Tag Archives: Texas Longhorn Network

Winners BBQ has been nothing short of remarkable since its 2015 Dallas/Fort Worth inception


“The highest human act is to inspire.”Late superstar rapper Nipsey Hussle


WINNER’S CIRCLE 

DOING IT BIG IN TEXAS — A former Iowa State football standout, DeAndre Jackson had ultimately delved off into the ever-so-competitive world of entrepreneurship as the proud founder of Winners BBQ, a family-owned restaurant that has established three franchises since its inception in 2015.

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — If there’s one thing that DeAndre Jackson has learned as a former athlete, it’s how to make good on a seemingly unfavorable situation.

Consider, for instance, how when Jackson’s bid to land on an NFL roster spot fell short amid a career-ending ACL injury, he diligently had become resourceful in that he miraculously found his niche, both as an athletic trainer and real estate agent.
Much to his delight, things for the Garland, Texas native would only get better.
A former Iowa State standout, Jackson had ultimately delved off into the ever-so-competitive world of entrepreneurship as the proud founder of Winners BBQ, a family-owned restaurant that has established three franchises since its inception in 2015.

MORE ON WINNERS BBQ: https://www.facebook.com/winnersbbq/

https://m.facebook.com/winnersbbqaustin/

THEY ARE LIT — Winners BBQ, in fact, has become a fixture throughout North Texas, in large part because consumers have come to enjoy — and embrace — its delectable meat plates, meat by the pound, its assortment of sandwiches, not to mention its smoked turkey legs, as well as its distinctly unique meat loaded potato that’s famously deemed “The G.O.AT.”

Winners BBQ’s original location is housed at 3200 14th Street in nearby Plano. A popular Dallas/Fort Worth restaurant that Jackson owns along with his cousin, Tevin Jackson, Tevin’s wife, former University of Texas and professional track and field star Nichole Denby-Jackson, Winners BBQ has since added two locations — one in Cedar Hill and in Austin.

Following what the Jacksons described as “massive success” of the Plano location, DeAndre opened Winners BBQ Cedar Hill in 2017, and in less than three months ago, Nichole, Tevin, and Nichole’s sister, Nichale,  opened the Austin location. 

For DeAndre Jackson and Co., it’s been all good ever since.


RED ZONE EFFICIENCY 

To their credit, the Jacksons have gone to great lengths to form what has become an All-Star lineup of Winners BBQ CEOs.

“We pride ourselves on bringing flavorful craft BBQ with having a one-of-a-kind menu and delivering exceptional customer service,” Nichole Denby-Jackson told Making Headline News this week.

Winners BBQ, in fact, has become a fixture throughout North Texas, in large part because consumers have come to enjoy — and embrace — its delectable meat plates, meats by the pound, its assortment of sandwiches, not to mention its smoked turkey legs, as well as its distinctly unique meat loaded potato that’s famously deemed “The G.O.AT.”

Following what the Jacksons described as “massive success” of the Plano location, DeAndre opened Winners BBQ Cedar Hill in 2017, and in less than three months ago, Nichole, Tevin, and Nichole’s sister, Nichale,  opened the Austin location. For DeAndre Jackson and Co., it’s been all good ever since.

And then there are Winners BBQ’s mouth-watering sides and its kids menu, not to mention its sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and its flavor-packed dry rub, which takes all of its smoked meats to “another level of flavor,” DeAndre Jackson acknowledged.

Interestingly, Winners BBQ has earned mentions in a slew of food publications, trends that have given way to this star-studded restaurant chain having garnered a host of food awards and magazine honors.


“As high profile collegiate and professional athletes, we are highly competitive by nature and this competitiveness and drive spill over into every faucet of our lives,” DeAndre Jackson explained. “Sports is what we all have in common, and the discipline, dedication, perseverance, mental toughness, sacrifice, motivation, and determination that athletics have instilled in us has taught us very valuable life lessons and how to never quit, no matter what curve balls life throw your way.”


To their credit, the Jacksons have gone to great lengths to form what has become an All-Star lineup of Winners BBQ CEOs.

Surely, their competitive drive as former athletes has contributed mightily to their sustained entrepreneurship success.

