Friendswood gets ready for non-district foes

FRIENDSWOOD — Only in their third year of Class 6A competition, the Friendswood Mustangs have proven that they can accept the challenge and be successful.

Throughout the decades, Friendswood has proven that they have the grit and courage to play on the field with anyone. An opponent may have better talent, but they better bring their toughness if they are going to beat Friendswood, because the Mustangs have never backed down from anyone.

Friendswood has three non-district opponents before the district competition begins. The first one is very familiar with the 'Stangs as there have been some monumental games between Friendswood and Texas City -- especially when they were district foes. They are scheduled to open up the season at Friendswood's Henry Winston Stadium on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Texas City Stingarees - District 23-5A

Texas City was 7-4 last season and advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs. They are picked to finish third in their district in 2016 and they will face a former district foe in the Manvel Mavericks who dropped from 6A to 5A after the realignment.

Head coach Leland Surovik will welcome seven offensive and three defensive starter as well as 23 lettermen.

Despite losing 34 seniors to graduation, the Stings will still have a strong return group that will be strong offensively with the defense needing a little time to catch up.

QB DaQuan Thompson (5-10, 190) will guide the offense and will get some help from QB/DB C.J. Yell (5-9, 165), WR Zach Henry (5-11, 180), WR Carlos Frank (5-10, 185), RB/LB Tariq Cooper (6-1, 225), OL Ravion Oliver-Haynes (6-0, 215), OL Zane Ortiz, and TE/DL Anthony Salazar (5-10, 220).

On defense, look for Cooper lead that unit as he had 65 tackles with 16 TFL last season. DL Isaiah Sweed added 5 sacks.

Others who will play a factor in the Texas City fortunes will be DL Andre Smith (5-11, 260) and DB Zion Davis.

Yell had 579 yards rushing last year for 7 TDs and Frank had 221 yards rushing and 3 TDs.

Humble Summer Creek Bulldogs - District 21-6A

Summer Creek didn't make the playoffs after finishing 4-6 overall and 2-4 in district. The Bulldogs have six offensive and four defensive starters returning with 23 lettermen. They are a pre-season fourth place pick in 2016 to advance to the post-season. vIt will be a tough district with Class 6A Div. I North Shore moving into the district along with Humble Atascocita, Kingwood, Channelview, Baytown Sterling, C.E. King, and Goose Creek Memorial.

The offensive line will be one of their strengths as they will be led by OL Kameron Williams (6-4, 260), OL Christian Duffie (6-4, 275), and OL Jack Zelezinski (6-4, 290).

QB John Holcombe (6-3, 230) is only a junior and he will be paired with RB Myles Wanza (5-9, 190) who had 310 yards rushing and 3 TDs. WR Chris Augustine (5-9, 190) and FB Phillip Suah (6-0, 230) will be some other weapons.

Defensively, the Bulldogs will be led by LB/S Jeremiah Reese (5-9, 170) who had 87 tackles and nine sacks last season. He get help from DB Colby Raphiel (5-11, 175) and CB Jordan Williams (5-8, 165) who had 4 INTs.

Kingwood Mustangs - District 21-6A

Friendswood is staying within the same district when they face the Kingwood Mustangs who were 6-5 last season while advancing to the bi-district round. The Mustangs have four offensive and five defensive starters returning with only 11 lettermen. They are still a pre-season third place pick in district.

The defense will have to lead the team early in the season while the offense will have to catch up as the season progresses.

The defensive will be led by CB Cole Preston (5-10, 165) as he had 55 tackles, 7 PBU's, and 4 INTs. DB/WR Nolan Powell (6-0, 170) had 77 tackles and 2 INTs. Other defensive players needing to step up include FB/LB Matt Dean (5-11, 200), LB Evan Loyka, CB Hunter Boyd, and DT/FB Robert Amar.

QB Dawson Trudell (6-0, 175) will lead the offense as he had 585 yards passing and 3TDs in 2015, but missed five games due to injury. RB Eric Hammersmith (5-10, 160) will gets some touches of the ball.