A look at District 24-6A for upcoming football season

PEARLAND — The pre-season favorite to win the District 24-6A crown has been given to the Friendswood Mustangs. With 19 starters returning for the 2016 season, head coach Robert Koopmann has perhaps his best team ever as he begins his fifth year at the helm of the football team.

Friendswood got the nod to capture the 24-6A crown followed by Dickinson, Clear Creek, Clear Springs, Alvin, Clear Brook, Clear Lake, and Clear Falls.

Take a look at the teams that Friendswood will battle this season.

Dickinson Gators

Coach John Snelson has done a tremendous job since taking over the Gators football fortunes. Dickinson finished 12-2 last season after placing second in the district. They advanced to the Class 6A Region III Div. I finals where they lost to eventual state champion North Shore.

It appears that 2016 may be a rebuilding year for Dickinson as they lost all their offensive starters and return six defensive starter as well as 28 returning lettermen.

Snelson will depend on QB/WR Montel Parker (6-2, 180, 4.5) to step to take over the offensive controls. Junior TB Myles Lewis will be another offensive weapon that should make an impact on that side of the ball.

Defensively, the Gators will take the early lead for the season until the offense can get some experience.

The defense will be led by OLB/DE Trevor Harmanson (6-4, 215), DE Chris Wilson (6-2, 190), LB Joseph Shields, DB Marquez Williams, DE Garrett Kettler (6-3, 240), DE Tyrese Wydermyer (6-3, 200), and DB Byron Broussard (6-0, 175).

Harmanson had 33 tackles and 9 TFL in 2015. Wilson led the way with 111 tackles and 2 INTs to lead the team.

Other prospects include TE/HB Lathan Simmons, OL Everisto Nunez, LB Da'Von Graves, and ATH Landon Roque (5-10, 185).

Clear Creek Wildcats

Head coach Darrell Warden always puts a very competitive team on the field each year and this year will be no different.

The Wildcats were 11-1 last season and are the defending 24-6A champions. The were an area finalist. They have three offensive and four defensive starters returning plus 14 returning lettermen.

This will be a rebuilding year for the Wildcats and a lot of new players are going to have to rise up for the challenge.

Warden will be looking to RB/WR Jadien Woodson to be his playmaker after he rushed for 466 yards and caught 256 yards in passes for a total of five TDs.

Defensively, the anchor on that side of the ball will be LB Malik Tezeno (6-0, 225) as he had 52 tackles, 2 sacks, and one INT last year.

Other defensive standouts will be CB Noah Daniels (6-1, 190, 4.4), DE Chris Errera (6-4, 245), DE Nick Petitti (6-2, 265), DB Donovan Johnson, DL Preston Wazniak, DL Jacob Pierson, and DB Jacob Flynt.

Clear Springs Chargers

The Chargers were 6-6 last season as a 6A Div. I area finalist. They have seven offensive and seven defensive starters returning with 33 returning lettermen.

Clear Springs will be led by new head coach Craig Daily are a team picked to finish fourth for the final playoff spot, but could move up depending on how the players adapt to new leadership.

QB Will McBride (6-2, 190, 4.4) returns after throwing for 2385 yards and 17 TDs while picking up 785 yards on the ground and 14 more scores. He will have a strong offensive line led by OL Garrett Nickelson (6-5, 260) and Kyle Walters (6-2, 270).

Junior WR Michael Gillaspia (6-1, 180) will provide leadership from the receiving corps after catching 62 passes for 851 yards and 8 TDs.

Defensive leaders will be led by DB Langston Frederick (6-1, 185), DB Gavin Roland (5-11, 185), and LB Jake Chatman (5-11, 200).

The Chargers will be tested early when they open up the season against No. 5 state-ranked Pearland.

Alvin Yellowjackets

Alvin had a better season in 2015 than in previous years under head coach Robert Wilcox. While they didn't make the playoffs, they finished 6-4 overall.

