May 07, 2021
Courtesy photo of Alvin football
When Dayshawn Peterson first played a football game at 10 years old, he was enlightened.
The rush, the intensity, the furious flight from defenders. It was everything for a child who was just as electric with the ball in his hands then as he is now.
“Felt like lightning went through my body,” Peterson said.
It’s a lot how opposing defenses feel these days lining up against the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Alvin senior.
Peterson is redefining the fullback position. He is tall, fast, athletic and strong. The anchor of the Yellowjackets’ triple option offense, Peterson has rushed for 629 yards and seven touchdowns on 64 carries through four games, good for 9.8 yards per carry.
He is a fullback in name only. Peterson is not the stocky, 5-foot-8 plugger that fullbacks are thought to be.
How many fullbacks run a 4.6 40-yard dash?
“I tell all the college guys when they come through to not be scared because he’s labeled a flexbone fullback,” coach James Gage said. “He’s a running back playing fullback. He’s got vision, he’s got feet. He’s got speed. He just happens to put his hand in the ground instead of being a standup running back that you see all the time.”
\u201cThis is just a start for my season this year @Hudl https://t.co/DvkVbXpUZd #hudl\u201d— Dayshawn Peterson (@Dayshawn Peterson) 1663110762
Peterson remembers the first touchdown he scored playing for the Alvin Raiders in little league.
“Felt really good,” he said. “Seeing my team cheer me on and celebrating with me was the happiest moment of my life. It was extremely fun to play ball with the team I had. They felt like family to me.”
Since then, Peterson has always had a knack for the end zone. He has 19 touchdowns in his last 14 games.
“He understands how defenses work,” Gage said. “He understands the one cut he’s got to make for a big play. He understands when defenses are over pursuing, he can cut back behind them and break that arm tackle, which turns into a big play. He’s special.
“I watch film all the time after games and think, ‘Man, how did he make that cut?’ or, ‘Man, how did he make that guy miss?’ It’s all his pure talent.”
\u201cAmazing TD @dayshawnjp Peterson\ud83e\udde1\ud83d\udda4\ud83e\udd0d\ud83c\udfc8 @brandiepeters13 @BraydenGriffin8 @alvin_jacketfb Let\u2019s Go!!\u201d— Amber Griffith (@Amber Griffith) 1660961152
Peterson plays football because he loves it. He loves it because it makes his family proud.
His dad, Will Peterson, played for Alvin in the late ’90s. Gage said Will was a “big-time” player for the Yellowjackets.
Will and his five sons—Dayshawn is the oldest—make up for a competitive environment around the household, where each Peterson tries to one up the other when it comes to athletics.
“My dad was like me, playing physical and aggressive when it came to the football field,” Peterson said. “Having younger brothers looking up to me makes me happy. They can see what it means to be an Alvin Yellowjacket.”
Peterson certainly personifies it. He exemplifies the program’s mantra of “D.A.T.E,” an acronym for discipline, attention to detail, toughness and effort.
Gage said Peterson did not miss an offseason workout for the second straight summer. Peterson is respected for his workmanlike demeanor. He abhors attention and doesn’t talk much. But when he does, people listen.
Peterson was named a team captain for a second straight season.
“He just wants to show up and play football,” Gage said. “He doesn’t care about accolades or stats. He just wants to help his team win, and, in this day and age, that’s what makes him so special. He’s not about the hype.”
Peterson was not the starting fullback Week 1 last season. But once Gage realized Peterson was the best true fullback for the offense, he was promoted to the “1’s.”
Peterson rewarded Gage’s trust, rushing for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns and being named to the Class 6A all-state second team.
“He kind of came out of nowhere, had a phenomenal year,” Gage said. “When you have an all-state caliber year as a junior, you have very high expectations going into your senior year. He put on about 15 pounds in the offseason and ran track and is now down to the low-4.6 40s. Just a tremendous offseason for him perfecting his craft.”
During the offseason, Peterson worked on his stance so he was lower and faster off the ball. But where he has improved the most this season is without the ball in his hands.
