High School: Arlington Seguin

Eleven area players taken in 2012 draft

April, 28, 2012
Ron Brooks was drafted Saturday as the 124th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills as a cornerback, a position he has played for only three seasons.

Brooks was recruited by LSU out of Irving MacArthur as a wide receiver after spending the majority of his snaps at quarterback in high school.

“He was just a step quicker than anyone else on the field,” MacArthur coach Brian Basil said. “He played quarterback for us his senior year because we wanted the ball touching his hands every snap, but the main thing that separated him at the high school level was his speed and his level of toughness.”

Brooks made the shift over to cornerback his sophomore year at LSU, which Basil believes is proof of his devotion to the game -- one of his many intangibles.

“He understood that whatever it took to get him on the field he would do it,” Basil said. “That’s why when he went to LSU, he was receptive to play defense and on special teams. Those intangibles are what allowed him to make it to this level.”

Brooks played in 53 games at LSU, finishing with 90 tackles and 5.5 sacks. All three interceptions Brooks pulled in were returned for touchdowns.

“For him, I think wherever he had an opportunity to play would be a great fit.” Basil said. “To play at that level is a dream come true and I bet he’s thrilled to death and we’re thrilled for him.”

Redskins pick Plano East/UT linebacker

The Redskins picked up the athlete that “could do it all” for Plano East coach Johnny Ringo.

Keenan Robinson was selected as the 119th overall pick as a linebacker out of Texas, the fourth player to make it to the pro level out of Plano East.

“He was a tremendous leader for us and played both ways,” Ringo said. “He’s just a kid that could do it all. He was a great track athlete and had to give up basketball. He was a tremendous player for us and will be a tremendous representative of Plano East in the NFL.”

Robinson hit Twitter immediately after his selection, affirming his excitement with the team that selected him.

“God is Good… Im right where I needa be,” Robinson tweeted, followed by, “Oo whats up Washington… Im glad to be a Redskin #NoQuestion.”

Robinson started in 39 games for the Longhorns, tallying 317 tackles and 4.4 sacks.

He joins other standouts from the state of Texas in Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and Richardson Berkner/SMU lineman Josh LeRibeus as a part of the Redskins' draft class.

Other area draftees:

Josh LeRibeus (OG, Richardson Berkner/SMU): Selected 71st overall by the Redskins.

Jamell Fleming (CB, Arlington Seguin/Oklahoma): Selected 80th overall by the Cardinals. First player drafted from Arlington Seguin to be drafted.

Chris Givens (WR, Wylie/Wake Forest): Selected as the first pick of the fourth round, 96th overall, by the Rams.

Taylor Thompson (DE/TE, Prosper/SMU): Selected 145th overall by the Titans.

Cyrus Gray (RB, DeSoto/Texas A&M): Selected 182nd overall by the Chiefs.

James Hanna (TE, Flower Mound/Oklahoma): Selected 186th overall by the Cowboys.

Robert T. Griffin (OG, Euless Trinity/Baylor): Selected 203rd overall by the Jets.

Emmanuel Acho (LB, Dallas St. Mark’s/Texas): Selected 204th overall by the Browns.

Greg McCoy (DB/KR, Dallas Woodrow Wilson/TCU): Selected 220th overall by the Bears.

Former Berkner, SMU lineman drafted 71st

April, 27, 2012
Former Richardson Berkner and SMU offensive guard Josh LeRibeus was the first Metroplex-native player picked in the 2012 NFL draft, selected by the Washington Redskins as the eighth pick of the third round (71st overall).

Berkner coach Jim Ledford said he was very pleased with his former player’s new team, especially after the Redskins selected 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.

“What a great opportunity with RGIII,” Ledford said. “What [LeRibeus] does best is pull and they’ll run a lot of boots and things like that with [Mike] Shanahan stuff and that’s what Josh is really good at.”

Ledford watched LeRibeus’ selection with the player and his family Friday night and said he believed the lineman would go 74th overall to Kansas City. However, Ledford said he had no doubt Washington selected LeRibeus for his ability to pull and protect a mobile quarterback.

