It was one of the first words out of the mouth of Fort Bend Marshall men's track & field coach Lloyd Banks on Friday afternoon. Just minutes before the call, Banks had seen his team's season ended.
Not because of a dropped baton. Not because of an injury. But because of COVID-19.
"We were all on hold," Banks said. "Every announcement that the UIL dropped we were just hoping and praying that they were going to find a way for us to finish up. It stings because you want to see your kids go out and compete."
In less than a month, Banks was anticipating to be standing on the track of Mike A. Myers Stadium in the heart of Austin watching his 4x100-meter relay - which held the fastest time in the country at 40.40 - and the 4x200-meter relay team - which had the second-fastest time in the nation at 1:24.91 - race for immortality.
"I've told the boys all the time, this is arguably the greatest and most consistent sprint group of all time," Banks said. "When the lights came on in 2018, the catalyst of the group was three sophomores. They won a state championship."
At the end of the night it was his hope to win the program's third-straight Class 5A State Championship. It would have been the the fifth state title for the program in six years.
"No doubt," Banks said when asked if they could have won again in 2020. "That was the conversation. We all wanted to break the national record in the 4x100-meter relay but it was always 'let's try to get another ring'. That was always the goal. They would sacrifice an individual race here or there, all they cared about was winning the state championship. I love them for that.
"It was a selfless group, all they wanted to do was see each other shine and they were very competitive."
Instead, Banks has started his goodbyes to the Class of 2020.
It is a group that leaves with two track state titles and a pair of appearances in state championship football games.
"My hat goes off to the class of 2020," Banks said. "They did a great job. Proud of them. It's going to hurt to see them go."
In the Fort Bend Marshall community, the 2020 group has had to live up to the legend of the 2015 group.
That group - which included current Atlanta Falcon Kendall Sheffield, Arizona State receiver Jeremy Smith, University of Houston standouts Amere Lattin and Gerald Mills - finished as runner-ups in 2013 and 2014 but then capped their careers with a state title in 2015, which started the current run Fort Bend Marshall is on.
"I never thought I'd see a class like that again," Banks said. "But 2020 most definitely rose to the occasion. They did their thing, I'm proud of them."
Looking at this group of seniors it includes guys that will be talked about for a long time because of what they did on the track and football field.
Devon Achane is heading to Texas A&M to play football and run track, Bryson Stubblefield - who ran during the indoor season but hadn't competed outdoors yet - is heading to TCU, Malik Hornsby is going to Arkansas, Sylvester LaBome is going to Lane College and Avery Helm is heading to Florida
So, where does the Class of 2020 rank all time?
"They have to be No. 1," Banks said with a chuckle. "Just have to be No. 1. They had to stay hungry. They had to manage themselves physically, because football season is a long one and track is also. They had the wherewithal and they had to shine when the lights came on.
"They did just that."
So, looking back at the past year in Houston-area high school sports, I thought to myself -- who are the most interesting athletes in the Bayou City?
This has been a year, right? But these 19 student-athletes and one coach are controversial, elite, under-appreciated and just flat out fascinating -- the "Internet Busters".
From a lacrosse star with an NFL pedigree to controversial national recruits, these athletes moved the needle for some rhyme or reason.
No. 1 Dematrius Davis, North Shore, Football<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQyNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzkzMjk2M30.fOO82M8Dqdw5c8QVqkJ9hZHriLiSdsEgKUl42MNj6ps/img.jpg?width=980" id="4c196" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="51f1fa89f9974af0f5da847e1d431d4a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Davis is putting himself on the Mt. Rushmore of the all-time great Houston-area football players with his play. From the "Hail Mary" in 2018 to carrying the 'Stangs in 2019, Davis has two Class 6A rings as the undisputed leader on one of the top teams in the COUNTRY. The Virginia Tech-commit is Mr. Houston.</p>
No. 2 Demond Demas, Tomball, Football and Track<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQyOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDI2NTEyMn0.dG8yDnmzDDolT5Wl7nGq5qxjAmKgTrY1MdEqIgZG8Io/img.jpg?width=980" id="6c3b9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4c4eab0cb96b1848af12a2c6f38652e0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>One thing about Demas is that he's loyal. He committed to Texas A&M on Sept 8<sup>th</sup> of 2018 and he's stayed true. He never wavered. However, he transferred to Tomball from North Forest in HISD in a controversial move. The 5-Star WR never played a down of football in 2019 after being ruled ineligible by the UIL. Freak athlete in track as well. He could be a game-changer for the Aggies in Year 1.</p>
