Pearland, North Shore stars lead AGH football squad
Most Valuable Player, Offense | SR., RB, Pearland
Pearland running back Dustin Garrison accomplished everything on his list of goals for 2010. He had an intense summer full of workouts to become faster and stronger. He then rushed for 2,827 yards and 46 touchdowns. On top of that, he was in on two of the Oilers’ top defensive plays of the season as Pearland upset Euless Trinity and won the Class 5A Division I state championship. Garrison was named the game’s offensive MVP.
Q: What was the highlight of this season for you?
A: Winning a state championship because so much went into that. I think the highlight of winning that game was just proving people wrong and showing them that we were good enough. We may have been too small, and we had a lot of critics. So to just work harder and play better and win it meant so much to me and to the team.
Q: You guys played some really good teams this year, but Euless Trinity has some big guys. What was that like?
A: I swear they are two different sizes- on film and in real life. They were just huge — the biggest guys I have seen since I have been playing.
Q: You played in two games with large crowds. At the Katy game in the regional finals at Rice Stadium, there were more than 41,000 fans, and at state there were more than 43,000. How was it like being a part of those?
A: It was cool, but man it was loud. At the Katy game, I false-started for the first time ever, and I never did it again. Once I did that, I realized that I better start focusing better. The Katy game was good for me to learn that.
Q: You want to go into video production in college. How did you get into that?
A: When I was a freshman and I was helping with film, I just really liked it. My dad would show me how to do highlight reels, and before too long, I was doing them by myself and putting them on YouTube. It is just something I really like, and I think I could be good at.
Q: Tell me about the trick play your team ran in the state championship game against Euless Trinity . You were holding your hand up like you were trying to hear something from the sidelines. Is that something you practiced?
A: We have been working on that play for a while, and in practice I was moving too much and (coach Tony Heath) told me to stop. I started crossing my legs so I wouldn't be jumpy. The whole 'I can't hear you' thing with my hand up to my ear, I added that at state. It just came to me. Pretty good acting skills, huh? Really though, that play was really cool to pull off. It ended up being a big play for us that game.
Q: You are still waiting for some college offers. What do you think playing in the state championship game did for that process?
A: It was good. Euless Trinity is good and big, and I held my own out there and showed what I can do against size. That was a great game, and there was a lot of exposure for our team. I think that will help me.
Most Valuable Player, Defense | SR., LB, North Shore
Since its emergence as a perennial local power, North Shore has prided itself on defense. Senior linebacker Derrick Mathews was well aware of this upon entering the program. Throughout his three-year varsity career, Mathews — who has a 3.5 GPA — has tried to live up to that standard. He had perhaps his best game of the season when the stakes were the highest in North Shore’s rematch with Katy in the third round of the postseason. For the year, the Houston commitment had 155 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
Q: How important was it for the team to bounce back after the tough 2009 season?
A: It was very important. Last year was not a good picture of North Shore football. It was imperative for us to come out and show how North Shore football should be played.
Q: What was it like to be part of the Mustangs’ defense?
A: I’m grateful that I was able to be on this North Shore defense. I have grown as a man and as a player. It’s just been a wonderful role that I was able to take. It’s so much fun and a lot of learning.
Q: When you played Katy for the second time this season, you had a really good game. What was the key?
A: I knew we, as a team, had to prove that the first game we played wasn’t what we’re about. We made sure we played hard and got ready for that game. We had to show that we’re not going to roll over.
Q: On one play, you hit Katy running back Donovonn Young pretty hard and stopped him in his tracks. What was that like?
A: It was painful — he’s a big back. Every play was intense. Young is a great player and a home-run hitter and can make things happen. But I had to light him up there.
Q: You’re verbally committed to Houston. What is it about the Cougars that stood out to you?
A: I grew up watching Houston, and I liked their program since I was young. I like the coaching staff and I like their team. They’re a real smart team, and I love the way they go about their game plan.
