Folks, we are officially back. Every Tuesday from now until August 24, we’ll preview the football season for every district in the Houston area, starting today with 3A and 4A. To make sure we publish the 24-6A preview on August 24 – two days before kickoff for the 2021 season – Under The Microscope will be published on Tuesday and Thursday for the first few weeks. This means our 10-5A Division II preview will be published on Thursday.
Houston has several 3A and 4A teams, but for time and length constraints, I decided to pick a few from each classification to cover. There are 14 teams in 3A and I’ll cover four of those, and 24 teams in 4A; I’ll cover seven of those. Let’s get to it!
Columbus had a pretty successful year that saw the Cardinals go 11-3 en route to a two-point state quarterfinals loss to state runners-up Hallettsville, whom Columbus shares a district with.
There’s plenty of reason to believe the Cardinals will build on that state quarterfinals appearance. Columbus has reached at least round four in each of the last two seasons and they return plenty of all-district performers.
That starts up front, where the Cards’ return three all-district performers on the offensive line. This includes first-team sophomores Hunter Mangum and Oscar Ramirez – the latter of whom is also first-team all-district on the defensive line. Add in second-team all-district running back Ty’vone Whitehead (who was just a freshman last year!!) and Newcomer of the Year Tommy Schobel.
Columbus will miss graduating quarterback Ty Thomas, but expect the Cardinals to be right back in the state title hunt.
Not many teams challenged themselves as much in the non-district portion of the schedule as Edna did.
The Cowboys opened the season 0-4 after scheduling East Bernard, Bay City, Refugio and Columbus to lead into district play. Those challenges prepared Edna well as it lost just two games the rest of the way, including a second round playoff loss to Jourdanton.
Edna returns the Offensive and Defensive Newcomer of the Year for 15-3A Division I in quarterback Jaiden Clay and defensive lineman Otis Santellana. Couple those two with Dreydan Ashford – first-team running back and defensive end – and Edna returns plenty of a young core from 2020.
Other key returners include wide receiver Josh Mancrief, defensive tackle Devin Johnson, safety Layton Ressman, receiver Cameron Thornton and offensive guard Pablo Almeda. With so many all-district performers returning, expect Edna to build on a solid foundation laid in 2020.