Cypress Ranch Mustangs
Last Season: 8-4; Defeated in area round by Klein Oak
Head Coach: Sean McAuliffe: 2nd season as head coach
Player to watch: S Romario Noel- A Baylor commit, he racked up 36 tackles last season and second team all-district honors. He will be a key component of a talented Mustang secondary this season.
Storylines: The Mustangs have a lot of talent back this season and will certainly be a team to watch in this district. Their athletic quarterback DJ Ciers is back to lead the offense after throwing for 1,684 yards and rushing for 709 yards a year ago. The Mustangs did graduate their starting running back but Ciers’ contribution to the run game and promising junior Kameron Burton, 428 rushing yards last season, should help fill that hole. Out at receiver, Edwin Smith, a UTSA commit, will be a player that Ciers will be glad to have at his disposal in the passing game after Smith missed most of last season through injury. The Mustangs also return Georgia Tech commit tight end Ben Postma, 41 receiving yards and two touchdowns, who will be a big target in the passing game at 6’5” and a key blocker as well. The defense is arguably even more talented. Leading tackler Landen Nowak, 81 tackles, is back to anchor the linebacking corps, while, up front, defensive tackle Blane Channel, five tackles for loss, will look to be a force on the defensive line. The most talented position group on defense will likely be the secondary though as Noel, Robin Neely, six interceptions a year ago, and Xavier Watson, 39 tackles and an interception, all return from last year’s team. “All three [Noel, Neely, and Watson] have strong work ethics, and are constantly working to improve their skill set along with those around them,” McAuliffe said. “With the league we play in, everybody has a kid who can sling it, and at least one who is scary good at catching it. Secondary improvement will be critical to our success.” With the talent found throughout the depth chart, Cypress Ranch will certainly be a favorite to take a step forward and compete for a district title after a fourth place finish in district play last season.
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