Q: Was football your first love?
A: I actually started off playing basketball. I always thought basketball was going to be my ticket up until high school when I got on varsity. Then when I started playing football, I realized I could go further in football.
Q: What do you want people to remember about you at North Shore?
A: I want people to remember the way I worked and the way I went about things, how I helped people go about things and my leadership.
Q: What was the key to you becoming successful?
A: It took dedication and commitment. When you have great coaches like we do at North Shore, it makes it easier. My position coach, (Thomas Dunson), he had me fired up.
Q: How nice is it that you’ll be able to stay close to home to play college football?
A: My family doesn’t have to travel, so it’ll be good to know. Any time you can stay close to family and keep them intact and they can see all your home games, it’s a great thing.
All-Greater Houston: First team offense
QB, Sr., Cypress Woods
The Air Force commitment threw for 2,567 yards and 25 TDs. Huntsman also rushed for 919 yards and 15 scores despite missing three games with an ankle injury.
RB, Sr., Pearland
Garrison was the Touchdown Club of Houston’s Offensive Player of the Year.
RB, Sr., Katy
Young finished with 258 carries for 2,332 yards (9 yards per carry)and 35 touchdowns.
RB, Jr., La Marque
Wright led the Cougars to a Class 4A Division II title-game appearance with 2,338 yards and 24 TDs.
WR, Sr., Hightower
Batties had 44 receptions for 767 yards and 14 TDs — tied for most among Class 5A area receivers.
WR, Sr., Clear Springs
The Texas A&M commitment had 744 yards receiving and six TDs and 937 rushing yards and 15 TDs.
OL, Sr., Katy
Cox was the Tigers’ best — and most versatile — lineman, tallying 32 decleators.
OL, Sr., North Shore
The Texas commitment had 31 pancakes and is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 guard by Rivals.com.
OL, Sr., Pearland
Hoffpauir started every game and graded at 90 percent.
OL, Sr., Klein Collins
Whitmore was part of a unit that produced 409.7 yards per game.
OL, Sr., Coldspring
The Houston commitment led a line that helped the Trojans produce 5,866 rushing yards.
UTL, Jr., Hightower
The dual-threat quarterback threw for 1,858 yards and 28 TDs and rushed for 1,068 yards and 15 scores.
K, Sr., Klein Oak
Shroble connected on 16 field goals, 91 point-after-touchdown kicks and averaged 36.0 yards on 40 punts.
All-Greater Houston: First team defense
DL, Sr., Klein Oak
The Oklahoma commitment finished with 93 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
DL, Sr., Westfield
The Texas commitment was a first-team all-district selection.
DL, Sr., Pearland
The Boise State commitment had 70 tackles, seven sacks, 340 yards receiving and five touchdowns.
DL, Sr., La Marque
Wright recorded 115 tackles and 10 sacks to lead the Cougars to the Class 4A Division II title game.
LB, Jr., Pearland
Ehrlich led the Oilers’ defense with 160 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
LB, Sr., North Shore
The Houston commitment recorded 155 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
LB, Sr., Klein Collins
The Nebraska commitment finished with 136 tackles and six sacks and was the Touchdown Club of Houston’s Defensive Player of the Year.
DB, Sr., Katy
Atwood finished with three interceptions, 43 tackles and nine pass breakups.
DB, Sr., Clear Springs
The Iowa State commitment finished with 63 tackles, one interception, three blocked kicks and two kickoff returns for TDs.
DB, Sr., Klein
The Utah commitment recorded 82 tackles and three interceptions (two returned for TDs).
DB, Jr., Tomball
Scott led the area in interceptions (10), returned three for scores and recorded 130 tackles.
UTL, Sr., Angleton
The Texas commitment played defensive back, quarterback and special teams.
P, Sr., Cypress Ridge
Wickman averaged 42.3 yards a punt with a long of 68 yards. He was 42 of 43 on extra-point tries.
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