Round Rock Dragon Stadium will play host to Pool B's morning first round of Austin's debut SQT. Here's a quick breakdown of players we expect to see, with a note on their potential 2012 regular season roles. - Staff
Round Rock Dragons (District: 16-5A, Cen-Tex North) Head Coach: Jeff Cheatham
Fanstand Skill Player Watch:
QB Tyler Gerds (’13)
ATH Sam Lawliss (’13)
RB Deandre Story (’14)
DB Brandon Bullock (’14)
DB Dakari Antoine (’14) DB Brandon Roberto (’13)
Notes: We saw Lawliss play quite a bit of QB last Summer session, but expect youngster Tyler Gerds to get the majority of this Summer’s snaps. The Dragons did lose some outstanding wide receivers to graduation, but have plenty of athletes to replace them. Round Rock’s defensive backfield is a good as any unit in the Austin-area.
McNeil Mavericks (District 16-5A, Cen Tex North)
Fanstand Skill Player Watch:
WR Ryan Murphy (’13)
WR Nick Parinella (’13)
WR/TE Joseph Miele (’13)
DB Colton Russell (’14)
RB Jimmy Jones (’14)
RB Matt Zebrowski (’14)
QB Jordan Robinson (’13)
DB Cameron Terrell (’14)
DB Toroti Oke (’14)
LB Lance Scott (’13)
LB Tillman Johnson (’14)
RB Eddie Brock (’13)
Some forget that McNeil excelled last Summer. The Mavericks finished 2nd only to Klein Forest in last year’s SQT, earning them a trip to College Station’s championship tournament. The competition to replace Zach Kuhn at QB will spill over into Summer competition. The Mavs sports one of the top returning receiving tandems in the Austin-area with Parinella/Murphy. Terrell and Oke are a couple of to-be-juniors who will get a good workout during Summer sessions. Russell is capable of forcing a turnover, then playing QB on the next series. Better days await the McNeil program, as they’ll look for a good showing in May’s SQT.
Connally Cougars (District 17-4A, Cen-Tex East) Head Coach: Howard McMahan
Fanstand Skill Player Watch:
QB Dajon Williams (’13)
RB Dae Payton (’13)
LB Michael Egwaugu (’13)
DB Eddrick McDonald (’13)
WR Luther Yamthe (’13)
Notes: The Cougars offense was one of last Summer’s high octane offenses. The team consistently put up 40 points in each 7 on 7 competition. Fatigue caused them to fall short of a College Station berth, but that won’t be the case this year. QB Williams returns with a more evolved approach than this time last year. RB Payton has soft hands that will help during Summer sessions (and come in handy during regular season). Yamthe assumes the role of the team’s #1 receiving option – making this SQT with Williams a great op to build more chemistry. We’re excited to see McDonald’s improvement, as he’ll be one of the best defensive backs during this May’s tournament.
Skill Player Watch:
RB Vondereaz King (’14)
WR Robbie Seybold (’13)
DB DeMarkos White (’13)
WR Fabian Valenzuela (’13)
RB Chanse Colbert (’13)
POOL B PROJECTIONS:
We feel 'Pool B' is the most competitive of the morning sessions. McNeil almost won an area-SQT championship in 2011, but were derailed by cramps. Round Rock's athletes rival McNeil's. Connally is scary on turf, and Dajon Williams is on a mission. Cove may not sport Orlando Thomas, but the speed is still there. We're going to call it a dead even race between the 3 Austin-area teams, and may the odds be forever in their favor.
We'll have video/photo/interviews from Pool B on Facebook. Look for updates and highlights via our Twitter page. Covering Central Texas high school football all year long! Its Talk 96.3's Friday Night Fanstand!
May 26th marks the beginning of competitve high school football in the Austin-area. The highly anticipated Round Rock State Tournament Qualifying tournament is just around the corner, as Fanstand amps up its Spring coverage. We'll break down all four of the various Pools, leading up to the big weekend to close May. Below, we offer insight on May 26th's opening morning rounds. Pool A will play their games at Reeves Athletic Complex main field.
