Today’s spotlight: Class 6A Region III
It was a relatively quiet UIL realignment in Class 6A Region III as there were no real major developments or surprises in how the new districts shook out. The biggest change is the addition of the Beaumont schools back to Region III after Beaumont West Brook had a two year stint in Region II. The Bruins move back into a more familiar alignment with the eastern Houston area and they are joined by a new Beaumont school in Beaumont United. United High School was created after the consolidation of 5A programs Beaumont Central and Beaumont Ozen. Central High suffered significant damage after Hurricane Harvey and was deemed too costly to repair so BISD decided to consolidate the Central student population with the Ozen students at the Ozen campus. Katy ISD now has its own self-contained district as Houston Strake Jesuit moves over to 23-6A with Alief ISD, Pearland ISD, George Ranch and Brazoswood, while Humble and Pasadena ISD combined to constitute a new District 22-6A. Of note both Pearland ISD schools will be under new coaches in 2018.
The Bobcats took the state by storm in the playoffs rolling to six straight impressive wins and the school (and Cy Fair ISD’s) first state championship a year ago. A wonderful group of seniors has moved on, but the Bobcats have tradition on their side and are brimming with confidence. The cupboard is far from empty. RB Jaelon Woods is set to carry the mantle in the Bobcats ground based scheme and talented sophomore L.J. Johnson appears more than capable of chipping in as well. WR Christian Richmond is a dynamic big play threat and kick returner and will be the homerun threat. Only three return on the defensive side of the ball but they are quality returners led by LB Tre’Von Mosley and Payton Tally. Don’t expect this Cy-Fair team to run the table, but once playoff time hits they’ll once again be a tough out because their defense and running game will keep them in every game.
There’s three truths in this world it seems, death, taxes and Katy football. That adage should prove to be true again in 2018 as the Tigers appear to be the team to beat in Region III. It helps of course to have the services of dynamic senior RB Deondrick Glass, who despite battling injuries a year ago ran for 1,672 yards and 26 touchdowns. When healthy he’s one of the nation’s top backs. Jordan Patrick had eight touchdown catches last year and is the top target in the passing game for talented sophomore QB Bronson McClelland who impressed in limited action as a freshman. The Tigers suffered some heavy graduation losses on the defensive side of the ball, but Katy seems to always have an abundance of talented defensive lineman and solid linebackers. They do have a couple of dynamic playmakers in the secondary returning in Jilani Angulo and Kaden Gonzales who combined for six interceptions last year.
Galena Park North Shore
The Mustangs showed that even with significant youth in key positions, they still have the ability to be a contender in Region III as they managed a run to the third round of the playoffs while being led by a freshman QB. That freshman QB is no ordinary freshman as Dematrius Davis put up some impressive numbers in the Mustangs three playoff games and heads into 2018 with confidence and now some varsity experience under his belt. Three starters are back on the offensive line. RB Zach Evans had a strong sophomore season earning first team all-district honors and is back as well, so expect a big uptick in offensive production in 2018. The anchor for North Shore remains its fearsome defense which brings back productive defensive lineman in Jordan Revels and Tony Bradford along with a talented young secondary.
After a disappointing 2017 season, there’s renewed optimism in Pearland as new head coach Ricky Tullos takes the reins of the Oilers. Pearland has some offensive firepower back as eight starters return led by a three-year starter at RB in Jaelin Benefield. Also back in the fold is QB Austin Landry who gives PHS plenty of balance. Pearland’s switching to a power spread offensive attack and that identity could really fit the Oilers personnel. The Oilers’ new mentality also likely shifts over to the defensive side of the ball as I expect to see an aggressive defensive unit that takes advantage of Pearland’s traditionally good size combined with athletes who can make plays in space.