Page 1

VARSITY Page 1B • The Leader • August 30, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com

KICKOFF 2012

LUTHERAN HIGH NORTH LIONS Toughest opponent for Lutheran North may just be itself by Michael Sudhalter sports@theleadernews.com The Lutheran North High School football team finished 28 last season, but the Lions have a great chance to match that win total before mid-September. They’ll open the season against a pair of TAPPS Division III opponents — on Aug. 31 vs. Galveston O’Connell, which finished 3-7 last season; they’ll travel to Bay Area Christian, a squad that went 4-6 in 2011, on Sept. 7. “I expect Bay Area to be a tough opponent for us this season,” Lutheran North second-year head football coach Thump Phillips said. “It’s always crucial to start off with a victory. You want to get the momentum going.” That will be key when the Lions open TAPPS Division II-District 4 competition on Sept. 28 at Second Baptist. The Lions went 0-7 in TAPPS II-4, one of the toughest districts in the state that included Tomball Concordia Lutheran, the D-II state runner-up squad that has since moved up to TAPPS Division I. The top four teams in the seven-team district will advance to the postseason. “I feel we will be able to compete with the teams at the top of our district this year, which tells you how confident I am in our young players” Phillips said. “Making the playoffs is our team goal this season, and all we have to do is not beat ourselves. If we eliminate the mental mistakes, we

GO LIONS

KEEP YOUR COOL THIS SEASON.

If we eliminated the mental mistakes, we will be fine. • Thump Phillips LNHS Head Coach

will be fine.” Lutheran North returns four starters, including three on offense. “Team strengths for us this season will be at the skill positions,” Phillips said. Leading the way will be senior wide receiver Brandon Slater, who played quarterback and wide receiver last season, is a preseason nominee for the Greater Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Private School Player of the Year. Slater will catch passes from sophomore quarterback Nelson Gunnell, who according to Phillips, “demonstrates every quality you look for in a quarterback.” Senior offensive lineman Van Jones is a team captain and fouryear varsity letterman, and “physical run blocker”, junior Eric Hill, according to Phillips. Junior defensive back D.J. Johnson is a leader in the defensive backfield, and sophomore Nick Rangel, according to Phillips, is “a linebacker who is as tough as they come.”

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Page 2B • The Leader • August 30, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com

REAGAN HIGH BULLDOGS Experience could mark biggest change for Reagan Bulldogs by Michael Sudhalter sports@theleadernews.com Last season, the Reagan High School football team advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2004 and defeated fellow Houston ISD opponent, Worthing, in the first round of the UIL Class 4A, Division I playoffs. They lost to eventual 4A-I state runner-up Pearland Dawson in the second round but managed to finish with a winning record at 7-5. Bulldogs fourth-year head coach Stephen Dixon is confident that things are just getting started for a team that returns seven starters on each side of the ball. “Overall, we got better week-byweek last year as a team,” Dixon said. “This year, there’s a possibility that we could be much better than we were (early in the season) last year. Even though they were younger kids, we had more talent than we had in previous years and a lot more dedication than we had in previous years.” The Bulldogs will get tested immediately when they host Houston Westside, the Class 5A-District 20 runner-up last season, at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at Delmar Stadium. “They’ll have some talented kids this year,” Dixon said. “I felt like we had to step up and play some better competition this year.” Reagan will travel to Houston Jones at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Barnett Stadium. The Class 3A Falcons finished 3-6 last season. Those games should prepare the Bulldogs for the Class 4A-District 21 opener on Sept. 14 at North Forest, which finished 4-6 last fall. “This year is wide open,” Dixon said.“I see everybody’s predictions and some people have predicted us second or third. The team that everybody’s overlooking is North Forest, and they’re not even picked to make the playoffs.” Dixon, a former University of Houston defensive lineman, expects big things from junior quarterback Tyron Washington, who passed for 1,900 yards and

PROFILE:

I felt like we had to step up and play some better competition this year. • Stephen Dixon Reagan Head Coach