For starters, DeAndre and Tevin Jackson, both were legitimate hopeful to land NFL contracts before injuries reduced their effectiveness, thus bringing their careers to unceremoniously ends.

ON A MISSION — As for the Jacksons’ mission for having delved off into entrepreneurship, what it all boils down, they said, is devising ways to leave a legacy for their children — and their children’s children.

Both, in fact, had sustained torn ACL’s, and were forced to tackle — and sack — what they label as the “real world” for the first time in a long time.

And then there was Nichole, a Los Angeles native, who was the catalyst of Texas’ track and field program that captured a national championship before she enjoyed a professional stint with Nike and Adidas that spanned a decade.

Interestingly, Nichole maintained a top-10 world ranking and represented the U. S. on its World Championship Team, as well as served as an alternate on the U. S. Olympic team.

Winners BBQ’s original location is housed at 3200 14th Street in nearby Plano. A popular Dallas/Fort Worth restaurant that Jackson owns along with his cousin, Tevin Jackson, and Tevin’s wife, former University of Texas and professional track and field star Nichole Denby-Jackson, Winners BBQ has since added two locations — one in Cedar Hill and in Austin.

As for the Jacksons’ mission for having delved off into entrepreneurship, what it all boils down, they said, is devising ways to leave a legacy for their children — and their children’s children.

“My personal mission is to be able to pass down something for my children to own and start them off at an even better place in life than I was,” Nichole said. “I would also love to use my platform to motivate and inspire others, whether that be on speaking panels, through a published book, public appearances, and various events or seminars.

“Another mission is to have enough financial freedom for me to give back to many communities through charitable acts of kindness and build water wells in certain parts of Africa for those without clean water,” Nichole added. “We are all big on philanthropy and are big advocates for our community.”

DeAndre and Tevin Jackon both were legitimate hopeful to land NFL contracts before injuries reduced their effectiveness, thus bringing their careers to unceremoniously end. Both, in fact, sustained torn ACL’s, and were both forced to tackle — and sack — the real world for the first time in a long time.

In addition, the Jacksons announced strategic plans to create what they call the “WINspiration Foundation,” an organization that would allow them to display their notable philanthropy efforts.

“Something that I learned from the late great Nipsey Hussle is that the highest human act is to inspire,” Nichole said. “If I can use my platform to reach at least one person — I would love to inspire many — I would be happy.”

Said DeAndre Jackson: “It is important to pass down knowledge and wisdom to better those around you and make them want to become the best versions of themselves and to be able to pass down and instill these things in the next generation which will pick up the baton as it will be their turn to run the world.”

Just as the Jacksons are presently doing as successful entrepreneurs — this after having made good on seemingly unfavorable situations.

Talk about true Winners.


For more information about Texas entrepreneurs DeAndre Jackson, Nichole Denby-Jackson, Tevin Jackson and Nichale of Winners BBQ, call 972.424-2400 (Plano), 205.572-0256 (Cedar Hill), 512.861.5066 (Austin), or connect with Winners BBQ via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/winnersbbq/


CONNECT WITH THIS AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

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.

Thanks to a former NFL player, Duncanville’s Barak Gurnell has found his niche and passion in football


TEXAS CLASS 6A FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW


DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Tamara Gurnell was going on and on Wednesday morning about how her son, Barak Gurnell, doesn’t routinely watch football.

“He doesn’t watch a whole lot of football,” Tamara Gurnell told Making Headline News. “I could turn it on a game and he’ll go in another room. He’s just not into watching football like that.”


EYE OF THE PANTHER 

HEART OF A CHAMPION — A little more than two years removed from having become thoroughly active in competitive football, Barak Gurnell has made some pretty immeasurable strides for a Duncanville High team (15-0) that has re-emerged as a national standout and will square off against Houston’s North Shore (15-0) for the Texas Class 6A championship Saturday at 7 p.m. CST at AT&T Stadium.

That certainly isn’t the case for her son on the field.

A little more than two years removed from having become thoroughly active in competitive football, Barak Gurnell has made some pretty immeasurable strides for a Duncanville High team (15-0, ranked No. 8 nationally by MaxPreps.com) that has re-emerged as a national standout and will square off against Houston’s North Shore (15-0, ranked No. 10 nationally by MaxPreps.com) for the Texas Class 6A championship Saturday at 7 p. m. CST at AT&T Stadium.

