Class 4A Preview: New QBs invade District 15-4A Division I

Rey Castillo
Corpus Christi Caller Times

Jaedyn Brown might be too young to get his driver's license, but as far as leading the Miller Buccaneers at quarterback, age is only a number.

Brown had a front row seat to Miller's historic season in 2020 as Andrew Body's backup — setting up the sophomore signal caller as the next man for the job.

"JB (Jaedyn) has put on weight and he's done everything we've asked him to do and it's showing right now," said Miller coach Justen Evans. "He looks polished right now, and he knows we have a ways to go, but we're really excited with what we're seeing."

Miller's Jaedyn Brown prepares to throw a pass during practice, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. Brown is a sophomore for the team.

Brown saw limited action at quarterback last season, but still passed for 214 yards and five touchdowns. Brown also showed off his athleticism by running for 253 yards.

The first-year starter used last season and the offseason to study the Bucs' offense in hopes of helping Miller pick up where it left off. 

"He (Body) taught me a lot," Brown said. "It helped me prepare and to train like I wasn't going to be the starter. Last year taught me to be the best I can be and it's a blessing and I'm excited to be here. My coaches have been preparing me to do what I do."

District 15-4A Division I, which is arguably one of the deepest districts in the state, will hit the QB 'reset' button in 2021 with the exception of Calallen.

Coaches have evaluated the position throughout scrimmages and have named their starters for Week 1 of the high school football season. 

Alice's Josh Camarillo prepares to throw the ball during practice, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. This is the first week of practice for the team.

Josh Camarillo, so., Alice

Camarillo transferred from San Diego after his freshman year and has impressed head coach Kyle Atwood throughout practice and the Coyotes' scrimmages.

Camarillo began the offseason as one of three quarterbacks competing for the job. 

"He can throw a tight spiral and he's savvy in the passing game," Atwood said. "He lacks a little bit of experience at the varsity level but he's come everyday in the spring and summer with the mindset to get better. We're very proud of him and we're excited with what he can bring to the table."

Camarillo and the Coyotes will look to clinch their 43rd playoff berth in school history and third in the last four seasons. 

Tuloso-Midways hosts a football practice, Friday, July 30, 2021. Kris O'Neal is the team's new head football coach and athletic director.

Noah Barrientez, sr., Tuloso-Midway 

Barrientez was another quarterback in 15-4A Division I, who was competing with two other potential starters.

First-year coach Kris O'Neal said Noah's explosiveness on the field and knowing the system helped with his decision to consider the former defensive back for the position. 

"Noah is an athlete and he's a good leader," O'Neal said. "He can see the entire field and he can lead our offense. He's worked hard, supported his teammates and he's competed well."

Barrientez said he's going to do everything he can to help put a winning product on the field and push the Warriors into the postseason for the first time since 2009. 

"I'm excited," Barrientez said. "Everybody works hard and whatever happens this season will happen. We're all going to do everything in our power to make the playoffs and do our best every Friday night."

Beeville QB/DB Victor Gonzales

Victor Gonzales, sr., Beeville 

Gonzales played multiple positions over the last three years in a Beeville uniform, but this season will be a first as he takes over as the program's starting quarterback.

Gonzales, who was the backup quarterback to William Harper in 2020, said he's excited for the opportunity and is ready to work.

"He's (Victor) just a leader and a good athlete," Beeville coach Chris Soza said. "He plays basketball, runs track and played baseball. He's an all-around good athlete and the kids look up to him. He has a good arm, he's a student of the game and he's worked hard in the summer. He has all the things you look for in a quarterback."

Beeville is looking for a bounce back season in 2021 after finishing 0-5 in district play. 

Calallen's Terik Hickmon prepares to throw the ball during practice, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. This is the first week of practice.

Terik Hickmon, sr., Calallen

Hickmon isn't a first-year quarterback but after missing half of 2020 with a foot injury, the senior duel-threat is ready to lead under center for a full season. 

"I'm feeling great and I have my body healthy," Hickmon said. "Our team is looking good and everything is falling into place right now. Our goal is state for sure and district champs. I want the team to do good."