23 touchdowns last season, and is highly qualified to run the Spread Offense. “I think he could throw for well over 2,500 yards this year if we give him time to pass the ball,” Dixon said. Freshman quarterback Rondle Johnson could also take some snaps this season for the varsity. “He’ll be one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Texas going forward,” Dixon said. “Mentally, he’s a tough kid. He gets better week by week...he’ll be a scholarship type quarterback very, very soon.” The Bulldogs’ quarterbacks will have all-state offensive line Gewhite Stallworth blocking for them and anchoring a young, but talented offensive line. Wide receivers include senior Joseph Dehn, who caught seven touchdown passes last fall, Malcolm LaFleur and Dixon’s son, Stephen Dixon Jr. “It’s a joy coaching my own son,” Dixon said. “I’m a lot tougher on him than I probably am on everybody else.” The Bulldogs run some I-formation, but Dixon expects more of a “running back by committee” this season with Daniel Teal and defensive back Tavon Dodd among others getting carries. Reagan’s 4-2-5 defense will be led by Dodd, and linebackers senior Jalen Wells, and junior Trevor O’Reilly. “At this point in time, the defense will be ahead of the offense,” Dixon said after the Bulldogs’ scrimmage against Houston Furr on Aug. 18.

REAGAN HIGH 2012 SCHEDULE Sept. 1 vs. Westside (Delmar), 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at Jones (Barnett), 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at North Forest, 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Wheatley (Barnett), 6 p.m. Oct. 4 vs. Milby (Dyer), 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Sharpstown (Butler), 7 p.m. Oct. 20 vs. Austin (Dyer), 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Lee (Delmar), 7 p.m. Nov. 3 vs. Waltrip (Delmar), 6 p.m. Nov. 10 vs. Davis (Delmar), 1 p.m.

It’s history versus the new in Bulldogs’ season opener against Westside High Reagan High School — one of Houston ISD’s most historic schools — will play one of the District’s newest schools, Westside High, for the first time ever at 7 p.m. Saturday at Delmar Stadium. Westside, which opened in Ad # 37318 2000, finished 8-3 for a second

place finish in competitive Class 5A-District 20 last season. “It’ll be a good measure for our program and where we’re headed,” Reagan football coach Stephen Dixon said. “We’re looking forward to a challenge.” Reagan finished 7-5 last season,

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Page 3B • The Leader • August 30, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com

SCARBOROUGH HIGH SPARTANS Coach strives to bring ‘Friday Night’ to Scarborough by Michael Sudhalter sports@theleadernews.com On Sept. 7, the Scarborough High School team will trek down U.S. Hwy. 59 South to play Wharton, a UIL Class 3A regional semifinalist a season ago. They’ll get an up close look at “what true Friday Night Football is about,” said Spartans second-year coach Jayson Merren. That’s exactly what Merren is hoping to build into the Scarborough program. “Wharton is going to be a tough challenge,” Merren said. “But you have to step back and look at what we are trying to accomplish at Scarborough as a school, and that is to try to turn a school around. “As a coach I realize that and want our ‘Friday night participants’ meaning band, ROTC, dance, cheer (to experience Friday Night Football). Wharton is a small town school but will pack the stands. Our kids deserve to be a part of that.” Scarborough, which will compete in Class 3A-District 23 this season, hasn’t won a game since it defeated fellow HISD opponent, Austin, 18-12, in 2009, but the Spartans, who return 10 starters, should be more competitive this year, said Merren. Scarborough will be the first Leader-area school to play this season, with the season opener on Thursday, Aug. 30 vs. Class 4A Houston Lee at Dyer Stadium. It’ll be Lee’s first game at the varsity level since reviving its dormant football program. “I feel we have a chance to compete with Lee, Jones, and Furr,” Merren said. “We have a long way to go and take nothing for granted, those schools have had programs in place and coaches

