High School: A. Maceo Smith

7-on-7 notebook: Arl. Martin's rah-rah grandma

June, 15, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Even in afternoon temperatures approaching triple digits, Karen Fallman wasn’t about to miss a play involving her grandson, Arlington Martin quarterback Brodie Lambert.

The 73-year-old Arlington resident spent over six hours at the Red Bull 7-on-7 Game Breakers Fort Worth Qualifier on Tuesday night at O.D. Wyatt High School.

She was still going strong when Martin defeated Aledo, 20-11, under the lights for the title.

“I had a great time, particularly since we won,’’ she said. “I have eight grandchildren and they’ve all been good athletes. I never miss any of them playing. Brodie is the last one.’’

Friends say Karen doesn’t hesitate to let a referee know when she believes a mistake has been made.

“When its blatant right in front of them and they don’t call it, I don’t understand that,’’ she said.

Guyer receiver grades out well

Connor Crane ranks No. 1 academically in a 2012 graduating class of over 500 at Denton Guyer.

The 6-4, 190-pound outside receiver said his mom, a chemical engineer, insists on studies before sports.

Crane, a returning starter from last year’s Class 4A Division I state finalist team, is considering a career in the medical field. Football, however, plays a role in his college choice.

He’s made unofficial visits to Northwestern, Kansas and Colorado and will take a first-hand look at the Tennessee Volunteers on Friday, California Bears on Sunday and Stanford on Monday. He hopes to commit this summer.

“I’m looking for a good academic school, but I want to see how the coaches are and how quickly I can get into the lineup,’’ Crane said.

Crane caught a touchdown pass on the final play to beat Arlington, 26-24, in a third-round game Tuesday.

“People might overlook us this season because of the players that graduated, but I think we can make another run,’’ Crane said. “We have some guys that are really talented. It might take a couple of games because we will be young, but we’ll surprise some teams.’’

Sanger QB: Bigger schools don’t always have best players

Dane Evans, quarterback of Class 3A Sanger, dismisses the notion that players from smaller schools are inferior to those from larger Class 4A and 5A schools.

“All it means is those schools have more guys in the program, not better players,’’ said the 6-2, 190-pounder, who threw for over 3,400 yards and 37 touchdowns in 11 games as a junior.

Evans has busied himself by taking part in a number of skills camps on college campuses and he’s gotten a first-hand look at some of the top-rated prospects.

Sanger went 0-2 on Tuesday’s qualifier, but was competitive in losses to 5A Arlington (31-22) and 4A Crowley (23-14.)

Re-birth at Wilmer-Hutchins

LaDarrell McNeil remembers the way the Wilmer-Hutchins community supported its high school football team before the school closed six years ago.

“The whole town came to games,’’ said McNeil, a 6-1, 190-pound senior free safety. “With the school re-opening, I feel like I’m coming home.’’

Like many of his teammates, McNeil spent his high school career at A. Maceo Smith, but his early schooling was in Wilmer-Hutchins.

The Dallas Independent School District opted to convert A. Maceo Smith, in its fourth year of academic unacceptability, into a technology high school as part of a repurposing plan. Athletics will not be offered.

McNeil said athletic facilities at Wilmer-Hutchins, which includes its own football stadium, are superior to those at A. Maceo Smith, where the weight room was a portable building.

In 1990, Wilmer-Hutchins won the Class 4A Texas state championship.

“We hope to build on traditions at Wilmer-Hutchins and A. Maceo Smith,’’ McNeil said.

Aledo star RB can catch, too

Aledo has won consecutive Class 4A Division II state titles in part by giving Johnathan Gray the football and watching him run.

That’s not an option in the all-pass format of 7-on-7 football, however.

“Running backs have to be able to catch the ball if they are going to be well-rounded,’’ the Texas Longhorns commit said. “I love catching the ball coming out of the backfield. I look at this as a way to improve my game and have fun.

“My team wants to go to the National Finals and that’s why we’re here,’’ Gray said.

On his first 7-on-7 play Tuesday, Gray hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass.

Lamar’s Brown finds niche as a pass rusher

Sophomore Greg Brown’s enthusiasm proved contagious on the Arlington Lamar sideline.

