Galena Park (Texas) North Shore has been one of the state's most prolific programs in terms of winning and developing Division I talent.
The 2008 season will be intriguing on both fronts.
While the Mustangs reached the state semi-finals in 2007, their expectations are greater for 2008. North Shore coach David Aymond returns five Division I prospects – one on offense and four on defense.
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The headliner is athlete Barrett Matthews, who is a hybrid tight end, receiver and H-back.
"Barrett can do so many things for an offense," Aymond laughs. "He's so intense that sometimes we have to hold him out of the pre-game speech. He could be our best tight end to come out of here and we've had some good ones. He can catch, run and loves to punish people blocking. He's so physical."
On defense, North Shore's strength is the defensive line with Thaddeus Randle at tackle and rangy ends Jestin White and Terrance Kindle. The line allows for linebacker Daniel Salinas to run free from sideline to sideline.
"Salinas is a play-maker," defensive coordinator Jon Kay said. "He's so hungry and strong that he's a can't miss guy. His speed combined with his motor and size, make him the total package."
With the most recent district realignment, North Shore was left with five district games, meaning they needed to pick up five non-district games to fill out their slate.
That they did.
North Shore could have the toughest Class 5A 2008 schedule by a long shot. Not to mention they will be trying to extend a 70-game regular season win streak in the process.
The Mustangs will open with the 2007 state champion Katy Tigers in week zero, followed by Eisenhower High School. Ike has two 2009 Rivals100 athletes on its roster, including safety Craig Loston and receiver Greg Timmons. Throw in quarterback Kenny Guiton, running back Curtis McGregor and receiver Jaz Reynolds and Ike should have one of the area's top teams.
The Mustangs will face quarterback Colby Gray and Cypress Falls in week two, followed by Class 4A juggernaut La Marque High School. The Cougars have state championships in 2003 and 2007.
North Shore rounds out non-district with the nationally-renown South Lake Carroll Dragons before taking a week off.
"This will really get us ready for district play and the playoffs," Aymond said. "This is what happens with this type of realignment. We are looking forward to the challenge and our kids are really excited about it."