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New Jersey prep football standout Kavon Chambers clinging to high hopes of acquiring a scholarship

HOLDIN’ IT DOWN

LEADER OF THE PACK — To his credit, Kavon Chambers has held his own as one of Saint John Vianney’s marquee players. A 5-foot-11, 205-pound speedy running back, Chambers has turned in valiant contributions for a Lancers, a Holmdel, New Jersey-based private institution that opens postseason play November 15 at Donovan Catholic, according to Maxpreps.com.

Kavon Chambers entered the 2019 campaign for Saint John Vianney High, assuming the businesslike approach.

That’s because Chambers is a senior, meaning as far as he’s concerned, he had to strategically devise ways to — you know — get the most out of his final year as a prep football player.
“(I’m) giving each and every play my all and trying to get to 1-0 every week with my team,” Chambers told Making Headline News during a recent interview.
To his credit, Chambers has held his own as one of Saint John Vianney’s marquee players. A 5-foot-11, 205-pound speedy running back, Chambers has turned in valiant contributions for a Lancers, a Holmdel, New Jersey-based private institution that opens postseason play November 15 at Donovan Catholic, according to Maxpreps.com.
COLLEGE PARTY — While Chambers’ quest to sign a National Letter of Intent in the coming months remains a mystery, the possibility exists that his dream of playing college football could become a reality. According to Chambers, he’s garnered letters of interest from Purdue, East Carolina, the University of Buffalo, the University of Richmond, Central Connecticut, Princeton, and Rutgers.

In a year he’s dubs a crucial one, considering he’s lobbying to play at the collegiate level, Chambers has gone to great lengths to turn the heads of scouts and recruiters.

Through eight games to date, he’s amassed 653 yards on 84 carries, according to stats obtained through Maxpreps.com.

His biggest game occurred in 33-0 win over visiting Freehold Boro on October 11 during which he manufactured 209 rushing yards on 12 carries and three scores for a Saint John Vianney squad that won two of its last four outings en route to advancing to the playoffs.

Through eight regular season games, Chambers averaged 93.3 yards per outing and 7.8 yards per carry.

In a year he’s dubs a crucial one, considering he’s lobbying to play at the collegiate level, Chambers has gone to great lengths to turn the heads of scouts and recruiters.

Interestingly, while he admittedly could have done more to boost his recruiting stock during the course of his prep tenure, Chambers doesn’t shy away from the notion that he undoubtedly has what it takes to play at the next level.

“I just need a chance to make it happen,” said Chambers, when asked what he’d like for college scouts to know about him. “Whatever college offers me a scholarship will be getting a motivated and determined student athlete that works each and every day to be great.”

Chambers’ father, Marcus Chamber, his mother, Jessica M. Zamot, are amongst those who have witnessed their son’s progress on the field in recent years.

Like so many others who say Kavon possesses the mechanics to play collegiate ball,  his parents are hopeful their son earns a fair chance.


“(Coaches and scouts) say that he’s a good, all-around person and athlete on and off the field and that he is a Division 1 player with a bright future ahead of him,” said Marcus Chambers, assessing his son’s overall body of work. “I was astounded, but knew since the day one he was born he had greatness in him. The sky is the limit for my son, because he can do all things thru Christ that strengthens him.”


While Kavon Chambers’ quest to sign a National Letter of Intent in the coming months remains a mystery, the possibility exists that his dream of playing college football could very well become a reality.

According to Kavon, he’s garnered letters of interest from Purdue, East Carolina, the University of Buffalo, the University of Richmond, Central Connecticut, Princeton, and Rutgers.

Not bad for a solid student athlete whom, as he prepares for postseason play in mid-November, realizes he’s still afforded the golden opportunity to make a favorable impression, particularly with regards to fulfilling his ultimate goal.


PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING

“(I’m) giving each and every play my all and trying to get to 1-0 every week with my team,” Chambers told Making Headline News during a recent interview.

As Kavon emphasized, though, he’s taking it one game at a time — postseason included.

“(I’m) giving (it my) all each and every day and not letting any days go by without working hard,” Kavon said. “I’ve got three younger brothers who look up to me, and everything I do is for them and my family.”

All of which practically sums up why this gifted student athlete is committed to assuming the businesslike approach.

Every single chance he gets.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to makingheadlinenews@gmail.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Texas prep football player Elijah E. Harvey: ‘I just don’t wanna stop playing after high school’

CRUNCH TIME AUDITION 

LOFTY GOALS — The catalyst of a Sandcrab offensive unit as one of the team’s featured rushers, Elijah Harvey said his primary focus is centered largely on helping propel Calhoun to a region title and, most importantly, a lengthy postseason run.

DALLAS — Just recently, Elijah Harvey was asked to assess the overall landscape of his performance as a member of the Calhoun High football program.

As usual, he was rather forthright and straight to the point.
“I think I’ve done pretty good since the coaches switched me from linebacker to outside linebacker for last season,” Harvey told Making Headline News this week.
For Harvey, a speedy 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, he’s certainly proven to be an integral part of a Calhoun defensive unit that has emerged amongst Texas 5A-2 Region IV District 15’s finest.
The catalyst of a Sandcrab offensive unit as one of the team’s featured rushers, Harvey said his primary focus is centered largely on helping to propel Calhoun to a region title and, most importantly, a lengthy postseason run.
The Sandcrabs enjoyed a 10-4 campaign last year, which ended in a 48–17 loss to district rival Calallen in the region final in San Antonio.
ON THE CLOCK — Fortunately for Elijah, he’s certainly got time — six more regular season games and hopeful a satisfactory postseason run, to put it more precisely — to emerge as a late bloomer amongst college scouts, this after a summer in which his schedule did not allow for him to attend any football camps. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

With Calhoun carrying a 2-1 mark into Friday night’s region opener at Gregory-Portland, Harvey also doesn’t shy away from the notion that this undoubtedly is a crucial time in his final prep season.

That’s because Harvey admittedly is auditioning for the chance to play football at the collegiate level. He especially remains hopeful he does the necessary things that would subsequently draw the attention of scouts and recruiters.

Surely, there’s still a lot of football left to play, although he’s approaching every week as if he’s got something to prove.

In actuality, he does. And he knows it.

“Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning,” said Harvey, alluding to his arguably his crucial days of the week during which he enhances his conditioning schedule.

Besides playing on the amateur circuit years ago, Elijah’s older brother, Malik also is amongst a few fellow family members who have inspired him to stick with football.

