Welcome to the 2021 Texas High School Football season!!
The 14th annual VYPE Houston Football Magazine Preview presented by Academy has arrived! We will count you down to kickoff with district previews, top recruit lists and more!
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: D'vonne Hmielewski, Sealy
OFFENSIVE MVP: Richard Reese, Bellville
DEFENSIVE MVP: Thomas Clark, Sealy
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justin Cryer, Brookshire Royal
SLEEPER TEAM: La Marque
Sealy romped through the district undefeated last season and brings back 11 starters from a 9-3 Regional Semifinalist team. The Tigers go as prolific junior QB D'vonne Hmielewski goes.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,195 yards and 26 touchdowns to five interceptions last year. He also rushed for 1,029 yards and 13 more touchdowns, accounting for 70-percent of the Tigers' offense.
Keep an eye on junior RB Avonte Nunn, who boasts a 4.66 40-yard dash and rushed for 254 yards and three touchdowns last year. Senior WR/DB Connor Krenek is a two-way dynamo, compiling 424 receiving yards and two touchdowns to go with 24 tackles and two interceptions.
Senior 6-foot-2, 195-pound LB Thomas Clark is a versatile disruptor defensively, amassing 100 tackles. Senior DE/OL Brooks Redden had 53 tackles and three sacks in eight games last season
The Brahmas return 12 starters from an 8-2 Area playoff finalist, including seven on a powerfully explosive offense. Bellville averaged 40.7 points per game last season and many dynamic playmakers return.
Senior RB Richard Reese (1,873 yards, 26 TDs, 9.8 yards per carry), senior Robert Briggs (673 rushing yards, 11 TDs; 450 receiving yards, 6 TDs) and senior QB Jake Lischka (1,039 yards, 13 TDs-4 INTs) provide a potent trio in coach Grady Rowe's Slot-T offense, which averaged 325 rushing yards per game a year ago.
Defensively, Bellville has some concerns, but the front seven is shored up by junior 6-foot, 190-pound LB Tyler Fishbeck (101 tackles, 3 caused fumbles) and senior DL Cole Powell (81 tackles, 4.5 sacks).
Sweeny is hoping to make a return to the playoffs with 14 starters and 17 lettermen back from a 3-7 team. The Bulldogs have the talent to do so.
Returning is senior QB/DB Trace Holmes (1,175 yards, 11 TDs-10 INTs), senior RB Xavier Woods (1,060 yards, 7 TDs) and versatile 5-foot-9, 155-pound senior Dylan White (494 rushing yards, 4 TDs; 132 receiving yards, 3 TDs). The Bulldogs return four of five starters on the offensive line.
Defensively, Sweeny struggled last year, allowing 35.2 points per game, but the hope is experience will pay dividends in improving on that side of the ball. Holmes had 19 tackles and three interceptions last season. White had five interceptions and eight passes defensed. Sophomore 6-foot-2, 240-pound DL/OL Gavin Massey had 14 tackles, five for a loss, and two sacks.
Brookshire Royal Falcons
It's a new era for the Falcons as Theadis Reagins is in as head coach. Reagins brings a championship pedigree after serving as defensive backs coach for two-time state champion North Shore before coming to west Houston. He'll have talent to work with as Royal looks to best its 2-5 mark last season and make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Twelve starters return, including seven on the defensive side. Offensively, the Falcons have junior 6-feet, 175-pound WR Da'Shawn Adams (304 yards, 4 TDs) and senior 5-foot-9, 165-pound RB Derrick Gates (485 yards, 3 TDs) to lean on. Senior 6-foot, 180-pound QB/FS Kobe Lewis is a dependable playmaker on either side of the ball. Watch out for sophomore 6-foot-1, 170-pound QB Derrick Noel Jr., who has impressed coaches.
Defensively, Royal is led by junior 6-foot-3, 250-pound OL/DL Zechariah Robinson (26 tackles, 4 sacks) and senior 5-foot-10, 181-pound LB A.J. Ball (23 tackles). Junior 6-foot-1, 225-pound MLB Justin "Juice" Cryer, a transfer from Katy Morton Ranch High, is physical, athletic and aggressive and already has an offer from Florida State, the first of many to come.
La Marque Cougars
La Marque is in a bit of a rebuilding phase. The Cougars return 10 starters, six on defense, and graduated 26 lettermen.
They will need youngsters to step up around senior 6-foot, 210-pound QB Armond Robinson (630 passing yards, 11 TDs; 8 rushing TDs) and the talented two-way senior duo of senior RB/LB Brandon Jones (405 rushing yards, 3 TDs; 64 tackles) and senior LB Rayson Johnson (87 tackles).
The Tigers return nine starters from an 0-10 team. The star of Wharton's show is junior RB/LB Raymond Hudson III (156 rushing yards, TD).
Others to keep an eye on include senior OL/DL Jalik Knight, senior OL/ DL Agustin Muniz, junior DT/DE Terrysee Harris, senior G/DT Omarion Marks, junior TE/DE Da'Treon Norman, senior Brendan Thompson, and senior QB/DB Jarad Newsome.
Last season was just the third losing year for the Tigers in the last nine seasons.