2019 Countdown to Kickoff - The Woodlands Team Preview

The Woodlands - Every team wants to play in December and The Woodlands is no exception. The Highlanders are used to playing deep into the post-season but last year barely made it to December, losing to Allen 31-24 in the 3rd round of the playoffs. There is no shame in losing to Allen, especially by such a slim margin. The good news for 2019 is that they return eight starters on each side of the ball from last year’s squad.

The offense will be led by running back Breyton Gilford. Last season Gilford put on a show, rushing for over 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns. The biggest question on offense will be at quarterback, where the Highlanders will have to replace Casey Sunseri who graduated earlier this year. Ben Mills could be the answer after seeing limited game time last season. Whoever takes over the reins will have a dynamic wide receiver to work with in Malik Johnson. The speedy senior will be looking to improve on an impressive season in which he had 564 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns.

The defensive line will be the strength of the Highlanders defense next season. The group will be led by Caleb Fox and Simon Cruz. Those two combined for 94 tackles last year and figure to be even better this season. The secondary returns Carter Doucett, who recorded 49 tackles and 3 interceptions a year ago. Star kicker Fabrizio Pinton returns on special teams. Pinton you may remember kicked a walk-off 55 yard field goal to defeat Round Rock Cedar Ridge in the playoffs last season.

The Woodlands will open its season against Cy Fair at home. Last year Cy Fair got the better of the Highlanders, winning by a convincing score of 27-7. This year, the Bobcats have to play at The Woodlands, where visiting teams rarely win. In district play, The Woodlands will have to play at Klein Oak and at Klein Collins, two talented teams who figure to make the playoffs and could give The Woodlands some problems. Despite that, The Woodlands remains the favorite to win another district championship and go on a deep playoff run.

District 15-6A Projected Order of Finish

1) The Woodlands (4,435)

2) Klein Collins (3,643)
3) Klein Oak (3,855)
4) Klein (3,700)

5) College Park (3,120)
6) Oak Ridge (3,225)
7) Klein Cain (2,806)
8) Conroe (3,998)
9) Klein Forest (3,750)