According Harvey’s father, Leonard Harvey, he sensed that dating back to his son’s amateur playing days, he was destined to go a long ways on the gridiron.

“When he was small, he used to carry a football are a basketball everywhere he go,” Leonard Harvey recalled. “When he was five years old, what we have called CCYFL is like Pop Warner. I knew he was good, but as a parent, you always think your kid is good.”

The more Elijah’s parents began to sign him up to play at the competitive level, the more his football mechanics were noticed by people outside of the Harvey household.


“When other people start telling you how special your kid, is my first response was (I was) happy that he found something he loves so early in life,” Leonard Harvey said of his son’s football skills. “But then as a parent, I was scared every game, hoping and praying he doesn’t get hurt.”


All things considered, placing his son on field has been a risk worth taking, in large part because as far as Elijah is concerned, he simply could go on without football.

Now we know why, given he diligently boasts lofty aspirations of playing beyond high school.

So far, so good for this multi-sport athlete who, much to his delight, has drawn interest from at least school: Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown, Texas.


FOR STARTERS

According Harvey’s father, Leonard Harvey, he sensed that dating back to his son’s amateur playing days, he was destined to go a long ways on the gridiron.

Could other schools come calling with so much football left to play, with so much more to prove by a kid who’s been playing competitive football for nearly all of his young life?

“(They will be getting a) hard-working player who’s always ready to practice and have fun,” said Elijah Harvey, when asked what kind of player would a college inherit if it extends to him an offer. “I’m as serious as I can be and I will be ready for any moment they need me in.”

Besides playing on the amateur circuit years ago, Elijah’s older brother, Malik, is amongst a few fellow family members who have inspired him to stick with football.

With Calhoun carrying a 2-1 mark into Friday region opener at Gregory-Portland, Harvey also doesn’t shy away from the notion that this undoubtedly is a crucial time in his final prep season. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

Fortunately for Elijah, he’s certainly got time — six more regular season games and hopefully a satisfactory postseason run, to put it more precisely — to emerge as a late bloomer amongst college scouts, this after a summer in which his schedule did not allow for him to attend any football camps.

“I always tell him that there is no limit and that anything is possible,” Leonard Harvey said of his son’s display to this point. “I tell him he can do anything and that he has to work for it, has to be coachable.”

Especially long before Friday nights under the lights.


For Harvey, a speedy 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, he’s certainly proven to be an integral part of a Calhoun defensive unit that has emerged amongst Texas 5A-2 Region IV District 15’s finest.

“(I tell him) when others are at home watching games, you have to be outside practicing, getting better, always wanting to get better and never being satisfied where you are.”

Talk about being rather forthright and straight to the point to his son, a kid who boasts a never-say-die attitude on and off the field, a trend he’s confident some college program will ultimately embrace.

“I love the game,” Eiljah Harvey said. “I just don’t wanna stop after high school. I wanna see how long I can keep this going for myself. Everything about it, I know I can do it, so why stop now when I can prove myself to more people?”


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Erik Talton is as good as advertised while boosting his recruiting stock

TEXAS HIGH RISEDuncanville shoting guard Erik Talton, a 6-foot-2, 155-pound senior was seen dunking for the first time when he was a sophomore. It was long thereafter that he began to add to his basketball repertoire, having established himself as a player whose strengths consists of shooting mid-to-long range, creating his own shot off the dribble and, most importantly, demonstrating the ability to get his teammates in the flow of the game. (Photos courtesy of Cross Town Images)

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Without question, Kenneth Talton loves his son.

Surely, he wants the best for him.

So much, in fact, that every now and then, Talton deems it necessary to demonstrate some tough love as a way to steer him in the right direction.

Take, for instance, how some time ago when Talton’s son, Erik Talton, assembled a Facebook page. You know, as expected, he was only doing that about which his peers were engaging in.

MAKING MAJOR MOVES — An honor student who’s ambition in the coming months is to suit up in college basketball uniform, Erik Talton is an electrifying, high-leaping shooting guard for perennial power Duncanville (Texas) High, which checked in at No. 25 in the state in the latest Maxpreps.com poll that was released last week.

Still, his father had other reasonable ideas. By all accounts, he sensed that Facebook could potentially be a recipe for disaster for a kid with dazzling basketball skills.

“When I discovered that Erik had created a Facebook page and that he was using it to communicate with his friends, I immediately made him take it down and began to educate him on social media,” Kenneth Talton told Making Headline News on Monday. “I told him the first thing he did wrong was not getting my permission and that there was a reaction for every action he makes wrong, right or indifferent. I felt that he was too young to engage in social media.”

Consequently, Kenneth Talton’s firm gesture and forthright response to his son having erected a Facebook, as it turned out, has proven beneficial in a variety of ways, most notably on the basketball court.

CHECK OUT ERIK TALTON: http://www.ncsasports.org/mens-basketball-recruiting/texas/duncanville/duncanville-high-school1/erik-talton.

Although his father unceremoniously suspended his Facebook account, Erik Talton, to his created, essentially has been nothing short of impressive. In fact, while playing alongside fellow Duncanville seniors Dexter Johnson, Jr. and Tyler Watkins — the three have been teammates on the same AAU team since fifth grade — Erik Talton, for a lack of better words, have posted favorable statuses not on social media, but on the court as evidenced by the slew of recruiting analysts that have followed him in recent years.

An honor student who’s ambition in the coming months is to suit up in a college basketball uniform, Erik Talton is an electrifying, high-leaping shooting guard for perennial power Duncanville (Texas) High, which checked in at No. 25 in the state in the latest Maxpreps.com poll that was released last week.

Although his father demanded that he unceremoniously suspend his Facebook account, Erik Talton, to his credit, essentially has been nothing short of impressive.

In fact, while playing alongside fellow Duncanville seniors Dexter Johnson, Jr. and Tyler Watkins — the three have been teammates on the same AAU team since fifth grade — Erik Talton, for a lack of better words, have posted favorable statuses not on social media, but on the court, as evidenced by the slew of recruiting analysts who have followed him in recent years.

For starters, the 6-foot-2, 155-pound senior was spotted dunking for the first time when he was a sophomore. It wasn’t long thereafter that he began to add to his basketball repertoire, having established himself as a player whose strengths consists of shooting efficiently from mid-to-long range, creating his own shot off the dribble and, most importantly, demonstrating the ability to get his teammates in the flow of the game.