LeRibeus was key in Berkner’s 12-0 season in 2006 after moving from guard to tackle to tight end throughout the season.

“Josh was a dominating player from his junior high years all the way through all his high school years,” Ledford said.

LeRibeus spent five years at SMU after graduating from Berkner in 2007, where he averaged six pancake blocks per game in his senior season.

After a redshirt season for the Mustangs in 2007, LeRibeus saw action in his freshman year and took over a starting position in 2009, where he was named honorable mention All-C-USA as a sophomore.

SMU has not seen a player drafted as high as LeRibeus since the death penalty, when Ron Morris (54th overall) and Jerry Ball were selected in the second and third rounds of the draft.

LeRibeus became the second-highest drafted player in Berkner history, behind defensive back Aqib Talib who was picked 20th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2008 draft.

Former Arlington Seguin/Oklahoma DB goes to Cardinals

Also getting the call in the third round was cornerback Jamell Fleming as the 80th pick overall to the Arizona Cardinals.

Fleming took to twitter after the announcement of his selection on the handle @JamellFleming, tweeting a picture of himself in a Cardinal red shirt.

“I got my team color on! Let’s go Cardinals!” Fleming said via twitter.

Fleming started in all of OU’s games his junior and senior seasons, racking up 60 total tackles his senior season with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

He was selected as a first team All-Big 12 player in 2011, with a highlight 56-yard scoop-and-score against Texas for his second career touchdown.

Clutch free throws lift Arl. Heights over Seguin

February, 25, 2012
DALLAS -- Fort Worth Arlington Heights head coach Josh Welch said it was unfortunate how many times his team ended up on the wrong side of close games this season. The Yellow Jackets reversed their fortunes at the right time.

Travis Williams hit three clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds to lead Arlington Heights to a 59-56 win over Arlington Seguin in the regional quarterfinals Saturday night at American Airlines Center.

Boys brackets: 5A »   4A »
Girls brackets: 5A »   4A »
State tournament: Girls » Boys »
Justin Hemphill scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead Arlington Heights.

"I'm not here to be a superstar," Hemphill said. "I'm just here to help my team win and try to make it to Austin."

Welch said the toughest thing about defending his team is accounting for how many scorers he has.

"Any given night, nobody can beat us," Welch said. "That's what makes us tough to guard."

Seguin forward Kelvin Downs dominated the post, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but the 6-foot-9 Arkansas State commit only scored one point in the final quarter.

Arlington Heights had a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Seguin responded with a 9-0 run to start the second. A late free throw by Brandon Parrish put Seguin up 30-27 at the break.

Arlington Heights came out of the locker room on fire and went on an 11-2 run to take a 38-32 lead, but Seguin again answered and used a 6-0 run to close out the third quarter down 40-39.

The teams continued to trade baskets until a 5-0 run put Arlington Heights up 56-49 late in the fourth.

Seguin's Cris Boleware responded with a big 3-pointer from the baseline, then stole the inbound pass and hit a floater to pull Seguin within two.

After a quick foul, Williams hit two free throws to make it 58-54 Arlington Heights.

Erik Wright added a quick two to pull back within two and Seguin again fouled Williams, who made the first free throw but missed the second with 2.9 seconds left.

Seguin's last-second shot missed from half court.

Arlington Heights spread the scoring around. Along with Hemphill's 16 points, Harrison Wagner and Marshall Calvin added nine each, and Travis Williams and Damontre McFarland finished with eight apiece.

Wright finished with 12 points and Parrish chipped in 11 for Seguin.

Arlington Heights will play the winner of Forth Worth Southwest and Crowley in a regional semifinal.

AAC to host four boys playoff games Saturday

February, 22, 2012
American Airlines Center will host an all-day boys basketball playoff extravaganza Saturday, with four area-round games on the schedule.

Of the eight teams who will be in action, five were ranked in ESPN Dallas' final 4A and 5A area top 10s. Here are the matchups:
  • 1 p.m.: 4A No. 2 South Oak Cliff vs. McKinney
  • 3 p.m.: 5A No. 5 DeSoto vs. Rowlett
  • 5 p.m.: 4A No. 8 Arlington Seguin vs. Fort Worth Arlington Heights
  • 7 p.m.: 5A No. 2 South Grand Prairie vs. No. 8 Plano West

Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster for $25 courtside, $15 lower level and $10 upper level. Parking will be available in all American Airlines Center parking lots for $10.