that know the game. We have a saying, “You cannot win a game on Friday night…..you can only lose it. You win on Friday nights by winning at practice Monday – Thursday.” Merren took over the Spartans’ program last summer after serving as an assistant coach at Class 5A Houston Westside. “I feel now that the kids realize they have a coaching staff in place that is committed helps a lot,” Merren said. “There has been a new head coach here the previous three years. Now that I have been here for a year I feel that they are starting to respond well to having the same faces here day in and day out.” Merren said having a full offseason has helped the Spartans, who will begin 23-3A competition on Sept. 28 at Kashmere, at Delmar Stadium. “Coming over so late last year from Westside I did not have time to put anything new in place,” Merren said. “This year we have had a full summer of workouts and got to hit the ground running with all the changes we have made on the field.” Senior Charlie Everts is the Spartans’ returning rusher, while wide receiver/defensive back William Dancy contributes on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Keyone Polly is expected to contribute in the Spread Offense. Everts and senior Onyx Anderson will lead the new 3-4 defense. “I feel that our strength will be on the defensive side of the ball,” Merren said. The defense is new, but it fits our personnel better by moving to a 3-4 look. If we can manage the offense and not put our defense in tough situations they should give the offense room to work.”

PROFILE:

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Page 4 B • The Leader • August 30, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com

ST. PIUS X HIGH PANTHERS

PROFILE:

Tough schedule just part of special season by Michael Sudhalter sports@theleadernews.com If there’s a TAPPS football team with a tougher schedule than St. Pius X, it’d be difficult to find them. “Our slogan this year is ‘The Journey is the Reward,” St. Pius X second-year head coach Blake Ware said. “It’s about all of the moments put together.” It should be a challenging regular season for the Panthers, who finished 5-7 last season but reached the TAPPS Division I state quarterfinals. Each of their regular season opponents qualified for the postseason in 2011. They’ll open the season against two-time defending SPC champion Kinkaid -- which has lost just one game over the past two seasons – at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at Parsley Field. Then, they’ll make school history when they host Sealy – a UIL Class 3A team that went 83 last season – on a nationally televised game (ESPNU) at 8 p.m. Sept. 6 at Parsley Field. “We want to get as prepared as we can to make a district run and an eventual playoff run,” Ware said. “The reason for the Kinkaid game is because they’ve done some great things in the SPC. We know that the game will make us better. Sealy will do the same thing. They’re well-coached, and they have a lot of skill and size.” Ware said the Panthers, who return 15 starters, are very happy about the nationally-televised game but they’re not overlooking Kinkaid. “While we’re excited about the ESPN game and that experience, we’re more excited for the exposure for our school,” Ware said. “We don’t spend a lot of time talkAd 37277the game against Sealy.” ing#about

St. Pius X will visit La Marque, a UIL Class 4A state semifinalist last season that has moved to 3A this year, on Sept. 28. The top three teams in the Panthers’ four-team district will advance to the postseason. They’ll open district competition against archrival and TAPPS D-I state semifinalist St. Thomas on Oct. 5 at Parsley Field and face the Eagles on the road to close the regular season on Nov. 9 “It’s a game our kids and community look forward to, and it’s the same thing for St. Thomas,” Ware said. “It’s a good, solid rival game. They’re looking to build on what they did last year. Last year was the first time they beat St. Pius X since (2005). They’re probably looking at it as two games they can win, and that’s good for us.” St. Pius X is led by football and baseball prep All-American, quarterback Kohl Stewart, who passed for nearly 3,200 yards and 31 yards in just 11 games last season. Stewart has verbally committed to Texas A&M where he hopes to play both sports. “He’s a kid that has all the dimensions you want a quarterback to have,” Ware said. “A lot of things he checked at the line of scrimmage, because now he knows how to defenses.” Adread # 37305

ST. PIUS X 2012 SCHEDULE Aug. 31 vs. Kinkaid, 7 p.m. Sept. 6 vs. Sealy, 8 p.m. Sept. 14 at Worthing (Delmar), 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at La Marque, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 vs. St. Thomas, 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Beaumont Kelly, 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Tomball Concordia Lutheran, 7 p.m. Oct. 26 vs. Beaumont Kelly, 7 p.m. Nov. 2 vs. Concordia Lutheran, 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at St. Thomas, 7 p.m. Ad # 37275

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to play your defense and get your kids in the right spot. What we have to do is maintain our rules as far as what we’re trying to do defensively. Hopefully, we can contain him and slow him down as much as possible.” Ware said the Panthers are prepared entering the game, following last Thursday’s scrimmage against El Campo.