For his valiant efforts, his solid body of work has drawn the attention of several schools, including Frank Phillips College, Hartnell Junior College in California, Northeastern Junior College in Colorado), The King’s College in New York, Norwich University, Luther College, and Kansas Wesleyan University, he said on Monday.

“I have the qualities that college coaches are looking for in a player,” Erik Talton said. “I come from a family of athletes and educators. I’m not afraid of a challenge or hard work, and I have great passion for the game. I am a high energy player, very athletic, I pride myself on defense as well as offense and I work extremely hard in the classroom and on the basketball court. I challenge myself daily to improve on my skills.”

COLLEGE BOUND FOR SUREFor his valiant efforts, his solid body of work has drawn the attention of several schools, including Frank Phillips College, Hartnell Junior College in California, Northeastern Junior College in Colorado), The King’s College in New York, Norwich University, Luther College, and Kansas Wesleyan University, he said on Monday.

Still, he realizes now is not the time to go on cruise control, in large part because he has yet to field any official offers. How else to explain his remarkable display this past summer when following what was a banner junior campaign, he enjoyed what he described as a “very big summer” on the AAU circuit when he averaged 20 points per game and led his team to consecutive championships in two major tournaments (The Great American Shootout in Duncanville and the Fab48 in Las Vegas)?

In essence, Erik’s Talton’s progress on and off the court emerged amid the wake of adversity, according to his father.

“The adversities Erik had to overcome from losing his cousin which was his best friend at the age of six and, at the age of eight, having multiple surgeries on his forearm and maintaining his drive and his desire to once again play sports at the same level prior to his injury, to the custody issues between his mom and me, which ultimately led to him moving completely with me,” Kenneth Talton said.

“That caused him to transfer his junior year from one school district (Mansfield High), where he was well established as a student athlete and played varsity since his sophomore year to another school district. He understood the impact that such a move could have on his basketball career at the college level.”

All things considered, such an untimely move from nearby Mansfield to Duncanville has in no way, shape or form hamper Erik Talton, who admittedly feels confident about his chances of playing at the collegiate level.

And to think, he didn’t need a Facebook page to express to the masses who he is.

The basketball court was a big enough platform.

“Whatever college offers me scholarship, they will get a player with tenacity, who’s a competitor, an athlete, a hard worker, a defender, a shooter and a winner,” Erik Talton said.

What a favorable difference that tough love has made.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duncanville (Texas) High point guard Tyler Watkins making a strong case that he’s worthy of a hoops scholarship

TANTALIZING TYLERA slim, speedy 6-foot-1, 156-pounder, Duncanville High senior point guard Watkins has yet to receive any official offers. However, chances of that changing in the foreseeable future certainly appears likely, considering he’s at least in the discussion amongst the schools that have him under their radar. According to Watkins, Midwestern State, Southern Nazarene, University Of Massachusetts at Lowell, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Paris Junior College are among the schools that have expressed interest in Watkins, the catalyst of a Duncanville team that is ranked No. 25 in Texas according to Maxpreps.com’s latest poll.

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Tyler Watkins doesn’t just think he can.

Heck, he’s literally gone from thinking to knowing.

Take, for instance, how late Sunday night, Watkins, a senior point guard for Duncanville (Texas) High, dauntlessly issued a rather bold, spirited declaration when asked what he would like for college scouts and recruiters to know about him, particularly his quest toward garnering an athletic scholarship.

TANTALIZING TYLERA slim, speedy 6-foot-1, 156-pounder, Duncanville High senior point guard Watkins has yet to receive any official offers. However, chances of that changing in the foreseeable future certainly appears likely, considering he’s at least in the discussion amongst the schools that have him under their radar. According to Watkins, Midwestern State, Southern Nazarene, University Of Massachusetts at Lowell, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Paris Junior College are among the schools that have expressed interest in Watkins, the catalyst of a Duncanville team that is ranked No. 25 in Texas according to Maxpreps.com’s latest poll.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Watkins, reciting the familiar Biblical passage of Philippians 4:13, told Making Headline News.

And just like that, the kid whom, for a majority of his young life, has established a keen reputation that suggest, among other things, that he’s capable of defying the toughest of odds, appears destined to stage the unthinkable.

Once again.

A slim, speedy 6-foot-1, 156-pounder who grew up sleeping with his basketball tucked under his arm, Watkins has yet to receive any official scholarship offers. However, chances of that changing in the foreseeable future certainly appears likely, considering he’s at least in the discussion amongst the schools that have him under their radar.

According to Watkins, Midwestern State, Southern Nazarene, University Of Massachusetts at Lowell, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Paris Junior College are among the schools that have expressed interest in Watkins, the catalyst of a Duncanville team that is ranked No. 25 in Texas according to Maxpreps.com’s latest poll.

“I’d like colleges to know that I am noticeably  hard-working and a humble ball player,” Watkins said. “I am also highly dedicated to playing basketball and becoming a better player.”

Aside from his mental assertiveness and favorable IQ as the Panthers’ floor general, Watkins acknowledged that amongst his notable strengths is his ability to penetrate and attack the rim, not to mention demonstrating the ability to become the floor facilitator.

TEXAS TOUGH — Aside from his mental assertiveness and favorable IG as the Panthers’ floor general, Watkins acknowledged that his amongst his notable strengths is his ability to penetrate and attack the rim and demonstrating the ability to become the floor facilitators.

Conversely, arguably his most notably weakness, in his estimation, is his inconsistency to shoot from long range, although he possesses an attractive midrange shot and has proven to be an aggressive defender.

“I work on (my mechanics) every single day and I lift weights about three times a week,” Watkins said.

Among those who are especially working diligently to help steer Watkins in the right direction, particularly with regards to upgrading his stock in landing a scholarship, are his parents, Leonard and Wendy Watkins.

Both of whom are Corporate America professionals, Tyler Watkins’ parents have demonstrated unyielding support for a kid who first picked up a basketball at the age of four.

That he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down any time soon, Tyler’s parents, like his teammates and Duncanville’s coaching staff, are hopeful he’s afforded the golden opportunity they sense he deserves — putting his immense skills on display at the collegiate level.

MOM KNOWS BESTThe good news, at least for Tyler Watkins, is that the interest he’s generated in recent months is valid proof that he’s at least being considered for a full ride scholarship. “The sky is the limit for Tyler because never gives up,” Wendy Watkins said. “Tyler goes to the gym seven days a week, and he constantly tells us, ‘No Days Off.’”

“The moment I realized that Tyler may actually have a future in basketball was after several coaches came to me after a tournament handing me their cards saying,  ‘If your son ever needs a team to play for, please call me,’” Leonard Tyler said.

