HOUSTON AREA 5A FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Kyle Nickell
Contributor | Cooper Sports Network

  1. Manvel – Head Coach: Kirk Martin; 2016: 13-1 DI regional finalist; Returning starters: 6 offense/6 defense; Key Players: QB Kason Martin, WR Jalen Preston, LB Brian Johnson, DB Trent Gordon. Despite to the loss of 13 college signees, the Mavericks will be loaded once again. The offense will be led by QB Martin, and a playmaking target in Preston. On defense, Johnson and Gordon will be the leaders.
  2. FB Marshall – Head Coach: James Williams; 2016: 11-3 DII regional finalist; Returning Starters: 10 offense/8 defense; Key Players: OG Barton Clement, QB Jabari James, WR Henry Thomas. The Buffs will be contenders again after a regional final run last season. James leads an explosive offense with Thomas out wide and Clement paving the way up front. The defense returns 8 starters and should be even better than a season ago.
  3. Foster – Head Coach: Shaun McDowell; 2016: 14-1 DI state semifinalist; Returning starters: 5 offense/5 defense; Key Players: CB Christian Young, DE Cameron Valentine, RB Quinton Oliver. Despite heavy graduation losses, the Falcons will be tough again in 2017. The defense will lead the way with two stalwarts in Young and Valentine. On offense, the running game is in good hands with Oliver.
  4. Angleton – Head Coach: Ryan Roark; 2016: 9-3 DI area finalist; Returning starters: 6 offense/6 defense; Key Players: DB/RB B.J. Foster, RB Tamerik Williams, CB Evrin Hawkins. The Wildcats will pose a major challenge to Foster in 27-5A. Foster is a two way weapon who has recovered from injury. The secondary is highlighted by a great playmaker in Hawkins, who will contribute in the return game as well.
  5. Crosby – Head Coach: Jeff Riordan; 2016: 9-3 DII area finalist; Returning starters: 6 offense/4 defense; Key Players: RB Craig Williams, QB Jaiden Howard, CB Austin Palmer. Coach Riordan has the Cougar program rolling. Williams should lead the offense and Howard saw a lot of action last season and will take over the QB reins. The defense will be young, but they have a solid leader in Palmer.
  6. Port Neches-Groves – Head Coach: Brandon Faircloth; 2016: 11-2 DII regional semifinalist; Returning starters: 6 offense/5 defense; Key Players: QB Roschon Johnson, WR Preston Riggs, LB Austin Bost. The Indians added to their great tradition with a regional semifinal run. Another run is possible with an explosive offense keyed by a dula threat QB in Johnson. Riggs will contribute as a receiving threat and kicker. Bost leads the five returners on defense.
  7. Magnolia – Head Coach: Sterling Doty; 2016: 10-2 DII area finalist; Returning starters: 8 offense/5 defense; Key Players: WR Michael Woods, ATH Reese Mason, RB Anthony Johnson. The Bulldogs won 10 game based in large part to a big play offense. Most of that skill talent returns, led by Woods and Johnson. Mason will slide from WR to QB. The defense returns its top tackler in LB Bo Willis.
  8. PA Memorial – Head Coach: Kenny Harrison; 2016: 10-2 DII regional semifinalist; Returning starters: 6 offense/7 defense; Key Players: RB Elijah Hines, LB Jomard Valsin, ATH Keitha Jones. The Titans look poised to make a similar run as was accomplished in 2016. Hines is one of the top backs in Southeast Texas, and his presence should ease the transition of jones to QB. Valsin will head up an experienced and athletic defense.
  9. Madison – Head Coach: Damian Judge; 2016: 8-3 DI bi-district finalist; Returning starters: 8 offense/8 defense; Key Players: WR DaShawn Williams, OL Charles Forney, LB Darian Jackson. Coach Judge takes over the program coming off an 8 win season. Williams is the top target on offense, and Forney leads a physical group up front. The defense boasts a leader in Jackson.
  10. Brenham – Head Coach: Glen West; 2016: 8-4 DII area finalist; Returning starters: 5 offense/7 defense; Key Players: QB Kendarin Ray, DB Eryk Preston, LB/RB Tyree Jackson. The Cubs made another playoff run under veteran coach West. Ray is a dual threat QB heading up the offense. The defense has both experience and athleticism, led by the duo of Preston and Jackson.

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