Houston area high school student-athletes and teams figure to provide a wealth of highlight material in 2018.
Twenty-nine area schools were ranked in the first Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) state poll of 2018 in the top three divisions (Class 6A, 5A and 4A).
The Jack Yates boys led by Jock Hughes, Mitchell Seraille and Joquarius Valrie are off to an 11-2 start and ranked No. 4 in the TABC Class 4A state poll. Despite a one-point loss to Bellaire in the recent HISD boys’ tournament, look for the Yates press to intensify as the season unfolds.
North Forest (18), Silsbee (3), Brazosport (5) and Hardin-Jefferson (20) are other state-ranked 4A boys’ teams to watch.
Ten Houston area Class 6A boys’ teams are ranked in the latest TABC Top 25 state poll. Defending 6A state champion Cypress Falls leads the way at No. 3 just ahead of Spring Dekaney (4).
Klein Forest (8), Sam Houston (12), Katy Tompkins (16), Westside (17), Aldine Eisenhower (18), Fort Bend Bush (19), Dickinson (23) and Clear Lake (24) are also in the mix.
In the girls division, Jersey Village is off to a 16-1 start and ranked No. 4 in the 6A state poll. Cypress Creek (11), Cypress Ranch (13), Atascocita (23) and Hightower (25) are off to good starts.
Fort Bend Elkins (12), Port Arthur Memorial (4), Shadow Creek (13), Rosenburg Terry (22) and Manvel (25) are state-ranked 5A boys’ teams.
Barbers Hill (3) and Houston Madison (7) are the cream of the area 5A girls’ teams.
Navasota (2), Houston Wheatley (9) and Hardin-Jefferson headline the local 4A girls’ squads.
The Yates girls defeated Wheatley 49-44 back in December. The two rivals meet again Jan. 26 at Barnett Stadium with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
When the action shifts to spring sports, keep an eye on these schools.
Manvel and Fort Bend Marshall will be good in both boys and girls track and field.
Alvin senior Kynnedy Flannel will try to defend her state titles in the long jump, 100-meter dash and the 200-meter race.
Fort Bend Travis (baseball), Katy (girls’ softball), Aldine Davis (girls track) and North Shore (baseball/boys track) should be formidable in their respective sports.