Seguin clinches 7-4A crown by beating Summit

February, 11, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the Arlington Seguin boys basketball team, clinching the District 7-4A title on Friday’s Senior Night was special enough.

To do it emphatically with a 63-40 victory over Mansfield Summit, its biggest rival, in front of a big home crowd made it all the sweeter.

“This was a long time coming, and we beat ‘em big a big margin,’’ said Seguin 6-foot-9 senior post Kelvin Downs, an Arkansas State signee. Downs finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and a couple of “don’t forget me’’ dunks in the final minutes of his last home game.

Guard Cris Boleware led the Cougars with 16 points.

“It feels great to win the district title, the best feeling I’ve had,’’ Boleware said. “Doing it in front of our fans is a big part of it.’’

Seguin (26-5, 12-1 in 7-4A), No. 8 in ESPNDallas.com Class 4A Top 10, has one district game remaining at Cleburne on Tuesday before the state playoffs begin.

Coach Bobby Thigpen’s season-long emphasis on defense paid off for the Cougars. A tight man-to-man limited Summit to 4-of-21 shooting in the first half, allowing Seguin to open a 28-13 halftime lead.

“The old saying is ‘defenses win championships’ and I believe that,’’ Thigpen said. “We played straight man-to-man and really keyed on No. 11 (Joel Kapiamba) because he’s a good player. It came down to pride and heart.’’

Boleware helped Seguin pull away by scoring seven points in a 75-second span before halftime.

“I started feeling it and the guys got the ball to me,’’ Boleware said. “Our team shares the ball pretty well.’’

Summit (22-9, 10-3) can finish runner-up in 7-4A with a home court win over Granbury on Tuesday.

Kapiamba was the only Jaguar in double-figures with 14 points.

Coach Jason Mutterer said Sequin’s length was the major reason for Summit’s shooting woes.

“Not only do they have 6-9 and 6-7 guys, they area very athletic, too.

“We did everything we were supposed to do in the first quarter,’’ Mutterer said. “I look back at a fast break chance when we were down 15-10 in the second quarter and turned it over. We have to take advantage of situations like that when we're playing a team like Seguin.’’

Arlington Seguin presents big problem for foes

January, 19, 2012
Arlington Seguin is a Class 4A boys basketball team with Class 5A height.

The Cougars' “Big Three’’ of senior Kelvin Downs (6-foot-9) and juniors Greg Wesley (6-7) and Brandon Parrish (6-5) poses large headaches for opponents.

Parrish, a guard, and Wesley, a forward, each average 15 points a game. Downs, a post who has signed with Arkansas State, leads the team in rebounds with 12.5 per game and averages 13.3 points.

Seguin coach Bobby Thigpen can call on yet another 6-5 player, junior forward Donnie Thomas. In fact, six juniors see a lot of the court for the Cougars.

Seguin (19-5, 5-1 in District 7-4A) is tied with Everman (16-4, 5-1) for first place. Mansfield Summit (14-5, 4-2) is third.

Seguin's lone district defeat came at the hands of Everman, 53-51, Jan. 3 on the Cougars' home court.

The Cougars, No. 7 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 4A Top 10, are coming off a 62-57 win at Summit on Tuesday. Wesley led the way with 16 points and Parrish had 14.

At 8 p.m. Friday, Seguin will host Cleburne.

Coin flip could be needed for last 2 7-4A spots

November, 1, 2011
Four teams remain in contention for two playoff spots in a jumbled District 7-4A.

Six weeks of play has settled only two of the four playoff berths. Mansfield Summit and Everman are in.

There remains a good possibility that a coin flip will be needed decide the final two spots.

The saga will play out Friday evening in four 7-4A stadiums.

Here’s a look by school:

*Summit (8-1, 6-0) is the 7-4A champion.