The biggest mystery that remains, particularly at such a crucial stage in their son’s prep basketball career, is at what point will college coaches approach them with that same enthusiasm.

The good news, at least for Tyler Watkins, is that the interest he’s generated in recent months is valid proof that he’s at least being considered for a full ride scholarship.

“The sky is the limit for Tyler because never gives up,” Wendy Watkins said. “Tyler goes to the gym seven days a week, and he constantly tells us, ‘No Days Off.’”

PUTTN’ IN WORK — Aside from his mental assertiveness and favorable IG as the Panthers’ floor general, Watkins acknowledged that his amongst his notable strengths is his ability to penetrate and attack the rim and demonstrating the ability to become the floor facilitators.

Added Leonard Watkins: “Tyler deserves the chance to play on the collegiate level because he is the most hardworking and humble individual I know.”

Not to mention that floor general for an upstart Duncanville team that could stage a dramatic and lengthy postseason run, a trend that, to Tyler Watkins’ credit, would in all likelihood, boost his recruiting stock.

By and large, the good news is he’s still got time to make a favorable impression during what has been a rather compelling scholarship audition.

“The college that offers me will be inheriting both a player and a student dedicated to helping not only myself, but others,” Tyler Watkins said. “I play hard both offensively and defensively.”

That’s because for a kid who boasts lofty aspirations of playing college basketball, he doesn’t just think he can compete with and against the finest players.

Heck, he’s literally gone from thinking to knowing.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. under several college radars, hopes to land official offer soon

WHO WILL IT BE? During an interview on Friday with Making Headline News, Duncanville (Texas) High senior shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dexter Johnson, Sr. said that the University of Texas at San Antonio, Murray State, Texas State, East Texas Baptist University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of San Francisco, Sam Houston State, and the University of North Texas are amongst the schools that have Johnson, Jr. under their radar, although the 6-foot-3 senior has yet to field an official offers.
Given the immense strides and considerable process he made both on the AAU and prep circuits in recent months, the possibility exist — and is expected to — that could change in Johnson, Jr.’s favor. (Photo by Jim Redman/Maxpreps)

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — As far as college basketball recruiting goes, the assortment of schools that have expressed interest in Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. reads much like one similar to that of an NCAA Tournament’s list of mid-major automatic bids.

During an interview on Friday with Making Headline News, Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dexter Johnson, Sr. said that the University of Texas at San Antonio, Murray State, Texas State, East Texas Baptist University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of San Francisco, Sam Houston State, and the University of North Texas are amongst the schools that have Johnson, Jr. under their radar, although the 6-foot-3 senior has yet to field any official offers.

A TRUE BALLERA two-year starter for a Duncanville team that is currently 23-7 and ranked No. 25 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Johnson, Jr.’s amongst the top scorers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to area stats released by The Dallas Morning News.
Through 30 games, Johnson, Jr. (left) is averaging 13.4 points per game, second only to Duncanville’s Miles McDougal (18.9 points per game).

Given the immense strides and considerable process he’s made both on the AAU and prep circuits in recent months, the possibility exist that could very well change in Johnson, Jr.’s favor.

Any day now.

A two-year starter for a Duncanville team that is currently 23-7 and ranked No. 25 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Johnson, Jr. is amongst the top scorers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to recent area stats released by The Dallas Morning News.

Through 30 games, Johnson, Jr. is averaging 13.4 points per game, second only to Duncanville’s Miles McDougal (18.9 points per game).

Add to the fact that he has proven time and again that he can compete with some of the fiercest talent in the nation — he’s a former teammate of Emanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets, Micah Seaborn of Monmouth University, Baylor’s Terrance Ferguson and Mark Vital, and Kansas signee Billy Preston — and it’s no wonder Johnson, Jr. is being monitored closely by schools that figure to come calling with official offers.

Any day now.

Whichever schools lands a kid whom many recruiting analysts have dubbed amongst the most underrated in Dallas/Fort Worth will undoubtedly inherit a player who possess the poise and maturity to contribute immediately.

“(They are going to get) a diligent, hard-working leader who is going to show up and give maximum effort day in and day out,” Johnson, Jr. said. “I have spent my entire life working toward the opportunity to play the game I love on the college level. College ball will provide me the platform to grow as a leader both on the court and in the classroom. I want to be the positive example for other young ballers, like many college ball players have been for me.”

LONG TIME AT IT — A kid who has first picked up a basketball at just eight months of age and, consequently, began to adopt a deep admiration, coupled with a relatively favorable IQ for the game during his days of playing basketball for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s recreational team, the mystery that remains is at what point will one — or several — of these schools suddenly extend a scholarship offer to Johnson, Jr.

A guard whose skills have been likened to that of former Murray State star and current Oklahoma City Thunder reserve guard Cameron Payne, Johnson, Jr. believes he’s deserving of a chance to put his skills on display at the collegiate level, in large part because aside from having blossomed into a prolific scorer who has the ability to create his own shoot, he’s gone to great lengths to fine tune his mechanics in the offseason — most notably his mental toughness, defense, as well as his floor vision.

“It really didn’t surprise me,” said Johnson, Sr., when asked what his immediate reaction when he discovered that his son could actually go a long ways in his chosen sport. “(My biggest expectation is) that he leaves the court satisfied with his efforts.”

WATCH FOOTAGE OF DEXTER, JR. IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=HhDIjsCXJS0.

Aside from his solid body of work on the court, Johnson, Sr. acknowledged his son also boasts the smarts and resiliency to master the hustle and bustle that comes with being a student athlete at the collegiate level.

DAD KNOWS BEST — Aside from his solid body of work on the court, Johnson, Sr. acknowledged his son also boasts the smarts and resiliency to master the hustle and bustle that comes with being a student athlete at the collegiate level.
“Academically speaking, Dexter is a great student who works hard in the classroom,” Johnson, Jr. said. “As an athlete, he trains hard to get better.”

“Academically speaking, Dexter is a great student who works hard in the classroom,” Johnson, Jr. said. “As an athlete, he trains hard to get better.”

A kid who first picked up a basketball at just eight months of age and, consequently, began to adopt a deep admiration, coupled with a relatively favorable IQ for the game during his days of playing basketball for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s recreational team, the mystery that remains is at what point will one — or several — of these schools suddenly extend a scholarship offer to Johnson, Jr.

By and large, he doesn’t shy away from the notion that he hopes it is much sooner than later.

