Manvel picked to repeat as 22-6A champions

MANVEL — It comes as no surprise that the pre-season Class 6A No. 5 state-ranked Manvel Mavericks are the favorite to win the District 22-6A title again. And they are expected to make another deep run in the 6A Region III playoffs.

Head coach Kirk Martin has seen his gridiron warriors post a 25-3 mark the past two years on their way to the region finals with the winner headed to the 6A Division II state semifinals.

However, it seems that the road to the state finals goes through Katy and the Mavs have come up short both times they have faced the Tigers. Katy has taken the Mavs to school by beating them 56-14 in 2013 and 45-17 in 2014.

Martin has posted a sparkling 70-20 mark since Manvel began playing varsity football in 2008. The Mavs are expected to advance to the post-season for the sixth straight year and have a 62-9 record during their previous five playoff runs.

The Mavs did advance to the Class 4A Div. II state finals in 2011 but fell to Aledo 49-28 to finish 15-1 overall.

Martin may have one of his most talented teams before Manvel splits to welcome the new Shadow Creek High School which will split Manvel High School beginning in 2016-2017.

Only time will tell whether the new school affects Manvel's talent pool in athletics.

But for now, Manvel has seven offensive and seven defensive starters returning for this season with 35 returning lettermen. The Mavs were 12-1 last year and 8-0 in district.

Key players include senior QB D'Eriq King (5-10, 170, 4.4) who is headed to TCU after posting video-like stats over the past two years.

In 2014, King was 204-of-310 passing for 3,193 yards and 47 TDs with only three INTs. He also had 780 yards rushing on 110 carries and 12 TDs giving him almost 4,000 yards of total offense. The elusive signal-caller has 7,849 total yards with 112 TDs in the past two seasons. The Mavericks are 26-3 with King at the offensive controls with their only losses coming to the Katy Tigers twice and North Shore.

Other key players include Texas commit senior WR Reggie Hemphill (6-1, 185, 4.4) who had 36 catches for 725 yards and 14 TDs as the team's leading receiver.

Senior OL Austin Meyers, who is also committed to TCU, will anchor the offensive line to open up huge holes for the ground game and protect King in the pocket.

Senior RB D'Vaughn Pennamon (6-1, 215, 4.4) has emerged as a offensive threat to compliment King so defenses can't key on just one player. Pennamon had 62 carries for 661 yards and 6 TDs with 17 catches for 261 yards and 7 TDs make him another top recruit in the nation.

Defensively, the Mavs should also be tough on that side of the ball led by senior DB Deontay Anderson who had 54 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INTs).

Junior DT Koby Foster had 21 tackles with good footwork and speed. WR/DB Jalen Preston (6-3, 205, 4.5) will also be a new face on the field for the Mavs.

Other playmakers include junior OL Togan Tonini (6-3, 295), WR Hunter Hagdorn, WR Sean Dykes, DB Brandon Bell, DE Hasaun Glasgow, LB Jordan Carmouche, DE Tyler Fuller, DT Shawn Simms, QB Kyle Trask, DB Derrick Tucker, and DB Ryan Hudson.

2015 Manvel Mavericks Football Schedule
Fri Aug 28 Spring Westfield Home 7:00pm
Fri Sep 4 North Shore Away 7:00pm
Fri Sep 11 OPEN
Thu Sep 17 Dobie Away 7:00pm
Fri Sep 25 Pasadena Home 7:00pm
Thu Oct 1 South Houston Away 7:00pm
Fri Oct 9 Dawson Home 7:00pm
Fri Oct 16 Alvin Away 7:00pm
Fri Oct 23 Sam Rayburn Home 7:00pm
Thu Oct 29 Pasadena Memorial Away 7:00pm
Fri Nov 6 Pearland Home 7:00pm