*Everman (5-3, 4-2) has clinched its 13th consecutive spot going into Friday’s home game against 0-9 Joshua.

*Granbury (5-4, 4-2), which hosts Summit, gets in with a win or a loss by Burleson or Cleburne. A Granbury loss and wins by Burleson and Cleburne would force a coin flip between Granbury, Burleson and Cleburne. A coin flip would be needed because the first two tiebreakers, head-to-head and point differential, are tied.

*Burleson (5-4, 3-3) with a win over Crowley gets in if either of two underdogs win: Joshua over Everman or Arlington Seguin over Cleburne.

*Cleburne (4-5, 3-3) gets in with a win and a Burleson loss to Crowley.

*Seguin (3-6, 2-4) gets in with a win over Cleburne and a Burleson loss to Crowley.

Everman will be in the Division II bracket of the 4A playoffs. Summit will be in Division II if both Burleson and Granbury are the final two playoff teams. If Cleburne or Seguin are in the playoffs, Summit will go Division I.

Poteet looks to build on fast start at Arl. Seguin

September, 1, 2011
7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington’s Wilemon Field

When we saw them last: Poteet picked up where it left off last season with a 61-22 demolition of Royse City in its opener. Seguin dropped its opener at Ennis by a touchdown, 35-28.

2010 result: In the first-ever meeting of the teams, the Pirates defeated Seguin, 28-7, at Mesquite Memorial Stadium in a defensive game that featured 13 punts.

What’s at stake: Poteet coach Randy Jackson has the Pirates believing now after a Cinderella season. Seguin is trying to avoid its third 0-2 start in the last four years.

Key matchup: Poteet running back Steven Hicks gained 189 yards on only four carries against Royse City and added 62 more on pass receptions. Seguin’s defense allowed 385 yards and failed to force a turnover last week.

Players to watch: Defensive lineman Silas Firstley and free safety Chase Graham are savvy veterans of Poteet’s run to the Class 4A Division II state semifinals in 2010. Seguin has a Hicks of its own, Jordan, who had four catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns against Ennis.

Prediction: Poteet 35, Seguin 21.

More Thursday home games for Arlington teams

August, 29, 2011
More Arlington ISD teams will play home games Thursday nights this season because one fewer stadium is available for the six varsity squads.

The school district chose not to rent UT-Arlington’s Maverick Stadium this season as part of the district’s budget cutting for the 2011-2012 school year in the wake of an estimated $48.4 million shortfall.

The district will save $99,000 by eliminating Maverick Stadium rental.

Arlington ISD will make do with two stadiums, Cravens Field on the campus of Arlington Lamar and Wilemon Field at Arlington Sam Houston.

Maverick Stadium in years past was the designated home stadium for Arlington High and Arlington Bowie.

Cravens Field, the home field for Lamar and Arlington Martin, adds Arlington this season. Wilemon Field, home to Sam Houston and Arlington Seguin, adds Bowie.

Arlington High last played its home games at Cravens Field in the 1983 season.

Eight Thursday home games are scheduled, including the one that could decide the District 4-5A title: Bowie vs. Martin on Sept. 22 at Cravens Field.

Arlington High and Lamar play the most Thursday home games with three each. Sam Houston has two and Seguin, Bowie and Martin have one each.

District 7-4A football season preview

August, 18, 2011
  • Arlington Seguin (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Carlos Lynn.
  • Burleson (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Jason Tucker.
  • Cleburne (1-9, 1-6). Coach: Phil Young.
  • Crowley (5-6, 4-3), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Chris James.
  • Everman (8-3, 7-0), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Dale Keeling.
  • Granbury (6-5, 4-3), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Scotty Pugh.
  • Joshua (0-10, 0-7). Coach: Jerry Bird.
  • Mansfield Summit (9-3, 6-1), lost in DI area. Coach: Travis Pride.
THE BIG QUESTION: Are there more final standings surprises in store from 7-4A to compare with the 2010 season?

When the dust settled in a reshuffled District 7-4A last season, Everman and Mansfield Summit finished in the top two spots as expected. Everman came into the season having won at least nine games in 10 straight seasons and Summit was dropping down from a pretty successful run in Class 5A.

