselier plays both ways for the Bulldogs at wide receiver and safety. He is a playmaker. Also watch for DE Jose Fuentes, S Evan Whitehead, WR/QB Rene Cunningham, LB Jaice Beck and DL Ricky Johnson. Also watch for sophomore CB Jelani Chevalier. This team should be better than its four-win mark from a year ago.
TEXAS CITY STINGAREES
The Stingarees are moving down a division, which will help them. Texas City went 2-8 a year ago and 2-5 in district play. So, what do the Stingarees have coming back? Semaj McCall is one of the top returners on the offensive side of the ball. McCall rushed for 1,090 yards and nine scores. Watch for Jacob Duran at quarterback for Texas City. Free safety Bryce Hinton will lead the secondary along with Brandon Jolly. Other players to watch include DE Cole Thrash and DE/TE Jackson Wray.
KINGWOOD PARK PANTHERS
As Clayton Maple enters his sixth season at Kingwood Park, the Panthers have made the playoffs in three of his five years. Now, Kingwood Park makes the move down a division but have to battle some strong SETX powers. Hudson Dezell is back at the quarterback position, while Juan Garcia will anchor the running game. Hayden Bender is an athlete who will be all over the field. Watch for a pretty strong offensive line in Erick Zapata and Erik Contreras. Defensively, linebackers Grant Golden and Wyatt Sheppard will lead that group.
Blake Ware has been given the reins of the Broncos as he comes over from New Caney. Ware is overly excited to take over this job and has pumped that into the veins of the players and the new-look staff. This team went 1-9 a year ago but don't expect them to stay at that mark for long. Christian Olige is back to quarterback and will lead the offense. Anthony Robles has moved over from New Caney and will anchor the running back position. Other players to watch on offense include WR Ashton Garner, WR Davin Lee, OL Logan Strong, OL Timothy Sjolander, OL Landon Wood, OL Pierre Broussard and OL Trey Rodgers. Defensively, watch for linebacker Cam'Ron Willis. Also, watch for move-in Cameron Cooper on the defensive line. He will bring a force. Other names to remember WR/DB Davin Lee, WR/DB Donovan Orebo, TE/LB Esteban Vega and WR/DB Kameron George.
SANTA FE INDIANS
The Indians return 11 starters off a team that went 2-8 a year ago. Matthew Bentley's group will have QB Trevor Trexler will take over the reins of the offense. Alex Trevino (366 yards, 3 TDs) is going to be back in the backfield and will utilize the talents of Joey Gibbs, Cody Wilson and Jarrod Recknor on the line to open up holes. Defensively, S Bruce Erekson (97 tackles) and Tyler Trexler (46 tackles) will lead the defensive unit along with Keyler Thompson (40 tackles, 3 INTs).