Fanstand Skill Player Watch List:
WR Carson Bowen (’14)
QB Jay Watson (’13)
WR James Fry (’13)
WR Cody Shulz (’13)
Losing 26 seniors (including 3 year QB Woerner) is tough, but Fry and Bowen lead a young crew. James normally plays RB, but will split wide for this Summer’s 7 on 7 session. With a high profile hire at head coach, the Mustangs community will expect improvements. Our first full look at potential QB Watson in a pass heavy setting. Wondering who will replace Cauble’s production in 2012.
Vista Ridge Rangers (District 24-4A, Cen-Tex West) Head Coach: Rodney Vincent
Fanstand Skill Player Watch List:
WR James Cotterell (’13)
WR Adrian Duncan (’13) QB Leland Dunn ('13)
DB Kevin Harris (’14)
WR Blake Gossett (’14)
RB Stedman Mayberry (’14)
QB Zach Lowe (’13)
LB Dillon Carter (’13)
LB Jamison Geracci (’13)
The Rangers look to make consecutive trips to College Station, after last year’s trip to the 7 on 7 State Championship Tournament. The team is ready to prove that 2011 was a fluke. There are several Senior ’14 Ranger players who could make an impact this Fall. Proving themselves in Summer drills could go a long way towards the coaching deciding who starts. We remember Cotterell and Duncan as some of the more impressive skill players from last summer. Geracci won’t be able to tackle anyone, but we’re interested in seeing how he defends the pass. Dunn looks like the man to replace Estes, but Lowe can contribute if asked. The VR bounce-back begins in May.
Cedar Park Timberwolves (District 26-4A, Cen-Tex West) Head Coach: Joe Willis
Fanstand Skill Player Watch List:
DB Grayson Cotham (’13)
WR Bill Estevanott (’14)
LB Peter Maneikis (’14)
RB Mikal Wilson (’13)
DB Blake Bouffard (’14)
TE Austin Hisler (’13)
DB Trevon Spohrer (’13) QB Ethan Fry ('13)
LB Michael Dayanandan (’13)
WR Christian Garcia (’14)
RB Nathan Harwell (’13)
This will be our first look at Ethan Fry playing QB in an extended passing set. This time last year, Alex Curl was handling Summer duties for Brian Hogan. Rumors swirl that OL Austin Hisler could get looks at TE next year. Summer could be fun for the big man. Some believe Estevanott is destined for stardom. Harwell is a proven stud. CP is not known as a Summer 7 on 7 threat, but could change minds this May.
Westwood Warriors (District 16-5A, Cen-Tex North) Head Coach: Anthony Wood
Fanstand Skill Player Watch List:
QB Bear Fenimore (’14)
QB Sam Swensen (’13)
WR Travis Dale (’14) WR Ben Harris (’13)
DB Brad Watson (’13)
DB Tyler Logan (’13)
WR Garrett Gibbins (’14)
WR Drew Hillhouse (’13)
DB Sean Hoeferkamp (’14)
DB Daniel Fry (’14)
LB Blake Thomas (’14)
LB Michael Fisher-Jones (’14)
RB Mason Bartek (’14)
RB Tanner Osborn (’13)
WR Josh Bishop (’14)
Sure, Bear Fenimore will be fun to watch. His skill players will make Westwood one of the more entertaining squads at May 26th’s tournament. The list of 2014 players above bodes well for the future of WW. This year could belong to DB Watson and WR Harris. Breakout campaigns from Hoeferkamp and Bartek are expected. Logan and Osborn are already proven producers. The Warriors expect to not only win the weekend tournament, but compete for the 7 on 7 Championship in July.
POOL A PREDICTIONS:
Based on talent and home turf advantage, Westwood is the early favorite. We think Vista Ridge is sneaky good. There’s a reason they went to the Championship tournament in 2011. Both the Rangers and Warriors have experience with success in this arena.
