KENS 5 football rankings: The beat goes on at Reagan

October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015 – by David Flores, KENS5

There’s a difference between having high expectations and having a misguided sense of entitlement.

At its core, the Reagan High School football program is grounded in commitment and discipline. From the moment they step into the Rattlers field house as freshmen, players learn quickly that there are no free passes to success on or off the field. Victories are earned, not given.

The same goes for district championships, as Reagan would attest. The Rattlers have won district with such regularity in 12 seasons under Coach David Wetzel that the school may have to start thinking about getting a bigger trophy case just for the football program’s hardware alone.

“There’s a culture in our program that’s a blue-collar mentality,” Wetzel said Tuesday. “We talk about that all the time. Bring your hard hat and bring your lunch pail. That’s our mentality. There’s no entitlement. You’ve got to go to work. I’m proud of that. Our kids believe that. They practice that way and play that way.”

Reagan beat MacArthur last Friday night to clinch its third consecutive district title, and sixth in eight years. Wetzel, 46, is 104-39 since succeeding Irl Kincaid as head coach in 2004.

The Rattlers have been so dominant in their district since 2013 that a victory over Lee in Saturday’s regular-season finale would give them a perfect league record for the third year in a row. Reagan has won 17 consecutive district matchups since losing to Roosevelt in the last game of the 2012 regular season.

Nine players, all seniors, have played on all three district championship squads: wide receiver Connor Hefron, kicker/punter Pablo Herrera, defensive back Vince Hunter, offensive lineman Joe Latronico, outside linebacker Leyton Leone, running back Cody Martinez, defensive end Brooks Roy, safety Skyler Wetzel and linebacker Patton Williams

In an era when four teams from each district advance to the playoffs and district titles have lost some of their luster, Wetzel leaves no doubt that winning a league championship still matters to the Rattlers.

“It is important to us, you betcha,” Wetzel said. “The first couple of times we went to the playoffs (in 2006 and 2007), we were not the district champions. We even went four rounds, made it to the regional final, both years. But there was still that thing that we weren’t the district champs. There’s something to be said about being the champion of your district.”

Reagan has overpowered opponents this season with an offense built around dual-threat junior quarterback Kellen Mond, who already has committed to Baylor. Mond, who also started last year, has completed 117 of 199 passes for 1,549 yards and 20 touchdowns with four interceptions. He also has averaged 6.36 yards per carry while rushing for 598 yards and another six rushing TDs.

“He’s bigger and physically better,” Wetzel said of Mond. “One thing, he doesn’t walk into the game and surprise anybody. There’s no sophomore surprise this season. Nobody is underestimating his speed or his arm, so people definitely get prepared for him. That’s a different challenge for him this season. People game-plan for him now.”

“I think the first part of the year that was a little more difficult for all of us,” Wetzel continued. “He has gotten better throughout the season. Over the last two or three games, he’s played extremely well as being the leader of the offense. His best trait is his cool, calm demeanor.”

Wetzel also had plenty of good things to say about the big guys who block for Mond as junior running back Marquis Duncan (90 carries, 980 yards, 15 TDs) and senior running back Ian Leslie (97-675-6) have both benefited from excellent line play.

“That’s the most improved unit on our team, the offensive line,” Wetzel said. “Our offensive line has played much, much better this season. I’ll give our offensive line coach (Andrew Rhors) and our first assistant and offensive coordinator (Blake Farris) a lot of credit for improving the performance of our offensive line.”

Joe Latronico, a tackle, starts on the offensive line with junior center Kyle Brookover, junior tackle Derek Kerstetter, senior guard Connor Jones and sophomore guard Brandon Smith.

The Rattlers were hit by injuries at the receiver positions, but seniors Tyler Liser (39-622-7), Matt Roberts (17-294-5) and Tyreke Holloman (16-223-3) have stepped up and played well.

Senior safety Skyler Wetzel (the head coach’s son) and junior inside linebacker Kyle Anderson have helped anchor the defense.

“Kyle is a heck of a football player,” David Wetzel said. “He just does a lot of things real well. He can play inside run, he can rush the passer, he can cover the pass. He’s a tough kid. Skyler has played through an injury-plagued season, but he’s still playing and making plays for us. I’m proud of him. He’s the quarterback of the secondary. He lines us up back there. He’s going to make a good coach someday.”

Reagan has reached the state quarterfinals five times – all with Wetzel at the helm – but has never advanced passed that round of the playoffs.

“I know they know how difficult it is to get back to that point,” Wetzel said. “I don’t want to take anything from just getting to that point but, sure, it drives our players. We’d like to get passed that point.”

