Next Great Buff

Dominick Houston-Shepard is Marshall's dual-sport star

Entering April, Houston- Shepard was ranked No. 1 in Texas in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 36.76 seconds Vype

The Marshall Buffs have another one on their hands.

Another elite level, dual-sport athlete who calls Thurgood Marshall High home. He’s the next big thing on Buffalo Run.

His name is Dominick Houston-Shepard.

He’s made his name on the football field, torching defense all the way to the Region III title game last season. After an early transition to wide receiver, he hasn’t looked back.

“My freshman year I switched from defensive back to wide receiver because I love to score,” said Houston- Shepard.

Believe it or not, football isn’t even his primary sport.

No one in the nation has the combination of speed, flexibility, drive and natural ability that Dominick displays when he runs the hurdles.

Entering the month of April, Houston- Shepard was ranked No. 1 in Texas in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 36.76 seconds. That time was also good for third fastest in the country.

“I started as an 11-year-old,” Houston-Shepard said. ”My summer track coach was a hurdler herself, so she told me she was going to train me. That same season I won gold at the AAU Junior Olympics.”

That coach knows a thing or two about hurdling, considering she’s the three-time Big West 100-meter hurdle champion Tanya Davis Moore.

Moore runs a club track team that saw the potential of a young Houston-Shepard. He’s more than delivered on the promise Moore saw in him all those years ago. He still has loftier goals in mind as he eyes the state hardware.

After a fourth place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at state last year, Houston-Shepard has run with a vengeance in 2018.

In the 110-meter hurdles, Houston-Shepard has five first place finishes, including running a 14.16 at the Victor Lopez Classic. In the 300-meter hurdles, Houston- Shepard has reigned in three first place finishes, including a personal record at the Victor Lopez Classic.

But winning these meets in the hurdles aren’t the ultimate goal this season.

“My goal is to win state in both hurdles,” said Houston-Shepard.

So what’s the magic ingredient that FB Marshall has built their track legacy on?

“We consistently have some of the best athletes because of our work ethic,” said Houston-Shepard.

This article appears in the April Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations today!

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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