Cedar Park has been known as a passive 7 on 7 team, but could make things interesting. QB Fry has a chance to improve the passing game – which could translate into regular season offensive balance. The Timberwolves have too much pride to lay down, and will be fun to watch during the morning round.
Marble Falls may not pose a threat to the larger teams in Pool A. With higher expectations for the upcoming year, we expect a spirited effort from the Mustangs.
Rival's State 7 on 7 Tournament has become one of the football year's biggest events. Some would argue, its the biggest non-season event in Texas. Westwood head coach Anthony Wood has spearheaded the organization of the Austin-area's first State Qualifying Tournament.
Today, we'll reveal the tentative field of teams that will be competing. The action gets underway the weekend of May 26th. The top two finishing teams get an automatic bid to the State tournament in College Station (July 2012).
Pool play will take place at 3 locations (Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, Dragon Stadium, and Cedar Ridge game and practice field). All of the fields are artificial turf (field turf).
**Any team that is scheduled to participate in a SQT and does not show up will be reported to the 7 on 7 Regional Director unless they notify the host school no later than Monday, May 14th.
POOLS Pool A @ Reeves ACPool C @ Cedar Ridge Game Field 1. Westwood 1. Hendrickson 2. Marble Falls 2. Abilene Cooper 3. Cedar Park 3. Cedar Ridge 4. Vista Ridge 4. Georgetown
Pool B @ Dragon StadiumPool D @ Cedar Ridge Practice Field 1. Round Rock 1. Pflugerville 2. McNeil 2. Temple 3. Connally 3. Lake Travis 4. Copperas Cove 4. Stony Point
We were able to visit Georgetown I.S.D Sadium last year for their 7 on 7 league and are excited to reveal their 2012 schedule. As Texas 7 on 7 continues to boom in popularity, it becomes a great way for us to showcase our stars before Fall Madness.
The games will be played on Mondays, starting on June 4th. Schools will field two squads, allowing more skill players to get in work. Week One's Varsity schedule lines up as such...
6pm Gerogetown (S) v. Burnet (S), Georgetown (N) vs. St. Michael's
6:30 Georgetown (S) v. St. Michael's (S), Georgetown (N) vs. Burnet (N)
7pm Cedar Ridge (S) vs. Hendrickson (S), East View (N) vs. Temple (N)
7:30pm Cedar Ridge (S) vs. Temple (S), East View (N) vs. Hendrickson (N)
Players to Watch: Cedar Ridge QB Michael McCann, Georgetown ATH Brent Ellerbee, St. Michael's ATH Walker Drewett, East View QB Jonathan Jones, Hendrickson DB Trai Moseley, St. Michael's ATH Quin Goode, Georgetown WR Noah Douglas, Burnet WR Austin Huff, Cedar Ridge CB Juwon Cannon, Hendrickson QB Xavier Conely, Hendrickson WR Latrell Martin, Georetown LB/TE Brandon Boone, St. Michael's ATH Austin Grief
The post-Cameron Waites era begins in May, as Austin St. Michael's Christian Academy gears up in May. The Crusader's defensive coordinator, Darrell Pantalone, takes the head coaching reins in 2012 (replacing Ed McCabe).
SMCA Spring Football:
From Monday 5/7 to Thursday 5/24 from 4:10 - 6:10pm the boys will practice 4 days a week. Friday practice will only occur to make up a regular M-Th practice that is canceled due to bad weather.
The Spring Game will take place on Thursday 5/24. Seniors will play a 7 on 7 scrimmage at 4:15pm followed by an all-team exhibition at 5:30pm.
While Round Rock and Stony Point ramp up Spring drills this week, others are choosing to wait for August.
Because teams like the Dragons and Tigers are starting camp early, they are restricted to UIL rules concerning August drills. Meanwhile, Georegetown East View High has emerged as a school that will forgo a heavy April/May schedule in favor of an early August start.