Brown, normally a running back, was chosen to be pass rusher in situations allowed under Game Breaker rules. He totaled four quarterback “sacks’’ for the day.

After each, he sprinted off the field, encouraging his teammates with every step, yelling, “Let’s go! We got this! Let’s do it!’’

The 5-7, 185-pound Brown said he enjoyed his pass rush experience so much, he wouldn’t be against trying it in the regular season.

Taylor-to-Taylor a good combination for Richland

Junior quarterback Sebastian Taylor guided North Richland Hills Richland to a third-place finish despite missing his favorite receiver, older brother Christian, in the Rebels’ two defeats.

“He’s a key cog in our offense because he goes inside and puts a lot of pressure on the defense,’’ Sebastian said.

Christian hurt his shoulder in the semifinal loss to Arlington Martin.

“It is fun throwing to him,’’ the quarterback said. “Growing up, we’ve probably thrown a million passes to each other.’’

Dallas ISD coach suspended by UIL

August, 11, 2010
Boys track and field coach Rodney Flannigan of Dallas A. Maceo Smith High School was suspended for three years for several violations of the UIL constitution and contest rules, according to a UIL press release Wednesday.

The UIL State Executive Committee ruled that Flannigan was in violation of Section 51(a) 1, 5, 6, 9, which includes violations of "falsifying reports" and "failing to report known violations in a timely manner or withholding information". These "Class A" violations are to carry a more severe penalty, according to the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.

Flannigan was also reported to be in violation of Section 51 (b) 1 and (c) 1 which are "Class B" violations and Section 1201 (a) 2 and (b) 1 which includes violations of The Athletic Code by which the coach resorted to "unethical tactics,
trickery which attempts to skirt the rules, or any unfair tactic which detracts from sound educational principles."

Administrators from the Dallas ISD and A. Maceo Smith High School were unavailable for comment.

For more information on the violations see Section 51 and Section 1202 of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.

Report: Barnett leaves Trinity, depledges OU

June, 8, 2010
Senior tight end Chris Barnett, one of the nation's top prospects at his position, is expected to return to A. Maceo Smith this fall, according to a report by ESPN Recruiting.

Barnett had transferred to Euless Trinity in January, but since has decided to return to his former school, where his father, Elzie, is the head football coach.

Barnett also has withdrawn his pledge to the University of Oklahoma and will reopen his recruitment, according to the report.

But that doesn't mean the Sooners are out of the running for the nation's 20th-ranked tight end prospect. Among a plethora of scholarship offers, Barnett currently lists his current top eight as Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Southern Cal, Miami, Florida State, Alabama and Oklahoma State.

Kimball hopes to be ready for Yates

February, 10, 2010
Kimball (20-7, 11-0) can remain perfect in District 11-4A and lock up at least a share of the district title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a victory over A. Maceo Smith (2-20, 3-8) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Ellis Field House.

But that’s not the season’s goal for the Knights.

Kimball lost to Houston Yates, 94-78, in the 4A state championship in 2009. Coach Royse Johnson built this team to do what last year’s couldn’t -- beat Yates. It's something nobody has achieved this season, either, as Yates is 24-0 and ranked No. 1 by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.

“We know that if we do get a chance to get out of Dallas, which is so tough ... But if we do get that opportunity, we’ve modeled ourselves to compete with Yates,” Johnson said. “We know if we get to that game [state], we’re going to have to play up-tempo. If we play up-tempo, we’ll get plenty of open shots, but it’s going to be about stamina. You can only condition so much in practice. It’s nothing like the conditioning of a game.”

Kimball, ranked No. 11 by the TABC poll, struggled with adjustments early in the season. Sophomore guards Shannon Lilly and David Tucker had to learn to play at the varsity level, the team took on a tough nondistrict schedule, and everyone tried to get used to the new speed of play.

Since district began, Kimball has rolled -- not just going undefeated, but winning by an average of 27.8 points per game.

“The kids were frustrated, but I just wanted them to trust in me and what I was trying to do,” Johnson said of the early struggles. “We’re starting to see the results now.”