CEDAR HILL, Texas -- Chason Virgil made a convincing case for West Mesquite’s starting quarterback job in the Red Bull 7-on-7 Game Breakers Dallas Qualifier on Friday at Longhorn Stadium.
It's rare to find an incoming ninth grader that can contribute to a proven program, especially at quarterback.
Virgil starred without the benefit of spring training (Texas rules prohibit an eighth grader from participation).
It is evident Virgil is making up for lost time. Displaying poise beyond his years, the 6-foot, 170-pounder led West Mesquite to a fourth-place finish in the 15-team tournament with a 4-2 record. Along the way, the Wranglers knocked out Mesquite Poteet, Hebron and Mesquite Horn.
“Our plan was to alternate quarterbacks each game, but after he won his two games and we lost the other, I wanted to see what he could do,’’ West Mesquite coach Mike Overton said.
Virgil credited teammates for settling his nerves.
He pointed to four months of training under former Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray for helping him take the big step.
“Footwork is something Kevin stresses,’’ Virgil said. “He preaches having confidence in your feet. I know I have the other tools.’’
Plano East QB tending to business
Long before he became the Plano East starting quarterback, Corey Wesley had already established himself as a successful entrepreneur.
As a ninth grader, Wesley was in the market for a hair-care product and wondered to himself, why not try to make his own?
That was the beginning of Corey’s Do-Dab, a business that sells shampoo, conditioner, wave pomade and locking wax. He is joined in the business by an older brother.
He credits his mother, a hair stylist with her own line of hair products, for inspiration.
“It is successful,’’ Wesley said during a break between games Friday. “We sell to beauty salons in Dallas and Plano. We have a website (coreysdodab.com) and I filmed a commercial not too long ago.’’
Wesley and the Panthers won their opener over Madison on Friday but followed that victory with losses to Mesquite Horn and Dallas Roosevelt.
Mesquite Horn DB grows into role of big-time recruit
Oklahoma pledge DeVante Harris keeps a picture at home to prove that as a freshman at Mesquite Horn, he really was 5-foot-2 and 90 pounds.
“People see that picture and ask if it really is me,’’ said Harris, who has grown to 5-11 and 160 pounds going into his senior year as a cornerback.
Growth for Harris came in his first two years of high school. As a sophomore, Harris added four inches and 30 pounds. He reached his current size a year ago and interprets knee soreness as a sign that his growth spurt is not yet over.
“My mamma was always feeding me,’’ Harris said. “She was concerned about me playing football when I was a 90-pound freshman. I grew late, just like my dad.’’
His dad is Rod Harris, a former wide receiver and return man at Texas A&M and later in the NFL with New Orleans, Dallas and Philadelphia.
Darren Lewis, his uncle, played at running back A&M and later with the Chicago Bears.
Class 3A Roosevelt finds success
Class 3A Dallas Roosevelt recovered from an opening-round loss to eventual champion Highland Park to finish 2-2, defeating Dallas Kimball and Plano East along the way.
Roosevelt’s enrollment of less than 800 students is dwarfed by Plano East’s 6,000.
Host Cedar Hill eliminated Roosevelt, 27-15, in a third-round consolation contest.
“Some teams look at a 3A school like us and count us out before we even start,’’ said Roosevelt senior defensive back/wide receiver Patrick Levels.
“This was a positive for us. We played against some good teams and I think we surprised ourselves. In the games we lost, it wasn’t what the other team did to us, it was our mental mistakes that hurt us.’’
Plano receiver ready to contribute
The junior season for Plano’s L.J. Ausama was pretty much a bust because of a shoulder injury.
The 5-foot-7, 170-pounder is healthy now and judging by Friday’s performance, appears to be a big part of the Wildcats’ offense.
Think Wes Welker.
“I’ve patterned myself after receivers like Welker,’’ Ausama said. “I try to find a hole. When you’re low to the ground, that can be an advantage. The defensive backs don’t always get a hand on me. You have to use what you’ve got.’’
Cedar Hill dealt Plano (1-2) an overtime exit after the Wildcats split their first two games, losing to West Mesquite and defeating Lancaster.
Receiver excites new Lancaster coaching staff
Dominique Martin created a buzz among the new coaching staff at Lancaster.
Martin saw little playing time last season.
“I decided to work really hard with my goal to get on the field this fall,’’ said the 5-foot-11, 164-pound senior.
His speed (40 yards in 4.5 seconds) combined with a more wide-open offense under coach Chris Gilbert should give Martin an opportunity to make his mark.