High School Football

2020 KATY ISD FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Katy ISD reaching strides as area football power

By Dennis Silva II | Sports Editor
Posted 9/23/20

Since 2015, Katy ISD has produced a state champion in the legendary 2015 Katy Tigers, and state semifinalists in the ’16 Cinco Ranch Cougars, the ’17 Tigers and the ’19 Taylor Mustangs.

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High School Football

2020 KATY ISD FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Katy ISD reaching strides as area football power


Since 2015, Katy ISD has produced a state champion in the legendary 2015 Katy Tigers, and state semifinalists in the ’16 Cinco Ranch Cougars, the ’17 Tigers and the ’19 Taylor Mustangs.

Another program, Tompkins, has won 21 games over the last two seasons and reached the regional semifinals in each. Morton Ranch has made multiple playoff appearances since 2015. And even the new kid on the block, Paetow High, entering its third season of varsity ball, produced 11 wins in its first two seasons playing with the big boys and was one game away from a district championship in the second.

The district is much more than a one-team show in the Tigers, contrary to popular outside opinion. Katy ISD’s four Class 6A playoff qualifiers last season swept their Fort Bend ISD friends in the bi-district round of the playoffs, and three of those teams advanced to the regional semifinals. It’s as competitive, top to bottom, as it has been in quite some time, and this season will be no different.

However, fact remains that the Tigers are the class of the district. Katy owns a 73-game district winning streak and 11 consecutive district titles. The Tigers have not lost a district game since Nov. 8, 2008, a 27-21 setback to Cinco Ranch. They are the face of Katy ISD until further notice.

The following previews Katy’s ISD’s eight varsity football programs for the 2020 season, beginning with the district’s seven Class 6A teams leading into its lone Class 5A program.

District 19-6A Projections

(Bold Denotes Playoff Teams)




Mayde Creek

Morton Ranch

Seven Lakes

Cinco Ranch


COACH: Gary Joseph (Career record at Katy: 213-21).

ASSISTANT COACHES: Jeryl Brixey, Offensive Coordinator; Gregg Miller, Defensive Coordinator; Tim Ripperger, Assistant Head Coach; Kurt Sloan, Secondary; Robert Ortiz, Offensive Line; Scott Rich, Quarterbacks; Brandon Franklin, Tight Ends; Kevin Garvin, Running Backs; Eric Hammond, Nose Tackles; Brian Price, Wide Receivers; Alex Fisher, Running Backs; Nate Bryan, Offensive Line; Doug Smith, Wide Receivers; JD Williams, Kickers/Punters; AJ Blum, Defensive Line.

2019 RECORD: 12-1, 6A-DI regional semifinalist.



KEY RETURNERS: Dalton Johnson, sr. DB; Cohen Dearman, sr. DE; Ty Kana, jr. LB; Shepherd Bowling, sr. OLB; Bronson McClelland, sr. QB; Fernando Garza, sr. TE; Jalen Davis, sr. RB; Nemanja Lazic, sr. K/P; Fuller Schurtz, sr. WR/K/P.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Arian Parish, so. DB; Ronny Schneider, jr. WR; Nick Anderson, jr. WR.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Running game; Experience at QB; Defensive front seven.


OVERVIEW: The Katy defense this season is loaded. LOADED. … Six players hold high-D1 offers: senior safety Dalton Johnson, senior cornerback Hunter Washington, junior safety Bobby Taylor, junior linebacker Ty Kana, senior linebacker Shepherd Bowling and junior defensive end Malick Sylla. … Johnson (86 total tackles, 2 fumbles caused, 2 INTs) and Kana (95 total tackles) are game-changers. The 6-6, 225-pound Sylla (4 sacks, 2 fumbles caused) has sky-high potential. … Offensively, senior quarterback Bronson McClelland (56.0 completion percentage, 1,689 passing yards, 20 TDs) is a heady signal-caller with an impressive arm, but he’ll need unproven talents like 6-4, 190-pound senior Taylor Saulsberry and 6-2, 170-pound junior Nic Anderson (brother of former RB star Rodney) to lift a receiving corps void of varsity experience. … Senior RB Jalen Davis will be the face of what will again be a potent running attack for Katy. Davis rushed for 946 yards and 12 TDs) and had a breakout postseason last year. Keep an eye on his brother, sophomore Seth Davis, who also has vast potential as a Tigers ballcarrier.



