2021 Class 5A Division I Region III Outlook: Predictions for every district, projected playoff matchups and regional winners

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Regional Outlook

In most years a team from the Houston area would be the Region II winner, but a unique quirk of the last realignment makes Region III a much more geographically diverse region that includes teams from the Golden Triangle, Houston, Austin and even the northern reaches of the San Antonio area. A team from the Austin area, Cedar Park took home the regional crown a year ago, but graduation and massive coaching turnover opens the door in 2021 for a new regional winner.

In 9-5A D1 there’s no surprise at the top as Port Arthur Memorial comes in as a pretty sizeable favorite in the district, but the Titans after last year’s bi-district disappointment have their eyes set on playoff success in 2021. There’s a lot of questions behind Port Arthur as five teams have a strong case to be made, I think this may be the year for La Porte to take that next step and move into playoff contention after fading late last year. Beaumont United, if they can answer some questions up front should be poised for another playoff appearance, while Friendswood is tabbed to hold off the GCCISD schools for the final playoff spot.

10-5A D1 is known in the Houston area as the “Little SEC” and although it may not be as tough as a year ago, there’s still plenty of firepower at the top with regional favorite Manvel leading the way. The Mavericks are loaded at nearly every position, but one very key area, the QB spot. If Manvel can settle on a signal caller, the Mavericks are a state title contender. Don’t be surprised if Katy Paetow isn’t far behind, the Panthers were eliminated in the area playoffs due to Covid protocols and this is a dangerous team with unfinished business in 2021. Fort Bend Hightower had a surprise third round playoff run a year ago and despite the coaching change, the Hurricanes get the edge over a young Foster squad.

The Austin area was dominated by Cedar Park a year ago, but change is in the air for the Timberwolves under a new head coach and after the graduation of a large senior class. CPHS is still the favorite in 11-5A Division I, but the gap has closed and the top challenger could be a veteran Weiss squad with eight starters back on both sides of the ball. Georgetown always seems to be in the mix and despite a lot of youth, the Eagles likely will be in the thick of the playoff race along with Pflugerville, Manor and Pflugerville Hendrickson.

12-5A D1 will again be one of the most intriguing to watch in the state as the top five teams in the district are all on paper very evenly matched. New Braunfels Canyon was the real surprise story a year ago as they made then most of their drop from 6A, posting an 11-2 mark before falling to Cedar Park in the regional semifinals. Dripping Springs gets the slight edge for the top slot, but don’t count out fast rising Buda Johnson who returns all 22 starters from a team that just missed out on the playoffs in 2020.

District Predictions

District 9-5A Division I

  1. Port Arthur Memorial
  2. La Porte
  3. Beaumont United
  4. Friendswood
  5. Goose Creek Memorial
  6. Baytown Lee
  7. Baytown Sterling
  8. Galveston Ball


District 10-5A Division I

  1. Manvel
  2. Katy Paetow
  3. Fort Bend Hightower
  4. Richmond Foster
  5. Angleton
  6. Rosenberg Terry
  7. Fort Bend Kempner
  8. Houston Milby
  9. Houston Wisdom


District 11-5A Division I

  1. Cedar Park
  2. Pflugerville Weiss
  3. Georgetown
  4. Pflugerville
  5. Manor
  6. Pflugerville Hendrickson
  7. Leander
  8. Austin Anderson


District 12-5A Division I

  1. Dripping Springs
  2. Buda Johnson
  3. San Antonio Veterans Memorial
  4. New Braunfels Canyon
  5. Seguin
  6. Kyle Lehman
  7. San Antonio Harlandale
  8. San Antonio McCollum

Predicted Playoff Matchups

W9 Port Arthur Memorial vs. F10 Richmond Foster

R12 Buda Johnson vs. T11 Georgetown

W10 Manvel vs. F9 Friendswood

R11 Pflugerville Weiss vs. T12 San Antonio Veterans Memorial

W11 Cedar Park vs. F12 New Braunfels Canyon

R10 Katy Paetow vs. T9 Beaumont United

W12 Dripping Springs vs. F11 Pflugerville

R9 La Porte vs. T10 Fort Bend Hightower


Regional Winner

Manvel over Katy Paetow

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