ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hal Wasson stepped into Todd Dodge's shadow when he took the head coaching job at Southlake Carroll in 2007.
With Carroll's 36-29 win over Fort Bend Hightower on Saturday, Wasson stepped out of it.
The win gives Carroll (16-0) its first state title under "The Silver Fox" and its eighth overall, tying Celina for the most in Texas history.
"I never came in trying to replace Todd Dodge," Wasson said. "I have tremendous respect for him. He's not replaceable. I just chose to be myself."
Wasson joins Dodge and Bob Ledbetter as coaches who've won state titles at Carroll, but he's not the only one who joined an illustrious and exclusive Carroll fraternity.
Quarterback Kenny Hill joins Chase Daniel, Greg McElroy and Riley Dodge among others as Dragon signal-callers who capped undefeated seasons with a state championship.
That list includes a Heisman Trophy finalist (Daniel), a national champion (McElroy) and a national high school player of the year (Dodge).
Hill was named the title game's offensive MVP. He threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns in addition to 116 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
"It's an amazing feeling," Hill said. "I don't think I could ever compare to those guys who came through here. I'm just trying to be the best I can be."
It's fitting that Wasson won his title at Carroll with Hill as his quarterback. Hill was thrust into the starting role following Daxx Garman being ruled ineligible right before the 2010 season, a controversy that had the potential to unravel Wasson's tenure with the Dragons.
Instead, Hill blossomed in the 2010 playoffs, leading Carroll to the region finals a year before leading the Dragons to a state title.
Just a junior, Hill has a chance to win another title with Wasson in 2012.