But it would have been difficult to predict the third and fourth playoff spots would go to Crowley and Granbury.

Crowley, coming off a 3-7 season, hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2001. But that drought was nothing compared to Granbury, where the last previous playoff excursion came in 1977. Granbury was 1-9 in 2009 and 0-10 in 2008.

For teams like Burleson and Arlington Seguin that finished only a game out of third place, or even for one-win Cleburne or winless Joshua, the Crowley and Granbury success stories could prove inspirational this fall.


DB Steven Aikens, DL Devante Richardson, Arlington Seguin; QB Barrett Cain, OL Derek Baldeschwiler, Burleson; WR Cooper Walls, Cleburne; LB Kyron Minter, RB Larry Cheeks, Crowley; LB Lincoln Richard, QB Devynn Birdow, DE Jacob Kennedy, Everman; RB Brandon Davis, OL Johnny Shepard, OL Jason Shepard, Granbury; RB/DB Riley Davis, Joshua; LB Micah Awe, DL Cortez Harris, DL Jacolby Robinson, Mansfield Summit.


Everman’s first-round playoff exit snapped a string of five straight seasons in which it advanced at least to the third round. ... Granbury offensive lineman Johnny Shepard was named Class 4A all-state second team. ... Cleburne’s Cooper Walls, an all-district selection, is the top returning receiver statistically with 663 yards and four touchdowns. ... Crowley running back Larry Cheeks is the district’s leading returning rusher after gaining 1,121 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010. ... Burleson quarterback Barrett Cain returns after a frustrating 2010 when he missed nine games with an injury. ... Everman, known to favor the run over pass, has the top returning passer in Devynn Birdow. He threw for 998 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

  1. Everman
  2. Arlington Seguin
  3. Mansfield Summit
  4. Crowley

Six area teams vie for Red Bull 7-on-7 title

July, 14, 2011
DALLAS -- In the 14 years since 7-on-7 football was approved for Texas public schools, popularity has grown dramatically. Even schools that don’t throw much during the fall find a way to succeed in the all-pass summer game.

An example is Arlington Martin, one of six area schools competing in the Red Bull Game Breakers National Finals on Friday and Saturday at SMU.

“The great thing about 7-on-7, yes, kids can improve individually,’’ said Martin coach Bob Wager, “but they also work together as a team, building a bond.’’

Martin, the winner of the Fort Worth qualifying tournament, will be joined in the 23-team field by Dallas qualifier champion Highland Park along with Aledo, North Richland Hills Richland, West Mesquite and Arlington Seguin.

Double-elimination play begins at 3 p.m. Friday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Play resumes at 7 p.m. Saturday, culminating in the crowning of a champion.

In addition to the contingent from Dallas-Fort Worth, seven more Texas teams representing the areas of Houston, Austin and San Antonio will be joined by other qualifiers from Oklahoma, Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Florida.

The popularity of 7-on-7 football has given rise to more events. At the same time the Red Bull Game Breakers Finals will be contested, a Texas state tournament will be going on 185 miles to the south in College Station.

Martin qualified for both and had its pick.

“Both tournaments are great and it’s good that teams have an option,’’ Wager said. “We left it up
to our kids. It was a pretty one-sided vote. For us, Dallas is close. Our kids can sleep in their own beds. They like playing close to home. And there’s no charge to play.

“One of the things we enjoy in the Red Bull competition is the rule changes. Being able to rush the quarterback on third down, that allows us to get one more player involved. That’s always a good thing.’’

Highland Park takes Red Bull Dallas Qualifier

June, 18, 2011
CEDAR HILL, Texas -- Brady Burgin spread touchdown passes to three different receivers, sending Highland Park to a 27-22 title-game victory over DeSoto in the Red Bull 7-on-7 Game Breakers Dallas Qualifier on Friday night at Longhorn Stadium.

"This gives us a confidence boost," said the 6-2, 200-pound senior quarterback. "It proves, at times at least, we can compete with some of the area's best 5A and 4A teams."

