There are three legitimate threats for the district championship.
Reigning champ Jersey Village returns loaded to defend its throne. Stratford had a breakout season last year and has the talent on both sides of the ball to make some serious noise.
Cy-Fair waded through the waters of a youth movement in fine fashion and is hungry to return the gold trophy to Cypress. Memorial and Cypress Creek are no slouches, and we’ve got an inkling that this could be the year Northbrook breaks through.
PREVIOUS DISTRICT PREVIEWS (2022)
PRESEASON RANKINGS Jersey Village Falcons Stratford Spartans Cy-Fair Bobcats Memorial Mustangs Cypress Creek Cougars Cypress Ridge Rams Northbrook Raiders Spring Woods Tigers
VYPE PRESEASON AWARDS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Rashon Estes, Jersey Village OFFENSIVE MVP: Noah Rankin, Stratford DEFENSIVE MVP: Cooper King, Stratford BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Trey Owens, Cy-Fair SLEEPER TEAM: Cypress Creek
JERSEY VILLAGE FALCONS
The Falcons return 17 starters (10 offense) from an undefeated district champion that went 11-1 and finished as an Area finalist. Coach David Snokhaus enters his 26th year at the helm of the program and will have plenty of talent in year No. 27. Pacing the spread offense is junior QB Adam Tran (2,062 yards, 16 TDs), senior WR Arbrie Carter (558 yards, 5 TDs receiving; 144 yards, 4 TDs rushing) and senior RB Rashon Estes (1,322 yards, 20 TDs; 252 yards, 2 TDs receiving). Senior OL Reagan Gill (SMU-commit, 6-foot-5, 310) and Mateo Ortiz (6-foot-2, 305) are three-year and two-year starters, respectively. Stirring Jersey Village’s 4-2-5 defense are senior 6-foot-2, 190-pound OLB Freddie Hudson (60 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 sacks), senior DB Chris Noble (51 tackles, 6 INTs), senior DB Darius Johnson (7 INTs), senior LB Francisco Zamaripa (45 tackles) and junior 6-foot-1, 230-pound DE Malik Slone (4 sacks). Snokhaus said experience is a strength but concerns are depth and health.
Stratford is on the rise, returning 13 starters (7 offense) from a 10-2 team that lost to Katy in the Area playoffs. It was the first time the Spartans won at least 10 games since 2015. The offense has the chance to be special. Senior Nash Rankin (2,742 yards, 26 TDs; 200 yards, 6 TDs rushing) is back to call the shots. His primary target will be sophomore
WR Luke Rives (1,021 yards, 9 TDs), who broke some program receiving records last year. Senior 6-foot-4, 235-pound TE and Baylor-commit Hawkins Polley (426 yards, 5 TDs) and senior WR Jake Brand (561 yards, 3 TDs) add to what will be a lethal receiving corps. Senior 6-foot-4, 245-pound OL Hudson Perroni is catching more and more attention on the recruiting radar. Senior 5-foot-11, 220-pound LB Cooper King (95 total tackles, 6 sacks) and senior 6-foot-2, 235-pound DL Hunter Jones (10 tackles for a loss) make for a dynamic pass-rushing duo.
After going 10-2 and winning a district title in 2020, Cy-Fair had a bit of a reloading season in 2021 with only six starters back. Despite a considerable number of sophomores seeing varsity time, the Bobcats still went 7-4 last year and won a playoff game. As a result of the youth movement, 15 starters are back, including nine on defense. Offensively, sophomore 6-foot-4, 200-pound QB Trey Owens (1,677 yards, 15 TDs) leads the pack, and he’ll have a pair of strong WRs in junior 6-foot-2, 185-pound Owen Carter (493 yards, 6 TDs) and senior Kyle Chambers (481 yards, 4 TDs). Defensively is where Cy-Fair will star, however, thanks to a plethora of playmakers led by senior DE Ethan Anderson (13 tackles for loss, 5 sacks), junior 6-foot-2, 195-pound DE Cole Link (11 tackles for loss, 5 sacks) and sophomore 6-foot-3, 240-pound DL Landon Rink (9 tackles for loss, 4 sacks). The run game and secondary will be initial points of concern for Cy-Fair.