Led by former Dallas Skyline coach Reggie Sample, Duncanville is ranked No. 1 in Texas Class 6A, according to MaxPreps. North Shore is ranked No. 2.

A 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior defensive tackle, Gurnell has practically held his own and made a name for himself as a marquee player for a Panther defensive unit that denied perennial power Allen of a second consecutive state title with a 44-35 win in the state semifinals.


“Football has become a very important part of my life in a very short period of time and I honestly can’t see going to college without it. It pushes me to be a better version of myself every day.” — Duncanville senior defensive tackle Barak Gurnell 


STOCK IS RISING — What a difference two years have made for a young, gifted kid whom, to his credit, has managed to attract interests from a host of college, a trend he expects to increase much sooner than later.

Football alone isn’t the only factor that has greatly inspired Gurnell to maximize his potential as he continues to lobbies for a full ride scholarship as a member of a nationally-ranked Duncanville team that’s loaded with Division 1-caliber players and is back in the state championship for the first time in two decades.

Amongst those who essentially spearheaded Gurnell’s quest to consider football is former NFL player Roderick Lewis.

A former Dallas Bishop Dunne Catholic and University of Arizona star, Lewis, 47, played four professional seasons for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans from 1994-1997.

PIVOTAL EXTRA POINT — Amongst those who essentially spearheaded Gurnell’s quest to consider football is former NFL player Roderick Lewis. A former Dallas Bishop Dunne Catholic and University of Arizona star, Lewis, 47, played four professional seasons for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans from 1994-1997.

As Tamara Gurnell recalled, Lewis was rather direct when suggesting that her son — who already exhibits the size of an NFL defensive lineman — should serious consider giving football a try.

“My friend, Rod Lewis, hadn’t seen Barak for some time until his daughter’s 17th birthday party,” Tamara Gurnell explained. “Rod’s face lit up with excitement and he began to pat Barak on the back and chest, commenting on how big he had gotten.”

As it turns out, it seemed that divine intervention essentially couldn’t keep Barak Gurnell off of Lewis’ mind days after the two had crossed paths.

MOM KNOWS BEST –— Come Saturday night, amongst the things that will likely come to mind for Gurnell when he sets foot on Texas high school football’s biggest stage is how his willingness to embrace wise counsel has ultimately allowed his gift to make room for him.

“A few days later, Rod called me to discuss Barak’s future, highly encouraging (him) to consider football as a viable option to add to his high school portfolio,” Tamara Gurnell recalled.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

That’s because not only did Barak Gurnell heed the pertinent advice of Lewis but, much to his delight, it’s safe to assume that competitive football, by all accounts, has become an integral part of his life.

Come Saturday night, amongst the things that will likely come to mind for Gurnell when he sets foot on Texas high school football’s biggest stage is how his willingness to embrace some wise counsel has ultimately allowed his gift to make room for him.

Yep. What a difference two years have made for a young, gifted kid whom, to his credit, has managed to attract interests from a host of college, a trend he expects to increase much sooner than later.

“I have spoken to Lyon College over the phone and Texas State University (scouts) in person,” said Gurnell, adding that Oklahoma State and SMU have expressed interests in his services.

REMEMBER THE NAME — A 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior defensive tackle, Gurnell has practically held his own and made a name for himself as a marquee player for a Panther defensive unit that denied perennial power Allen of a second consecutive state title with a 44-35 win.

Surely, Gurnell’s short list of schools, in all likelihood, will expand, considering just this past summer, he attended camps at SMU, OSU, Baylor, TCU, the University of Houston, Rice University, and Texas A&M Commerce, among others.

“There will be no problems off the field,” said Gurnell, when asked what direct message he’d like to send to college scouts and recruiters. “I always make sure to conduct myself in a respectable fashion and that my grades are never a problem. Right now, I’m preparing for the state final game against North Shore, and I plan to continue to lift weights through the winter and do some conditioning once it gets warmer.”

If nothing else, for a youngster who’s a relatively newcomer to football, Gurnell certainly has become knowledgeable of the prerequisites essential for landing an athletic scholarship.

