2018 Region Outlooks: 5A Division I Region IV – Wagner joins the fray and can CC Veterans Memorial run the table?
AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2018 TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, DCTF'S MATT STEPP TAKES A LOOK AT HOW EACH REGION SHOULD SHAKE OUT WHEN FALL ROLLS AROUND.
Today’s spotlight: Class 5A Division I Region IV
The race in Region IV looks to be wide open as there is no district in the entire region south of the San Antonio metro area.
We start in 13-5A Division I with San Antonio ISD being joined by Judson ISD’s two 5A programs. San Antonio Wagner drops from 6A and one of the area’s newest high schools and San Antonio Veterans Memorial is making its varsity debut.
14-5A Division I offers up some significant travel as the suburban San Antonio school headlined by first year programs San Antonio Harlan and San Antonio Legacy join Edgewood ISD, San Antonio Southwest, Eagle Pass Winn and Laredo Martin.
15-5A Division I is the Coastal Bend district, a nine team loop led by Corpus Christi ISD, Flour Bluff and Victoria ISD’s two schools who make the move south after two seasons going north into the Houston area. 16-5A Division I is a 10-team Rio Grande Valley mega district highlighted by the four Brownsville ISD 5A programs joined by Donna, Rio Grande City, Mission Veterans, LaJoya Palmview, PSJA Southwest and 6A drop down PSJA Memorial.
San Antonio Wagner
The Thunderbirds struggled the past few years in Class 5A, but last year head coach Charles Bruce’s bunch showed some signs of life posting a respectable 4-6 record in their final year at the state’s highest classification. Depth will be on Wagner’s side in 2018 as it moves to 5A and has some playmakers who can do damage led by QB Tobias Weaver. The Thunderbirds do have a lot of holes to fill on defense, but one thing they don’t lack is elite athleticism and in Region IV that can be a valuable asset. Look for Wagner to be an overwhelming favorite in its new district simply from a numbers standpoint, it should overwhelm most opponents in district play.
San Antonio Southwest
The Dragons for at least one year at the varsity level will basically be a 6A program playing 5A football as numbers in their junior and senior classes won’t be impacted much by the opening of Legacy High. The Dragons bring back six starters on both sides of the ball and are fresh off a 9-3 season in their final season at the 6A level. Add in help from a JV that was 7-3 and optimism is quite high. Head coach Matt Elliott’s squad runs a unique run-oriented attack that can be really difficult to prepare for. QB Damien Lopez and RB Will Herrera will be the top offensive weapons and they’ll operate with a veteran offensive line paving the way. The Southwest defense has one of the top playmaking DB’s in South Panama in Cade Scott who picked off six passes a year ago. Southwest will be the favorite in 14-5A Division I and with a couple of potentially favorable first round matchups it could be competing for a regional title.
Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial
2017 was a dream season for the Eagles who in just their second varsity season posted an impressive 11-2 record. The big question heading into 2018 is what will the Eagles do for an encore? The return of versatile David Soto who accounted for 22 total touchdowns, QB Joseph Gonzales and WR Sethe Solis who hauled in 14 touchdowns should mean Vets will be explosive once again. Six starters return on the defensive side of the ball led by hard hitting LB Kyle McAlister (100 tackles) and DB Davis Horne. With the departure of Corpus Christi Calallen, that should open the door for Vets to compete for its first district title in school history.
Corpus Christi Flour Bluff
After a couple of down years, the Hornets bounced back in 2017 with a three deep playoff run and are hungry for bigger and better in 2018. If head coach Chris Steinbruck’s squad is going to exceed last year’s outstanding run, it will be because of a defense that should be one of the best in South Panama. Returning are several key playmakers led by DL Isaiah Alday who was Newcomer of the Year in 2018. LB Javaris Lawson, CB Kenneth Whitehurst and S Kadon Luke all return after earning first team all-district honors as well. The offense lost a lot of skill talent and there could be some growing pains but getting back QB Braden Sherron is a great starting point.