No. 3 Zach Evans, North Shore, Football<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Mjg4OTE0Mn0.6IMft9ixPOpI0m-YQV9rF2e_acD_5u2MYocLl-6weZc/img.jpg?width=980" id="5dd3a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="20e27bcefbb8ec6b642514e8ab471a0c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Where do we start? ESPN's No. 1 player in the country. Suspended after Katy vs North Shore game. Misses first half of State Semi taking a Standardized Test. Sent home from UIL state title game against Duncanville the night before for breaking team policy. Signed with Georgia. The Bulldogs let him out of NLI. Still hasn't signed. Could be a star in college game.</p>
Rori Harmon, Cypress Creek, Basketball<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQzNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjkzNjEzN30.92xcyZKkMwWcqHMkK85K7Cqq7UsD3f49uLHGgEm87a4/img.jpg?width=980" id="c20b8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f7e34b4b5e1995fa7aa84d1919c04089" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Led her team to a 40-0 mark before being suspended for the state tournament for breaking team rules. 40-0! The Cougars beat McKinney in the semis without her, but fell to Duncanville in State Final. The junior point guard is the No. 20 Player in the country as ranked by ESPN and the No. 6 overall point guard. She will be back with coach Jennifer Alexander next year.</p>
No. 5 Greg Wise, Yates Basketball<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQzNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzI2MTM5OH0.RjEgU_KahMJdj4IX_muVvJLO03rdUEoeJGqlVge6eww/img.jpg?width=980" id="884b1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5c28a098351c9b3b0da6136900ec6629" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The Jack Yates basketball coach is always the center of controversy, but he doesn't mind and he ain't changing. Wise broke his own record of scoring 100 points in consecutive games, which was 15 straight. Yates made it 21-straight 100-point games and reached the State Tournament before the virus struck.</p>
No. 6 Ally Batenhorst, Seven Lakes, Volleyball and Track<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQ0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDQxMjgwMX0.hOUrA0ZMt3GIJeamRQa_YYFPTn2j2VZxhwgtxXuOjNk/img.jpg?width=980" id="0d35f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0dafb6801eb11976f1188b9d31b0c89e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>We take for granted how good this young lady is. At 6-foot-4, she was the VYPE Player of the Year as a freshman. A freshman! She continues to get better as the national All-American accolades pile up. The Nebraska-commit is also a talented jumper in track. </p>
No. 7 Devon Achane, FB Marshall, Football and Track<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQ0My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjY5NjY4OX0.q3dYaKPCHq2TDJifq0vXyjY-VhuVDabmn2QVNWJOayU/img.jpg?width=980" id="acfa6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1dbcc26be98e42db2a0b4b23b1ec68f1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>This Texas A&M-signee is on another level as it relates to speed. Achane is a highlight-reel on the football field, he rushed for more than 2,300 yards this season, scoring in all different ways. Achane was the VYPE Offensive Player of the Year. On the track? Forget about it. He's a complete blur on a team of blurs. He's a two-time State Champ.</p>
No. 8 Drew Romo, The Woodlands, Baseball<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzUxMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwODIzNTc4N30.8gPZgUS47jlhIsTbNhGwMqcrdy7Le54NwI34LZ7uAd4/img.jpg?width=980" id="2541f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f3ac5c9b4cb82924168d52fb684e6cd5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Mr.<strong> </strong>Baseball. Romo looks the part and is a bit of a unicorn – a switch-hitting catcher with a crazy POP time. A rarity. He's played the most elite competition at the high school level from being on TEAM USA to the Banditos to The Woodlands. Romo will likely be the first Houston-area prospect off the MLB Draft board, possibly in the first round. It's that or play at LSU, where he's signed.</p>
No. 9 Chidozie Nwankwo, Foster, Football and Wrestling<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQ0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODMxMjIwOH0.HN6Vt-GxPqRZBh2IviX2jY8FHlCURoSJ4aHWixpFr-w/img.jpg?width=980" id="c7ad6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4e693a35a2bae4c97e6b3aeff5cd515a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Size, speed, strength, personality and leverage – "Dot" has them all. The UH-signee is a decorated wrestler with two State titles and 102 career wins on the mat. On the football field, he can dominate in the middle of the defensive line and chase down QBs. He's a winner and a born leader. He's going to be fun to watch at UH.</p>
No. 10 Tauryn Cummings, Summer Creek, Volleyball, Basketball and Track<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzUxMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjA4NjM5NX0.9Qc5nHiJQOhcZPO3rgI2WZ7dR-LL1ZkU4ESf6I9lGRE/img.jpg?width=980" id="03ffa" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2cbfd08b1ab5f5940253c7656ded68c5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Tauryn Cummings has been busy since she stepped on campus as a freshman. At Summer Creek, Cummings doesn't have time to take a break. She goes from volleyball straight into basketball – which she helped reach the State Tournament for the first time last year – and then transitions to softball. While she was injured to end her high school career, Cummings was an amazing Bulldog and a leader and role model for all future female athletes. </p>