“The coaches give honest feedback,” Tamara Gurnell said of her son’s constant progression to the sport. “Essentially, Barak is a diamond in the rough. Because he is so new to the sport, the learning curve is massive.”

All things considered, one would be hard-pressed to discover just how “massive” of a curve it is, given the sustained success Gurnell has enjoyed in such a brief timeframe.

“He is a quick study, and in football, intellect is key,” said Tamara Gurnell, sounding very much like a prep football insider. “(The Duncanville coaching staff) believe he will be offered a (partial) scholarship, if not a full one, mainly because there is limited film due to his late start in the sport. They believe he will surely be an asset, because of his character and great grades.”

PUTTING IN WORK — If nothing else, for a youngster who’s a relatively newcomer to football, Gurnell certainly has become knowledgeable of the prerequisites essential to landing an athletic scholarship.

Something even a former NFL player had recognized at a birthday party.

Speaking of party, expect the Gurnells to host one if the Panthers upend North Shore Saturday night in Arlington, which is roughly two towns over from Duncanville.

Heck, expect them to throw an even bigger party if Barak Gurnell pulls off the unthinkable by signing a National Letter of Intent in the foreseeable future , which undoubtedly would be a massive, remarkable feat for a relatively newcomer to the sport.

“I will be proud (if he earns a football scholarship), because he is one step closer to his independence,” Tamara Gurnell said. “I am enjoying the man he is becoming.”

A youngster who already exhibits the frame of an NFL defensive lineman.

Talk about impressive.


CONNECT WITH THIS AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

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.

Lewisville High football standout Tahj Martin: ‘It is a dream for me to play college football’

LEWISVILLE, Texas — Tahj Martin is just a tender 15-year-old student athlete.

A great, big gigantic one, that is.

Consider, for instance, Martin’s massive frame that is comprised of his standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 261 pounds which, to his credit, is practically equivalent of an NFL lineup.


FRESHMAN SENSATION

UNDER THE RADAR — Assuming roles on both sides of the ball as a left tackle and defensive end for Lewisville coach Michael Odle’s squad, Tahj Martin enjoyed a significant amount of action this past season for the Farmers as his stock amongst college scouts and recruiters increased mightily in the process.

Speaking of the NFL, Martin doesn’t shy away from the notion that playing football on Sundays undoubtedly is amongst his major long-term ambitions.

But first thing’s first: blossoming as a rising prep footballer.

“I am a hard working athlete, who has come from very humble surroundings,” Martin told Making Headline News during a weekend interview. “I am a magnet and people gravitate to me, because of my winning personality and attitude.”

A triumphant mentality certainly highlights Martin’s assortment of key attributes as a true freshman for Lewisville (Texas) High’s football team.

 

STOCK IS RISING — With so much high school football ahead of him, Martin has already garnered interests from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas.

Martin, in fact, is coming off of a productive and breakthrough season for an upstart Lewisville team that finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-3 mark, including an impressive 6-1 record in 6A Region I District 6, second only to conference rival Flower Mound.

Assuming roles on both sides of the ball as a left tackle and defensive end for coach Michael Odle’s squad, Martin enjoyed a significant amount of action for the Farmers as his stock amongst college scouts and recruiters increased mightily in the process.

No one, it seems, can attest to his notion more than his father, Geoffrey Grant Martin, who’s thoroughly convinced that his son is making a strong case that his prep football career will culminate with him signing a National Letter of Intent.

TEXAS-SIZED IMPACT — Martin is coming off of a productive and breakthrough season for an upstart Lewisville team that finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-3 mark, including an impressive 6-1 record in 6A Region I District 6, second only to conference rival Flower Mound.

“Tahj has grown tremendously both on the field and off,” Geoffrey Grant said. “He’s gained a level of confidence and passion for not only his role on the team, but for the entire team itself, all while maintaining his grades academically.”

All things considered, Martin’s favorable display as a true freshmen for the Farmers has, in fact, given way to a few college scouts deeming it essential to thrust him under their radar.

With so much high school football ahead of him, Martin has already garnered interests from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas.

