SEAN ROY IS LEARNING TO PLAY THE ANGLES. The Nimitz linebacker grew up playing basketball until the age of 10. "My mom wouldn't let me play when I was little," he laughed. "I had to beg her to let me play. Finally, she gave in."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound defender was always big for his age and when he arrived at Nimitz, the coaches took notice. "I really didn't think football was going to be my future," he laughed. "The coaches started telling me I had good size and I could get to the next level. I was just playing for fun."
He was put on varsity as a sophomore and got a taste of the bright lights. "At that point I thought, 'hey, I'm good at this'," he said. "I was catching some attention. I was big, but you have to know what you are doing on varsity. You have to get used to the speed and the intensity. It just made me more focused."
In the offseason of his sophomore year, he "turned up" the training. Roy went all in. "I was doing three-a-days," he said. "It was some hardcore training and as a junior the results paid off. It just clicked for me last year, but I was still without an offer. "I wanted that offer to take me to the next level and get out of this lifestyle," he said. "Everyone wants a nice lifestyle, right?"
Soon, his hard work would be all worth it. Roy would receive an offer from Central Arkansas. "The coaches just kept recruiting me really hard," he said. "They kept saying they wanted me to come be a part of their program. That I could be a great addition to what they are already building." He was recruited by Nelson Gunnell. Name sound familiar? He's the older brother of Grant Gunnell, the all-time leading passer in Texas HS history, now at Arizona.
"Coach Gunnell is from here and believes in Houston-area kids," he said. "He found me and loved the way I played." Roy continues to work on his game even in a global pandemic. There's always something to work on. "Some of my coaches say I'll project as a defensive end, some say linebacker," he said. "What I'm working on are my angles to the football. It's all about tackling and to be a great tackler, you have to take the right angle to the ball carrier."
Outside of football and working out, Roy likes to sketch and is a "big YouTube person" – watching highlights and video gamers. "I'm always on YouTube," he laughs. So, what has he learned over four years of prep ball? What advice would he give an incoming freshman? "Grades, grades, grades," he said. "I slacked as a freshman and played from behind. To be a student athlete, you have to make grades. College coaches can't offer and help you without grades." I'd say Roy has got all the angles covered and ready for the next level.
OVER THE YEARS, THE HALLWAYS AT NIMITZ HIGH HAVE BEEN FILLED WITH SOME ELITE TALENT FROM BRITTNEY GRINER TO THE GLENN BROTHERS TO MLB VET MICHAEL BOURN.
While the attendance numbers have dwindled a bit, Nimitz still has talent.
This season, Jayvon Davis and Sean Roy are the headliners. Davis exploded onto the scene as a sophomore, rushing for over 1,000 yards. He recently verbally committed to UT-Permian Basin. On defense, the stud is 6-foot-2, linebacker Sean Roy, who terrorizes opposing offensive coordinators. Roy has verballed to Central Arkansas.
Outside of those two, there has been some uncertainty inside the program. "It's been challenging with COVID-19," coach Richard Slater said. "Losing our summer conditioning was tough and I don't think we are where we need to be conditioning-wise. Because of that, we've had some injuries that have hurt us. "Practice is inconsistent because on virtual school. Sometimes the kids are here and other times we are pretty limited in practice."
Slater has also been faced with replacing QB Austin Remo, who led the Cougars to a 3-7 season a year ago. "We are trying to find our starter," he said. "We have three who can play and each one has a very different skill set." Dominic Blake sets the tone up front at center and gets help from Xavier Dolphin. WR Jayden Wyer is a solid No. 1 receiver who can also flip to DB. On defense, Decarlos Singleton and Charles Desdunes are solid in the front seven to complement Roy. "We have played really fast on defense at times and Roy is a big force," Slater said. "He has a great nose for the football."