No. 11 Kyron Drones, Shadow Creek, Football<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzUxOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDkzMTg2Nn0.bVhElwjYEIE-1v7H8-N-f740RTyWHVUyhi6c3zxOyhQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="f9699" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="18183c72cf4b48f5f5d797cc861c050d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>First-year starter, one State Championship. Not to mention it being the first in Shadow Creek history – it's second year of varsity play. His dad is on the coaching staff, grandfather was an All-American at UH in the 60's and this kid's football IQ is off the chain. He can pick apart defenses with his big arm and is TOUGH to bring down. Colleges were sleeping on him, but he's blow up since January. Very mature, cool student-athlete.</p>
No. 12 Bryce Griggs, Hightower, Basketball<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQ1OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTk3NDY3N30.FXG6lIXT6hBSSRI8fZWNA5sQjpLLakbQB_4v-drQuoE/img.jpg?width=980" id="1f40d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="66ca2e248548f81df486f984ac93b72a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Griggs is the future of Houston-area basketball. The sophomore could be the top player in Texas for the Class of 2022. He scored 43 points in the Regional Semis to go to State. He can shoot, attack the rim and can run the offense. He will be a big "get" for any college team who signs him. Griggs loves the big stage.</p>
No. 13 Dwight McGlothern, Klein Oak, Football<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzQ2My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTA3ODg0Mn0.cP1qEp2bMd3nglH1ub-_76U0YhBagF0bQWTGKSdCH6k/img.jpg?width=980" id="d29c7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e4e740cffa00d55d80ba3d86fbc46025" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>From New Caney to Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill to Klein Oak, McGlothern may have been the best senior football player in the city. The LSU-commit covered his opponents' top target and was the leading WR. Dude did it all as a move-in senior. Under the direction of coach Jason Glenn, McGlothern shook a "me-first" reputation and became a great teammate and leader. He also had two INT's in the US Army All-American game. Big-time competitor and not afraid to be the next big thing at "DBU."</p>
No. 14 Laila Owens, FB Bush, Track<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzU5Ni9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNTYyMzE4NH0.fd3O3WnYGf9AQrNCfqcIBiKSjY2_uvN5aeVv8Jx7Bhk/img.png?width=980" id="c109d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="88cc2b609f23c56fbf0b89e6e11c7d85" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Owens has signed with Texas A&M for track and she is crazy fast. She is a State Champ and has the top 200-meter time in the country. FB Bush has had a line of great female track athletes and Owens could be the best. She's been dominant since her freshman year.</p>
No. 15 Ellie Echter, Fulshear, Volleyball<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzUyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDA3OTU2Mn0.b53KMaAb0jEhbt1tVNNXeKn5X3iEDcDmfktNtpd9_0g/img.jpg?width=980" id="44c4e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5ae03497dd99ccdcaabc8110b69299b7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The only-child is a draw, right? Ava Underwood (Texas A&M) and Alexis Dacosta (Baylor), just so happened to transfer to Fulshear last year with hopes of winning the school's first-ever State Title in Class 4A volleyball with Echter – an LSU-commit. She's a beast with a serious competitive side. Will she be able to lead Fulshear as the Chargers move up to Class 5A? Not to mention, she's in the Top 5 percent of her class with a 4.5 GPA.</p>
No. 16 Ryan Schoppe, La Porte, Cross-Country<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzU1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODQyNjYyNn0.zMrALc4AqxLMfI1TgSmjPTIhMoyizUJSwsrm5Zo5QaM/img.jpg?width=980" id="cd75c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d73bd8d337803b0cc2dd0a08935e676f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Down in La Porte, on the edge of the Ship Channel, is an Iron Man, Schoppe won the Class 6A UIL cross-country meet in fine fashion. He beat the 15-year-old state record by 32 seconds. He's headed to Oklahoma State in the fall.</p>
No. 17 Mya Holmes, Texas City, Softball<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzUzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjUxNjM5OX0.dOhicEm3iGu18r6KLl_mAgJ01IYJ1zNA-PIldljxnls/img.jpg?width=980" id="94090" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f1fdee520781f611b0d662825f146544" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The rangy shortstop is the future of Texas Longhorn softball. She's great on defense, but may be even better in the batter's box. She's the leader of the 'Stings and has a bright future.</p>
No. 18 Stephen Campbell, FBCA, Golf<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MzU0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NzI4Njg4Nn0.IqXppBegYtyPMYZz4TT24Ezztd8ATYhNoWbJHEFaIFk/img.jpg?width=980" id="d1919" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3125eedb36f323dcdc33482616815596" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Houston Chronicle<p>The 2019 TAPPS Class 5A state champion and the 24th-ranked AJGA Rolex Junior in the country is magnetic. The Oklahoma-commit regained his passion for golf entering high school and has left opponents in his wake on the high school and the elite-tournament circuits.</p>