COACH: Chad Simmons (Career record at Taylor: 15-12).

ASSISTANT COACHES: Paul Cochran, Offensive Coordinator/QBs; Travis Sharp, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line; Rob Griffing, Pass Game Coordinator/Inside Receivers/Running Backs; Brian Derringer, Wide Receivers; Heath Iglesias, Offensive Line; Rashad Lee, Inside Receivers/Running Backs; Tony Mardirosian, Wide Receivers; J Jensen, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Ends; Jim Jolley, Linebackers/Kick Coordinator; Jeff Mixon, Cornerbacks; Reggie Taylor, Linebackers; Phil Sanders, Defensive Tackles; Nick Jones, Secondary.

2019 RECORD: 9-6, 6A-DII state semifinalist.



KEY RETURNERS: Hayden Conner, sr. OL; Bryce Foster, sr. OL; Casey Shorter, sr. RB; J Jensen III, sr. QB; Abe Okezie, sr. OL; Nolan Hay, jr. OL: Trevor Woods, sr. S; Cecil Ivey II, sr. CB; Jordan Daniels, sr. DE; Marcus Daniels, sr. DE; Ahmed Thomas, sr. LB; VJ Bronson, sr. DT; Hollis Robinson, jr. DB; Renan Baeta, sr. K.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Andrew Meza, so. RB; Nick Goedde, jr. LB; Michael Whitaker, jr. RB; Joe Jefferson, S/WR; Dylan Spencer, so. WR/DE.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Experience at offensive and defensive lines, quarterback and running back; Elevated expectations from 15-game semifinal run; Third year for kids in the same philosophical and offensive and defensive systems.

PROJECTED CONCERNS FOR 2020: Lack of depth in certain areas; overall team speed.

OVERVIEW: Taylor is riding high after a storybook 2019 campaign produced the program’s first state semifinal appearance. … Offensively, the Mustangs are paced by senior RB Casey Shorter (1,369 yards, 15 TDs) and senior QB J Jensen III (54.9 completion percentage, 2,049 yards, 17 TDs). As skilled as they are, however, they have the luxury of running behind a bruising and dominant offensive line highlighted by seniors Bryce Foster (6-5, 330) and Hayden Connor (6-6, 325; Texas commit). … Taylor graduated four of its top five receivers. Shorter is the top returning receiver with 385 yards and two TDs, so someone(s) will have to step up. Taylor had an underrated receiving corps last season. It was a big-play unit. … Defensively, do-it-all 6-2 senior ballhawk S Trevor Woods (165 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 INTs) is Taylor’s top playmaker and arguably the best defensive player in District 19-6A. … Senior K Renan Baeta is money, making 18 of 24 field goals last season (with a long of 48) and 48 of 50 point-after attempts.



COACH: Todd McVey (Career record at Tompkins: 21-14).

ASSISTANT COACHES: Eric Robinson, Defensive Coordinator; Mark Hopkins, Offensive Coordinator; Eric Mikolajczhak, Offensive Line; Allan Ray, Wide Receivers; Bill Walker, Safeties; David Gonzales, Defensive Line; Derek Ward, Linebackers; Fred Coleman, Cornerbacks; John Hodges, Running Backs; Matt Rhodes, Offensive Line; Shane Weaston, Wide Receivers; Hank Pezold, Linebackers; Jarred Darensbourg, Outside Linebackers.

