Tag: Katy ISD

Colorado-bound Woods a dominant staple for Mustangs’ defense

Houston, Tx. Dec 7, 2019: Taylor’s Trevor Woods (43) makes the interception scoring a TD during the Regional Finals playoff game between Katy Taylor and Cy-Creek at NRG Stadium in Houston. (Photo by Mark Goodman)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | DENSILVA2@GMAIL.COM

The first four plays on Taylor senior safety Trevor Woods’ recruiting highlight tape are interceptions. All returned for touchdowns. All from one season.

“And a couple at key points, too,” Taylor coach Chad Simmons gushed over Woods’ heroics last season. “Real key points. Three in the playoffs. Like, what? Say what? You look at that tape and they’re the first four plays and you’re like, ‘Dang!’”

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Woods plays the “rover” in the Mustangs’ 4-2-5 defensive scheme. It’s basically the strong safety. For some other teams, it’s the nickelback. For Taylor, it’s its best tackler.

Simmons schemes his defense to “bounce the ball” toward Woods, allowing him to do what he does best—make plays and get it back for the offense. Last season, Woods did just that, compiling 165 total tackles with eight sacks, five interceptions, five fumbles caused and a fumble recovery for the Class 6A Division II state semifinalist Mustangs.

Continue reading “Colorado-bound Woods a dominant staple for Mustangs’ defense”

Tompkins 2-time all-state DB Huerter picks South Dakota State

Katy, Tx. Oct. 25, 2019: Taylor’s Cj Tolbert (3) carries the ball as he’s brought down by Tompkins’ Colby Huerter (14) during a game between Taylor Mustangs and Tompkins Falcons at Rhodes Stadium in Katy. (Photo by Mark Goodman)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | DENSILVA2@GMAIL.COM

Colby Huerter is a two-time Class 6A all-state selection. A bruising, athletic 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety, he is a prolific stat-stuffer for Tompkins’ defense, averaging 6.2 tackles per game with 10 interceptions, a fumble recovery and a fumble caused in 26 games over the last two seasons.

Even more impressive than his physical ability, however, is his guile. One of my favorite plays—of any high school athlete I’ve covered in my 15 years in sportswriting—is this heads-up save during a game against Cinco Ranch two years ago.

“My approach to being a safety is to know your opponents better than they know themselves,” the incoming senior said. “So, when it comes to game time, there is not a lot of thinking on my part, just reacting. My mindset is to give maximum effort 100 percent of the time.”

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The most of a minute: Rams coach Randle uplifts through social media videos

Mayde Creek head football coach/campus athletic coordinator Brian Randle. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | DENSILVA2@GMAIL.COM

Thoughts of frustration crossed Mayde Creek head football coach Brian Randle’s mind one late April afternoon as he sat on a couch in his house, beyond irritated with the day’s earlier events.

As it was, at the time then and now, the world was in a precarious state because of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, that halted schooling and postponed, and then eventually canceled, spring athletics. Mere days into his arrival at Mayde Creek, the new Rams coach needed a way to reach his new kids, for them to get to know him and him to get to know them. Zoom, a popular video conferencing tool, was thought to be the answer.

Thought.

“My first Zoom with my kids got hacked, and it was all kinds of craziness,” Randle recalled. “A guy’s on there cussing … it was awful. After that, I told my guys, ‘Hey, we’re not doing that again. We’re not going to go through that.’”

Randle, who now uses Canvas as another method to do group meetings with his team, called Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker and expressed his discomfort.

“I had no control, the screen flipped over, I was trying to exit everything,” he said. “But I still needed to reach the kids. So, I thought I’d jump on social media and just use Twitter. I told the coaches to make sure all the kids are following me, and that way I can give them something positive.”

And so, “The Morning Minute” was born.

Continue reading “The most of a minute: Rams coach Randle uplifts through social media videos”

Talkin’ Warriors: Touring Katy ISD’s latest jewel, Jordan High School

Jordan High School, Katy ISD’s ninth high school scheduled to open in August. (PHOTO BY DENNIS SILVA II)

Jordan High School is Katy ISD’s ninth high school. Since 2013, the district has introduced three high schools: Tompkins (2013), Paetow (2017) and now Jordan. The Jordan campus, located in Fulshear, opens in August.

Because Jordan High is opening on an even year (2020) and beginning with freshmen and sophomores, Jordan’s individual sports will go varsity right away, but team sports will wait until the fall of 2021, when the school adds juniors. The only sport that is not able to be placed in realignment on the “middle” year, or halfway between the two-year realignment, is football.

Football for Jordan High won’t be realigned by the UIL until 2022, which will be Jordan’s first varsity football season. Until then, the district will try to mix and match schedules for Jordan to play football, just not under the UIL umbrella. The Warriors, whose colors are black and gold, will play a junior varsity schedule this year, with some varsity and sophomore team opponents mixed in.

The school will have an initial enrollment of almost 1,600.

On Tuesday afternoon, I was invited on a tour of the athletic facilities. Architecturally, the campus is very similar to that of Paetow High.

Continue reading “Talkin’ Warriors: Touring Katy ISD’s latest jewel, Jordan High School”

As Arizona commit and Katy High team captain, Johnson hopeful for senior season

Katy, Tx. – Sept 21, 2019: Katy’s Dalton Johnson (43) makes the stop on Clear Springs’ Kaleb Hymes during a game at Legacy Stadium in Katy. (Photo by Mark Goodman)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | DENSILVA2@GMAIL.COM

As the country is engulfed in a pandemic threatening the fall sports season, Katy High senior defensive back Dalton Johnson considers himself fortunate.

