Let’s look ahead to possible postseason players in 2018

The Austin area enjoyed a banner high school football season in 2017, with five of its teams advancing to state semifinals. Several of them set records and made history along the way.

So how does each of those state semifinalists look heading into the offseason? Let’s check them out.

Lake Travis

After their run to the Class 6A, Division I state championship in 2016, conventional wisdom had the Cavaliers taking a step back in 2017. Instead, Lake Travis came up just short of its seventh UIL football championship Saturday, falling to Allen 35-33 in the Cavaliers’ third consecutive Class 6A final.

Expect more of the same in 2018 from Lake Travis, which will return receiver Garrett Wilson, quarterback Hudson Card and six sophomore starters from the 2017 squad that finished 13-3.

Cedar Ridge

First-year coach Sam Robinson led the Raiders to the best season in the program’s six-year varsity history — a 13-2 record that included a state semifinal loss to Allen. Based on its depth and talent, Cedar Ridge could repeat that success.

Receiver Jaylen Ellis, a Baylor pledge, returns as one of the top playmakers in the state, and young running back Deuce Vaughn earned valuable experience while filling in for the injured Simi Bakare during the playoffs. Lineman Edge Williams will return for the Raiders’ defense.


The Chaparrals enjoyed a banner season this fall, recording the program’s first undefeated regular season since 2000 and topping nemesis Lake Travis in the process. Only a 14-6 loss to eventual Class 6A, Division II champion Cypress Fairbanks in the state semifinals kept Westlake (14-1) from playing in the ninth UIL championship game in school history.

Come 2018, Westlake will miss running back Nakia Watson, a Wisconsin signee, but the Chaparrals will lean more on dual-threat quarterback Taylor Anderson as well as a stout defensive front seven led by lineman David Neil and linebacker Jake Ehlinger.


In 2017, an unprecedented season didn’t end for the Knights until a loss to eventual Class 5A, Division II state champion College Station in a state semifinal,

Next year, McCallum will have to fill plenty of holes if it hopes to notch similar postseason achievements. Expect the Knights to remain a district contender, though, as head coach Charles Taylor has a proven record of developing a productive run game, and defensive linemen Alvino Carbajal and Loyd Barriere will help McCallum field one of the best defensive fronts in Austin.


Such standouts as quarterback JoJo Weeks and offensive lineman Ian Burnette don’t come around often at the Class 4A level, and the departure of those two to UT-San Antonio and TCU, respectively, will make it tough for the Texans to replicate their 13-2 record and run to the state semifinals.

Still, the Texans’ famed “Code Red” defense welcomes back several pivotal players, including defensive back Hayden Krebs, and Wimberley has missed out on the playoffs just twice this century. Don’t expect too drastic a drop for the program.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in High School Sports

Landon Bow earns first AHL shutout in Texas Stars win

Curtis McKenzie and Roope Hintz each scored two goals as the Texas Stars defeated the Manitoba Moose 4-0 in Winnipeg on Friday night. Texas goaltender Landon Bow turned away all 27 shots he faced for his first American Hockey League shutout. Hintz scored at 7:09 into the first period to put Texas on the scoreboard. Brent Regner and Andrew Bodnarchuk...
Halfcourt shot is highlight of Gordon’s big night in Rockets’ victory

Eric Gordon scored in a variety of ways Thursday night. One shot stood out from the rest. Gordon banked in a half-court heave at the end of the third quarter in the midst of a 30-point performance that helped the Houston Rockets to a 116-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. “When I shot it, I thought it was going to go in somehow,&rdquo...
Oklahoma State among teams with significant threat of regression in 2018
Oklahoma State among teams with significant threat of regression in 2018

Oklahoma State boasted one of the most prolific offenses in 2017, riding the unit’s success to a third straight 10-win season. Of course, all good things must come to an end. With the departure of quarterback Mason Rudolph and two of his top targets — wide receivers Marcell Ateman and James Washington — this offseason...
Images from vigil for Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski
Images from vigil for Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski

On Tuesday afternoon, Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his apartment, and by Thursday it had been ruled a suicide, as a rifle and a note had been found beside him, police have reported. It has since rocked not just the Pullman community, but the entire football community at large. “We are deeply...
Reid Ryan returns to Round Rock roots to celebrate Astros’ championship
Reid Ryan returns to Round Rock roots to celebrate Astros’ championship

A journey that started nearly 20 years ago when the eldest son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan founded the Round Rock Express circled the bases and returned home Thursday night after knocking it out of the park. Reid Ryan, president of the World Series champion Houston Astros, brought the long-coveted hardware to a party attended by several hundred...
More Stories