TEXAS SIZE HOOP DREAMS — A guard whose skills have been likened to that of former Murray State star and current Oklahoma City Thunder reserve guard Cameron Payne, Johnson, Jr. emphasized he believes he deserving of a chance to put his skills on display at the collegiate level, in large part because aside from having being a prolific scorer who has the ability to create his own shoot, he’s gone to great lengths to fine tune his mechanics in the offseason — most notably his mental toughness, defense, as well as his ability to read the floor.

WATCH MORE FOOTAGE OF DEXTER, JR. IN ACTION: http://www.scout.com/player/208036-dexter-johnson/videos.

“I am a true leader and all-around team player,” said Johnson, Jr., continuing to make a plea that he’s worthy of a college basketball scholarship. “I am dedicated, extremely disciplined, and I continue to better my skills every chance that I get.”

Notable attributes about which he’s hopeful the schools that are closely watching him will take into account.

Any day now.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Germantown Middle scholar athlete Chris Martin excels on and off the court

 

“It’s my favorite thing to do. Nothing makes me happier than putting the ball through the hoop.” — Memphis-area Middle School hoops phenom Chris Martin

 

ONLY BY GOD’S GRACE — A speedy, slim combo guard who’s armed with much promise as a rising youth basketball standout in this hoops-crazed Bluff City area, Germantown Middle School combo guard Christopher Martin, like his older brother, is blessed of the fact that God has strategically spared his mother life, in part so she could witness firsthand his immense strides on and off the court. 

MEMPHIS — In case you don’t know Christopher Martin, allow him to introduce himself.

For starters, Martin (widely known as Chris Martin) is a native Memphian who has emerged as a rather crafty, skillful basketball player, most notably on the amateur circuit.

 

MOTHERLY LOVE — Not only has Martin flourished academically, which has given way to his assuming his rightful place as part of Germantown Middle’s Optional STEM Program, but his keen leadership as the Red Devils’ floor general has inspired his teammates and coaches to name him team captain, something by which his mother finds intriguing and downright gratifying, in large part because, well, her Creator has blessed her to stick around to witness it all unfold.

 

A scholar athlete who has become a fixture both on and off the court in recent years, Martin is the catalyst of Germantown Middle School’s basketball team and, given his notable track record as an amateur athlete, it’s safe to assume his biggest and brightest days are well ahead of him.

Moreover, as a speedy, slim combo guard who’s armed with much promise as a rising youth basketball standout in this hoops-crazed Shelby-Metro area, Martin, like his older brother, is blessed of the fact that God has strategically spared his mother’s life, in large part so she could witness firsthand his immense strides on and off the court.

“I love my mom very much,” said Martin, counting his blessings yet again, a trend by which he’s guilty of exemplifying daily. “She has risked days to go to games and has been basically involved in everything I do. Win or lose, she’s always proud of me, as long as I do my best.”

STAY TUNED. MEMPHISIt is, by all accounts, because of Martin’s constant progress, coupled with his team-first concept that have benefited him mightily as a young student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the prep and collegiate levels in the coming years.

It is, by all accounts, because of Martin’s constant progress, coupled with his team-first concept that have benefited him mightily as a young student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the prep and collegiate levels in the coming years.

CHRIS’ HOOPS PAGE: http://www.cmballin.com

Not only has he flourished academically, which has given way to his assuming his rightful place as part of Germantown Middle’s Optional STEM Program, but his keen leadership as the Red Devils’ floor general has inspired his teammates and coaches to name him team captain, something by which his mother finds intriguing and downright gratifying, in large part because, well, her Creator has blessed her to stick around to witness it all unfold.

AWWWWWW — “My heart is overjoyed when I see how grateful, loving, and humble he remains,” Lamberth said of her son’s assortment of accolades. “His leadership skills are outstanding and his teammates look up to him and respect him. He does more than just play ball.”

“My heart is overjoyed when I see how grateful, loving, and humble he remains,” Lamberth said of her son’s assortment of accolades. “His leadership skills are outstanding and his teammates look up to him and respect him. He does more than just play ball.”

And, within the next year or so, some local high school-area coach undoubtedly will be fortunate to install Martin — a rather big guard who can create his own shot and certainly has much more growing to do —– to his roster.

Which, after all, means one thing: this hoops-crazed city hasn’t heard the last of him.

“I’m going to keep making good grades and (hopefully) get that Division 1 (scholarship), so one day I can pay (my mother) back for everything she’s done for me to help make my dreams come true,” said Martin, counting his blessings once again.

All while his mother continues to live to see it all unfold.

Just as God intended it to be.

 

 



EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Lancaster (Texas) High combo guard Kaila Cooks has been as good as advertised since bursting onto prep scene

MAD SKILLSIt is, by all accounts, because of Kaila Cooks’ steadfast commitment to fine tune her mechanics, upgrade her fundamentals and, most importantly, it is due in large part to the unyielding support of her family that has greatly enabled the Lancaster (Texas) High combo guard to exemplify she’s a constant success on and off the court. For starters, Kaila Cooks is making it count mightily in the classroom, where she’s become a fixture as an honor student. As if that isn’t impressive enough, Cooks’ dazzling basketball skills have been nothing short of impressive, for as long as, well, she burst onto the high school ranks.

DALLAS — It seems that just the mentioning of Kaila Symone Cooks’ name will immediately prompt Cheree Cooks to come to smiles and engage in a pretty intriguing conversation about her beloved daughter.

Such was the case this week when Cheree Cooks during an interview with Making Headline News was asked, among other things, about her daughter’s continuous rise as a prep basketball standout.

KAILA AND HER CREWTo get a thorough understanding of how Kaila Cooks has enjoyed sustained success for someone boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level, look no further than the tireless support of family and on-the-court supporting cast — from her mom, Cheree Cooks, to her father, Ivary Cooks, to her AAU coaches Dez and Ken Willingham, to Linson and her staff, as well as trainers Charles Stoker and Bootsy McCuen.

“It’s very tiring (at times),” Cooks said. “But I remember growing up that my dad was at every game and the support of a parent means a lot. So I push myself because I believe in her and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.”

It is, by all accounts, because of Kaila Cooks’ steadfast commitment to fine tuning her mechanics, upgrading her fundamentals and, most importantly, it is due in large part to the unyielding support of her family that have greatly enabled the Lancaster (Texas) High junior combo guard to exemplify she’s a constant success on and off the court.