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St. Pius X will be the first team to get a glimpse of the post-Ford Childress Kinkaid Falcons. Childress, a record-setting quarterback who led the Falcons to consecutive Southwest Preparatory Conference championships now is a freshman quarterback at West Virginia University. “Coach (Stephen Hill) and his coaching staff do a great job with their kids,” St. Pius X head coach Blake Ware said. “Kinkaid presents a lot of challenges for us.” The Panthers, who finished 5-7 last season, will still have to worry about one of Childress’ favorite targets, senior wide receiver Macan Wilson, a Northwestern commit. “Any time you play a player like him, it’s not a deal where you try to stop him,” Ware said. “You try

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Page 5 B • The Leader • August 30, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com

ST. THOMAS HIGH EAGLES

PROFILE:

So close in 2011, St. Thomas looks to take it all in 2012 The St. Thomas High School football team returns 12 starters – six on each side of the ball – from a team that came within five points of a TAPPS Division I State Championship Game appearance. But the Eagles, who went 86 and lost to eventual D-I state champion Fort Worth Nolan, 7-3, in the state semifinals, will move from last year’s Spread Offense to more of a multiple set this year, including regular formations featuring a tight end and/or a fullback. “We have some guys that played on last year’s team,” St. Thomas first-year head coach Tim Fitzpatrick said. “We’re going to rely on them, and their experience. But that was last year. We’re going to try to get better every week. If (our players) take care of the little things and do what we’re asking you to do, good stuff is going to happen for us as an end result.” Fitzpatrick was the defensive coordinator last season and will retain those duties as head coach. The Eagles will still run the 4-2-5 defense. Offensive line coach Tim Clarkson (run game coordinator) and wide receivers coach A.J. Johnson (pass game coordinator) will collaborate as co-offensive coordinators. Last season, it was head coach Donald Hollas who called the plays on offense. St. Thomas starts 16 seniors, including All-Greater Houston selections Parker White (defensive end), Alex Snyder (offensive line) and Pearson Garnett (strong safety). Eagles junior Chris Zook Jr., who played quarterback for St. Thomas during the playoff run last season, will move to the running back position. “Really, he was (like) a running back -- we snapped him the ball,” Fitzpatrick said. Senior Justin Sebo, who started the season in the pocket, is expected to return there when the

Eagles open the season on Aug. 31 at Rice Consolidated, in Altair. But he’s facing some competition for the starting spot from Garnett and junior Michael Reul, who led the Eagles’ Junior Varsity squad to a 10-0 season last fall. Senior wide receiver Cavan Biggio, the Eagles’ leading receiver last season, has decided to focus on baseball this season. Biggio, who played on two STH State Championship Teams in 2010 and 2011, has verbally committed to the University of Virginia and has a chance to get drafted by Major League Baseball next spring. In addition to playing UIL Class 2A Rice Consolidated, the Eagles will travel to archrival, UIL Class St. Thomas High School’s artificial turf field was replaced over the sum5A Strake Jesuit on Sept. 7. The mer due to a defect in materials. The team moved their first scrimmage on Eagles haven’t defeated the Cru- August 17 to Crosby as the work crew finished up work at Hotze Field. saders since 1997. (Photo by www.GulfCoastShots.com) “Certainly, it’s in the back of everybody’s mind,” Fitzpatrick said. “But we’re going to treat them like every other opponent. If we take care of our business and do it for four quarters, we have a 5050 chance.” The Eagles will host UIL Class 4A Santa Fe in their home opener on Sept. 14 and welcome UIL Class 3A Huffman-Hargrave, a team that finished 9-3 last fall, on Sept. 21. “All four of those (nondistrict) teams are going to be good tests for us,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re going to have to be ready to play and ready to execute.” In district competition, St. Thomas will face a pair of TAPPS defending state runner-ups twice. They’ll meet Beaumont Kelly (last year’s D-I runner-up) and Tomball Concordia Lutheran (last year’s D-II runner-up). And then there’s archrival, St. Pius X, a D-I state quarterfinalist that’s much improved from last season. “Kelly is unknown because they have a new staff,” Fitzpatrick said. “We know Pius has got a quarterback and receivers. and Concordia Lutheran is a Wing-T team. Every week is going to be preparing for a different look on offense and defense. We’re Ad # 37309 going to have to be adaptable.”

