Austin High, Pflugerville Hendrickson, Hays Consolidated and Vista Ridge make up Pool C in this year's Lake Travis State Qualifying Tournament (SQT). The four teams will start Saturday at 9am on Lake Travis' middle practice fields. The grass playing field environment will test the speed of all four athletic teams. The Pool winner advances to the semifinals, held at 1pm that afternoon.
Austin High Maroons
These are new Maroons. New head coach, new QB, new attitude. If jam-packing House Park for this year's Spring Game wasn't enough, we expect A-High fans to show up in droves this weekend. Human highlight Cayleb Jones has moved on to the 40 Acres, but there's plenty left returning. Little brother, Isaiah Jones has been named one of Texas' Top 100 athletes. QBs Trey Blake and John Albert Mansour are pushinig each other to new heights. Returning studs Alek McCracken, Matt Jones and Charles Schneider make this a well-balanced Maroon squad. Austin High opens with our favorite match up of the 9am hour. We're expecting a shootout with Hendrickso to get the LTSQT off to a good start. Maroons play Vista Ridge (10am) and Hays (11am) to close the opening round.
Hendrickson took Lake Travis to the wire last week in the SQT Semifinals. Despite missing Samaje Perine, Tyler Williams and others, the upbeat Hawks impressed everyone. DB Chance Waz had 2 interceptions, QB Xavier Conely looked like the next big thing. We'll enjoy seeing Hendrickson get another chance to prove itself this weekend. Players like Craig Roberts, Ryan Hamilton and Neil Haight are stepping up. The team's step up to 5A in 2012 is a big one. Critics are watching, after Coach Killian's Hawks won 16-4A in 2011. Hendrickson opens the morning vs. Austin High (9am), followed by Hays (10am) and Vista Ridge (11am).
Vista Ridge Rangers
Vista Ridge was without some of its best players last weekend, but still scored an SQT win over Cedar Park. QBs Leland Dunn and Zach Lowe got valuable rep times with receivers Jamsion Cotterell and Adrian Duncan. We're expecting a sharper approach by The Ridge this weekend. DL Micah Thomas exhibited his athleticism by participating in Summer skill action. Vista earned last year's state tourney bid on this field, and could repeat in 2012.
The Rebels compiled an 8-4 overall record (5-1, district), including a playoff win vs. Brennan. Hays has been chomping at the bit to get back on the field, after their tough round 2 loss to Cedar Park. Hays will rely on the shoulder of Caleb Kimbro. As well as he played last year, its hard to imagine he was just a junior in 2011. Adam Castro, Hayden Cagle (6'6), and Granger Studdard all return to help the Rebels chase their State skill tourney dreams.
Pool C Predictions: We'd love to see Hendrickson take care of unfinished business and earn a College Station trip. We see Austin High making it tough for them. Vista Ridge has 'been there, done that', but it'll take full effort to emerge from this competitive pool. Kimbro is in line for a breakout season, making the Rebels a team to watch. We'll provide score updates and highlights from Pool C through the weekend.
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