The Travis Tigers had a first-round playoff draw in 2016 that no team ever really wants to face — the Katy Tigers. Katy ended an otherwise very good season for the Tigers.
Travis went 7-3 in the regular season, and those three losses weren’t anything to sneeze at. They lost 43-40 to a Katy Taylor team that went two rounds deep. They played Ridge Point closer (31-16) than anyone else in Ridge Point’s 11-0 run. On top of that, they posted 38 points in a loss to Hightower.
The cogs that moved the offense all return this year, and what a presence they are. Last year, junior quarterback Amryn Jeffrey led District 20-6A with 3,608 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. He had a 116.2 passer rating for the season and averaged 328 yards and 25 completions per game while completing a whopping 70 percent of his passes.
Naveon Mitchell was a 1,000-yard rusher and sophomore Arjei Henderson had 1,400 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. Altogether, the Tigers averaged 470 yards of offense a game and the defense gave up 32 points a game, with most of those coming in four games.
And the bulk of the Tigers will be back.
LB Jake Owens, WR Grant Griffin, OT Will Farrar, OT Isaiah Brown
Owens led the team with 71 tackles — 58 of them solo — and was second on the team with seven sacks.
Farrar and Brown helped pave the way for a high-flying offense, including Griffin’s 1,000 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
QB Amryn Jeffrey, TB Naveon Mitchell, WR Arjei Henderson, LB Jake Lynch
Jeffrey threw for 3,608 yards and 33 touchdowns en route to being named the first-team all-district quarterback. Mitchell ran for 1,000 yards and Henderson lit up opposing defenses.
Lynch had 59 tackles and an interception as a junior while sophomore defensive back Zach Zimos had a team-high five interceptions and three pass break ups.
All the pieces are in place for the Tigers to have another successful campaign in 2017.
As long as the skill players on both sides of the ball stay healthy and the line gets rebuilt with key departures, the Travis Tigers have the makings of what could be a special season.
Looming ahead of them are Katy Taylor in non-district and a match with district champion Ridge Point. A district championship and top seed would be ideal, as the Katy Tigers most likely await the No. 2 seed in the Division I bracket.