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VYPE PREVIEW -- District 23-5A
July 13, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - West Houston
By Randy McIlvoy
Ronald Monroe, Bush, QB
Ronald Monroe posses a triple threat for opposing defenses. Monroe stands 6-foot-4 and can see over the line, while his feet enable him to take off during broken plays. His ability to throw in tight spaces is also learned gift. He will have to put all three traits together for Bush to become real playoff players in 2012.
Josh Price, Hightower, LB
Opposing coaches have grown tired of seeing linebacker Josh Price patrolling the Hurricane defense. "He just makes so many plays," one coach said. He shows up on film and reminds some of all-everything linebacker Shaun Lewis, now of Oklahoma State. If Price can hold down the defense while the offense comes together in the preseason, Hightower should win district.
Sam Vollmer, Austin, TE
In the college and professional game, the tight end position is a vital part of offenses. Sam Vollmer is a prototypical 6-foot-5 hybrid athlete, who is used correctly, could be a big weapon for the Bulldogs. He's a solid blocker, but sneaking in the soft spot of defenses for pass-catching opportunities could be important on third-down conversions.
For several years Fort Bend ISD's 23-5A was a 10-team monster, but thanks to recent realignment two teams moved down a class to 4A including Willowridge, leaving the conference with a comfortable eight-team group.
In 23-5A, you must start with the Hurricanes of Hightower, who blew through Region 3 all the way to the Class 5A Division II State Championship game before losing to Southlake Carroll. That success propelled coach Barry Abercrombie into several new coaching opportunities as he left for Klein Forest in the spring. Coach Padriac McGinnis will step in has the Hurricanes new head coach.
Losing their head coach and two big-time playmakers in QB Bralon Addison (Oregon) and RB Joshua Wilhite (Wake Forest) will be tough to replace in 2012. Still firepower is back. RB Jaquinn Henderson was productive and gained a lot of experience on the playoff run along with backup Clone Kinsey. Several cogs in the Hightower defense return including starting linebacker Josh Price. Athletically, the Hurricanes will be the team to beat in 2012.
Fort Bend Bush is coming off an eight-win season and a trip to the playoffs. The Broncos coach Allen Aldridge advanced to the postseason for the first time and will have to reload in key positions to make another run. On offense, Bush will count heavily on QB Ronald Monroe, who accounted for 10 touchdowns while earning 23-5A Newcomer of the Year accolades. Twin brother Donald Monroe, a talented receiver, is recovering from a knee injury sustained in AAU basketball.
Meanwhile the Elkins Knights and Coach Dennis Brantley welcome back five starters on offense but will have to rebuild their defense. On offense, WR J’monn Moore was a top target in 2011. He'll need to step it up for Elkins' new QB Johnathan Giles who will be tested early. In a tough district race, Elkins will need to stay healthy and rely on newcomers to elevate their game quickly and keep the Knights' postseason tradition alive.
The Austin Bulldogs finished 4-6, 3-2 but missed out on a tiebreaker to advance, but 2012 looks promising as coach Dan Schreiber is excited about the return of 15 starters from 2011. The Dogs are strong up on the offensive line, which is music to the ears of the Austin running back corps whowill rotate to keep a balance. The keys to the Bulldog offense will belong to new QB Sean Aboderin and he'll enjoy the company of WR targets including top returning receiver Josh Kenebrew, who is a good route running with good speed.
Travis coach Randy Cunningham lost some firepower from last year's 4-6 team that just missed a playoff trip after finishing 2-3 in 23-5A. The Tigers receiving corps is solid with the return of veterans Cody Moncure, who had a big 2011 campaign and has a 6-foot-3 frame to throw to. Defensively, Travis has a group of playmakers that will get the job done. Will it be enough to make a playoff push? Coach Cunningham will find out quickly.
Dulles is a team to watch out for in 2012. Coach Jim Creech is high on his offensive talent after watching the Vikings enjoy 7-on-7 successes this summer. Creech's club finished 4-7 last season but was a playoff team after going 3-2 in district play. Vikings' QB Robert Harris lacks extended experience but he makes up for it with athletic ability and growth this summer. Vikings' RB Jaylon Jones returns after rushing for six touchdowns in 2011. Dulles will rely heavily on their defensive stars to step up and make plays as well. Guys like senior DB Maurice Smith will lead by example.
At Kempner, coach Darrin Andrus looks to build off of last year's 3-7 record by welcoming back nine starters including five on the defensive side. The Cougars are strong at linebacker and in the secondary and will have capable players to step up and dominate. Staying healthy on a relatively young roster will be the keys to Kempner's success in 2012
Meanwhile, the rebuilding efforts continue at Clements where the Rangers are coming off a disappointing 1-9 season under coach Keith Knowles. Some experience is coming back in the form of 10 starters, which gives Clements hope of a turnaround in 2012. Knowles will rely on running back DeMarcus Cobb to have another breakout season. He finished with four touchdowns and just under 600 yards on the ground. Challenging for a playoff spot is unrealistic but progress in the win column is very attainable at Clements in 2012.