Long Time Coming

The Woodlands bring back lacrosse title to Houston

It’s been 12 years since the city of Houston has won a state championship in lacrosse Vype

It’s been 12 years since the city of Houston has won a state championship in lacrosse, when St. John’s took the title in 2006. It’s been 23 years since a Houston-area public school has won the coveted state title.

The Woodlands Highlanders made history, beating St. Mark’s in Austin on Sunday 10-6 to break the decade-long streak of Dallas teams winning state. The Woodlands is now the power program in the city, having reached the state tourney 5 times over the past decade.

“Winning was the most satisfying feeling,” Notre Dame-signee Ramsey McCreary said. “All the work our team has put in since we first started playing paid off. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Five different Highlanders scored in the win. McCreary had a goal and two assists in the title game, while Jack Barron (Furman) led all scorers with four goals. Mitch Williams had two goals.

“We are happy to finally give some credibility for Houston as contenders in the state,” Furman-signee Jacob Moore said. “The feeling is indescribable. The most memorable moment was seeing Coach T’s (Keith Tintle) tears when we won.”

Tintle also coached the Kinkaid school before coming over to The Woodlands. Kinkaid won a state title in 1997.

“It feels amazing after playing with my best friends the past four years and finally winning it all,” senior James McDowell said. “Some of the most memorable moments were our Spring Break trips playing in California, the bus rides and just hanging out with the team at team dinners. It’s the perfect ending to four years of high school lacrosse.”

 

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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.

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