BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- The Huntsville Hornets put together their best season in years, getting to double-digits in wins for the first time since 1990 and claiming their first outright district title since 2008.
Huntsville used a dominating defense, led by Texas signee T’Vondre Sweat, and potent offense headed by quarterback Matthew Southern to roll through the regular season with just one loss. The playoffs brought easy wins over Nacogdoches and Manvel before a dramatic victory over Marshall and a heartbreaking loss to Fort Bend Marshall in the quarterfinals.
While the Hornets lost some big talent to graduation on defense, they have the makings of another great team in 2019. Seven starters return on offense and six more are back on defense.
The offense, very good a year ago, could be even better this season with Southern back under center along with weapons at wide receiver in Tyrique Carter, Miles Tatum and Justin Butcher. Head coach Rodney Southern says, “All three have experience in big games and make plays. Matthew has experience as well and works well with those guys.”
The Hornets lose three all-district starters on the offensive line, one of the areas Southern feels the Hornets will have to improve on this season.
The defense held eight teams to a touchdown or less in games a year ago, and many experienced players are back led by linebacker Jordan Brown, defensive end Briceon Hayes and defensive back Jaden Schroeder. Southern says, “Brown is a big hitter. Hayes is a natural pass rusher and both have big game experience. Schroeder is a three-year starter and a very smart football player.”
The Hornets face a tough non-district slate with the home games against rival Willis and Port Neches-Groves and a trip to College Station. The district schedule opens with the game that will likely determine the eventual champion as the Hornets host A&M Consolidated on September 27. Southern says, “We expect to win district and play in December.”
9/6 Port Neches-Groves
9/13 @ College Station
9/27 A&M Consolidated*
10/4 @ Cleveland*
10/11 @ Montgomery*
10/18 Lamar Consoldiated*
10/26 @ Katy Paetow*
11/1 Lake Creek*
11/7 @ Rudder*