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14 May, 2021
HOUSTON - Zion Taylor doesn't play like most freshman defensive ends.
Most freshmen don't rotate with the 1's during spring football and most freshmen didn't just pick up their fourth Division I offer, three from Power 5 conference programs, without even playing a down of varsity football.
Taylor isn't like most freshmen.
The Shadow Creek move-in, formerly at Ridge Point, has meshed well with the Sharks this spring and has made a clear case for varsity playing time come the fall. He also just picked up an offer from the University of Houston this week.
"It's amazing to have these offers so young," Taylor, whose first-ever offer was from Michigan State on February 9, said. "It's a true blessing, all thanks to God."
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound defensive end - remember he is just a freshman - has offers from Michigan State, University of Houston, Pitt and Colorado.
He doesn't plan to take any official visits this summer but does have a laundry list of camps that he is planning to attend, including the SMU Mega camp in early June. He will also attend Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Duke and University of Incarnate Word's camps as well.
This football thing is in his blood. His older brothers Brandon Bell and DePriest Taylor both played at Manvel High School. Bell went on to play at New Mexico State and Taylor is at Prairie View A&M.
With just a season of freshman ball under his belt, Taylor said he is working on getting stronger and faster at his position this offseason.
So, who does he like to mimic his game after?
"Chase Young," Taylor said. "I look up to him. He's fast of the ball and I'm fast off the ball. He's just an elite edge rusher with great hips and hands."
There was another elite defensive lineman in the shark tank a few years ago, his name was Alec Bryant and he's now at Virginia Tech.
REGINALD ARCHIE SAT DOWN INSIDE HIS HOME THE NIGHT OF APRIL 7.
Still donning his MacArthur Generals track gear, the first-year coach finally had a moment. In what has been a crazy year for Archie, rebuilding a team that graduated a bunch from 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, he finally took it all in.
"When I got home, I just looked at the (District Championship) plaque, I was like 'we actually did it," Archie, who called his mother first with the news, said. "It was very emotional. You always remember your first championship. Especially with this group of kids, they really worked their tails off for me and I appreciate it."
Archie ran track at Fort Bend Hightower before going on to run for Clyde Duncan Sr. at Texas Southern University. After his running days were over, Archie still wanted to be around the sport.
But in what form?
"My sister thought I should try coaching," Archie, whose sister LaTanya was an All-American and Hall of Fame long jumper at the University of Houston, said.
"I didn't know if I would be good with the kids. A lot of times people can do a sport but can't coach a sport. I reached out to [Clyde Duncan] and some of the things he taught me I still do today."
So, he went back to Fort Bend ISD.
He got a job as a hall monitor at Fort Bend Willowridge and volunteered to help with the track program under Daric Zeno, who is now at Alief Elsik. Over the next few years, he volunteered for Lloyd Banks at Fort Bend Marshall and then worked at Fort Bend Elkins.
In 2017, he got certified to teach and came on the staff at Aldine MacArthur.
Coming into this year, the head job was open and after serving as an assistant coach since arriving, Archie was promoted by Aldine ISD Athletic Director Dre' Thompson, who actually was his coach back at Hightower.
"Everybody has been in my corner since day one," Archie, who ran as a kid with Sonics Youth Track Club in Houston, said. "They saw me run as a kid, saw me grow up, and now they see me as a District Champion coach."
All the years of volunteering and working his way up have paid off. Archie, who also coaches running backs for the MacArthur football team, helped carry on the legacy of winning that Big Mac is known for on the track.
Is there pressure? Sure, Archie said but this is a title he will never forget, especially with these seniors since they all came into high school together in 2016.
"I got to see these guys grow up," he said. "It makes it very special because I came in with them, so we were like freshmen in high school together. Now, I get to see them go off as champions, which is something no one can ever take away from me."
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