DOING IT BIG IN TEXAS — Martin’s massive frame that is comprised of his standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 261 pounds which, to his credit, is practically equivalent of an NFL lineup.

Given the immeasurable impact he’s had thus far in his prep career, expect that list to expand much sooner than later.

“It is a dream for me (to play college football), because I am made and built for the sport of football,” Martin said. “I know that all the years I have been playing will pay off and a college scholarship would be the ultimate satisfaction of all.”

Although he did not attend any camps this past summer because of unforeseen circumstances, Martin was especially active, particularly as it relates to conditioning regularly and monitoring his weight.

“(I would typically workout) Monday and Wednesday mornings and in the afternoons, (and would take part in) cardio training on Saturdays and Sundays,” Martin said. “I also work on healthy eating habits that include making smoothies and protein snacks to build a strong muscle mass.”

DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING — A triumphant mentality certainly highlights Martin’s assortment of key attributes as a true freshman for Lewisville High’s football team.

Despite his overall body of work on and off the field, coupled with the impressive resume he’s established to this point, Martin also doesn’t shy away from the notion that no one has to persuade him not to hit the cruise control button at this point.

Not with so much prep football ahead of him.


“I performed exceptionally well (during the 2018 season), but I still have more work to do. I’ve got to work more on dropping into coverage. I have to work on that. My speed needs to improve, but with growth, I know I will get faster.” — Lewisville freshman Tahj Martin


WAITING HIS TURN — All things considered, Martin’s favorable display a true underclassmen for the Farmers has, in fact, given way to a few college scouts deeming it essential to thrust him under their radar.

A pretty wise and thorough assessment, this coming from a tender 15-year-old student athlete.

A great, big gigantic one, that is.

One whose short list of interested colleges undoubtedly is expected to expand much sooner than later.

So stay tuned.


For more information about Lewisville (Texas) High School football standout Tahj Gabriel Martin, connect with him via social media at:

Instagram: @tahjmartin12

Snaphat: tmahal_878

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tahj.martin.1

Twitter: @martin2Tahj


CONNECT WITH THIS AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

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 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 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.

 

Houston-area prep football standout Anthony Williams, Jr. generates one scholarship offer, ‘expects list to expand’ his coach says

TEXAS SIZE DREAMSA two-year starter for Hightower High in Missouri City, Texas — which is in the outskirts of Houston — Anthony Williams, Jr. doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his skills on display at the next level.
To his credit, it’s not a matter of if he will be afforded the golden opportunity of playing college football. Rather, it’s a matter of when. The first school to toss its name in the hat for the Williams, Jr. sweepstakes: Alcorn State University. (Photos by Cris Armijo)

Anthony Williams, Jr. was seemingly too young to remember.

For the record, he was four years old.

Old enough to become involved in recreational sports, as far as his mother, Rosalind Banks-Mayshack, was concerned.

“At the age of four, Anthony was enrolled in several sports at the local YMCA for extra-curricular activity,” Banks-Mayshack told Making Headline News this week. “He is an only child and there were literally no children in the neighborhood in his age group, so the YMCA was one of the avenues used to allow him to play and interact with other kids his age.”

STAR WATCH Add to the fact that he was ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in Texas and amongst the Top 25 offensive tackles in the state by Lonestar Prospects, and it’s no wonder many who have witnessed Williams, Jr. (No. 76 in green) continuous progress in recent years believe other schools in all likelihood will surface with scholarship offers.

As Banks-Mayshack recalled, her son initially gave basketball a go.

Then he ventured off into T-ball.

Months later, it was on to flag football.

By the time he had turned six, he advanced to competitive football.

PROTECTING THE BLIND SIDEEven while being entrusted with a new role, Williams, Jr.’s was as good as advertised — this after he helped propelled the Hurricanes to an impressive 10-1 finished in his first full season as a starter. For his efforts, other schools have taken notice, thus placed him under their radar.

That is when things got a little more intriguing.

A little more than 11 years removed from having made his YMCA debut, Williams, Jr. has evolved as a prep football standout in mighty Texas, where this tradition-rich sport undoubtedly has become a hotbed for college scouts and recruiters.

A two-year starter for Hightower High in Missouri City, Texas — which is in the outskirts of Houston — Williams doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his skills on display at the next level.