For starters, Kaila Cooks, who’s widely known as “KC Cooks,” is making it count mightily in the classroom, where she’s become a fixture as an honor student. As if that isn’t impressive enough, Cooks’ dazzling basketball skills have been nothing short of impressive, remarkable for as long as, well, since she burst onto the high school ranks.

How else to explain her coming-out-party some three years ago when she manufactured a 32-point outburst as an eighth grader? How else to explain how this Texas Top Prospects AAU hoops phenom has routinely managed to draw rave reviews from her high school coaches, a trend that ultimately gave way to her earning a varsity roster spot as a freshman?

“My main goal is to pick up an offer this school year during basketball season and AAU season that is coming up in 2017,” said Kaila Cooks, when asked what are short and long-term goals as a student athlete. “I’ve been playing with (AAU ball) for about five years now, and I just really want this last year of AAU ball to get this one school that would want to offer me (a full ride scholarship).”

To get a thorough understanding of how Kaila Cooks has enjoyed sustained success for someone boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level, look no further than the tireless support of her family and her on-the-court supporting cast — from her mother, to her father, Ivary Cooks, to her AAU coaches Dez and Ken Willingham, to Linson and her staff, as well as trainers Charles Stoker and Bootsy McCain.

“My parents and coaches always say, ‘You got this,’” Kaila Cooks said. “Yeah, everyone have bad games. But they tell me to just keep pushing to get better and trust the process and trust myself and just play my game of basketball. And just about anything that I do in life, (my goal is to) continue to be successful and always have the mentality that I got this and just be patient and trust the process of it.”

CHECK OUT KAILA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgk_mCIVIRQ.

For Kaila Cooks, the process at times certainly seemed rugged and discomforting and downright unbearable.

TRUE GO-GETTERFor Kaila Cooks, the process at times certainly seemed rugged and discomforting and seemingly unbearable.
Take, for instance, how two years ago when she surprisingly sustained a torn ACL during a freak, non-basketball-related incident.
For Cheree Cooks, her daughter’s injury was undoubtedly came as a complete shock, one that consequently gave way to a slew of restless nights for a mother who customarily comes to smiles and engages in pretty intriguing conversations about her beloved daughter.

Take, for instance, how two years ago when she surprisingly sustained a torn ACL during an apparent freak, non-basketball-related incident.

For Cheree Cooks, her daughter’s injury undoubtedly came as a tear-jerking shock, one that consequently gave way to a slew of restless nights for a big-hearted mother who customarily comes to smiles and engages in pretty intriguing conversations about her beloved daughter.

“The doctor called and said she has a torn anterior cruciate ligament,” Cheree Cooks explained. “My response was, ‘Can she still play?’ He said not without surgery and that it’s going to take about six-to-none months (to recuperate).”

As expected, Cheree Cooks found it difficult to stomach such horrifying news.

“I then said, ‘Speak English…What did she do?’” Cheree Cooks said. “He said she tore her ACL. I had no words.”

Well, in actuality, she did have words.

Lots of them, mind you.

That’s because during her daughter’s rehabilitation period, Cheree was the mastermind, of sorts, particularly with regards to keeping Kaila Cooks in favorable spirits.

So much, in fact, that she staged on the walls throughout their home torn pieces of notebook papers accompanied by encouraging words, a trend that, to Kaila’s credit, benefited her mightily as she continued to recoup comfortably from what obviously was a devastating injury.

LOOKING AHEAD“My main goal is to pick up an offer this school year during basketball season and AAU season that is coming up in 2017,” said Kaila Cooks, when asked what are short and long-term goals as a student athlete. “I’ve been playing with (AAU ball) for about five years now, and I just really want this last year of AAU ball to get this one school that would want to offer me (a full ride scholarship).”

One that, as it pertains to taking inventory of her young life, essentially has made Kaila the catalyst of an upstart Lancaster basketball team — on and off the court.

“Kaila loves this game, she sees the floor like no other and, although this process has been hard, I know in the end she will win because she has put in the Work,” Cheree Cooks said. Kaila has a great support system and all Kaila family wants the world to see what we see.”

Now the world is starting to know.

Now the world is starting to see.



EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

 

 

Dallas-area athlete Seth Texada aiming to increase his recruiting stock when he suits up for Grapevine High in 2017

DALLAS — Ricky Texada pastors arguably one of the most advanced, prosperous churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

That, by all accounts, means he’s pretty efficient and knowledge of the written word of God.

Interesting enough, when it comes to the athletic talents of his son, local prep athlete Seth Ryan Texada, Ricky Texada is one who can assess his son’s skills and mechanics with the best of them.

“Seth first played organized flag football at nine years (of age),” Ricky Texada, the Campus Pastor of Covenant Church of Colleyville, Texas, told Making Headline News this week. “He was very instinctive in route running, catching and defending. His speed was two-to-three steps faster than everyone on the field. He began playing (competitive) football in the fifth grade.”

 

FULL FAMILY SUPPORTGiven his immense strides and considerable progress he’s made in recent years, Seth Texada (No. 12) is seemingly making a strong case that he’s destined to put his athletic skills on display at the collegiate level in the coming years. A speedy 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back who emerged as the catalyst for a Grapevine Faith Christian team that ended the 2016 season with a seven-game undefeated streak and a Texas private school state championship, if nothing else, Seth Texada only increased his recruiting stock as he prepares to make the lofty transition to public schools competition next year. Having played for a Grapevine Christian team that was ranked No. 79 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Seth Texada will suit up next season for nearby Grapevine High.

Given the immense strides and considerable progress he’s made in recent years, Seth Texada is seemingly making a strong case that he’s destined to put his athletic skills on display at the collegiate level in the coming years.

A speedy 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back who emerged as the catalyst for a Grapevine Faith Christian team that ended the 2016 season with a seven-game undefeated streak and a Texas private school state championship, if nothing else, Seth Texada only increased his recruiting stock as he prepares to make the lofty transition to public schools competition next year.

Having played for a Grapevine Christian team that was ranked No. 79 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Seth Texada will suit up next season for nearby Grapevine High.

RUN SETH, RUN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGcvxLhYzrU.

As he tells it, he certainly welcomes what undoubtedly will be a monumental challenge as a newcomer to a Mustang team that ended the 2016 campaign with an impressive 10-2 finish and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

“I had to make the most of every touch since I played behind (All-State running back) Keyshawn Wyatt,” said Seth Texada, assessing his overall performance this past season. “I kept the chains moving.”

Most importantly, this multi-sport athlete was as good as advertised in playing alongside Wyatt, arguably one of the most rugged, efficient rushers in Texas who amassed a career-best 2,888 yards rushing this past season.