Memorial had a solid year last season and returns 10 starters (5/5) from a 7-5 Area finalist. The offense starts with junior 6-foot-2, 195-pound QB Chase Goodwin (1,301 yards, 13 TDs), who will be taking snaps full time for the first time. He’s a Columbia-commit. Senior WR Kyle Siblik (772 yards, 16.1 yards per catch, 8 TDs) and senior RB Ethan Spears (524 yards, 12 TDs) are big-time weapons on the perimeter and in the backfield. Those three could be a potent trio, even more so with senior 6-foot-5, 320-pound OL Max Wang and junior Jack Ramsey steadying the front. Memorial’s defensive anchors are senior LB Grayson Lincecum (106 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks) and senior DB Tyler Frankenfield (45 tackles, 2 INTs). Junior Luke Boehm is a potential breakout star who can make plays on either side of the ball.
CYPRESS CREEK COUGARS
Cypress Creek saw the opposite end of the spectrum last year. After going 4-6 and making it to the playoffs in 2020, the Cougars went 4-6 and saw themselves on the outside looking in last season. The Cougars return 16 starters (8/8). They will have the offensive juice, after averaging 34.3 points last year behind the prolific performances of junior QB Brad Jackson (2,791 yards, 29 TDs), junior RB Dominic Ramirez (650 yards, 6 TDs rushing; 517 yards, 5 TDs receiving) and sophomore WRs Jamon Richardson (449 yards, 14 yards per catch, 4 TDs) and Rashod Richardson (220 yards, 12.2 yards per catch, 5 TDs). Defense is where Cy Creek needs to get going after surrendering 41.6 points per game last season. There’s got to be more help around junior stalwarts Gavaun Washington (DE) and Keshawn Lamont (DB). Junior LB Deon Washington and senior LB Geramiah Smith could be the answer.
CYPRESS RIDGE RAMS
The Rams have a lot of question marks as 10 starters (5/5) return from a 2-8 campaign but there are intriguing pieces. The offensive line is in good hands with junior Jeremy Barajas, 6-foot-3, 360-pound junior Braylon Williams and 6-foot-7, 340-pound freshman Reginald Lee. The Rams’ top skill player is senior RB Joe Gaines III (333 yards, 2 TDs), who also has the versatility to be effective in the slot. No one is set yet at quarterback. On the defensive side, 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior LB Emiliano Soldevilla (54 tackles, 1 sack) might be the most athletic player on the team and is a special teams dynamo because of his penchant for blocking kicks.
“We may not be able to compete physically with some other schools, but we’re always going to put our best out there,” third-year coach Andres Gomez said. “The scoreboard does not define who we are. It defines where we are.” And despite going winless for the second straight year, Gomez is confident the Raiders are making progress. Northbrook had four games last year where it was within a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It lost another game in double OT. There’s promise. In all, 13 starters (8 offense) are back, including senior LB Angel Reyes, senior WR Marquell Hannah, junior LB Dade Delva, senior OL Charley Belloso, junior DE Julian Cruz, junior QB Brandon Dillard, junior WR Daniel Espinoza and junior WR NJ Swinney. Gomez expects to be better overall on defense, and the skill positions on offense will be more experienced. Concerns are depth and size in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
SPRING WOODS TIGERS
The Tigers graduated 24 lettermen and return just 13 from a 4-6 team last season. Ten starters (5/5) are back. There is experience on both sides of the ball along the lines. Offensively, senior 6-foot-1, 280-pound OL Isaac Gutierrez, junior 6-foot-4, 220-pound OL Jairo Martinez and senior 6-foot-3, 23-pound OL Isaiah Dunbar are formidable up front. There will be a new QB following the graduation of three-year starter Isaiah McKnight. Junior Derek Loflin could prove to be a consistent contributor out of the backfield. He has the versatility to also be a factor on defense if need be. Speaking of defense, senior tackle Matt Emerson is the rock. Also keep an eye on junior DB Michael Davila and junior RB Roderick Bunton.