FOOTBALL: DCTF prefers Memorial, PNG; names Johnson preseason offensive player of year

Published 6:40 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

The Brian Morgan era at Port Arthur Memorial is beginning with a positive outlook.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine predicted Memorial to win the first-ever District 9-5A Division I football championship. Memorial, the fifth-largest school in the district, according to figures printed in the 400-page magazine, shared the District 22-5A title with Port Neches-Groves the past two seasons (and with Vidor in 2016) and made the 5A Division I regional semifinals both years under Kenny Harrison, now at Humble Summer Creek.

Morgan was promoted to replace Harrison in March.

Memorial head coach Brian Morgan (I.C. Murrell/The News)

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PNG earned three honors from DCTF. Senior quarterback Roschon Johnson was named the Subway Super Team Preseason Offensive Player of the Year for all Texas classifications, a list that includes Newton’s Darwin Barlow on the first team.

PNG is favored to win District 12-5A Division II, with Johnson selected as the district’s preseason offensive MVP. Defensive back Noah Lewis of Nederland was picked the preseason defensive MVP.

This is the first year for UIL Class 5A to be divided into two divisions during regular-season play. The larger of the 253 5A schools (enrollments of 1,150 to 2,189) are Division I, with the remainder being in Division II. Memorial’s enrollment is 2,044.

New Caney was picked second in 9-5A Division I, followed by Houston Austin, Kingwood Park, Porter, Galena Park, Goose Creek Memorial and Houston Wisdom (formerly Robert E. Lee High, named after late Houston teacher Margaret Long Wisdom). The magazine named Austin quarterback Malik Hornsby and New Caney defensive back Dwight McGlothern preseason offensive and defensive MVPs for the district.

In 12-5A Division II, Crosby is selected second, followed by Nederland, Barbers Hill, Dayton, Vidor, Santa Fe and Baytown Lee. PNG edged Crosby 72-69 in last November’s 5A Division II bi-district showdown, en route to a regional semifinal finish, where it lost to eventual state champion College Station.

Nederland beat PNG 36-35 in the Bum Phillips Bowl in November and routed Porter 35-3 in the 5A D-I bi-districts before falling to eventual state runner-up Manvel.

Sabine Pass is predicted to finish sixth in the seven-team 12-2A Division II. Newcomer Lovelady is favored to finish first, followed by Grapeland, Evadale, Colmesneil, West Hardin, SP and Burkeville.

DCTF, printed for the 59th consecutive year, is expected hit magazine shelves across Texas by Thursday. This year’s edition includes first-year Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver on the double cover.


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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