For starters, Seth Texada proved, among other things, that even with a small frame, he boasts the smarts to elude opposing defenders, considering he reached the end zone on an average of six carries.

As if that wasn’t enough to draw rave reviews, Seth Texada was just as reliable on special teams, where he averaged in the neighborhood of 32 yards per punt return.

Wait…there’s more, he acknowledged.

“I improved my run, blocking and pass protection,” Seth Texada said. “Overall, it was a great season, especially to top it off by winning the state championship. Now I have a football championship to go with a state championship (in track and field). That’s two state championships in one year…not bad at all.”

Fortunately Seth Texada, with two full seasons of major prep football ahead of him, at least one intriguing thing has been determined for this overwhelmingly gifted — yet sometimes underrated — athlete.

RUN TELL THAT — “Coaches and recruiters need to know that no one is going to outwork me,” said Seth Texada who, last summer, was extended invites to camps at Texas State, Arkansas State, Arkansas Tech, Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southern Methodist University, although scheduling conflicts didn’t allow for him to attend any of them. I also understand the value of their investment in me and what it means to be a student-athlete. I have two cousins playing at the (major Division 1 football), which makes me understand that there is a price to pay for success. I’m a man of high morals and character, and I will represent (a college) program in the best possible way.”

That is, he’s exemplifies that championship pedigree, something that, in some cases, can’t be merely taught.

The biggest mystery now, it seems, is at what point will scouts and recruiters consequently take notice.

“Coaches and recruiters need to know that no one is going to outwork me,” said Seth Texada who, last summer, was extended invites to camps at Texas State, Arkansas State, Arkansas Tech, Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southern Methodist University, although scheduling conflicts didn’t allow for him to attend any of them. I also understand the value of their investment in me and what it means to be a student-athlete. I have two cousins playing at the (major Division 1 football), which makes me understand that there is a price to pay for success. I’m a man of high morals and character, and I will represent (a college) program in the best possible way.”

Without question, his father will be right there throughout the entire recruiting process, steering him in the right direction.

Just as he does for, well, the rest of his sheep.

ESTABLISHING A COVENANT: http://www.covenantchurch.org/.

“The sky is the limit for Seth,” Ricky Texada said. “Last summer as a freshman, he ran a 4.43, (had shown) has a 35-inch vertical jump and ran a 4.19 shuttle. These are measurable that matter when determining athletic ability. The one thing that can’t be measured is heart.”

Given the continuous progress Seth Texada has made in recent years, it’s safe to assume greater days are on the horizon for a thriving multi-sport athlete, one whom seems well on his way to appearing under the recruiters’ radar.

Much sooner than later.



EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

MID-SOUTH RECRUITING: Collierville High’s Blake Stigger generates offers from two colleges, remains hopeful he will sign

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbThings didn’t particularly turn out the way LaGarrious Blake Stigger had expected during his senior season for the Collierville High football team.

Still, he’s convinced that because of his overall body work in recent years, he deserves a shot at putting his immense skills on display at the collegiate level.

By and large, as Stigger tells it, he isn’t letting anything or anyone stop his lofty ambition of wearing a college football uniform come next fall.

STANDING TALL --- Despite a year in which he played sparingly, Blake Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level. Surely, he strongly believes his chances are as good as anyone with whom he played and played against in a Shelby-Metro area that has emerged a virtual hotbed for college scouts and recruiters. (Photos by ANTONIO TAYLOR/Taylor Moments)
STANDING TALLDespite a year in which he played sparingly, Blake Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level.
Surely, he strongly believes his chances are as good as anyone with whom he played and played against in a Shelby-Metro area that has emerged a virtual hotbed for college scouts and recruiters. (Photos by ANTONIO TAYLOR/Taylor Moments)

“Honestly, (I played) average because I didn’t get much (playing) time,” Stigger told Making Headline News during a recent interview. My talent speaks for itself. Overall, I kept a positive attitude and gave this season 125 percent.”

Despite a year in which he played sparingly, Stigger doesn’t shy away from the notion that he hopes will ultimately fulfill his dream of playing at the next level.

MOM KNOWS BEST --- Like her son, Katrena Marie Stone remains hopeful that her son will be given a fair shot to make a favorable impression upon some college football program. “(Because of his success and dedication, Blake is so passionate about football,” Stone said. “As I watch him play, I see nothing but greatness. It’s like a gift he was born with.”
MOM KNOWS BESTLike her son, Katrena Marie Stone remains hopeful that her son will be given a fair shot to make a favorable impression upon some college football program.
“(Because of his success and dedication, Blake is so passionate about football,” Stone said. “As I watch him play, I see nothing but greatness. It’s like a gift he was born with.”

Surely, without any official offers as of yet, he strongly believes his chances are as good as anyone with whom he played and played against in a Shelby-Metro area that has emerged a virtual hotbed for college scouts and recruiters.

“That I am a hard worker and humble young man that just want an opportunity to do what I love the most,” said Stigger, when asked what it is he’d like for college scouts to know about him. “I just need a chance.”

WATCH BLAKE IN ACTION: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/5528015/blake-stigger.

That, after all, explains why the 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete conditions daily in hopes of attracting the attention of a college program that will be willing to grant him what he describes as a golden opportunity.

“His father got him started (in competitive football) in 2006 with the Mt. Pleasant Lions,” Stigger’s mother, Katrena Marie Stone explained. From that point, I learned it was something he really loved. I was amazed because I really didn’t know that he had it in him. I overlooked the talent, because I just thought it was something most boys did just to keep busy.”

THEY ARE WATCHING --- Despite a year in which he played sparingly, Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level.
THEY ARE WATCHINGDespite a year in which he played sparingly, Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level.

Like her son, Stone remains hopeful that her son will be given a fair shot to make a favorable impression upon some college football program.

“(Because of his success and dedication, Blake is so passionate about football,” Stone said. “As I watch him play, I see nothing but greatness. It’s like a gift he was born with.”

As for his notable strengths, Stigger has become thoroughly efficient at reading offenses which, to his credit, has allowed him to blossom as a player who has proven to contain the opposing team’s top rusher.

As for his weakness, he acknowledged that reducing mental mistakes is a must as he auditions to play at the next level.

With National Signing Day less than three months away (February 1), Stigger knows full well he has no time to waste, despite a senior campaign in which he saw limited action.