“There are clips where he’s 20 yards downfield blocking a safety,” Gage said. “We’ve had big runs inside because of his kick-out block on the defensive end. The selflessness of him has really shown.
“Obviously, we try to get him the ball as much as we can. But a lot of the success of our offense is because of things he’s doing without the ball.”
Peterson loves everything that comes with playing fullback. The running, the touchdowns, the blocking, the violence. It’s a position of pride.
And if there’s anything Dayshawn Peterson boasts in spades, it’s pride.
“The position is the center of the team,” Peterson said. “My pride in the position is the power I can show everyone I have in football. I put a lot of effort into that power.”
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SOME HIGH SCHOOLERS JUST NEED THAT “THING” TO GET THEM ENGAGED.
That “thing” can change their perspective about everything. It can drive them to greatness. For Alyssa Platt, her “thing” is the Willis Sweethearts Drill Team.
“Being a part of the Sweethearts has greatly increased my personal responsibility,” the senior captain laughed. “I hate to say this, but I’m a procrastinator. Like bad. It’s just how I am. But being a part of something that is bigger than myself has changed who I am…for the better.”
Platt has been in the Willis ISD dance program since the seventh grade. She has matured over the years through hard work, dedication and accountability— the pillars of the Sweethearts Dance Team.
She has developed into a leader, culminating in her senior season as she was named the team’s Captain for 2022-23.
“You just have to push yourself,” Platt said. “I found out over the years that I’m so much more capable of accomplishing my goals than I thought I could be. All it took was for someone to tell me to do something. I took it from there. As a high school student, sometimes you just have to go for it and get out of your comfort zone.”
As her high school career wraps up in 2023, Platt has a plan. No procrastinating… a plan.
“I’m going to study marketing in college, and I will be opening my own business,” she said. “If not, I want to coach.”
Pay it forward, Platt. Pay it forward.
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26 Sep, 2022
WORKING OUT THE DETAILS OF THE MORNING COMMUTE TO WORK IN THE BOZMAN HOUSE IS SIMPLE. IN THE MORNINGS, KAREN AND BRYAN BOZMAN GET INTO THE SAME CAR AND HEAD TO BRIDGE CITY HIGH SCHOOL.
It is where, for the past seven years, Karen – who also coaches basketball – and Bryan have game planned together leading the Cardinals’ cross country and track and field programs.
The husband and wife, who have been married for 36 years, are living their best life together.
“It’s a blessing, I like it. It gives us time together to do similar things,” Bryan said. “It’s been neat to share and do those same things together.”
Karen added: “We have grown stronger in our marriage, grown stronger spiritually. We have both been a part of a coaches outreach Bible study in the mornings too.”
Working at the same school and coaching the same sport has made some intricacies of the job easier. Holding meetings. Working out logistics and plans for workouts or meets. All much simpler when the one you’re doing it with lives in the same household.
Then they split the other coaching duties pretty evenly.
“I drive the bus,” Karen said with a laugh.
Bryan remarked back: “I’m the shopper. Also, the workouts, stay on the kids and that’s how it works. Good teamwork.”
The most entertaining part of their job on a daily basis is seeing what the athletes will call them. Since they are both Coach Bozman and their son Russell, who is on the football coaching staff, is also Coach Bozman – the kids have had to get creative.
So, they have come up with “Baby Bozman” for Russell, “Daddy Bozman” for Bryan and “Momma Bozman” for Karen.
“They really get a kick out of having both of us,” Karen said.
Outside of the dilemma of what to call them, Bryan and Karen are exceptional coaches.
“I love watching this lady coach,” Bryan said. “She’s so smart and so talented. So, it’s been good to learn from her and be a part of the program with her.”
They have enjoyed coaching together and for them, seeing their impact on the student-athletes translate into success on the cross-country course, track or basketball court makes for the most rewarding moments of the year.
“Just being able to share in the experiences of taking a kid to State,” Karen said. “Seeing them excel in their athletic abilities and grow and mature into the young person that they become doing athletics.”
Bryan added: “We like those light-bulb moments when it clicks, and they finally get it and they are seeing those improvements. You can just see their confidence grow before your eyes.”
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