Now that we’ve had a look at all of the teams in the new 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. This week, we rank offenses.
1. Cedar Ridge: The Raiders scored at a blistering pace last year but lose six starters from that dynamic unit. Still, its hard to rank anyone above a team that will feature potential district MVP wide receiver Jalen Ellis, a current Baylor pledge that has elite speed. He will be a valuable weapon as the Raiders break in new quarterback Jalen Brown. Linemen DaWayne Brown and Seth Hendrickson will bring toughness and experience to the offense.
2. Hendrickson: The Hawks hope to contend for a district title this year with quarterback Blaine Barker returning for his third year behind center. Running back Timieone Jackson has been timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. Receivers James Hester and Jaden Williams both have the ability to stretch defenses vertically.
3. Round Rock: One could say that athlete Ryan O’Keefe has too much talent for just one position on the offense. He’ll line up behind center, at running back and split out wideout, creating matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. Marquis Brown split time at the running back spot last year and still managed to score 15 touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Seth Ford has big-time potential, and Collin Sullivan is a proven weapon at receiver.
4. Westwood: The Warriors’ offense will have to find a new quarterback, but it should roll along nicely with seven returning starters. Right end Ian Cox can line up anywhere and exploit mismatches. Wide receiver Matt Pravednikov returns after a prolific junior year, and lineman Phillip Lackowski leads a talented and experienced offensive line.
5. Stony Point: Craig Chessher’s teams are known for their gritty defense, but last year it was an explosive offense that led the Tigers to the area round of the playoffs. Daelan Layden leads a receiver corps that should be a strength. Running backs Tyler Cleveland and Kendall Thomas will share the load and help break in new quarterback Kyle Overton.
6. Vandegrift: Running back Isiah Smallwood could very well be the best at his position in the district. He rushed for 1,207 yards last year. Receiver Reese Watson will be on loan from the defense, where he’s a standout cornerback. Jackson Oliver and Matt Sanders will hold down the offensive line.
7. McNeil: The Mavs only averaged 25.1 points per game last year but return experienced quarterback Zane Kampfer. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder has command of the McNeil offense and a built-in synergy with talented wide receiver Jordan Kerley, and Arizona State pledge. Lineman Jake Guardo will work to keep Kampfer upright and make holes for dual running backs Winston Hutchinson and Donovan Brown.
8. Vista Ridge: Move-in running back Thailand Mayberry, formerly of Hays, should have an instant impact on an offense looking for a spark. Look for head coach Rodney Vincent to find interesting ways to use athlete Naequwan White. Quarterback Drew Cantu should help lead what could be an improved unit.
9. Leander: The Lions need help and should get it with the return of running back Xavier Dotson from injury. He’ll be expected to lead a group that returns five starters from last year’s team.
RANKING THE DISTRICT
How do the teams of District 13-6A stack up in each phase of the game? We open the three-part series by looking at the district’s offenses.
1. Cedar Ridge; 9
2. Hendrickon; 8
3. Round Rock; 7
4. Westwood; 6
5. Stony Point; 5
6. Vandegrift; 4
7. McNeil; 3
8. Vista Ridge; 2
9. Leander; 1