Now that we’ve had a look at all of the teams in District 13-6A, it’s time to go a little more in depth. In this three-part series, we rank three phases of the game – offense, defense and coaching/intangibles – and dole out points based on rankings. Last week, we ranked the offenses. This week, we take a look at the district’s defenses.
1. Hendrickson: Curley Young is a 6-foot-1, 210-pound nightmare for offenses. The California pledge leads a front seven that also boasts the 6-4, 330-pound defensive tackle Shaylon Roberts. Linebacker Clifton Styles plays downhill against the run and covers the pass well. On the back end, Arkansas pledge Myles Brooks is athletic with a good nose for the football.
2. Vandegrift: Linebacker Spencer Jones has the right combination of size, athleticism, instincts and experience to lead the Vipers defense. Fellow linebacker Jax McCauley will hold up his end as part of the linebacking corps. Defensive tackle Evryn Smith is as quick off the ball as anyone in the district. The defensive backfield is also loaded with Ty Mongauzy, Reese Watson and Drew Nelson.
3. Cedar Ridge: Edgerrin Dillard-Williams is a hybrid defensive end-linebacker who specializes in pass rushing. Linebackers Kris Lewis and Brett Hartgrove are both open-field tackling specialists. Look for big things from junior defensive back Nick Garner, who can run a 4.4 40-yard dash, according to coaches.
4. Stony Point: All-district defensive backs Keilin Bishop and Kobe Sterling will make up the strength of the Tigers defense. Linebacker Cameron Williams has put on some bulk to help him as a run stopper. Defensive linemen Jarod Ontiveros and Greg Chmielewski make for a good tandem up front.
5. Round Rock: Head coach Jeff Cheatham brings back six starters on what should be an improved unit. The defensive line is particularly talented with the trio of Julian Jones, Mumin Ahmed and Isaiah Hernandez. Linebacker Ashton Millers brings experience to an otherwise-young linebacking corps.
6. Vista Ridge: Rodney Vincent is hoping that nine returning starters will help the Rangers improve from last year. Defensive backs NaeQuwan White and Thailand Mayberry, who may also play running back, both have sprinter speed and good ball skills. Linebacker Oliver Marx is the team’s returning leading tackler with 90 stops in 2017. Luke Horn will anchor the defensive line.
7. Westwood: The Warriors were known for their offense last season but will have to lean more on the defense after losing so many offensive standouts. Ethan Brown is a tough matchup on the defensive line. Linebackers Will Clitheroe and Riley Beckham are more physical than their size indicates.
8. McNeil: Defensive lineman Sammy Latham is a 6-6 defensive lineman who spent the offseason bulking up his lengthy frame. Defensive backs Jacob Carrera and Mario Shannon are athletic enough to cover any receiver in this district.
9. Leander: The Lions allowed 41.5 points per game last year but expect to be better with the help of returning players Evan Smith and Jacob Potter. Smith had 63 tackles last season while Potter hopes to add to his four tackles for loss in 2017.
RANKING THE DISTRICT
How do the teams of District 13-6A stack up in each phase of the game? We opened the three-part series by looking at the district’s offenses and now continue with defensive rankings. Team accrue points based on their preseason rankings in each category.
1. Hendrickon; 17
2. Cedar Ridge; 16
3. Vandegrift; 12
3. Round Rock; 12
5. Stony Point; 11
6. Westwood; 9
7. Vista Ridge; 6
8. McNeil; 5
9. Leander; 2