By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Last year, in their first year in 6A competition, the Ridge Point Panthers won their district and made it to the second round of the playoffs before Houston Lamar beat them 24-21, ending their season at 11-1. This year the Panthers expect to go farther, as they are loaded with talent.
Returning are quarterback Aaron Allen, a Texas Top 300 recruit and all-district returnee, tight end Mustapha Muhammad, a Texas Subway Super Team member, pre-season all-state selection, a Texas Top 10 tight end, and an all-district returnee, and linebacker Chad Bailey, a Texas Subway Super Team member, pre-season all-state selection, a Texas Top 25 linebacker, and an all-district returnee.
Allen has committed to Louisiana Tech, Muhammad is considering several Division 1 schools, and Bailey has committed to the University of Missouri.
Also returning are defensive lineman Dennis Osagiede, a Texas Top 30 defensive lineman, linebacker Ben Chaney, defensive back Jeremiah Glaspie, defensive back Knowledge Smith, an all-district returnee, kicker and punter Dylan Malpass, an all-district returnee, wide receiver Adam Bazan, offensive lineman Jackson McDowell, offensive lineman Zach Brady, wide receiver Treveon Hamlin, and defensive lineman Nelson Ceaser,
Osagiede has committed to the University of Massachusetts, Smith to the University of Nevada, Bazan to Army, McDowell is considering Air Force and Navy, and Ceaser has offers from four Division 1 schools.
“I hope all of them can provide leadership that is needed to have a long run in the playoffs,” Sniffin said.
The on-field leaders are Allen and Bailey, and after last season, they know everything must be earned.
“We need to stay disciplined and act like every practice is game time,” Bailey said.
Allen would like to see fewer errors.
“We need to minimize small mistakes, and dominate the game down the stretch,” Allen said.
If there is a weak spot, it may be at offensive line.
“For us to have a playoff run, our offensive line has to gel,” Sniffin said.
Even with all of the talent returning, several young Panthers should get some playing time. “Sophomore wide receiver Keenon Pitts will provide some help as a slot receiver, sophomore Bryson Stewart will provide depth on the defensive line, and sophomore linebacker Adrian Johnson will push for playing time,” Sniffin said.
“Two freshmen may get some playing time in running back Charles Shelling and wide receiver and quarterback John Paul Richardson.”
The Panthers open the season with Kingwood at Hall Stadium on Saturday night.