Now it’s real: Previewing the reformed 5A-1 district 8 football

Dylan Busby, Staff Writer

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The Tomball Cougars opened their season with a heartbreaking loss to cross town rivals Tomball Memorial, and never looked back collecting comeback wins against Santa Fe and Port Neches-Grove. The Cougars are undefeated in 5A play and are coming off a bye ready to take on the Mustangs at home on Friday.

The Cougars are loaded with weapons this year. Quarterback Hunter Dunn is a dangerous passer and willing runner, slot receiver Jay’ris Smith is one of the fastest players in the district and running back Ja’Kobi Holland, reigning district newcomer of the year, looks to be even more prolific than last year.

On defense, Tomball returns tackle machine Levi Marion, and ball hawk Kasen Handel. Handel was the leader in interceptions last year for 5A, now looking to repeat that feat he finds one of his biggest challenges is junior CJ Strain, who leads the district in interceptions through 3 games.

Tomball isn’t the only Cougars on the prowl right now as reigning state champions College Station sit atop the district with the only undefeated record.

The Cougars’ climb to 27th in the state has not come easy with impressive wins over Foster and Huntsville. After crushing Autonoma De Nuevo Leon, they will play Caney Creek and Waller before hosting Lufkin in one of the 5A games of the year.

Lufkin remains the top team in team in the district on most rankings. The Panthers lost only one game in the preseason. Their loss to 6A’s Longview was highly competitive only falling by one score to the number 4 team in the state. Carl Williams is the Panthers most dangerous defenders and a future FBS football player, committing to Arkansas verbally. He helps lead a defense that ranks number 1 in points against in the district.

Caney Creek is a surprising 3rd in the district boasting the number 2 defense in points against and a upper half offense. Many pegged the Panthers as the worst team in the district however their only lost to any undefeated Vidor, despite this success Caney Creek still ranks in the 650s in the state.

Magnolia was expected to take a step back this season after losing a host of stars due to graduation, but instead of rebuilding they have reloaded and could be a playoff sleeper due to their high flying offense.

Magnolia West has the top offense in the district thanks to Texas Tech commit Simon Gonzalez and former district MVP John Matocha. However, the Mustangs field the second worst defense in the district, being one of two teams to have allowed over 100 points in 3 games.

Willis and Waller are the only two teams in the district with more losses than wins. Willis fields the worst defense while Waller has yet to break 28 points in a game. These two teams will look to rally from their miserable preseason  with a strong run in district play.



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