2019 RECORD: 11-2, 6A-DI regional semifinalist.



KEY RETURNERS: Jalen Milroe, sr. QB; Marquis Shoulders, sr. RB; Conner Monroe, sr. OL; Tyler DeVries, sr. OL; Cole Francis, jr. QB; Tyler Lynch, jr. OL; Aaron Holzer, sr. OL; Luke Snyder, jr. OL; Colby Huerter, sr. S; Dru Polidore, sr. CB; Et-ini Bassey, jr. NG; Temisan Alatan, sr. OLB; Bryce Shaink, jr. LB; Kobee Madriz, sr. LB; Mason Young, sr. LB; Justin Bevrotte, sr. DE; Koronje Gilbert, sr. CB; Jeremiah Ageh, sr. DE; Nikolai Tamula, sr. DE; Jeremy Tas, sr. OLB; Josh White, sr. OLB; Hunter Huckaby, sr. K.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Ethan Vasquez, sr. OL; Sean Dubose, jr. DE; Collin Marshall, jr. WR; Ashton Vasquez, jr. WR; Daniel Crain, sr. WR; Brady Douglass, sr. RB; Caleb Karonka, sr. RB; Sherman Smith, sr. RB; Joshua McMillan II, jr. WR; Nathen Vines, sr. S.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Senior leadership; Team culture.

PROJECTED CONCERNS FOR 2020: Young offensive line and inexperience; Replacing key three-year starters.

OVERVIEW: Tompkins only returns two offensive starters from last year’s program-best team, but the Falcons still have senior QB and Alabama commit Jalen Milroe calling the shots. Arguably the most talented player in the district, the 6-2, 195-pound Milroe threw for 2,689 yards and 29 TDs on a 61.8 completion percentage and rushed for 300 yards and seven more TDs in 2019. … Senior RB and Tulsa commit Marquis Shoulders (1,050 rushing yards, 13 TDs; 168 receiving yards, 3 TDs) had a breakout year last season as a No. 2 back and should be a more integral part of the Falcons’ passing game this season. … The offense will be aided by two key transfers: shifty senior RB Sherman Smith is explosive when he gets to the second level of the defense, and speedy junior WR Joshua McMillan II adds some juice to a position group that graduated its top four receivers. … Defensively, Tompkins will be stout. Senior DB Colby Huerter (96 total tackles, INT, fumble caused, fumble recovered) is a playmaking stat-stuffer, and he’ll lead a unit that features junior LB Temisan Aliban (78 total tackles, 2 fumbles caused), senior S Dru Polidore (46 total tackles, 2 INTs) and senior LB Kobee Madriz (93 total tackles, INT). 



COACH: Brian Randle, First Year at Mayde Creek.

ASSISTANT COACHES: Brooks Haack, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks; Phil Wilson, Assistant Head Coach/Inside Receivers; Javarris Williams, Offseason Coordinator/Running Backs; George Conway, Outside Receivers; Jonathan Gordon, Tight Ends; Lee Mattingly; Rashad Bobino, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs; Tracy Robertson, Defensive Line; Preston Rambo, Safeties; Taylor Johnson, Director of Operations/Defensive Assistant; Lance Watkins, Defensive Line; Jalon Leviege, Linebackers; Zach Perez-Clack, Defensive Line; Chris White, Defensive Backs.

2019 RECORD: 9-3, 6A-DII area finalist.



KEY RETURNERS: Julius Loughridge, sr. RB; L’Den Skinner, sr. WR; Joseph Kinyock, sr. S; Max Dietz, sr. DS; Gabriel Quezada, sr. DL.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Jace Wilson, sr. QB; Chris Brown, jr. DB; Donovan McKey, so. LB; Elijah Heyward, sr. DB.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Running Backs; Wide Receivers.

PROJECTED CONCERNS FOR 2020: Depth; Young at key positions.

