SportzBuzz - February 2017
Even before the area’s top football players signed on the dotted line for National Signing Day this month, Episcopal Knights standout senior offensive lineman Walker Little made his collegiate choice official by announcing he would play college football at Stanford University.
The 6’8”, 305-pound senior, who is ranked among the nation’s top college football prospects, had narrowed his choices to Texas and Stanford, before making his choice official before a large crowd at the high school theater just prior to the holiday break. “I just wanted to go somewhere that’s going to give me the best opportunity to be successful in life, both on and off the field,” said Little. “I’m excited about what the future holds for me. I can’t wait to get out there and start working and trying to bring championships to Stanford.”
“It’s a perfect fit,” added Episcopal football coach Steve Leisz. “Stanford has had great success with lineman playing at the next level. Walker is one of the best offensive linemen in the country. With his size and competitiveness, I can certainly see him in the NFL in a few years. Plus, academically, it doesn’t get any better than Stanford.”
Little and Episcopal quarterback Gavin Geib were among the honorees at the Touchdown Club of Houston Private High School Awards Dinner, where Geib was named the Offensive Player of the Year, and Little captured the Lineman of the Year award.
Geib, who helped lead Episcopal to a dominant season and the SPC title game, threw for 2,500 yards and 38 touchdowns this past season. “Gavin is an incredible manager of the offense,” said Leisz. “He knows what every player is doing on every snap of the ball, which is pretty special at the high school level. Plus, considering Gavin was a starting linebacker for us last season makes this award all the more impressive.” If all that weren’t enough, Geib, who will play college football at Penn, is also in the running for valedictorian honors at Episcopal.
Meanwhile, another big award at the same Private High School Awards dinner went to Second Baptist Eagles senior John Hildreth, who was named the Ironman of the Year for his outstanding play offensively and defensively for the Eagles. “An award like this is designed for a player like John, who made an unbelievable contribution on both sides of the line of scrimmage for all three years in our program,” said Eagles head coach Terry Pirtle.
As a starting running back, Hildreth rushed for nearly 900 yards this past season, while at the same time playing a major role on defense as a starting linebacker. “John was also the Most Valuable Player in our district,” said Pirtle. “The coaches recognized that he had a huge impact on both sides of the football.”
In the wake of one of the school’s best seasons in recent history, Stephen Hill of St. Pius X won the award as the Greater Houston Private High School Coach of the Year. Hill’s Panthers owned an undefeated 11-0 record before losing a heartbreaker in the TAPPS Division 1 State Semifinals. “I like to think of this award as an honor for our entire coaching staff. It’s really a testament to all the hard work they put forth,” said Hill.
“These types of awards also come with the success of a great season,” added Hill. “Our kids were just tremendous dating back to our summer workouts, and I was also proud to see a lot of them nominated in the different player of the year categories.”
At the 37th annual High School Awards dinner, which honors the area’s best public school players, Lamar Texans senior Trevon Lewis was named the Greater Houston Defensive Player of the Year. “I really owe this award to my coaches, my teammates and even my friends and family. Everyone who supported me made this happen,” said Lewis.
“The high school coaches just loved him, and they’re the ones who voted on this award,” said Lamar head coach Tom Nolen. “Trevon is just a great kid and a great story. He was relatively unknown before his senior season, but he had a simply sensational senior year. He’s also one of the hardest working players I’ve been around. I almost started crying when Trevon called to tell me he was committing to play college football for Baylor University. I was just so happy for him.”
Editor’s Note: Todd Freed is the Emmy Award-winning co-host and producer of the KUBE SportsZone, which airs Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. on Channel 57-KUBE. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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