Burgin's touchdown throws in the finals were gathered in by Charles Hubbard, Dalton Stogner and William Morris.

Morris' catch with four minutes remaining staked the Scots to a 25-14 advantage.

DeSoto scored on what turned out to be its final possession to close to 25-22, but Burgin and company secured a couple of first downs to run out the clock and complete a perfect 5-0 run through the 15-team bracket.

Highland Park, DeSoto and surprise third-place finisher Arlington Seguin earned berths to the Red Bull National Finals, to be held July 15-16 at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

"Right in our backyard," Burgin said.

Highland Park was responsible for both of the tournament defeats for DeSoto (5-2).

In the third round, the Scots sent DeSoto to the consolation bracket, 21-15.

"They're fundamental," DeSoto receiver Brandon McDowell said of the Scots. "They don't get frustrated when things go wrong. Their receivers are hard to guard and on defense, they're tough."

McDowell had a touchdown catch in the championship game and was a solid contributor for the Eagles throughout the day.

Satisfaction for DeSoto came with its 36-18 triumph over rival and tournament host Cedar Hill in an elimination game.

"We'll be talking about that one for awhile," McDowell said.

Seguin (3-2) opened with wins over Mesquite Poteet, Cedar Hill and Mesquite Horn.

"Some teams probably looked at last year's 5-5 record and took us lightly," Seguin free safety Steven Aikens said.

Defending champion West Mesquite (4-2) lost twice to DeSoto and finished fourth.

Award winners overcame incredible challenges

October, 25, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas – Adrian Casadas has worn a smile on his face for the past week that nothing or nobody could wipe off. Those few days of pure giddiness culminating in the experience of a lifetime at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington all but made up for the 10 days Casadas spent in the hospital before this year’s football season.

[+] EnlargeAdrian Casadas with Rocket Ismail
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comFormer Dallas Cowboy Rocket Ismail poses with award winner Adrian Casadas, who received an ESPN RISE Above Student Athlete Award.
When Casadas was a child, he was told he would never be able to participate in physical activities because of a birth defect affecting his right leg. That prognosis was reinforced when doctors amputated Casadas' right leg, just below the knee.

However, Casadas' belief that his disability was not a setback, rather an extra challenge to overcome, led him to play varsity high school football at Dallas Molina.

His teammates at first didn’t know quite what to make of their new teammate with his prosthetic leg on the first day of practice, but after he made it through all the drills with the ease of every other player and Casadas himself getting frustrated with his teammates for not hitting him hard, the Molina players realized that this young man could play, and play hard.

“From that day on he’s been an inspiration for all of them,” Molina head coach Charles DeVille said. “When one kind of gets down and says he has a cold or a pulled muscle, they look over at Adrian and say, ‘I’m fine.’”

Casadas battles hard enough that it sometimes forces him into the hospital because of infections and blisters the prosthetic creates on his knee. This was another setback Casadas faced before the season started.

Monday, all his hard work was rewarded, as he was honored with the ESPN RISE Above Student Athlete Award. The award, given to student athletes who have overcome adversity to display excellence in the community, classroom and field, includes an inside peek behind the scenes of Monday Night Football and recognition at the Monday Night Football Chalk Talk Luncheon.

“I never really had a setback, just a motivational stride. It’s never really stopped me,” Casadas said. “I’ve always looked at it as something that should make me want to push harder and work harder.”

[+] EnlargeTate & Ismail
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comOlivia Tate, whose family relocated from New Orleans to Arlington because of Hurricane Katrina, was one of three area student-athletes honored Monday at Cowboys Stadium.
Also honored on Monday was Arlington Seguin basketball player Octavia Tate. Tate had a very normal life in Louisiana until Hurricane Katrina hit. Her family was forced to move everything it had to Arlington and start a new life.

Part of that new life for Tate was to pick up a basketball for the first time in 2005. Ever since, she has been working hard to be a leader on her team and to make it to the varsity level, which she achieved this season.

“She’s a good hard working individual,” Seguin head coach Courtney Philips said. “She’s the mom of the team and makes sure everyone is ready to go. On top of everything else, she’s a good human being.”