OVERVIEW: The 2019 campaign was a banner one for Mayde Creek, which had its finest season in 22 years. The Rams went 9-3 and won their first playoff game since 1997. … However, it’s a new start for Mayde Creek in 2020. Head coach Mike Rabe departed to take over Jordan High, the district’s ninth high school that opened in August, and in is former Alief Taylor leader Brian Randle. … Randle’s program lives by a 3P-T philosophy: Purpose, Passion, Productivity and Tradition. His style is to emphasize core beliefs that he believes will help kids in life. … “Teach them how to get passionate about their purpose, so they can’t help but be productive citizens and go forth creating new traditions of their own in life,” Randle said. … Randle does not lack talent in the cupboard, and that is highlighted by dynamic talents RB Julius Loughridge (1,527 yards, 14 TDs), senior 6-2 WR L’Den Skinner and senior S Joseph Kinyock (101 total tackles, 4 INTs). … A pivotal boon will be transfer QB Jace Wilson, previously of Del Valle High. Wilson threw for 2,526 yards and 27 TDs to six INTs last season and is verbally committed to Furman. Wilson has quickly enamored himself with his new coaching staff, and he was voted as one of four team captains by his teammates. ... The Rams also have one of the top long snappers in the Houston area in 6-2, 175-pound senior Max Dietz.



COACH: Ron Counter (Career record at Morton Ranch: 13-16).

ASSISTANT COACHES: Ryan Gloston, Defensive Coordinator; David Hicks, Defensive Line; Blake Scott, Linebackers; David Satcher, Defensive Backs; Matt Sciba, Offensive Coordinator; Jarred Salubi, Running Backs; Daniel Pacer, Wide Receivers; Ron Moore, Offensive Line; Wendell Ishee, Offensive Line; David Baldwin, Freshmen Coach; Donald Mackey, Freshmen Coach; Jim Janczak, Freshmen Coach; Zach Vanselow, Freshmen Coach.

2019 RECORD: 5-5.



KEY RETURNERS: Jaymarcus Wilson, QB; Karsten Christopher, RB; Jermichael Johnson, WR; Jaelon Davis, WR; Zjorey Ross, FB; Aaron Session, OT; Eric Ramos, C; Nate Castillo, DE; Josh Brown, DT; Jacoby Graham, DE; Sam Hampton, LB; D’shawn Winfield, DB.

KEY NEWCOMERS: David Hicks, so. DE; Santana Scott, so. RB.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Good senior class.


OVERVIEW: Morton Ranch has gone 5-5 each of the last two seasons, heartbreakingly on the brink of the playoffs each time. This year, the Mavs could break through. … The centerpieces of the upstart Mavericks are senior QB Jaymarcus Wilson, a dynamic dual threat; senior 6-0, 205-pound LB Sam Hampton; and junior RB Karsten Christopher. The offensive line is buoyed by senior high-DI prospect Aaron Sessions (6-6, 285). … Sessions has more than 20 NCAA Division I offers. Not only is he a load on the field, he’s just as impactful off it. He boasts a 29 ACT score and is a 4.0 student. … Be on the lookout for 6-2, 225-pound sophomore DE David Hicks, who has the potential to cause havoc against any offensive front with his athleticism and size. … Coach Counter said the junior class is not as strong as the senior or sophomore classes, so youth will be a factor. Depth will be as well. Morton Ranch has the smallest enrollment number in Katy ISD.



COACH: Jimmy Hamon (Career record at Seven Lakes: 10-11).

ASSISTANT COACHES: Phil Dober, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers; Matt Hoelscher, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line; Dave Flora, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends; Bill Garrey, Quarterbacks; Robert Koy, Wide Receivers; Kris O’Neal, Running Backs; David Cooper, Defensive Line; Mike Rivera, Outside Linebackers; Ronnie Humphrey, Defensive Backs; Royal Thomas, Freshmen Offense; Nick Barrios, Freshmen Defense; Bill Addison, Freshmen Defense; Andrew Arcuri, Freshmen Defense.