Hickmon, who was second on the team with 786 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2020, is off to a good start after scoring on a 70-yard touchdown run in a scrimmage against Veterans Memorial.

"I'm just trying to take it slow because I was forcing myself back," Hickmon said. "The people around me kept me calm and kept telling me that everything would be good."

Calallen captured the district title in 2020, but begin the new season with 10 starters on offense and defense. 

Calallen's Terik Hickmon runs with the ball at the game against Miller, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at Buc Stadium. Calallen won, 34-27.

Jacob Laughlin, sr., Port Lavaca Calhoun 

Laughlin takes over under center with the departure of Jarius Stewart. Laughlin, who played defensive back in 2020, will look to help Richard Whitaker's group compete for a district title in 2021.

The Sandcrabs finished second in 2020 after losing to Calallen in the final game of the regular season. 

CALLER-TIMES CLASS 4A DIVISION I PREDICTIONS

15-4A DIVISION I: 1. Calallen 2. Miller, 3. Alice; 4. Port Lavaca Calhoun; 5. Beeville; 6. Tuloso-Midway

16-4A DIVISION I: 1. La Feria; 2. Hidalgo; 3. Zapata; 4. RGC La Grulla; 5. Kingsville

COASTAL BEND AREA CLASS 4A DIVISION I PREVIEW CAPSULES

MILLER BUCCANEERS 

District: 15-4A Division I

Head coach: Justen Evans 

2020 record: 9-5, 3-2

Last district title: 2019

Last playoff appearance: 2020

Enrollment: 1,219

Returning starters: 8 offense, 7 defense

TOP PLAYERS

WR Lonnie Adkism, 6-1, 186; DL Dae'Jon Bisby 6-1, 320; RB Ethan Greenwood 5-10; QB Jaedyn Brown 5-10, 160; WR Donovan Terrell 5-11, 160; RB McCullion Williams 5-10, 175. 

OUTLOOK FOR 2021

Miller will play its second consecutive season in District 15-4A Division I with co-district champs Port Lavaca Calhoun and Calallen. The Buccaneers went the furthest after advancing to the state quarterfinals for the first time in 57 years. Miller returns 15 starters from 2020, but will be without quarterback Andrew Body. Body, who signed with Texas Southern, established himself as one of the best in the state after finishing third all-time in Texas with 13,151 passing yards. Body's replacement will be sophomore Jaedyn Brown, who learned last season that he would be the program's next signal caller. Running back Ethan Greenwood and McCullion Williams will be key for Miller's running game after combining for 34 rushing touchdowns last season. Lonnie Adkism returns for his junior season after leading the state in receiving yards with 1,819 yards and 21 touchdowns. 

Miller's head football coach Justen Evans speaks to his athletes during practice, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. This is the first week of practice.

CALALLEN WILDCATS

District: 15-4A Division I

Head coach: Phil Danaher  

2020 record: 10-3, 5-0

Last district title: 2020

Last playoff appearance: 2020

Enrollment: 1,187

Returning starters: 5 offense, 5 defense

TOP PLAYERS

QB Terik Hickmon, DB Kade Wood; LB Colton Calloway 6-0, 200; OL Cole Hobbs 5-11, 240; DB Jagger Wilson; LB William Burch 5-11, 210; RB Marvin Beasley; LB Logan Kovall

OUTLOOK FOR 2021

The Wildcats claimed their first district title since 2018, and the 23rd in the Phil Danaher era in 2020. Calallen graduated more than 20 seniors in the offseason, but returns a healthy starting quarterback in Terik Hickmon. Hickmon was sidelined more than half a season with a foot injury, but has come out strong this preseason after running for a 70-yard touchdown run against Veterans Memorial. The No. 2 Wildcats will rely on a core of players on defense in Colton Calloway, Logan Kovall, Kade Wood, Jagger Wilson and William Burch. Steve Campbell's defense allowed 16 points a game in Calallen's run to the regional semifinals. 

Calallen's defensive line runs drills, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. This is the first week of practice.

