Gridiron to the Diamond-Aldine ISD Magazine
Johnny Toups has embraced the leadership role that comes with his positions.
Being the quarterback for the Aldine football team, Toups is the natural leader of the offense. Come spring for the baseball team, Toups serves in a similar role, playing shortstop and second base.
Toups may change the uniform and gear he uses from fall to spring, but the leadership qualities he's learned on the gridiron carry over.
"Definitely, one thing I get from football that helps me with baseball is being vocal. Being the shortstop, you always have to cheer on the team," Toups said. "I think the most important thing is I have to make sure the pitcher is good. If he's not doing well, I have to calm him down."
Toups is in the middle of his junior year at Aldine. This is the year when many high school athletes know the eyes of college scouts are zoning in on them for the following year's signing class.
"They say junior year is most important because colleges look at you the most," Toups said. "I feel like in football season I cut myself a little bit short and didn't achieve what I wanted to achieve. I'm definitely going to achieve what I want to in baseball season."
On the football field, Toups passed for 998 yards and four scores this past season. On the baseball diamond, Toups is hoping for another stellar year.
Last year, Toups earned first-team, all-district honors – this season his sights are set on the top award. "This year, I'm going for District MVP," he said. "The most important thing is the weight room and spending every day on the baseball field."
What's neat for Toups when he transitions to baseball is that the sport becomes a family affair.
The head coach of Aldine is Toups' father, Leonard, who is also an Aldine graduate. He's helped guide the program back to the playoffs last year. "It's fun with your dad right next to you," Johnny said. Outside of football and baseball, Toups enjoys hanging out with his teammates. They do normal activities, including playing basketball and going to Top Golf.
"I hit the back-net almost every time," Toups said about how good he is at Top Golf with a laugh.
Playing two of the more premiere sports in high school at the positions he does is impressive. But for him it's about more than the stats he's put up or the awards he's won.
"It's just the memories that I've made," he said. "They'll last forever. They say high school is the best time of your life, so I just want to enjoy it while it's here."