2018 Region Outlooks: 4A Division I Region IV: Liberty Hill is the one to beat while Boerne ushers in a new era

AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2018 TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, DCTF'S MATT STEPP TAKES A LOOK AT HOW EACH REGION SHOULD SHAKE OUT WHEN FALL ROLLS AROUND.

Today’s spotlight: Class 4A Division I Region IV

The landscape in Region IV has changed somewhat the Waco area powers who held serve the past four seasons are gone. Some new powerhouse teams will rise to the occasion in 2018. The question is, do they come from the Houston area or from South Texas?

13-4A Division I is a district that moves to Region IV after most of the teams spent the last two seasons in much tougher Region III. First-year varsity program Fulshear is the only new addition from the old 12-4A Division I, replacing Stafford who stayed in Region III.

In 14-4A Division I, you have three teams from the old 13-4A in Liberty Hill, Lampasas and Burnet, joining three teams from the old 14-4A in Fredericksburg, Taylor and Canyon Lake. Top-to- bottom this could be the deepest and most competitive district in the region.

15-4A Division I features mostly teams to the south and east of San Antonio with the exception of Boerne who under new head coach Che Hendrix is thinking the Greyhounds could take a big step forward in 2018. 16-4A Division I will once again feature the five schools based in the Rio Grande Valley.

Liberty Hill
With the departure of Waco LaVega and China Spring to Region II, Liberty Hill all of a sudden becomes the instant favorite in Region IV. The Panthers and their vaunted Slot-T offense is tough to stop and have on their side being one of the state’s largest Class 4A schools. RB Kyle Harrison is back and he’ll run behind an offensive line that returns three first team all-district players. DE Kory Schmidt and DB Wyatt Cheney lead a defense that lacks headliners typically but is always very solid.

Sealy
Sealy made the playoffs in head coach Shane Mobley’s first year at the helm in one of the state’s toughest districts. With a full off-season in place and some exciting young talent from a 9-0 JV squad there is optimism in town. RB Ivan Bolen (1,163 rushing 18 TDs) and QB Garrett Zaskoda (3,197 passing, 29 TDs) both return to lead what should be an explosive offense, provided some young linemen can step in and do the job. The defense is led by LB Garrett Redden (103 tackles, 5 sacks) and LB Hunter Clark (68 tackles). With Sealy’s move to Region IV fresh off an area playoff appearance a year ago, it could be the ingredients for a deep playoff push.

Boerne
The Greyhounds have a good realignment draw and have some excitement brewing with new head coach Che Hendrix who arrives after a successful stint at Class 5A Frisco Heritage. Coach Hendrix has a trio of outstanding receivers to welcome back in Douglas Hodo, Paul Sherwood and Paul Amick and RB Colton Pool as well. The big key is finding a QB and developing some offensive lineman. LB Monte Cluck is not only an outstanding playmaker for the Boerne defense but he’s got a great linebacker name as well.

La Vernia
If Boerne will have a challenge in its new district, it’ll come from a veteran La Vernia squad that welcomes back 17 total starters from a 5-6 team a year ago. Head coach Chris Taber thinks with a full off-season in his program combined with the experience, the Bears are in for big things. Dual threat QB Clayton Chadwick had nearly 2,300 yards of offense and 22 touchdowns a year ago. He’ll be the main weapon for the offense. The defense has an impressive nine starters returning led by DE Tristain Netherlin (98 tackles, 4 sacks), LB Ty Halsey (85 tackles, 6 sacks as a sophomore) and DB John-Michael Kadrmas (54 tackles, 3 INTs).

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