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.

Westlake

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.

McCallum

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.

Wimberley

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.



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