2019 RECORD: 4-6.



KEY RETURNERS: Milton Jones, sr. RB; Nick David-West, sr. RB; Sam Treadaway, sr. OT; Cristian Beltran, senior QB; Hayden Pratt, sr. DL; Adam North, sr. ILB; Brendan Sides, sr. TE; Scott Stanford, jr. QB/ATH; DJ Nechvatal, jr. OL; Keegan Sneedon, jr. K/P.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Kane Stroman, sr. LB; Austin Thomas, sr. TE; Jeremy Foster, sr. LB; Austin Crowell, sr. FB.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Running game with two three-year lettermen at RB; Improved offensive line; Quarterbacks; Kicking game.

PROJECTED CONCERNS FOR 2020: Defensive line; Linebackers; Receivers.

OVERVIEW: Senior QB Cristian Beltran (1,273 yards, 8 TDs) has the benefit of a year’s experience of varsity under his belt, and he’ll have help once again in senior RBs Milton Jones (805 yards, 12 TDs) and Nick David-West (364 yards, 4 TDs). Stability is not an issue in the Spartans’ offensive backfield. … The 5-10, 185-pound David-West is also the team’s top returning receiver (96 yards). … Hamon is confident his team will be able to run the ball effectively, but a No. 1 receiver is needed. … The offensive line, anchored by senior 6-5, 240-pound tackle Sam Treadaway, is young. Defensively, Seven Lakes will be led by senior LB Adam North (44 tackles) and senior DL Hayden Pratt. … Six of Seven Lakes’ defensive front seven graduated from last season, so senior LBs Kane Stroman and Jeremy Foster are expected to step up and contribute. … The Spartans also graduated three of four starting linebackers from last season. … Hamon is excited about kicker Keegan Sneedon, who has a big leg. With another year of weight training and maturity for the junior, Hamon expects great things from him. … Hamon is proud of his players’ “no-nonsense” work ethic and willingness to put team above self. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown of the 2019-2020 school year, the Spartans were having their best offseason in the three years Hamon has been at Seven Lakes. After-school participation in open weight room and track and field was the highest it has ever been.



COACH: Chris Dudley (Career record at Cinco Ranch: 0-10).

ASSISTANT COACHES: John Rowland, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line; David Park, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties; Curt Faigle, Assistant Head Coach/Receivers; Larry Edmondson, Quarterbacks; Jon Edwards, Running Backs; Mike Thompson, Receivers; Keith Hutson, Offensive Line; J.D. Fincher, Defensive Ends; John Lanza, Defensive Tackles; Drew Armendinger, Linebackers; Jerold Gaitan, Safeties; Zach Velliquette, Cornerbacks; Bruce Hayes, Kickers.

2019 RECORD: 0-10



KEY RETURNERS: Ethan Onianwa, sr. OL; Increase Oputa, sr. DE; Kasey Murry, jr. LB; Caleb Leapheart, sr. RB; Evan Dunn, sr. DB; Landon Parrish, jr. FB; Austin James, jr. TE; Odera Nsobundu, jr. DB; Colby Millenbruch, sr. OL; Lane Staton, sr. FB; Nathan Cai, jr. RB; Grayson Medford, jr. WR; James Geyser, sr. OL; Fordham Parks, jr. DB; Zach Dycus, jr. DE.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Gavin Rutherford, so. QB; Gabe Simmons, jr. QB; Grayson Williams, jr. WR; Seth Salverino, so. WR; Noah Abboud, so. WR; Eric Ekstrom, so. DB; Rhett Cox-Rodabough, jr. DT; Tyler Miller, jr. OL.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: More depth; More athleticism at skill spots.

PROJECTED CONCERNS FOR 2020: Only 21 returning lettermen; Relying on sophomores to grow up quickly.

