With two defending Class 5A state champions loaded with key returning players, it's a tossup to decide which should be No. 1 in the preseason statewide poll. For TheOldCoach.com, it's Katy's Tigers who'll start with the top ranking with Allen hot on their heels.
The two powerhouses could very well be separated in the Division I and II playoff brackets again. Allen won the Division I title and is the third largest school in District 8-5A. Plano and Plano East would have to get playoff berths to send Allen to Division II.
Katy is the fourth largest school in six-team District 17-5A. There is a chance Katy and Allen might meet in the same playoff bracket but there is a lot of football between now and the first week of November to re-arrange state rankings.
Katy_ which plays all but one game at Rhodes Stadium _ recovered from a slow start last season to win its fourth state title in a decade. The Tigers again face the two opponents to beat the Tigers last season. The Tigers bounced back from that 0-2 hole and a loss in the regular-season finale to win six playoff games by an average of 31 points.
No. 14th-ranked North Shore again is loaded with talent this season but isn't quite as strong as last year's edition. Katy then meets The Woodlands which beat Katy 47-0 last year. On Sept. 12, Katy has a matchup with nationally recognized Bellevue ( Wash. ), a program that has defeated past national powers in recent years.
Defeating Wylie in the 5A DII state final, running back William Jeffrey was named MVP and returns along with talented receiver Ryan Jones, tight end Zach Swanson (Stanford commit), Texas A&M OL commit Shep Klinke to go along with senior quarterback Michael Stojkovic, who started picking up college offers with a strong summer.
Katy's future continues to look bright with highly regarded junior running back Donovonn Young transferring from Humble to his father's alma mater. And then there's promising sophomore quarterback Brooks Haack in the pipeline.
The defense is led in the secondary by Sam Holl with top 2011 prospects with DE Nick Narcisse and linebacker Grant Clifton were standout sophomores a year ago.
TheOldCoach.com 5A Top Twenty
1) Katy (0-0)
2) Allen (0-0)
3) Cedar Hill (0-0)
4) Dallas Skyline (0-0)
5) Fort Bend Hightower (0-0)
6) San Antonio Madison (0-0)
7) Southlake Carroll (0-0)
8) Euless Trinity (0-0)
9) Garland (0-0)
10) Round Rock Stony Point (0-0)
11) Lufkin (0-0)
12) Odessa Permian (0-0)
13) DeSoto (0-0)
14) Galena Park North Shore (0-0)
15) Copperas Cove (0-0)
16) Odessa (0-0)
17) Arlington (0-0)
18) Austin Westlake (0-0)
19) Pearland (0-0)
20) Abilene (0-0)