The 2016 season will present a new challenge for Manvel head coach Kirk Martin and his Mavericks.
Because of the opening of the the Shadow Creek High School, the Mavs will compete at the Class 5A level after being in 6A the past four years where they advance to the Class 6A Region III Div. II finals for three of the past four years. The Mavs fell all three times to the Katy Tigers keeping them out of the 6A Div. II state semifinals and possible state finals.
Now that the Mavs have moved down a class, they still will need a supreme effort as they have one of the toughest non-district schedules facing the Crosby Cougars in the home opener. They will then take on defending 6A Div. I state champion North Shore and No. 5 state-ranked Pearland.
Here’s a look at the Crosby Cougars and the Manvel Mavericks on Friday, Aug. 26 at Alvin Memorial Stadium at 7:00 p.m.
Crosby Cougars – District 21-5A
The Crosby Cougars were 11-1 last season and are considered a strong contender to challenge for the Class 5A Division II state championship.
Head coach Jeff Riordan has six offensive and four defensive starter returning with 27 lettermen.
QB Mannie Netherly (6-3, 190) moves to quarterback after getting 1,067 yards receiving for 18 TDs his junior season. The all-around athlete will be an immediate threat that most defenses won’t be prepared for early in the season. RB Carlos Grace (5-9, 175) will be the other offensive threat as he gained 971 yards rushing for 13 TDs.
Players to watch include: WR Shammah Gray-Brooks (6-1, 175), WR/P Jordan Hill (6-3, 175), LB Alec Lewis (6-0, 195), RB Craig Williams (5-9, 175), OL Danny Guajardo (6-1, 305), DB Austin Palmer (5-9, 155), LB Hunter Houser (6-1, 185), DL Devyn Henson (6-0, 260), and DB Taylor Perry (5-9, 180).
Manvel Mavericks – District 23-5A
The opening of Shadow Creek High School pulled enrollment numbers from Manvel High School thus sending the Mavericks down to Class 5A.
Manvel has only three offensive and three defensive starters returning with 28 lettermen from a team that was 11-3 in 2015. The Mavs advanced to the 6A Region III Div. II finals where they lost for the third consecutive time to eventual 2015 state champion Katy.
Manvel head coach Kirk Martin may have to do the best coaching he has ever been faced with entering the 2016 football season.
Martin lost a boatload of talent that advanced to the next level leaving him very little experience.
One key offensive starter will be WR Keylon Stokes (5-10, 170) who had 463 yards receiving for 5 TDs.
OL Colby Thomas (6-3, 280), OL Logan Tonini (6-4, 310), WR Jalen Preston (6-3, 215), RB Sam Smith, WR Arik Bennett, WR Caleb Blanton, and WR Cam Scott will have to assume the offensive leadership.
Defensively, the Mavs are in the same boat as they have very little experience on that side of the ball.
S Derrick Tucker (6-3, 205) had five interceptions last season and will be the defensive leader. Others that Martin will look to are: DL Koby Foster (6-2, 315), OLB Brian Johnson (6-2, 185), LB Trent Serato, LB Depriet Taylor, and DL Lance Bryant.
Manvel will be looking to tradition to carry them this year.
Story by Dr. David Davis