Head coach Robert Davies in anxious to start action, but feels an earlier Fall camp will benefit his team. After 3 years of defensive coordinator duties at South Grand Prarie, he'll lead the Patriots in their first Varsity venture.
Break out the practice gear and Nikes. The road to the 2012 season begins today, as the Round Rock Dragons open Spring Camp. Coach Jeff Cheatham also confirms that the first 'contact' drills will occur on Thursday.
The following Dragons are on Fanstand's 'watch list', but others are on the radar (Note: Class rankings for current year):
QB - Tyler Gerds JR
RB- Deandre Story SO
OL- Robert Castaneda SO (LT) Barton cheetum JR (LG) Thomas gable JR (C)
DB - Brandon bullock SO Brandon Roberto JR
ILBs - Sam lawlis JR Ryker trees JR
Outside line backers - Zachary pleasant JR Brandon zaleski SO James shrank JR
Former Westwood assistant Will Janson is on the move...again. We reported in March that he had taken the defensive coordinator position at Taylor High School. Richard Cobia, the Taylor head coach resigned on Coach Janson first day at his new job. His time there is already over, as he's headed north to Lucas Lovejoy HS.
In a surprising move, Cedar Park defensive coordinator Joe Willis inherits the head coaching reigns. Chris Ross, who has led the Timberwolves to its most succesful era, becomes Leander Independent School District athletic director.
Willis is the creator of the feared "Black Rain Defense". It has spawned several Division I players in recent past (Chet Moss at UT, Zac Espinosa at Rice). The fans have expressed that this makes this transistion much smoother. Since Cedar Park has not officially posted the job as open, Willis' status is "interim'.
Fanstand confirms former Stony Point WR Coach Charles Taylor will become McCallum's new offensive coordinator/quarterback coach. Coach Taylor follows new head coach Jason Cecil in a move from the Tigers to Knights.
Taylor inherits a talented trio base of QB Griffin Steusser (Senior '13), RB Deon Baker (Senior '14) and WR Willie Mays Jr (Senior '14). Griffin is a returning all-district talent, who put up monster numbers with part time QB play in 2011 (over 1700 pass yard, 19 total TDs). As quarterback coach, Taylor will also be responsible for grooming Steusser's replacement for 2014 (Garrett Hemphill or Kristopher Reyes).
Here are some stats on the Knight's new coordinator (from www.stptigerfootball.org)
B.S. – The University of Texas at Austin
Member of the University of Texas Track and Field Team (95-96 Southwest Conference Champions)
M.D. – Lamar University in Beaumont
Charles Taylor is entering his first year at Stony Point and his fourteenth year as a football coach. He coaches the wide receivers and is an assistant track and field coach. Previously he was The Assistant Head Football Coach and Co-offensive Coordinator at LBJ High School in Austin. He also served as the Head Track and Field Coach. He began his coaching career as the Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach at Kealing Junior High School.
He and his wife, Mary Beth, have been married for ten years and have a three year old son, Cole, who is a big Tiger Fan.
It seems like forever ago that Georgetown QB Jake Hubenak was dominating competition on the field. After sustaining a tough injury in Week 4, the junior has been cleared to resume football activities. The Eagles started last year undefeated (4-0) with Jake as signal caller. They won just 2 more games (Stony Point, McNeil) the rest of the season.
The Eagles move to 17-4A this season (from 16-5A in 2011) gives the team legit district title hopes. Head coach Jason Dean returns for his 4th season, with a return to postseason in his plans. The return of Jake is crucial for the team's overall success. While underclassman Brent Ellerbee had success in a fill-in role, Hubenak offers more overall upside. While we expect to continue to see Ellerbee contributing on offense, this will allow him to concentrate more on playing defensive back. Pass defense was one of Georgetown's weaker units in 2011.