Tate was not even going to see her dream fulfilled this season when she decided to forgo her senior year of basketball to get an extra job to help out with her family. With the blessing of her family, she overcame another obstacle to become the successful student athlete she is this year.

“I am very appreciative of the opportunity I have been blessed with,” Tate said. “I can’t look at Hurricane Katrina as a downfall, because I wouldn’t be here today.”

The final award winner was Fort Worth Diamond Hill's Hector Salinas. Salinas, a soccer and cross country athlete, moved in with a friend's family after his mother died of cancer three years ago. Salinas works hard in the classroom to maintain a 3.8 GPA while playing sports and working shifts at Taco Bell that often end at 2 a.m. on school nights. Despite the late work, Salinas has never missed a 6 a.m. cross country practice.

ESPN RISE honors 3 athletes who persevered

October, 25, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- ESPN RISE honored three local student athletes at the Monday Night Football Chalk Talk Luncheon on Monday at Cowboys Stadium.

The ESPN RISE Above Student Athlete Awards are given to athletes who overcome adversity and excel in athletics as well as academics. These athletes receive much more than plaques marking their accomplishment; they are given a sneak peek inside what it takes to put on Monday Night Football and attention from NFL and ESPN brass.

“It’s about high school athletes overcoming incredible obstacles, in the community, the classroom and the field,” Ndidi Massay, director of business operations for ESPN RISE, said. “It’s not always your best athletes, but it’s the athletes that have overcome the most and have these heart-wrenching stories.”

Football player/wrestler Adrian Casadas (Dallas Molina), cross country runner Hector Salinas (Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis) and basketball player Octavia Tate (Arlington Seguin) were the recipients of this award and a day of fame that began early Monday morning in Arlington’s monument to football.

The winners, along with a few friends, began the day touring the club level of the stadium, where the Chalk Talk Lunch was held. Along the way, various ESPN employees met with the award winners and explained their role in the events of the day and motivated the students to work hard to find similar successes they have achieved.

The award winners and guests were then treated to a discussion panel that included Paul Richardson, senior vice president of human resources for ESPN, and former Dallas Cowboy Rocket Ismail, among others.

Ismail spoke of the people and experiences that shaped him as a youth, passing along that wisdom to future generations.

“I’m kind of stunned because time has fast forwarded and now I’m giving [wisdom] that I’ve got,” Ismail said. “I love that and I love being a part of programs that put that first.”

During the Chalk Talk presentation, the student-athletes shared a stage with the likes of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Monday Night Football personalities Ron Jaworski, Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden, receiving recognition for their accomplishments and plaques as tangible evidence of their achievement.

“It’s amazing,” Casadas said about the day. “It’s just such a great experience. It said it would be life changing, and it really is. The fact that I’m here, in the new stadium, meeting new people, meeting the Rocket Ismail. It’s amazing.”

Both ESPN and the NFL make matching donations to the high schools of the athletes selected for the award.

“The [student-athletes] that were here today; they were here because [overcoming adversity is] what they did,” Ismail said. “I just really wanted to bring home to them that they might not be the best athlete in your school or the most popular, but what you’re developing characteristically is a thing the very best athletes wish they had.”

Arlington Seguin offense back on the prowl

October, 25, 2010
Arlington Seguin got its offense back into gear in Friday’s 40-21 win at Burleson, and not a moment too soon.

The Cougars (4-4, 2-3) kept their playoff hopes alive in District 7-4A with two games remaining in the regular season: home to Mansfield Summit on Friday and at 1-7 Cleburne the following week.

Seguin snapped a three-game losing streak and a touchdown drought in last week’s win.

Quarterback Dorsey Griffin, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior, completed 15-of-21 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. He added for 72 rushing yards and a score on 16 carries. Seguin gained 463 yards of offense.

Jordan Hicks provided perhaps the game’s biggest play with a 72-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Cougars the lead for good.

In prior losses to Granbury and Crowley, Seguin could muster a total of only two touchdowns.

Seguin is in a fifth-place tie with Burleson in the 7-4A standings as it prepares for Summit (6-2, 4-1.) Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington’s Wilemon Stadium.