OH...AND ONE LAST THING --- “ This is always what I wanted to do as a child,” Stigger said. “This is what I grew up on. I love the aggressiveness and the contact (football brings). (Football) is in my blood. I want to be the one in my family to make it (to the next level). I don’t look at this as a ticket out, because I have a backup plan. But I want to achieve this dream for myself and in dedication of my cousin that didn’t get to see this day.”
OH…AND ONE LAST THING“This is always what I wanted to do as a child,” Stigger said. “This is what I grew up on. I love the aggressiveness and the contact (football brings). (Football) is in my blood. I want to be the one in my family to make it (to the next level). I don’t look at this as a ticket out, because I have a backup plan. But I want to achieve this dream for myself and in dedication of my cousin that didn’t get to see this day.”

“(I will be) attending some camps, working on my footwork, speed, and strength,” he said. “Whatever college offers me a scholarship, they be inheriting a very bright, intelligent young man who is willing to give 125% on and off the field.”

Just as he had done in 2016 — and years prior to that.

“This is always what I wanted to do as a child,” Stigger said. “This is what I grew up on. I love the aggressiveness and the contact (football brings). (Football) is in my blood. I want to be the one in my family to make it (to the next level). I don’t look at this as a ticket out, because I have a backup plan. But I want to achieve this dream for myself and in dedication of my cousin that didn’t get to see this day.”

And, as he tells it, he isn’t letting anything or anyone stop his lofty ambition of wearing a college football uniform come next fall.

Stay tuned.



aaaEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

MID-SOUTH RECRUITING: Collierville High’s Mikho Grandison hopeful he’ll land football scholarship after ‘productive’ senior campaign

THE WAITING GAME — According to Collierville High athlete Mikho Grandison, while he has yet to garner any official scholarship offers, he said he has kept in constant contact with a few recruiters at Austin Peay State. “I was talking to the Austin Peay recruiter (during the season),” Grandison said. However, the question that remains is whether Grandison — who ranked as the No. 68 overall recruit for the Class of 2017 in Tennessee by Maxpreps.com — will ink a National Letter of intent to play college football next season. (Photos by Antonio Taylor/Taylor Moments)
THE WAITING GAME According to Collierville High athlete Mikho Grandison, while he has yet to garner any official scholarship offers, he said he has kept in constant contact with a few recruiters at Austin Peay State. “I was talking to the Austin Peay recruiter (during the season),” Grandison said. However, the question that remains is whether Grandison — who ranked as the No. 68 overall recruit for the Class of 2017 in Tennessee by Maxpreps.com — will ink a National Letter of intent to play college football next season. (Photos by Antonio Taylor/Taylor Moments)

Mikho Grandison is one who customarily views things from a broader perspective.

You know, the bigger picture, that is.

Take, for instance, how Grandison steadfastly clung to a positive disposition during his prep football stint at Collierville (Tenn.) High.

Although coach Mike O’Neill’s Dragons limped to a 5-7 finish and tied cross-county rival Germantown for fifth in the Region 4-6A standings, Grandison made favorable use of his time whenever he was called upon to provide Collierville with a much-needed boosts, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

“I think I played harder than most people,” Grandison told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I never took a plays off…always did my job. I was leader and always (gave) 120 percent, never gave up, always played through (adversity) no matter how bad we was losing.”

aIn assessing what he described as a subpar senior campaign, it is because of Grandison’s spirited, upbeat approach to what was a pivotal season in 2016 that has greatly fueled his desire to pursue playing football at the collegiate level.

As National Signing Day looms (February 1), Grandison and his family are doing whatever is essential to help attract scouts, thus persuade them to grant him an opportunity they sense he so rightfully deserves.

A speedy, 5-foot-6, 147 athlete, Grandison was quite efficient as a rusher, particularly on productive drives that landed the Dragons in the red zone.

In essence, he strongly believes he would have had an even bigger impact had he gained more touches.

“Even though they didn’t give me the ball as much, I always made good and positive yards every time I touched the ball,” Grandison said.

To his credit, even when he wasn’t carrying the ball, he made it a point to demonstrate poise and resiliency in other areas that ultimately gave way to some stellar offensive productivity.

“I blocked for everybody,” Grandison said. “No matter how big the person was, they didn’t scare me at all. I still thought I was stronger than them and I knew I had to make every play count and I did.”

CUT UP, MIKHO: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/5164615/mikho-grandison.

With some added exposure in the foreseeable future, Grandison remains hopeful that he will solidify the big break he has diligently sought in recent years.

According to Grandison, while he has yet to garner any official scholarship offers, he said he has kept in constant contact with a few recruiters at Austin Peay State.

“I was talking to the Austin Peay recruiter (during the season),” Grandison said.

However, arguably the biggest question that remains is whether Grandison — who is ranked as the No. 68 overall recruit for the Class of 2017 in Tennessee by Maxpreps.com — will ink a National Letter of intent to play college football next season.

Given the immense strides he’s made in recent years, his mother, Uzette Grandison, undoubtedly thinks so.

“I always tell my son to reach beyond the sky, because there are infinite possibilities in the universe,” Uzette Grandison said. “My first reaction when I realized my son could go a long way (as an athlete) was to work with him to help make him better.”

Uzette Grandison, in fact, even recalls those times in which she assumed the role as football-mom-turned-trainer-turned-coach.

For real, though.

“I would throw the football, have family football games, and let him watch football,” Uzette Grandison explained.

POSITIVE…REGARDLESS — “I think I played harder than most people,” Grandison told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I never took a plays off…always did my job. I was leader and always (gave) 120 percent, never gave up, always played through (adversity) no matter how bad we was losing.”
POSITIVE…REGARDLESS“I think I played harder than most people,” Grandison told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I never took a plays off…always did my job. I was leader and always (gave) 120 percent, never gave up, always played through (adversity) no matter how bad we was losing.”

Thanks to her unyielding guidance and wisdom, hard work has seemingly paid off for her son.

“I am elated when my son touches the football,” Uzette Grandison said. “He is explosive and many people don’t expect to see that, so when I hear the chatter, I hold my head up with pride and flick my hair so they can see the name on the back of my shirt.”

If things go his way in the coming months, Mikho Grandison’s name will be embroidered on the back of a college football jersey, something about which he has dreamt for some time.

When asked would he like for college recruiters and coaches to know about him,  Mikho Grandison said, “That I’m a hard worker and a leader…and that I’m just a young man who’s trying to show coaches my talents. All I need is a chance to show it.”

Typical Grandison, one who customarily views things from a broader perspective.

You know, the bigger picture, that is.



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