With a talented core of returning receivers (Randy Knightner, Noah Douglas, ect), the Eagles could lead the district in passing yards in 2012. The graduation of Darius Davis leaves several young candidates vying for playing time at running back. If Jake can get back to his 2011 form (over 800 yards, 10 TDs in 3 games), Georgetown could make noise in the postseason.
Antwuan Davis is rising to stardom. The one-time Del Valle Cardinal, now Bastrop Bear will be changing jerseys once again in 2013. Sources report that Davis was offered a scholarship by the University of Texas recently.
While Saturday aspirations are nice, Antwuan has unfinished business of the field. The Bears Football program was thrown into a tailspin with last year's tragic wildfires. Players/coaches had their lives uprooted, as the community tried to deal with Mother Nature. The difficult schedule and unheaval helped cause Bastrop to miss the playoffs in 2011. The team finished 3-6, with just one district victory.
With LB Paul Whitmill (5 ypc, 3 TDs in 2011) projected to replace RB Trae Bunton as the main ball carrier - Antwaun's presence on defense will be more valuable. With the continued maturation of Alec Kana at QB, plus other underclassman stepping up, Bastrop should contend for a playoff spot in 2012.
Last year, we were able to feature the Stony Point Tigers opening spring camp at an unheard of date (April 23rd, 2011). Cross-city rival Round Rock High is attempting to one up their district mate in 2012.
Reports are that the Dragon Football team will hit the practice field on May 17th, 2012. Round Rock ended a 2-year playoff drought behind a young team in 2011 (falling to Westlake in bi-district). They lose senior QB Garrett Gerds, but younger brother Tyler Gerds is expected to continue the progression. ATH Sam Lawliss is reportedly over last year's injuries, and could be a forgotten weapon for Coach Jeff Cheatham.
We'll bring you coverage on Austin-area teams through April and May, as Spring Camps progress.
Knocking off 5A darling Westwood capped a great year for Leander. After once again starting the season 0-3 (with losses vs. Cedar Park, DeSoto and Converse Judson), the team cruised to a district title by regular season's end. And if not for a heartbreaking hail mary as time expired, there's no telling how far the Lions could have gone in the playoffs. Coach Clint Harper won 16-5A Coach of the Year for his job replacing Steve Gideon. The former QB coach has indeed stamped his personality on Leander Football. For complete recap of 2011 Leander team/individual stats, click here. Or visit the Lion official home online, here. Things can change of the course of seven months (between now and Zero Week), but this is Fanstand's 2012 projection for the Lions roster. OFFENSE: Senior QB Andres Barrera was probably 16-5A's MVP. It would have been hard for anyone to snatch the award from WW's Ben Johnson, but Barrera may have deserved it (over 1100 pass yards, 1300 rush yards, 25 TDs). We can only imagine the stats he would have produced if he were healthy the entire season. After 2010's QB flip flop, Barrera was the undisputed man behind center in 2011. Going into 2012, we forsee a similar situation. If someone besides Caleb Woodward is named starter, it will come as a shock to us. The junior looked ready to take over while filling in for an ailing Barrera. His 78% completion rate and 8 TDs are signs of monster year ahead. His 3-TD performances vs. Georgetown and McNeil were brilliant. His swagger is off the charts. And we expect an MVP-like season of production in his first year of full snaps. David Hilbun may be a name you haven't heard. We had to do some extra scouting to get the scoop on Caleb's potential #2. Hilbun played JV as a sophomore, but moved to Varsity as insurance. His sideline view of Barrera/Woodward will pay dividends if his number is called. With 4 different QBs getting Lion snaps from 2010-2011, David should remain prepared. Running back Dylan Bauer was the feel good story of 2011. Listed third on the depth chart, not much was expected of the talented junior. But when injuries claimed other runners, Dylan put his talents to use. He ended up as an all-district selection, while netting 620 rush yards/6 TDs. His 106 yard effort vs. a tough Stony Point defense proved he