A Look Inside
the World of
GRANDVIEW HIGH SCHOOL
Experiences Set the Table for
State Championship Run
GRANDVIEW HAS HAD NO TROUBLE WINNING IN RE-
cent memory; 9-3 last year finishing as regional semifinalists, and district champions seven out of the last eight
seasons. They went as far as the state quarterfinals in
2008, finishing at 13-1. But they’ve never once won the
state title, and that’s the task at hand for Casey Walraven in
his second year as Grandview head coach.
“For a while, district championships were great. But
that’s no longer the goal. That’s just a notch in our belt,”
he said. “The state championship is the goal. Anything short
of that, we can call it a successful year, but we didn’t reach
what we were trying to do.”
Previously the team’s offensive coordinator, Walraven
has seen the program improve from a .500 club to now bor-
dering on elite. They can reach that level by making an extra
surge when in the postseason.
“We’ve gotten to that point where there’s one final hurdle.
We make deep runs in the playoffs, we set school records,”
said Walraven. “It’s just a matter now of finishing the last
couple games and being in the state championship.”
The difference, Walraven believes, between this year’s
squad that makes them more poised for a state champion-
ship over seasons prior is their experience – not just experi-
ence with playing, but experience with winning.
“It’s a class that’s had success their entire lives. You get
to that point where you’re trying to accomplish the smallest of details,” he said. “It’s a large senior group. They’ve
had everything out in front of them established from prior
classes. Now the table is set for them to be the ones to put
their legacy down as state champions.” –Daniel Feingold
HARLINGEN HIGH SCHOOL
Head Coach Manny Gomez
What are some of the things that make your program so successful?
MG: First of all, the continuity of my staff. Of the 11 varsity coaches, excluding myself, nine have worn the birds for
HHS, plus all 11 have been on staff since my first year. Also,
the commitment of the kids. They definitely understand the
traditions here and by no means do they, or myself, plan on
letting it weaken under our tenure.
What has the message been this offseason to try
to rebound this year?
MG: Well, the approach I have always instilled here is that
we are only as good as our last game. We can’t and won’t live
in the past but definitely take some of those attributes that
were evident in our success in previous years and readdress
into present preparations ... By the way, we are not gonna
try and rebound if you understand what I am trying to say!
How important is it to have Brandon Garza back
MG: At any level, we all understand the importance of having a well-rounded QB. He definitely played a big part of the
growing pains last year, but with his commitment and perseverance will definitely be exciting to watch this coming season.
What are your goals for the team this season?
MG: I know this will sound cliché, but to be the best we
can be from start to finish!
WHITE OAK HIGH SCHOOL
Playing For a Purpose
AS USUAL, THE 2013 SEASON WILL PROVIDE THE
White Oak Roughnecks a challenging opponent practically
“Our district is one of the most balanced districts in the
state,” head coach Gerry Stanford says. “It is rounded out by
five other teams that could all go several rounds deep in the
playoffs. The coaches in this district are unbelievable. There
is not a soft spot in our 10-game schedule. Each week we
will have to play our best game just to have a chance to win.”
But this year, Stanford wants his players to recognize
more than just blitzing linebackers and play-action fakes.
The coaching staff has chosen to dedicate the entire season
to people who serve in the United States military.
“We understand that without them we do not get the
opportunity to play this game every Friday night,” Stanford
adds. “At our home games we will host different events to
honor the men and women who have and are protecting us
and providing us with our daily freedoms.”
Although this will be the first year that the program car-
ries out this season-long dedication, the decision to do so
fits perfectly with the philosophy Stanford has brought to
White Oak each of his three seasons as head coach.
“One of the big things we preach in our program is ser-vanthood.” Stanford says. “It requires little effort but few
are willing to humble and serve other people, putting others
first. In this day and time there is no greater example than
those willing to serve our country.” –Adam Lazarus
BELLVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
Bellville Relies on
BELLVILLE HEAD COACH GRADY ROWE HAS A PROB-
lem. One that every program in the state of Texas wishes
it had. The Brahmas boast three running backs — LeKieath
Nunn, De’Brae Parker and Bronson Allen — that each possess the talent and experience to start anywhere.
“LeKieath is a two-year starter. He’s rushed for 1,000 yards
two years in a row,” Rowe says. All three backs will be three-
year starters this season “DeBrae is a threat as a wide receiver
and a running back. His all-purpose yards are over 1,000 and
Bronson rushed for just over 900 yards himself; over 1,000
all-purpose yards, so all three of them are pretty dangerous.”
There may only be one football for them all to carry, but
the three seniors have shared the load perfectly. They block
for each other, carry out play-fakes and never complain.
“Those guys are very unselfish,” Rowe adds. “They know
that they feed off of each other’s success and if one is hav-
ing a great night then you never know when the other one
might bust one. They’re all good friends so there hasn’t been
any ‘me, me, me,’ or ‘give me the ball more.’”
In addition to providing tremendous depth, Bellville’s
three-headed attack gives the Brahmas another advantage
over its opponents every week. With Nunn, Parker, and Allen
on the field at the same time, any opposing defense that ze-
roes in on one (or even two) of the backs, remains vulnerable.
“It’s old-school football,” says Rowe. “A lot of people are
running the spread now; spreading you out, using the grass.
We keep everybody in tight most of the time and that means
people have to bring the defenses in and crowd the box. It’s
one of those offenses you don’t see much any more and it’s
hard to prepare for in a week.” –Adam Lazarus
GRAPE CREEK HIGH SCHOOL
Looking to Make History
IT WAS A S TRUGGLE TO WIN GAMES LAST SEASON FOR
the 2-8 Grape Creek Eagles, but all-district selection Kevin
Revell is looking to help lead the way to the first playoff berth
in school history.
“In our school history, nobody’s made the playoffs. If we
make that, that would be huge for our school,” Revell said.
A two-way starter, Revell posted impressive numbers
as a junior at both positions. While he racked up 875 yards
(on just 92 carries) with 11 touchdowns on offense, Revell
shined even brighter on defense as a safety/linebacker
hybrid. He tallied a team-leading 130 solo tackles and two
Now entering his senior season, Revell sees himself stepping into a leadership role, whether it be on the field or off.
“We have some younger guys starting for us next year. I
try to get them going and lead them down the right path,” he
said. “Physically, I get out there every day, do the best I can
and try to make myself better.”
And with Head Coach Kyle Atwood returning for his sec-
ond season at the helm, Revell sees the benefits of having
a year behind he and his teammates with the new coaching
staff and system. He expects the understanding of that
foundation, along with a plethora of returning players, will
translate to more success.