Though on-campus and in-person recruiting visits were not permitted during the spring because of COVID-19, Johnson verbally committed to continue his career and play for the University of Arizona a little more than a month ago. His future will not be dependent upon a senior campaign that is in jeopardy.

“It’s such a relief off my shoulders,” Johnson said. “Definitely with the pandemic, it kind of sped things up for me a bit. I was originally going to wait (to commit) until I go on a visit or something, but COVID kind of messed that up. It wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t rushed or anything. I knew it was the right time.

“I wanted to make sure I secured a spot, and looking at Arizona it was a perfect fit.”

Continue reading “As Arizona commit and Katy High team captain, Johnson hopeful for senior season”

Adams Junior High talent Holt earns first DI offer

Adams Junior High incoming eighth grader Jaden Holt. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Jaden Holt never saw it coming. Never expected it in his wildest dreams. Not so soon, at least.

And why would he have? Rarely does a kid, barely a teenager at 14 years old, expect to have a NCAA Division I scholarship offer before he enters high school, let alone the eighth grade.

But that’s what happened July 17, when Holt, a 5-foot-8-1/2 point guard product of Adams Junior High in Katy, was offered by the University of Tulsa.

Before he even had a 247sports.com recruiting page, Holt had a scholarship offer.

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Taylor’s Shorter finds home at West Point

Taylor High senior running back Casey Shorter. (COURTESY PHOTO)

By DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

As soon as Army offered Taylor High’s Casey Shorter on June 5, it didn’t take long for the power running back to commit himself to the black and gold.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder had done his research on Army ever since the Black Knights had contacted him on February 4. Then came the official full-ride offer. Fourteen days later, on June 19, Shorter declared the program his future home.

“I know it is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Shorter said. “One of the top academic schools, a guaranteed job when graduating, and I know they have an offense that I fit into perfectly.”

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Star talent Williams to finish career at Tompkins

Three-star guard recruit Demari Williams is transferring from Fulshear High to Tompkins for his senior year. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEMARI WILLIAMS)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Tompkins was the pleasant surprise of Katy ISD’s boys basketball last season when it made a surprising run to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals as a relatively young team.

Though the Falcons lost a pair of senior leaders in Hank Sanders and Jonathan Nash for the upcoming season, they return a talented junior class in B.B. Knight, Jason Clark and Carmelo Yakubu. All three have size, length and shooting ability; Knight is regarded as one of the top shooters in the class of 2022.

Tompkins has also added a pair of dynamic transfers: Joshua McMillan II from Cypress Lakes and Demari Williams from Fulshear. The marquee name is the senior combo guard Williams. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder averaged 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals last season.

Williams, a three-star recruit, scored more than 1,000 points over the last two seasons for the Chargers.

“I’ve been zoned to Tompkins for over a year now,” Williams said. “I was at Fulshear on a district waiver last year because my dad works in the district. Tompkins is a lot closer to my home, so we discussed it as a family, and I decided to give it a try for my senior year.”

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Former Tompkins stars reunite at UTEP

Former Tompkins standout Kristian Sjolund, shown here in white No. 32, will join two former high school teammates at the University of Texas-El Paso. (PHOTO BY MARK GOODMAN)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Tompkins High basketball players and coaches drooped in their locker room, entrenched deep within the bowels of San Antonio’s Alamodome, with shoulders slumped and heads heavy, fallen and frustrated, on the night of March 11, 2018.

The Falcons had just dropped a heartbreaking 49-47 overtime decision to Allen in the Class 6A state championship game.

Even after a remarkable season that put the still-young program on the high school basketball map in Texas, tears filled eyes. Eventually, however, perspective and optimism filled thoughts and words.

“It was definitely a learning experience,” said Emmanuel White, then a senior wing. “Shortly after the game, we all told each other that we were going to be in a bigger moment. That wasn’t going to be the biggest game we’d ever play in. So, we didn’t really hang our hats on that.

“Now it’s just crazy. We’re all about to have a chance to do it together again.”

Continue reading “Former Tompkins stars reunite at UTEP”

A Katy ISD leader in sports medicine, Stevens set to retire

Katy ISD assistant athletic director over sports medicine Charlie Stevens, middle, was awarded the Logan Award by the Greater Houston Athletic Trainer’s Society in 2015. Stevens is set to retire after 13 years in that role on June 30.

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Katy ISD is a Houston pioneer in sports medicine.

The district was the first in the Greater Houston area to promote an athletic trainer to the central office 13 years ago. Today, the district is one of only three in the Houston area—Fort Bend and Pasadena being the other two—to have an assistant athletic director over sports medicine.

That job was fulfilled by Charlie Stevens, who furthered the advancement of sports medicine at the high school level for Katy ISD. Stevens officially resigned before spring break in March, but his last day is June 30. Former Katy High athletic trainer Justin Landers will succeed him.

“Some of us have a servant’s heart,” said Stevens, who was the athletic trainer at Mayde Creek High for 23 years before then-Katy ISD athletic director Rusty Dowling promoted him in 2007 to oversee the district’s initiatives in athletic training and sports medicine. “You enjoy helping people. The sports world deals with strength and speed and all those things, so athletic training allowed me to gain knowledge that allowed me to help people.”

Continue reading “A Katy ISD leader in sports medicine, Stevens set to retire”