ALICE COYOTES

District: 15-4A Division I

Head coach: Kyle Atwood

2020 record: 3-3, 2-1

Last district title: 2008

Last playoff appearance: 2020

Enrollment: 1,226.5

Returning starters: 6 offense, 6 defense

TOP PLAYERS

WR/DB Ryan Salas; QB Matthew Ortiz; QB Josh Camarillo; WR/DB Alejandro Vasquez; WR/DB Matthew Molina; LB Noah Cervantes; RB Kaleb Aguilar; DE David Cantu; OL/DL Dylan Mendoza; DL Miguel Saenz; OL Juan Diego Sanchez; WR/DB Randy Hughes; WR Justin Arrellano; DE Robert Villarreal; DB Michael Monsevias

OUTLOOK FOR 2021

Alice clinched its 42nd playoff appearance in 2020 and advanced to the area round for the second consecutive season. The Coyotes are pleased with how the season started after missing two scrimmages and four non-district games last year because of COVID-19 protocols. With the departure of quarterback Jacob Guzman, Alice will look to sophomore QB Josh Camarillo to fill the role. Ryan Salas returns for his senior year after catching six touchdown passes and finishing with 508 receiving yards. Atwood said he expects another competitive run at the district title.

Alice's football team pauses during football practice, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. This is the first week of practice for the team.

TULOSO-MIDWAY WARRIORS

District: 15-4A Division I

Head coach: Kris O'Neal

2020 record: 4-6, 1-4

Last district title: N/A

Last playoff appearance: 2009

Enrollment: 1,155

Returning starters: 9 offense, 7 defense

TOP PLAYERS

QB/DB Noah Barrientez; OL/DL Aaron Mueller; RB/LB Alan Rodriguez; TE/DE Elijah Bueno; RB/LB Xavier Olivarez; QB/LB Gilbert Martinez; QB/DB Seth Hovda

OUTLOOK FOR 2021

The Warriors last made the playoffs in 2009, but first-year coach Kris O'Neal is looking to end the drought. T-M brought in former Veterans Memorial defensive coordinator Scott Hawks to coach the Warriors' defense and senior Noah Barrientez returns as the program's next starting quarterback. The Warriors return 12 players from last season's group that are capable of playing both sides of the ball. T-M finished fifth last season in District 15-4A Division I. 

Tuloso-Midway coach Scott Hawks speaks to a player during practice, Friday, July 30, 2021. Kris O'Neal is the team's new head football coach and athletic director.

BEEVILLE TROJANS

District: 15-4A Division I

Head coach: Chris Soza

2020 record: 2-8, 0-5

Last district title: 2019

Last playoff appearance: 2019

Enrollment: 1,016

Returning starters: 4 offense, 6 defense

TOP PLAYERS

QB/DB Victor Gonzales; FB/LB Trey Martinez; DB Isaiah Gonzales; LB Bryce Foster

OUTLOOK FOR 2021

The Trojans had their share of challenges in District 15-4A Division I last season, but the team is looking to have a bounce back year with 10 returning starters and a new quarterback. Victor Gonzales takes over under center with the departure of William Harper. Gonzales will also see playing time at linebacker as the Trojans will use several players on both sides of the ball because of depth. With the departure of star receiver Jalen Spicer, fullback/linebacker Trey Martinez is another player Beeville will look to for yards. Head coach Chris Soza said he expects another competitive year in 15-4A Division I.

Moody faces Beeville in their season opening football game, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at Buc Stadium. Moody won, 46-43.

KINGSVILLE BRAHMAS

District: 16-4A Division I

Head coach: Michael Davila 

2020 record: 0-7, 0-4

Last district title: 2017

Last playoff appearance: 2018

Enrollment: 884

Returning starters: 9 offense, 7 defense

TOP PLAYERS

OL Justin DeLeon; QB Sergio Gonzales; WR Terrell Jackson; DE Dorian Arredondo; DE Damian Arredondo; WR/DB Pedro Cruz

OUTLOOK FOR 2021

The Brahmas look to have a bounce season after a winless 2020. Coach Michael Davila will look to returning quarterback Sergio Gonzales to lead the offense alongside receivers Terrell Jackson and Pedro Cruz. Dorian and Damian Arredondo will anchor the defensive line.