For the second straight year, the Manvel Mavericks have been projected by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine to make a major run towards a state title.
The 59th edition of the famed publication hit newsstands last week, featuring new Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher on the cover.
Texas Football Magazine also predicted the Mavs winning the 5A Division I Finals in 2017. Manvel came up a little short in the latter forecast, suffering a 53-49 heart breaker to Highland Park. The contest was considered by many to be among the most exciting finishes in UIL state history.
While the Mavs suffered a staggering 49 graduation losses during the offseason and only return three starters and 23 lettermen overall under new head coach Kevin Hall, TFM ranked Manvel only behind Aledo in their Class 5A Division II preseason poll.
The remaining teams in the top 10 include Fort Bend Marshall, A&M Consolidated, Port Neches-Groves, Ennis, Crosby, Corpus Christi Calallen, Marshall (East Texas) and Corsicana. Campbell went with Manvel topping District 11-5A rival FB Marshall in Region III and Aledo claiming the state finals match-up with Manvel.
The Mavs are also projected as the district champion in 11- 5A with the rest of the playoff lineup being Marshall, Houston Waltrip and Houston Waltrip.
Players to watch include defensive lineman Corey Roberson (6-4, 270 pounds, 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash); running backs Garrison Johnson (5-11, 225 pounds, 4.6 seconds in the 40) and Ladarius Owens (5-10, 185 pounds, 4.4 seconds in the 40); linebacker Jermaine Brown (6-0, 190 pounds, 4.3 seconds in the 40); quarterback Josh Coltrin (6-1, 195, 4.7 in the 40); running back/linebacker Donovan Eaglin (5-11, 215, 4.6 in the 40); receiver Jalen Paxton (6-1, 175, 4.5 in the 40); defensive backs Kamryn Alexander and Trevion Robertson; linebacker Devon Roush; offensive linemen Jhase Edwards and Damarius Countee, receiver Eric Hebert and defensive lineman Brian Wilturner.
Owens rushed for 713 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, while Roberson delivered 47 tackles and six sacks on the other side of the ball.
The Mavs open their 2018 season by hosting Clear Lake in the Alvin ISD’s new Heritage complex football stadium, Freedom Field, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. The Manvel-Lake game will be the inaugural gridiron game played in the $42 million facility.
Like their Highway 6 neighbor Manvel, the Alvin Yellowjackets will also be entering the 2018 campaign with a new head coach in Buddy Hardin, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Cy Springs. Unlike the Mavs, though, Campbell forecasts a tough season for Alvin with a seventh place finish in 24-6A.
Clear Springs is tabbed as the team to beat for the district championship followed by Clear Lake, Dickinson and Clear Brook.
Alvin returns four players on offense in their new Wing-T attack, seven on defense and 14 lettermen overall. Players to watch include defensive back Marques Caldwell (6-2, 190, 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash); running back James Smith (5- 10, 170, 4.5 seconds in the 40); offensive linemen Noah Barajas (6-1, 305, 5.5 seconds in the 40), Clay Maus (6-4, 280, 5.4 seconds in the 40) and Nick Touch; defensive linemen Aaron Mata (6-0, 270, 5.4 seconds in the 40), Andrew Solis (6-3, 265, 5.2 seconds in the 40) and Dylan McClain; receivers Tanner Dietrich (5-8, 165, 4.6 in the 40), Andrew Conn and D`... Click here to read full article