Sep 02, 2022
Welcome to the another week of the 2022-2023 season of H-Town High School Sports with Todd Freed!
Verena Khalil of Bridgeland High School gets the nod for the Coach of the Week after leading Bridgeland to the Semi's last year and to a 30-7 record this year!
Be sure to check out H-Town High School Sports Saturday's at 10:30pm on CW39 Houston, plus, throughout the week on AT&T SportsNet. CLICK HERE for more great video content from H-Town High School Sports.
Here's something to cheer about! The ARS team is offering $50 off any service or repair to show our support for Houston area high school sports. ARS is available 24/7 to help with all your AC, Heating, Plumbing, Drain Cleaning and Electrical needs. Call ARS Rescue Rooter at 777-7777 or visit ARS.com.
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Welcome back to another ATX/SATX edition of Team of the Week. Each week we take a look at a team from across the San Antonio/Austin area and surrounding areas that impressed us for one reason or another.
This weeks team of the week is the Dripping Springs Football team. Coming into the season, the Tigers had some questions to answer. They were coming off a 10-1 season in 5A but during the most recent realignment had been moved up to 6A. Not only that they were placed in the same district as state powers Lake Travis and Westlake. Could they compete in 6A?
So far this season, the answer is a resounding yes. To start the season they beat one of the better 6A teams in Austin in Vandegrift in a thrilling 23-20 and last week they defeated Bowie 55-7. Leading the way for the Tigers has been Austin Novosad. The Baylor commit was almost perfect Friday throwing for 215 yards while completing nearly 88% of his passes with 4 touchdowns. He has thrown for almost 1,000 yards on the year with 11 touchdowns. Also helping the Tigers last week were Running Back Jack Tyndall who ran for 105 yards and Kyle Koch who caught 9 passes for 91 yards. On the defensive side Derek Edgar and Luca Picucci helped keep the Bulldogs in check.
Keep October 14th circled on your calendars. That is the date the Tigers face Westlake and that result will go a long way in showing what we might expect from Dripping Springs in the 6A-D2 bracket.
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IT IS A RAINY TUESDAY IN AUGUST. TRENT MILLER, SITTING AT HIS OFFICE DESK, LOOKS AROUND TO SEE BOXES THAT ARE STILL UNPACKED FROM APRIL.
Miller just hasn’t had time to finish unpacking.
“Everybody wants to come in and talk football, talk about the team and the community,” Miller, who was hired on April 9 as Willis’ next head football coach, said. “They want to talk about where to eat and where not to eat. Former players, current players, future players. I still to this day haven’t had the chance to sit down and fully unpack everything in my office.”
The passion that the Willis community shows overall towards Wildkats’ athletics is something that Miller takes note of.
It is a town that has ballooned from a Class 4A high school to a Class 6A, playing alongside well established programs such as The Woodlands, Conroe, College Park and Oak Ridge.
Willis and their community want to compete in that group of power programs across all sports.
“The term that gets thrown around a lot with people in this town is they want to be relevant,” Miller said. “We’re trying to bring that mindset and that culture to this town that relevant is not the standard. The standard needs to be the No. 1 program in the State of Texas.”
Slowly but surely, Miller believes that they are changing that mindset. Their season-opening 73-14 victory over Bryan Rudder was a big step.
It was the first home game for Miller as the head coach of the Wildkats. A game that he will soon not forget, not because of the score or the video-game stats produced, but because of the community.
When the football team bus arrived at Berton A. Yates Stadium on August 26 at 4:30 p.m., Miller guessed there were around 1,500 fans to welcome them that had been tailgating for two hours prior to kickoff.
“It’s a one-horse town deal,” Miller said. “Everybody shuts down and comes to the game on Friday nights. Football is just a bigger deal in this town.”
The scene for Miller’s first game was right out of the movie Friday Night Lights. Fans began setting up for tailgating at 9 a.m. that morning. Tailgating started around 2:30 p.m. once the middle schools let out. Gates opened around 5:30 p.m. and as Miller and his team went out for their pregame warmups at 6 p.m. the stadium was nearly full.
As the game started, a line of fans waiting to get in could still be seen “wrapped around the stadium and to the back of the middle school”.
“That stadium was rocking,” Miller said. “It was standing room only. We’re talking about people lined up and down the fence and around the fieldhouse area just trying to see the game. It was an amazing feeling. It was really cool.”
Miller, his wife Lindsey, who teaches English at the high school, and sons Michael and Cole, who attend a middle and elementary school in Willis ISD, are still ingraining themselves into the community. So far, it has been a smooth transition.
The school Cole goes to shares a parking lot with Willis High, allowing Miller to drive his son to school every morning on a golf cart.
At the end of the day, Lindsey will pick them both up from school and it’s off to practice with dad and the Wildkats.
“They’re both on the practice field every day, so they’re hanging out with the boys on the field in practice,” Miller said. “Then, they get to hang out with them in the locker room and then they are all over the sidelines on Friday nights.
“The community knows my kids almost as well as they know me because they see us everywhere. We’re heavily involved. Our roots are building deeper within this town. The more we’re seen in public, the more welcoming people are towards us. It’s been a surreal and unbelievable experience so far.”
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