Chasing the Dream

H'Town legends pursuing different paths to get on NFL rosters

Westfield's Tyler Batson living dream in Canada. Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on Vype


It's all about chasing that dream.

For some like Westfield's Ed Oliver, who will be selected in the first-round of the upcoming NFL Draft, it's easy.

For others, the path is non-traditional.

Over a dozen former Houston-area high school football legends are playing professional football en route to getting on a NFL 53-man roster.

The Canadian Football League and the Alliance of American Football are giving more opportunities to NFL hopefuls, including former H'Town stars.

"I've been out of football for a year since college," Tyler Batson, formerly of Westfield and UTEP said. "Out of college, I didn't get an NFL free agent workout or invited to a camp. I just never gave up on the dream.

"I took that year off to get healthy physically and signed with an agent who really worked for me. I got a CFL tryout in Dallas and killed it. I signed with the Edmonton Oilers and will leave for training camp in April.

"Honestly, I didn't know much about the CFL or the tradition of the Oilers, but I've done a ton a research now. I just kept putting in work, knowing that my opportunity would come. I've accomplished the goal of becoming a professional football player and now my goal is to play in the NFL."

Batson will be picking up the new CFL rules and the playbook before moving in April, but he has the intangibles.

"I combine a great football IQ, size, speed and physicality," he said. "I specialize in explosive plays and I feel like any team can use those capabilities."

A pair of FCS Walter Payton Offensive Players of the Year from Houston are also on CFL rosters in Bo Levi Mitchell (Katy) and Jeremiah Briscoe (Stratford). One of the city's all-time leading rushers Trey Williams (Dekaney) has recently been picked up by the Alliance of American Football.


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Houston's winning streak moves to six

Eighth-inning rally powers Astros to series sweep over Rangers

Yuli Gurriel brought in the go-ahead run late in Sunday's game. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Winners in the first three games of this series and their last five games overall, the Astros continued their climb towards the A's for first place in the AL West. They completed the four-game sweep, ending a successful homestand on a positive note before heading on the road.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 2

Astros' Record: 24-17, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brooks Raley (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez (1-2)

Astros strike first, McCullers Jr. goes six scoreless

After the Rangers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, Houston grabbed an early lead off the bat of Alex Bregman. He provided the third single of the inning, a one-out RBI to put the Astros in front 1-0, a score which would hold steady for a while. Another run didn't come across until the bottom of the fifth when Houston would load the bases with one out when Carlos Correa would get an RBI groundball to double the lead to 2-0.

Lance McCullers Jr. did well with the small lead, backing up his recent eight-inning gem with a quality start against Texas. He allowed a couple of hits each in the third and fourth but would erase the runners with no damage allowed. The Rangers threatened in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double before the runner moved to third on a wild pitch, putting him in a great position with no outs. McCullers Jr. would come away unscathed, finishing the inning and his day by retiring the next three batters. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 95 P.

Rangers tie it against Scrubb

First out of Houston's bullpen was Andre Scrubb, and he would not fare as well as the Astros starter. A leadoff single turned into a two-run game-tying homer, making it 2-2 before Scrubb would sit down the next three in order. Still tied in the top of the eighth, Brooks Raley had a terrific inning, striking out the three batters he faced.

Houston rallies ahead in the eighth for the four-game sweep

The top of Houston's order mounted a threat in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with one out to try and regain the lead. Yuli Gurriel would come through with the go-ahead at-bat, getting a sac fly to put the Astros back in front 3-2. A two-out walk loaded the bases again, setting up Chas McCormick to provide two insurance runs on a two-RBI single.

Myles Straw added one more on an RBI single, making it a four-run game at 6-2 heading to the ninth. Enoli Paredes made his long-awaited return from the IL, appearing for the first time since April 8th to try and close things out in the ninth. He tossed a scoreless inning, finishing off the four-game sweep, extending Houston's winning streak to six games, and keeping them in step with Oakland for the AL West lead.

Up Next: After a day off on Monday, the Astros will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday. They'll kick off a three-game set in Oakland against the A's at 8:40 PM, an exciting matchup to determine who will head into the weekend atop the division. While Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.08 ERA) is the expected starter for Houston, Oakland has not yet determined their rotation for the series.

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