High School Sports

Fort Worth ISD’s improving culture on full display during National Signing Day

Fort Worth ISD National Signing Day at Wilkerson-Greines Center, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2019.
Fort Worth ISD National Signing Day at Wilkerson-Greines Center, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2019. bgosset@star-telegram.com

Fort Worth ISD celebrated 37 student-athletes on National Signing Day in 2018, which was the most for the school district at Wilkerson-Greines Center.

While they came up five athletes short this year, the culture continues to improve throughout the school district.

That was on full display on Wednesday during FWISD’s Signing Day ceremony for nine of its high schools.

“Our campuses have really made a push to support athletics, the coaches and our kids, and I think that goes a long way toward the success the kids are having,” said Dean Pritchett, FWISD’s Assistant Director of Athletics. “The way I see it, it’s only going to get better.”

Wyatt football coach Zachary Criss has been with the district since 1992 and said Fort Worth schools always signed a large number of players back in the 1990s, but never like what they do now.

Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

“They’ve been doing this for about 10 years now,” he said.

The Chaparrals signed three in football: Decorian Clark (UT-San Antonio), Ricky Cox (Southern Nazarene) and Rashad Adams (Trinity Valley Junior College).

“We trying to meet standards outside of us,” Criss said. “At one time, we were self-contained and only thought Fort Worth, but the world doesn’t work like that anymore. As we grow as coaches and athletic administrators, this only gets better.”

Benbrook running back Quintan Jackson, who rushed for over 3,000 yards and 37 touchdowns, signed with Southern Nazarene. It was the Bobcats’ second signing day in school history.

“We’re excited for these kids,” Benbrook coach Cody Slater said. “We have great administration and a great community. We’re changing the culture. The coaches are raising expectations levels. The kids are expected to be difference makers and the leaders of our future.”

Other Bobcats to sign included John Henson (Bethel College football), Brandon Johnson (Angelo State football), Travler Moore (Fort Scott Community College baseball) and Alexander Carrasco (UT-Dallas baseball).

Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

“We signed five total today and only two last year so we’re trying to build it,” Slater said.

Southwest and Paschal had the most on the day with seven signees. The Raiders signed four football players, two in baseball and one in girls basketball.

“It’s everything. That’s why we’re in this,” Southwest football coach Rob Goebel said. “The goal is to win, but what’s our purpose. Our purpose is to improve these kid’s lives. Any time you can get a young man to buy into service and sacrifice, it leads to days like today and that’s why we had those numbers.”

Southwest WR/CB Malachi Grey actually decided on McMurray University on Tuesday.

“Cool story about Malachi is that he had all this academic money and was trying to figure out what would be best for his situation, and I couldn’t be more happier for him,” Goebel said.

Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

Maggie Green-Wallace, who’s averaging 13 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game, and has helped Southwest to its first 20-win season in a decade, signed with Southwestern University in Georgetown.

Paschal signed three in baseball, two in football, one in volleyball and one in tennis, Shauna Galvin with Elon. Galvin has been to state the previous three years, including in singles as a freshman, the school’s first in four decades.

“We have some great coaches in FWISD,” Goebel said. “You can see that culture shift, but what I like more than anything is it’s just not in the football program, but you’re seeing it in the girls programs too and you’ll see the benefits of it going forward.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.