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.