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VYPE 5A -- No. 8 The North Shore Mustangs
July 16, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - East Houston
North Shore Mustangs
The History Lesson
2011 Overall Record: 8-4
Head Coach: David Aymond
Postseason: Reached the Area Finals
By Matt Malatesta
CUTLINE: Earnest Thomas, Micah Thomas, Zach Whitley and Najee Toran want a district championship.
The North Shore Mustang fieldhouse has been home to literally hundreds of college-bound football players, who have spanned as far as the University of Hawaii and North Dakota State to Florida State and Alabama. The North Shore "Wall of Fame" says it all as does the sign on the building that commemorates their 2004 state championship.
The school also holds the longest consecutive regular-season winning streak in Texas Class 5A football history.
Quite a resume for one of the state's top programs. But it wasn't always that way at North Shore. Here's some perspective. Prior to 1994, North Shore had never been to the playoffs in the school's 31-year history. Coach David Aymond took over in 1994 and he has directed the Mustangs to 18 consecutive playoff appearances and an 182-39 record. You might need to re-read that.
"We've done it pretty quietly over here on the east side of Houston," Aymond said.
Their state-of-the-art facilities have been the "residue of winning" over the past 18 seasons as well as expectations.
"We deal in the present," he said. "Over the past few seasons we haven't been district champs. We want to get back to that and I'm excited about this year's team because we are under the radar."
The Mustangs return nine starters from 2011 and welcome back playmaker Micah Thomas to run the offense. Thomas, who missed games and played through a broken thumb a year ago, appears healthy and ready for the new campaign.
"We haven't had a difference-maker like Micah at quarterback since Bobby Reid in 2004," Aymond said. "He has all the qualities and he's incredibly fast."
Thomas will receive protection from the likes of juniors Najee Toran and Trevon Tate, the future of the famous North Shore offensive line that has produced dozens of talented college players.
Coach Aymond is also high on Kevian Deleon who has a nose for the big-play and the end zone. He is complemented by Derrick Gillis and Joe Butler in a solid receiving corps. But everyone knows that North Shore likes to grind it out and will do so with Jared Pendleton, Tristen Houston and Justin Green.
North Shore also loves to get after their opponents on defense. The Mustang defense, under the direction of coach Jon Kay, is one of the most physical units in the state of Texas.
Starting from the backend of the defense is cornerback Earnest Thomas, who has become a highly-regarded recruit of late. It is time for Zach Whitley to dominate the middle of the field. The 6-foot-2 heat-seeking missile has all the tools to be a major BCS recruit and has already been offered by Texas A&M. Ronzel Jones is a little undersized but had over 100 tackles a year ago. If North Shore has a weak spot it's in the defensive line, where several newcomers will have to be prepared come Week 0.
The health of Micah Thomas is important. If the young and talented offensive line can give him a crease, he will be able to operate. Having a stable of backs in important, and holding onto the ball at the receiver spot is key. The defense will be inexperienced but has dynamic individual pieces to cover any deficiencies. The coaching staff is ridiculously prepared week in and week out.
The 2012 Schedule
8/31 Clear Springs
9/07 @ Manvel
9/14 Cinco Ranch
9/21 @ Houston Madison
9/28 @ Channelview
10/12 Pasadena Memorial
10/19 @ Baytown Sterling
10/26 Beaumont Westbrook
11/02 @ La Porte
11/09 Deer Park