CLICK HERE for Original Article by David Flores, KENS 5.  Photo by David Olmos / Special to

KENS 5 Class 6A Area Rankings

1. Steele (9-0)
District: 25-6A
Last week: Defeated Judson 20-13
Ranking last week: No. 1
The skinny: The Knights are one victory away from third 10-0 regular season in last five years.
This week: Bye

2. Reagan (9-0)
District: 26-6A
Last week: Defeated MacArthur 56-35
Ranking last week: No. 3.
The skinny: The Rattlers clinched at least a district co-championship with a win over Mac.
This week: vs. Lee, Saturday, 2 p.m., Comalander Stadium

3. Judson (7-1)
District: 25-6A
Last week: Lost to No. 1 Steele 20-13
Ranking last week: No. 2
The skinny: The Rockets still have a chance to finish with their best regular-season record since they went 9-1 in 2004.
This week: vs. New Braunfels Canyon, Thursday, 7 p.m., Rutledge Stadium

4. Clemens (6-2)
District: 25-6A
Last week: Bye
Ranking last week: No. 4
The skinny: Junior quarterback Frank Harris hooked up with Samuel Kearns for a 10-yard TD with 31 seconds left, then ran for the two-point conversion to give the Buffaloes the one-point victory.
This week: vs. Wagner, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Rutledge Stadium

5. Smithson Valley (6-2)
District: 25-6A
Last week: Defeated Wagner 40-35
Ranking last week: No. 5
The skinny: The Rangers (2-2) are tied with Clemens and New Braunfels for third place in the 25-6A standings.
This week: at New Braunfels, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

6. Brennan (6-2)
District: 27-6A, Zone A
Last week: Defeated Jay 41-14
Ranking last week: No. 6
The skinny: The Bears beat Stevens 55-14 in the Zone A title game last year.
This week: vs. No. 7 Stevens, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Farris Stadium

7. Stevens (7-1)
District: 27-6A, Zone A
Last week: Defeated Warren 42-31
Ranking last week: No. 7
The skinny: The Falcons have won five in a row since a 56-21 loss to Clemens.
This week: vs. No. 6 Brennan, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Farris Stadium

8. O’Connor (6-2)
District: 27-6A, Zone B
Last week: Defeated Brandeis 45-39
Ranking last week: No. 8
The skinny: The Panthers have won five in a row since a 1-2 start.
This week: vs. Holmes, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Gustafson Stadium

9. Lee (6-2)
District: 26-6A
Last week: Bye
Ranking last week: No. 9
The skinny: The Volunteers haven’t won seven games in a season since 1979, which was also the last time they won a district championship.
This week: vs. No. 2 Reagan, Saturday, 2 p.m., Comalander Stadium

10. Johnson (5-3)
District: 26-6A
Last week: Defeated Madison 36-7
Ranking last week: Unranked
The skinny: The Jaguars are second in the 26-6A standings.
This week: vs. Churchill, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Comalander Stadium

KENS 5 Sub-6A Area Rankings

1. Kerrville Tivy (8-0)
District: 27-5A
Last week: Defeated Seguin 52-18
Ranking last week: No. 1
The skinny: Wyatt Trahan rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10.1 yards per carry in a rout of Seguin.
This week: vs. Memorial, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. Boerne Champion (5-3)
District: 27-5A
Last week: Defeated Lockhart 47-26
Ranking last week: No. 2
The skinny: The Chargers are second in 27-5A with a 5-1 record.
This week: vs. San Marcos, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

3. Sam Houston (9-0)
District: 28-5A
Last week: Defeated Harlandale 29-23
Ranking last week: No. 3
The skinny: The Hurricanes haven’t finished a regular season at 10-0 since 1989.
This week: vs. Lanier, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Alamo Stadium

4. Navarro (7-0)
District: 13-4A, Division II
Last week: Bye
Ranking last week: No. 4
The skinny: The Panthers (2-0) trail district leader Wimberley (3-0) by a half-game. . .
This week: at Wimberley, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5. Somerset (7-1)
District: 29-5A
Last week: Defeated Uvalde 39-20
Ranking last week: No. 5
The skinny: Senior running back Joshua Avila had a spectacular game in a win over Uvalde, averaging 11.4 yards per carry while rushing for 377 yards and four TDs.
This week: vs. Laredo Cigarroa, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

6. Alamo Heights (5-3)
District: 27-5A
Last week: Bye
Ranking last week: No. 6
The skinny: The Mules are tied with San Marcos for fourth place in the 27-5A standings.
This week: at Floresville, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

7. San Marcos (6-2)
District: 27-5A
Last week: Defeated Kennedy 48-6
Ranking last week: No. 7
The skinny: The Rattlers need a win over Champion to keep their playoff hopes alive.
This week: at Boerne Champion, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

8. Medina Valley (5-3)
District: 29-5A
Last week: Defeated Southside 21-14
Ranking last week: No.10
The skinny: The Panthers (4-1) are in sole possession of second place in 29-5A, a half-game ahead of Laredo Martin, Uvalde and Eagle Pass Winn, all 3-2 in district..
This week: vs. Laredo Martin, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

9. Highlands (6-2)
District: 28-5A
Last week: Defeated McCollum 32-14
Ranking last week: Unranked
The skinny: The resurgent Owls haven’t won seven games in a season since 1999, when they finished 10-1 in Ken Gray’s last year as head coach.
This week: vs. Jefferson, Saturday, 7 p.m., Alamo Stadium.

10. Devine (7-1)
District: 14-4A, Division II
Last week: Defeated Carrizo Springs 44-0
Ranking last week: Unranked
The skinny: The Warhorses are tied with Pearsall (8-0, 2-0) for the district lead and face the Mavericks in their regular-season finale.
This week: vs.Poteet, Friday, 7:30 p.m.