One can only fathom how far the Clear Springs Chargers could’ve gone in 2016 if it weren’t for those pesky Pearland Oilers.
Clear Springs went 9-2 last season, and the nine wins somehow get overshadowed by a pair of bookend losses to the Oilers. Pearland defeated Clear Springs on the first game of the season by four points, and then Pearland won the rematch by three points in the first round of the playoffs.
Otherwise, it was clear sailing for Clear Springs. The Chargers averaged 38.5 points a game in regular season while allowing just 20 on a typical Friday night. In the two most pivotal games in District 24-6A, the Chargers beat district runner-up Dickinson by 16 points and third-place Friendswood by 10.
Senior quarterback Will McBride was the district’s Offensive MVP and Craig Dailey was the Coach of the Year.
Last year’s campaign was one of the most successful in this program’s young history, which has never seen a losing record since launching varsity football in 2008. If things keep getting better and more fine-tuned, then the 10th season could be the best ever.
QB Will McBride, LB Jake Chatman, S Langston Frederick
McBride was a beast in the pocket, completing 58 percent of his passes for 2,032 yards and 23 touchdowns with just four picks. McBride, who signed to play college ball with the Tennessee Volunteers, also ran for 359 yards and two more scores.
Frederick was a unanimous pick for first-team all-district who will take his talents to Arizona State University this fall.
WR/ATH Peyton Sawyer, RB Todd Hudson, WR Michael Gillaspia III, DE Jason Gold
Sawyer was simply dazzling in the return game, taking one punt back for a touchdown and an eye-popping five kickoff returns for touchdowns. Sawyer also led the team in receptions (48), receiving yards (817) and 10 touchdown catches.
Hudson made a big splash on the scene as the starting running back while only a sophomore. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry and ran his way to 1,207 yards and 16 touchdowns — both team highs. He also had five touchdowns on 11 receptions.
Gold was first-team all-district as a sophomore, and Gillaspia was all-district as a junior.
While Clear Springs loses some top talent in McBride and Frederick, the Chargers return an obscene amount of gifted players.
Once the quarterback situation is figured out, the offense will be a juggernaut with Hudson, Sawyer and Gillaspia. Garrett Nickelson (6-4, 250) returns to anchor the offensive line.
The defense should be just as salty with the return of Gold, outside linebacker Cameron Felton and cornerback Christian Waller.
The road starts again with Pearland in non-district, and the Chargers should be looking for revenge early in the season. But more importantly, Clear Springs might have what it takes to play well into late November and perhaps a few weeks in December.
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