2017 Region Outlooks: 5A Region IV — Wide-open race intensifies as stars graduate
AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017 TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, DCTF'S BRADY KEANE TAKES A LOOK AT HOW EACH REGION SHOULD SHAKE OUT WHEN FALL ROLLS AROUND.
The 2017 Texas high school football season will be here before you know it, and in a year without UIL realignment, we have a grasp on who should challenge for region — and state — titles across the state. We’ll take a closer look at the frontrunners in each region throughout the spring doldrums.
Today’s spotlight: Class 5A Region IV
Calallen’s run to the Division II state championship was the big story out of Class 5A Region IV last season, but the Wildcats lose a majority of their playmakers from that team. Heading into 2017, District 26 and District 27 appear to hold the top teams with a shot a making a run deep in the region.
Behind a stout defense allowing an average of less than 14 points per game last season, Angleton won nine games before falling 12-11 to Dripping Springs in the second round of the playoffs. S BJ Foster is ranked as one of the top recruits in the state and leads the returners on defense, but the offense is primed to take a big step forward this season.
Angleton gets its top five rushers back – led by Tamerik Williams (1,207 yards, 15 TDs), Ervin Hawkins (636 yards, 4 TDs) and Foster (573 yards, TDs) – and also returns quarterback Seth Cosme who played well as a sophomore. District 27-5A is tough with both Victoria East and Richmond Foster competing for the top spots as well, but the Wildcats have what it takes to be atop the standings and make a run.
Richmond Foster has steadily improved under coach Shaun McDowell and advanced to the state semifinals for the first time last season. The Falcons fell short in a 31-24 loss to Temple, but McDowell has made the team a consistent competitor and that won’t change this year.
QB Grant Guzzetta (653 yards, 9 TDs) filled in nicely when injuries knocked out starter Alex Ramart at times last season and Guzzetta will take the reigns this season. While the star power at receiver won’t be the same without Ceedee Lamb and Chandler Speights, the backfield duo of Quinton Oliver (1,480 yards, 16 TDs) and Alec Harris (687 yards, 8 TDs) return to give the offense some experience. Some young talent returns on defense as well, making Foster a threat to repeat in Region IV.
After winning five games in his first year back in 2015, coach Galen Zimmerman more than doubled that while leading the Tigers to a regional final appearance. With a strong group returning, Dripping Springs could take another step forward this season.
Behind Beau Collins (127 tackles, 11 TFL), Brittan Howeth (105 tackles, 6 INTs) and Miles Farris (101 tackles, 9 TFL), Dripping Springs has a strong core back on defense entering the season. The offense will miss dual-threat QB Reese Johnson, but rising junior RB Jake Cox (1,342 yards, 12 TDs) could have a breakout year and WR Johnny Hoyle (1,053 yards, 15 TDs) is plenty capable on the outside. The race in District 26-5A is tight with Alamo Heights and Boerne Champion both competing for the top spot, but the Tigers will return with some big-time playmakers leading the way.
Coach Keith Kaiser led the Chargers to a 10-win season for the second time in four years last season, falling to Brandeis and Alamo Heights by a combined seven points in the regular season before losing to Calallen in the regional semifinals.
QB Davis Brin (3,532 yards, 30 TDs) will lead the offense this season as the Chargers look to compete for a district championship in a top-heavy District 26-5A. The defense returns a loaded group up front, giving the Chargers a solid foundation to build on heading into the season.
Brady Keane is a Contributing Writer for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Follow him on Twitter: @BradyKeane.