By Tom Behrens
It’s a good thing that the high school football season doesn’t kick off this weekend, what with all the tropical weather forecasted. The season does begin Aug. 31 when the Taylor Mustangs christen Legacy Stadium-Mike Johnson field with a game against the Falcons of Foster High School.
Taylor has a lot tools in their offense and defense this year. Max Wright (Texas A&M), Otito Ogbonnia, Braedon Mowry and Ben Montgomery (University of Houston) are standouts on the defense, plus some big freshmen that could get a chance on the Taylor line. Ean Beek will be back to give the defensive secondary of the Mustang opponents problems. Give Beek a chance to wiggle through a hole on the line, and he is off to the races. According to 247 Sports, Beek piled up 2,335 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns in 2016. He’s also a threat as a pass receiver having 13 receptions for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will be a junior this year.
Of course, Katy is forecasted to rule the district again. The Tigers have been District Champs for seven years in a row. Coach Joseph and his coaches always seem to put it together for another great year. Returning are Deondrick Glass and Josh Oglesby on offense. Michael Matus leads the defense.
The Cinco Ranch Cougars put it all together last year, and almost became state champions. I think the results last year were even somewhat of a surprise to Head Coach Don Clayton. Coach knew the team was talented, but I don’t think he was expecting a trip to the state semifinal game. Brothers, Brant and Blake Kuithe will return. Brant’s hard nose running accounted for 24 touchdowns running and three on pass receptions. Blake, a defensive end has offers from Boise State University, Tulane University, University of Utah and Tulsa University. Brant and Blake, who are juniors this year, have committed to Rice.
Morton Ranch will have a different look this year, especially on offense under new head coach Ron Counter. Instead of run/option offense under which former head coach Dave Meadows installed, the Mavericks will throw the ball a lot more. Morton Ranch finished fourth last year, and lost in a first round playoff game to Ridge Point. The goal is to get back to the playoffs, but get past one and out. “If you can get to that second game, things can happen,” said Counter. The purple and white Mavericks are ready for the season to begin so they can show off what they can do.
Seven Lakes managed a 3-7 season record last year which is not normal for the Spartans. The roster had a lot of young players. The Spartans were experiencing the full affects of the loss of students to the opening of neighboring Tompkins High School three years ago. But the lack of experience for the Spartans last year is not all that bad. Head Coach Lydell Wilson said that’s not going to happen this year; this year’s edition of the Spartans has experience and ready for bigger and better things.
Tompkins High School Falcons show progress every year since their first varsity team in 2014 although their season won-loss record doesn’t show it. Last year the Falcons finished the season 2-8. This year Tompkins will have a new head coach, as former head coach, Tony Tademy returned to coaching at the college level. Todd McVey assumes leadership of a roster of growing football program.
When Coach Mike Rabe of the Rams of Mayde Creek moved from Waco Connally to Mayde Creek, his first task was to instill a winning attitude at Mayde Creek, along with getting the athletes used to the hard work that it was going to take to begin winning. Just like Tompkins last year, the Rams looked a lot better than the won-lost record reported. They finally broke into the win column, 1-9, with a win over Nimitz in pre-district competition. Marcus Striping, Jr., a defensive end at 6’3”, 243 lbs. will definitely get Ram opponents’ attention.
It all begins on Thursday evening, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. with the Taylor game at Legacy Stadium. Cinco Ranch travels to Cy-Fair FCU stadium to open their season with Cypress Ranch. On Friday night, Sept. 1, Katy plays Austin Westlake which will be broadcast on Fox Sports; Tompkins will play Humble at Turner Stadium, and Morton Ranch takes on Nimits at Rhodes Stadium. Finishing out the opening weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 2, Mayde Creek tackles Kempner at Mercer Stadium and Seven Lakes gets their first taste of Legacy Stadium when they play old rival, Spring Branch Memorial.