La Porte to Reload In 2017

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Photo via Juan DeLeon, Houston Chronicle

 

Coach Jeff Lareau took his La Porte Bulldogs to playoffs again in 2016, and it was the best year since their remarkable three-year run ended in 2012. La Porte has made the playoffs every year since 2008 after a playoff-run hiccup in 2007.

The Bulldogs went unscathed through District 22-6A last year and won a slugfest against a pretty good Channelview team in the first round before bowing out to Friendswood in the Area Round, 56-35.

La Porte went 9-3 last season, with all three losses coming to playoff teams. The Bulldogs offense was loaded last year with a veteran offensive line and veterans at quarterback, wide receiver and running back. Oh yeah, their defense was stacked, too.

The Bulldogs averaged nearly 44 points a game while the defense held tight, allowing just half of that.

La Porte looks to be in good shape heading into 2017 even though so many skill players are departing.

Key Losses

QB Austin Upshaw, Terrel Bernard, WR Kevrin Busby

Upshaw completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,783 yards and 15 touchdowns, and he ran for 1,600 yards and 22 more touchdowns en route to being named the District 22-6A Player of the Year.

Busby caught 49 passes for 700 yards and six touchdowns — all team highs. Bernard was the District Defensive Player of the Year.

Key Returners

QB Brett Bihm, RB Ziree George, WR Trent Ormsbee, DB Trent Soltes

Bihm and George played sparingly while Ormsbee saw quite a bit of time. But, they all got on-field action to get them ready for another run in 2017.

Soltes was a unanimous first-team selection on the all-district team as a sophomore while fellow sophomore Ryan Kendzior was a first-team all-district pick at defensive end.

The Verdict

It’s no secret that La Porte reloads after a big senior class graduates, and 2017 will no different.

Replacing a talented backfield? Check.

Linebackers? Check.

Secondary? Check.

Both lines? We’ll see.

The point is, expect La Porte to have another good season, a winning season and perhaps another district title.

The Bulldogs start the season at home against a very scary Atascocita squad. La Porte should grow up fast, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of District 22-6A.

 

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