OVERVIEW: The young Cougars went winless in coach Chris Dudley’s first year at the helm of the program as a plethora of young players went through varsity growing pains. … The Cougars’ marquee talents are 6-5, 305-pound senior OL Ethan Onianwa, a Rice verbal commit who also has offers from Baylor, Arizona and Arizona State, among others, and junior 5-9, 185-pound LB Kasey Murry (72 tackles, 5 sacks), who makes up for a lack of size with big talent and a bigger heart. … Senior QB Evan Dunn and senior RB Caleb Leapheart showed promise in spurts last season. … Dudley said his team has turned the corner the last couple of years in the areas of accountability and commitment. Players are buying into a positive culture.


District 10-5A, Division I

(Bold Denotes Playoff Teams)


Richmond Foster




Richmond Kempner

Rosenberg Terry

Houston Milby

Houston Wisdom


COACH: BJ Gotte (Career record at Paetow: 11-10)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Jason Hinkelman, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties; Joe Longacre, Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends; Corey Connolly, Running Backs; Lane O’Connor, Quarterbacks; Dustin Moehlig, Wide Receivers; John Boodon, Inside Linebackers; Jamie Bridges, Offensive Line; Matt Beeler, Defensive Line; Chris Maust, Outside Linebackers; Phillip Chatman, Defensive Line; Alonzo Adams, Cornerbacks; Mike Chaudron, Offensive Line.

2019 RECORD: 8-3, 5A-DII bi-district finalist.



KEY RETURNERS: C.J. Dumas, jr. QB; Damon Bankston, sr. RB; Demetrius Elko, sr. C; Randle Kelly, sr. FB; James Bailey, jr. OL; Anthony Fuentes Porter, jr.; Agumba Otuonye, sr. DL; Andrew Rutherford, sr. DL; Michael Jordan, jr. DB.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Jacob Brown, jr. RB; Tyler Collinsworth, jr. WR; Sultan Bakare, jr. LB; David Murray, sr. TE.

PROJECTED STRENGTHS FOR 2020: Experience from the program’s first four-year senior class; Underclassmen experience.

PROJECTED CONCERNS FOR 2020: Experienced players stepping up and becoming playmakers; Consistent leadership throughout the season.

OVERVIEW: Paetow moves up to Class 5A-Division I after making the playoffs in 5A-DII in just its second year of varsity football last season. The Panthers won eight games and were in the district title race up until the final week of the season. … Senior 5-11, 175-pound RB Damon Bankston is a versatile speedster that produces anywhere you put him on the field and has a natural flair for finding the end zone. He ran for 1,097 yards and eight touchdowns, caught 13 balls for 286 yards and four touchdowns, and averaged 37.7 yards and scored twice on nine kickoff returns. … Bankston provides a perfect dynamic with blossoming junior 6-2, 190-pound QB C.J. Dumas Jr., who completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 1,248 yards and 23 touchdowns to just five interceptions. … Senior FB Randle Kelley is invaluable with his blocking and short-yardage efficiency. Though he only carried the ball 20 times, Kelley scored five touchdowns. … Defensively, the Panthers have a dominant front with 6-2, 265-pound senior end Agumba Otuonye (18 tackles for loss, 3 sacks) and senior tackle Andrew Rutherford (61 total tackles, 5 sacks). Junior DB Michael Jordan could be in line for a breakout year. … Coach Gotte has done an admirable job establishing a no-nonsense culture during the Panthers’ first two years as a varsity program. Hard work, discipline and unity define Paetow football, and Gotte’s M.O. is primarily ensuring that his players stand firm on those beliefs despite the competitive disadvantages of opening a new school.

Katy ISD, High school football, Katy High School, Katy Tigers, Cinco Ranch High School, Cinco Ranch Cougars, Morton Ranch High School, Morton Ranch Mavericks, Mayde Creek High School, Mayde Creek Rams, Paetow High School, Paetow Panthers, Seven Lakes High School, Seven Lakes Spartans, Taylor High School, Taylor Mustangs, Tompkins High School, Tompkins Falcons, District 19-6A


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