The Jackets have four offensive and five defensive starters returning with 17 lettermen. They are an outside shot at making the post-season in 2016.

Leading the offense will be RB Jack Lebato (6-0, 195) as he had 482 yards rushing and 8 TDs while WR Jose Medrano (6-2, 195, 4.5) will be an outside threat after catching 27 passes for 376 yards and 6 TDs.

The defense should be stronger led by LB Blake Stillwell (6-0, 190), CB Chase Calvitt (5-7, 155), and FS Tyler Roman (6-2, 175).

Others who will make a strong impact will by QB/WR Kobe Bailey (6-1, 165), DE Carson Gonzales (6-0, 225), OL Noah Bridges (6-1, 260), RB Jerron Schiller, LB Kalen Duckworth, RB Daren Fipps, QB Taylor Molina, CB Damion Vera, OL Noah Barajas (6-1, 260), DE Jose Duarte, and LB Jose Garza.

Clear Brook Wolverines

Former Dawson defensive coordinator Mike Allison did a great job in his first year as Clear Brook's head coach as the Wolverines finished with a 3-7 overall mark and 3-4 in the tough District 24-6A. His team lost several close games and now they are poised to have an even better season in 2016.

Clear Brook has six offensive and six defensive starters returning with 23 lettermen. The Wolverines could be one of those surprise teams that could upset a few teams taking them for granted.

The team is still young as the skill players are only juniors including WR Caleb Chapman (6-4, 195) who had 297 yards receiving and 5 TDs; RB Jarret Smith (5-7, 175, 4.5) who had 646 yards rushing and 4 TDs; and ATH Mark Milton (6-1, 170).

Junior QB Jaizac Garcia (6-0, 185, 4.6) should be much improved after throwing for 588 yards and 8 TDs as a sophomore.

Defensively, LB Darian Holmes (6-0, 205) returns as the team's leading tackler and interceptions. DL Cameron Townsend (5-10, 260) should also be tough in the trenches.

Other players include: WR Russell Hall (6-2, 195), OL Dimitrios Giannakopolous, OL Richard Lewis, LB Khahil Guinn, WR Onix Little, OL Chris Box, DB Nick Bailey, LB Isaac Guinn, and ATH Brandon Hill.

Clear Lake Falcons

Clear Lake hasn't really had a lot of success in the past decade as they were 2-8 last season. Former Manvel offensive coordinator and new head coach Larry McRae will welcome six offensive and five defensive starters and 30 lettermen, but it appears they are picked to avoid the district cellar. McRae won't have the talent that he is accustomed to putting on the field compared to the Mavericks in recent years.

He will build his offense around WR Jakori Morgan (6-2, 190, 4.4) who had 557 yards receiving and 3 TDs last year. WR Matthew Nance (5-11, 175) will also compliment Morgan after making 45 catches for 419 yards and 2 TDs.

The Falcons need a QB and that may fall in the hands of sophomore Shae Suiauno (6-3, 190, 4.5) who certainly has the size and speed they are looking for and can be molded into the signal-caller that fits McRae's system.

The strength of the defense will be p the middle with LB Samuel Johnson (6-1, 210) and LB/DE Ethan Bailey (6-4, 220) leading the way.

Clear Falls Knights

Clear Falls was winless last year and are predicted to finish at the bottom of the heap once again.

The Knights have five offensive and five defensive starters returning with 18 lettermen to present to new head coach Zach Head.

The defense will be ahead of the offense as DB Hanif Muhammad (6-0, 180, 4.5), ILB John Niese (5-10, 220), CB Jordan Humphrey (5-8, 140) lead the way.

QB/WR Carter Fuller will be thrust into the roll of leading the offense but he will need lots of help.

OL Ethan Ray (6-1, 285) should anchor the offensive line along with TE Luke Norris (6-5).

Other players include: OL Lance Morris, S Taylor Vessel, WR Rocky Rainey, and WR Mike Moore.