The Manvel Mavericks and Shadow Creek Sharks have both been projected by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine to win their respective districts and also advance far into the playoffs this upcoming season.
The Mavs enter the 2021 season with a No. 2 state ranking in DCTFM’s Class 5A Division I preseason poll, while the Sharks are 20th in the 6A poll.
The Alvin Yellowjackets, who are in 23-6A with Shadow Creek, are ranked seventh in the district’s eight-team field. Alvin closed last season by ending a 30-game losing streak.
After advancing to the regional finals in 2020, Kevin Hall’s Manvel squad returns 23 lettermen and 12 starters (five on offense and seven on defense) to the fold with linebacker Justin Medlock (6-1, 220, 4.6) earning all-state second team preseason honors on both Campbell’s Super and Class 5A teams.
Medlock missed most of his junior season due to injury.
Joining Medlock as players to watch by the magazine include defensive back Collin Wright (6-0, 190, 4.6), offensive linemen Tevin Shaw (6-5, 310) and Jaden Edmonson (6-1, 285), running backs De`Monte Seymour (5-9, 195, 4.5) and Ty Harris and defensive end J.P. Deeter (6-3, 265, 4.9).
Harris rambled for 1,175 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns last year, while Seymour added 1,004 rushing yards and 14 TD’s. Coming off a 59 tackle and four interception campaign, Wright earned all-state honors, as did Deeter.
Manvel scrimmages Clear Creek Aug. 19 in League City, before opening its season Aug. 27 at Dickinson. The Mavs’ home opener comes a week later on Sept. 3 with Crosby at AISD Freedom Field.
Shadow Creek, who the 5A D-1 crown in 2019, made another deep playoff run with a trip to the D-2 regional semifinals in its inaugural season in 6A. Head coach Brad Butler’s squad returns three starters on both sides of the ball and 28 lettermen overall.
Players to watch include quarterback Duke Butler (6-1, 170, 4.6) who takes over the signal-calling duties after throwing for 198 yards and three TD’s in limited action last season, while Butler is joined by defensive back DeJuan Lewis (5-11, 180, 4.5), offensive lineman Zach Rymer (6-3, 300), defensive lineman Josh Diaz (6-2, 250, 4.9) and wide receiver Lawrence Armstrong (6-1, 175, 4.5).
Kelvon Brown collected 765 yards on the ground and eight TD’s last season and Armstrong hauled in 16 receptions for 276 yards and six TD’s. Lewis, who compiled 66 tackles and one interception, is considered the leader of the Sharks’ defense.
Shadow Creek scrimmages CE King on Aug. 19 at Freedom Field, while also hosting No. 4 state ranked North Shore in a highly anticipated Aug. 27 season opener.
The Sharks then play at Bridgeland on Sept. 4.
The Yellowjackets enter 2021 with new head coach James Gage at the helm. Gage served as the team’s offensive coordinator the season before.
Alvin returns seven players on offense, nine on defense and 25 lettermen overall. Players to watch include athlete Gavin Guthrie (6-2, 205, 4.7), who can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball. Joining Guthrie in the players to watch department are offensive lineman Sebastian Cisneros (6-3, 260), quarterback Trevor Bockel (5-11, 175, 4.8), defensive back Cade Bingham (5-11, 170, 4.7), running back Jordan Torres (6-0, 190, 4.6) and running back/defensive back Kelton Morrison-Coffin (6-0, 185, 4.6).
Running back Cole Erndt (6-2, 190, 4.7) and linebacker Easton Winfield (6-0, 205, 4.7) are considered as the Jackets’ top juniors, while athlete Gabe McFarland (6-0, 170, 4.6) is tabbed as the top sophomore.
Alvin hosts Oak Ridge in an Aug. 20 scrimmage, before opening the regular season Aug. 26 at Stratford and hosting Kempner in its Sept. 3 home opener.