Before & After

ST. THOMAS AT RICE CONSOLIDATED, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY St. Thomas’ Tim Fitzpatrick will make his head coaching debut against the Rice Consolidated Raiders in Altair, 77 miles southwest of Houston. The Eagles’ last trip to Altair

was more than nine months months ago when they defeated Austin St. Michael’s, 13-7, in the TAPPS Division I State Quarterfinals on Nov. 19. Fitzpatrick was the defensive coach then.

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Aug. 31 at Rice Consolidated, 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at Strake Jesuit, 7 p.m. Sept. 14 vs. Santa Fe, 7 p.m. Sept. 21 vs. Huffman-Hargrave, 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at St. Pius X, 7 p.m. Oct. 12 vs. Tomball Concordia Lutheran, 7 p.m. Oct. 19 vs. Beaumont Kelly, 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Tomball Concordia Lutheran, 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at Beaumont Kelly, 7 p.m. Nov. 9 vs. St. Pius X, 7 p.m.

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Page 6B • The Leader • August 30, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com

WALTRIP HIGH RAMS New coach, new era for Waltrip Rams

by Michael Sudhalter sports@theleadernews.com The 2012 season represents a new era for the Waltrip High School football team, with a new head coach and strategic changes on both sides of the ball. “The strength of the team is going to be the offense,” Rams firstyear head coach Milton Dailey said. “We’re running the Spread now and using the passing game more. Our primary goal is to reestablish Waltrip’s winning tradition in the community and to get on a winning track year after year. We want to go all the way to state.” Dailey, who coached the WHS linebackers for the past decade, replaces longtime coach Anthony Zuccarini. All of Dailey’s assistants are new to Waltrip, including offensive coordinator, Searcy Thomas, who had previously served in the same role at Aldine Eisenhower. The new defensive coordinator is Brandon Salinas, a former Waltrip assistant who had been coaching at McDonald Middle School in Katy ISD. “We’re going to have a darn good defense,” Dailey said. “We’ve gone from a blitzing defense to a more contained defense, with more emphasis on linebackers and defensive backs.” Waltrip returns 10 starters from a team that finished 5-6 last season, including 4-2 in district competition. They lost to fellow Houston ISD opponent, Wheatley, the past two years. Now, the Rams and Wildcats are Class 214A opponents and will face each other at 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at Delmar Stadium. Ad # 37314

We’re going to have a darn good defense. We’ve gone from a blitzing defense to a more contained defense, with more emphasis on linebackers and defensive backs.

WALTRIP HIGH SCHOOL 2012 SCHEDULE Sept. 8 at Pasadena, 6 p.m.

• Milton Dailey Waltrip Head Coach Due to University Interscholastic League re-districting, the Rams only have nine regular season opponents this year. They’ll open the season at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at Pasadena, a team that finished 5-5 last season. Then, they’ll visit defending district champion Sharpstown at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Butler Stadium in both teams’ 214A opener. “We’ve started game-planning for the first two games already,” Dailey said. “If we can do what we’re capable of doing, we can finish as high as #1 or #2 in the district.” Senior quarterback Cristian Rodriguez, who threw eight touchdown passes last season, will lead the Spread Offense, alldistrict wide receiver, senior Chris Molony (who caught six touchdown passes last season), returning as the top wide receiver. Junior Nate Washington will move from the quarterback position to wide receiver. “We don’t have to change anything,” Dailey said. “We’ve got the quarterback in place, wide receiv-

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ers in place. All we do is adapt the blocking.” Senior Joshua Helton is expected to lead the running game, while Carlos Carreon, Alvaro Grimaldo and Shaquille Ashton return on the offensive line. Defensively, Dailey expects big things from Kodie Y’Barbo, Micah Lemond, Stephen Mauzy, Daniel Zerangue and Reuben Washington, who was an all-district defenAd # 37278 sive tackle last season.

Waltrip readies for an afternoon practice at the campus field under newly-promoted head coach Milton Daily (center, in tan hat), taking the helm from 21-year veteran Anthony Zuccarini, who retired. The Region III District 21-4A Rams travel to District 23 Pasadena for their opener at Pasadena Memorial stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8.

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Varsity2012  

2012 High School varsity team and schedule information