Last season, the Houston area saw two schools take home state titles – one newcomer in Katy Paetow (5AD1) and a familiar face in Galena Park North Shore (6AD1). Both teams finished the year 15-1, ending with Paetow beating previously undefeated College Station and North Shore edged out recent rival Duncanville for the third time in four years. Now the question is can they do it again?
The Panthers saw their head coach BJ Gotte leave for Pearland HS and was replaced by former Denton Ryan offensive coordinator Lonnie Teagle. With quarterback CJ Dumas Jr leaving for college, Paetow will have to look to 2023 Koby Truehill as their new signal caller. Besides his accuracy and arm strength, Truehill looks the part – standing 6’5, weighing over 200 pounds. Truehill will have a nice target in returning WR Justin Stevenson, who have plenty potential to have a breakout year. Size will most definitely be a strong suit for Paetow going into the season, including the defense. With the addition of 5 star DL David Hicks coming from Allen HS, all eyes are on the defense. Hicks is a top 5 ranked players in the country and looks to show why, especially playing next to other great athletes. The Panthers are also deep in the secondary and versatile at the linebacker position, led by the terrific duo of recent SMU commit Alex Kilgore and Daymion Sanford, who just picked up an offer from Alabama. Paetow can switch any defensive back in coverage due to their length and ball skills. Cornerback CJ Johnson is starting to pick up steam with a plethora of P5 offers lately. I, amongst many believe Katy Paetow are primed to make another run at a title, despite the move to 19-6A.
After once again becoming champs of 6A-D1, Galena Park North Shore have their sights set on a repeat. Led by now sophomore quarterback Kaleb Bailey, the Mustangs have the experience at the most important position to win it all this upcoming season. Bailey will have his top target, UTSA commit David Amador coming back for his senior year. Amador is one of the most underrated prospects in the city – it’s safe to say that there aren’t any glaring weaknesses to his game. There’s no longer a Zach Evans or Dematrius Davis in the backfield, so the ground game will have to come by committee. North Shore will mostly lean on the combination of 2025 RB D’Andre Hardeman Jr and senior Rashaad Johnson AKA “Baby Bo Jackson” for the majority of their production. Although the Mustangs defensive line will have to prove themselves after losing a couple of veteran players to the next level, the secondary is still strong. Four star cornerback Jacoby Davis made his mark last as a sophomore alongside Denver Harris and even held the island down in games Harris could not play. Davis’ fellow four star running mate in the secondary is none other than fast rising safety Jayven Anderson. Anderson have great size and can play both positions in the backend – excellent tackler and he also possesses the closing speed to be a ball hawk. Outside of the talent on the field, North Shore have one of the best coaches in the state of Texas on the sideline week in and week out. Head Coach Jon Kay will be going for his fourth state championship in five years. Will the 6A-D1 title reside in the Eastside once again? Regardless, that path will have to go through Galena Park.