UIL State Track & Field

Fort Bend Marshall boys win Class 5A Crown

For the third time in the past four seasons Fort Bend captured the Class 5A UIL Boys State Track and Field Championship. Vype

AUSTIN - Fort Bend Marshall is quickly turning into a track and field dynasty.

The Buffs for the third time in the past four seasons captured the Class 5A UIL Boys State Track and Field Championship.

"Everything, I know it's a cliche to say when you win a championship they they're all different but they are," Fort Bend Marshall coach Lloyd Banks said. "This is a different group of kids, different circumstances. Youthful, the way they rose to the occasion was a thing of beauty.

"I'm proud of them."

Heading into the final event of the night, the Buffs needed at least a third-place finish in the 4X400-meter relay race to secure the title.

Trailing Mansfield Legacy by eight points, 56-48, Marshall turned on the burners in the last race of the evening.

The combination of Devon Achane, Dominick Houston-Shepard, Korey King and Henry Thomas proved to be just what they needed.

The group posted a 3:16.47 to take the gold and secure the state championship.

"This is my first year and it's a real great feeling," Shepard said.

The opponents on the track hasn't been the only thing Fort Bend Marshall has had to battle over the last few weeks.

Rumors had been circulating that the school could be altered to potentially an academy and potentially split the athletes to other schools in the district.

Banks did tell VYPE that they are here to stay and no changes will be coming to the high school.

"The fact that the rumors are there kind of bother us," Banks said. "We're doing so many great things outside the athletic realm. I'm happy for our kids and I'm happy for our community. I hope we continue to put a good product on the track, field and classroom.

"The kids were kind of upset about that. Why would you want to close us? What are we doing or not doing for us to be in a position to uphold us. Our kids look at us like we should be a flagship school. That's our mindset. For the last couple of years if you look at it athletically and academically we're there. But because of our social-economic situation sometimes we get the negative tag. If you take the time to look deeper you'll see there are awesome things going on at Fort Bend Marshall. We'll continue to do that."

The Buffs boys track team also took silver in the 4X100 and 4X200-meter relay to help bolster their point total. Of Fort Bend Marshall's 68 points, 52 came from the relay teams.

Houston-Shepard also racked up 14 more points in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles with a third place and second place finish, respectively.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome