Countdown to kickoff: Arlington Sam Houston

Posted Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Arlington

Sam Houston

District 3-5A

Coach: Anthony Criss

Last season: 2-8 (1-6 in District 3-5A)

Key players: QB Ervin Hill (6-2, 195); RB Daylon Woods (6-0, 215); DB Dawaune Sykes (6-0, 180); DB Marvin Black (6-0, 180); DB Kajuan Williams (5-11, 175); WR Lamontre Hinton (6-3, 180); WR Darrion Flowers (5-10, 175)

The big picture: It’s no secret how Sam Houston coach Anthony Criss plans to win games in 2013. The formula involves a heavy dose of Daylon Woods. The 6-foot, 215-pound senior running back has the shifty moves of a smaller back with the explosive power of a linebacker. Expect Criss to hand him the ball 20 or more times a game. “We told him you will run the football a lot,” Criss said. “You’re going to be an old school tailback. ... You’re not back there to pass block.” Woods has lofty yardage and touchdown goals. He’d like to rush for 2,000 yards and 20 scores. And on his way to the end zone, Woods prefers to take a would-be tackler or two along for the ride. “I love contact,” Woods said. “I’m all for contact.” Criss would be all for making the playoffs. The Texans won just one district game in 2012, Criss’s second year at the helm, but Woods is among the reasons Criss expects to challenge for one of District 3-5A’s four postseason spots. All five starting defensive backs return to anchor the defense, led by senior Dawaune Sykes. The 6-0, 180-pound cornerback received first-team all-district honors as a junior after picking off five passes and returning one 71 yards for a touchdown. Sykes and his fellow defensive players sometime draw the ire of the defensive-oriented Criss, but the coach’s strong focus on the defense is one of the reasons Sykes believes Sam Houston can become a playoff contender this fall. “I believe we’re good,” Sykes said. “It’s time.”

Quotable

• “I think track and field has been a big deal for us. … We really increased our team speed. That’s one of the things we lacked last year was team speed. We put a big emphasis in our off-season of getting faster. They didn’t like me a lot in the spring but now they’re like, ‘Look what track has done.’” Coach Anthony Criss

• “It’s going to be a fast-paced offense. Everything’s going to be quick. I’ve gotten faster, stronger and gained more knowledge. It’s simpler for me to just read the defense and know where to go and where not to go.” QB Ervin Hill

Notable: Sam Houston plays eight of its 10 games at Wilemon Field. The Arlington school district stadium is on Sam Houston’s campus and is the home field of Sam Houston, Seguin and Bowie.

— Mark Wright

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?


Get updates on the go

Live scores from a full slate of games, plus news and videos from our high school experts. Right on your phone.

Follow us on Twitter

Read our latest posts at twitter.com/dfwvarsity



Game of the week