To his credit, it’s not a matter of if he will be afforded the golden opportunity of playing college football.

CO-SIGNING“He’s a formidable kid,” Hightower coach Padriac McGinnis said of Williams, Jr. “He can play all three positions. He’s great kid…very respectful. He gets the job done. He’s almost like a coach on the field. He’s very vocal, but not a yeller. He’s leader in that he talks to (his teammates) and let them know what’s going on.”

Rather, it’s a matter of when.

A solid 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman, Williams, Jr. who has one full season of high school eligibility remaining, has already received one official scholarship offer, a development that transpired just before the start of the 2016 season.

The first school to toss its name in the hat for the Williams, Jr. sweepstakes: Alcorn State University.

“That list should expand,” Hightower coach Padriac McGinnis said of Williams, Jr., who was recently invited to Army All-American Combine in San Antonio. “I’m surprised he’s only gotten one offer.”

Still, Williams, Jr., whom McGinnis describes as one of the best all-around players he’s coached in some time, doesn’t appear fazed that his recruiting process is off to a somewhat slow start, in large part because he has manufactured a solid body of work over the past two seasons.

WATCH ANTHONY WILLIAMS, JR. IN ACTION: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4501897/5721e7530dcb0d12f889d0cb.

Asides from being installed as a starter for a second consecutive year for a Hightower team that finished with a 5-5 mark in 2016, Williams, Jr.’s list of accolades reads like someone who’s being introduced to give a speech.

For starters, he was named Second-Team All-District as a sophomore only to upgrade that to First-Team All-District as a junior.

Add to the fact that he was ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in Texas and amongst the Top 25 offensive tackles in the state by Lonestar Prospects, and it’s no wonder many who have witnessed Williams, Jr. continuous progress in recent years believe other schools in all likelihood will surface with scholarship offers.

The biggest mystery that remains is when.

STOCK RISINGAccording to Williams. Jr., the University of Houston, Texas State, Grambling State, Southern University, and the University of Minnesota have expressed interest in what appears to be shaping up to be a memorable culmination to high school football career.

“I played very well this season,” said Williams, Jr., who was selected to appear in the USA Football Development Games for a second straight year. “It was very challenging. However, I rose to the challenge.  I had to come into the season taking on a new position of left tackle and I had to take a leadership role as a returning starter.”

Even while being entrusted with a new role, Williams, Jr.’s was as good as advertised — this after he helped propelled the Hurricanes to an impressive 10-1 finished and a district championship in his first full season as a starter.

For his efforts, other schools have taken notice, thus placed him under their radar.

According to Williams. Jr., the University of Houston, Texas State, Grambling State, Southern University, and the University of Minnesota have expressed interest in what appears to be shaping up to be a memorable culmination to high school football career for a kid who’s gone to great lengths to make his mother proud.

“When I watch Anthony on the field, I am amazed and proud of the athlete and the young man that he has become,” Banks-Mayshack said. “He works very hard and his hard work is paying off both on and off of the field. He has a determination to do well and finish and that drive is exemplified on the football field.”

McGinnis echoed Banks-Mayshack’s thorough assessment.

“He’s a formidable kid,” McGinnis said of Williams, Jr. “He can play all three positions. He’s a great kid…very respectful. He gets the job done. He’s almost like a coach on the field. He’s very vocal, but not a yeller. He’s a leader in that he talks to (his teammates) and let them know what’s going on.”

After pausing momentarily, McGinnis suddenly offered a rather unique assessment about which scouts should consider.

A PROVEN LEADERMcGinnis suddenly offered a rather unique assessment about which scouts should consider. “If I’m running late (for practice), he’d go out and get the drills started without me even telling him,” McGinnis said.

“If I’m running late (for practice), he’d go out and get the drills started without me even telling him,” McGinnis said.

What a difference 11-plus years have made for a player who has made a strong case that he deserving of playing on Saturdays some time in Fall 2018.

“Anthony has come a long way from the six-year-old kid that did not know how to wrap up to the young man who loves the game and considers it his craft,” Banks-Mayshack said.

For the record, he knows exactly what he’s doing now, a trend about which a host of colleges will likewise find out.

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.

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.