can do it against tough competiton. With a full year and 130 Varsity carries under his belt, he could have a great senior campaign. Don't sleep on super sophomore Christian Levy, though. He only received 20 touches, but took one to the house vs. Round Rock. There are big shoes to fill, as both Nicco Brown and Peyton Tilley graduate in Spring. Leander kept the ball on the ground last year, but Brown/Tilley ensured they had good options when needed. Tevin Smith(pictured) returns as our fave for #1 wideout. With nearly 200 yards receiving as a junior, he could triple those numbers if Woodward throws. Smith/Woodward have good off-field chemistry, which we feel will translate in production numbers. Expect Tevin to exceed expectations. There were be a mix of juniors/sophomores who will compete for playing time in 2012. Our advice: show the coaching staff that you can block downfield. Getting on the turf is key, and Woodward could turn someone into an unexpected star. The loss of Jacob Dunning to Iowa State is a big loss. That is why we project TJ Kawejsza to Jacob. TJ is an all-district stud who has Division I dreams. However, if Harper and Company stick with the status quo - it could be Bryan Resa's(pictured) time to shine. Bryan was Dunning's understudy in 2011, and could surprise with a breakout season. Matt Rincones will be missed, but there is a wealth of returning juniors: Hunter Arona, Jonathan Cox, Andrew Dandignat and Michael Beckwith. Leander's o-line could be one of the strongest units in the Austin-area. DEFENSE: You'll hear about Mike Epley(pictured) alot over the next two years. 16-5A's "Newcome of the Year" played like a season veteran in 2011. He led the Lions with 5 sacks, and approached the 50-tackle mark. He'll vy for a Defensive MVP during his junior campaign. Jacob Green will give offenses nowhere to hide. If they run away from Epley, Jacob's sure to clean up. His 78 stops and 2 sacks were impressive enough to earn him first team all-district honors. With Rude/Dodson/Johnson all graduating, we can't peg a favorite to start at nose guard. Terrance Johnson's 67 tackles/4 sacks aren't easily duplicated. But playing alongside Epley/Green will be an honor - sure to inspire a great season out of whomever steps up. On top of Epley/Green, may be an even more impressive tandem of linebackers. Hayden Newsome (pictured) on the inside, in a tackle machine. His 123 tackles in 2011 were a full 40 stops more than the next top tackler. And that next guy happens to be Taylor Sugar. His 80 stops and 3 fumble recoveries earned him all-district first team. With Sugar outside and Newsome controling the middle, this is a scary defense. We expect a pair of juniors to fill out the LB core. There's a chance Sugar switches to DB, but we'll discuss that soon. Depth could allow for the Sugar swich. Leo Quintana and Rick Carreon are already proven producers. Quintana had 75 tackles and 3 sacks last year. Carron had 47 tackles and 2 sacks. And he's a youngster, but the upside of sophomore Will Walden can't be denied. Its possible, with a strong off season program, Walden can start on Fridays soon. Obviously, Leander's LB unit has Fanstand's nod as the best going into 2012. The best Lions safety since Blake Gideon (much love to Colin Chapman), Mr. Martel Summers will be wearing #14 for Texas State next Fall. So who replaces the District Defensive MVP (78 tackles, 1 interception) in the backfield? Let's start with corner first, where Daryl Brooks is the man. Already sporting a college-ready frame, the 6 foot 175 pound junior is reportedly working harder than ever. Imaging a faster/stronger Brooks should make opposing wide receivers cringe. 2 picks/1 sack/50 tackles are numbers from 2011, that he'll eclipse in 2012. With Rountree/Ellison graduating, the other corner is up for grabs. Sophomore Greg Kelly was Summers back up in 2011, and could be ready for full time snaps this Fall. If Kelly can mature quickly, it would allow Sugar to man LB - and make this one of the strongest defenses in 5A. His Summer work ethic could be mean big things next year.
As always, things never stay the same. For more oxymorons, Lions insight and interviews - follow Fanstand on Twitter and Facebook. We'll be covering Leander Football like no one else. We're 96.3 FM's Friday Night Fanstand!