Next man up

Texas High coach and players discuss how they will move forward after losing two impact players to injury


Braylen Garren

Sophomore David Potter throws a pass in his first varsity game against Benton after the injury of senior quarterback Cody Reese. The Tigers defeated Benton 46-35 Friday, Sept 9,2022.

Story by Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor

The Texas High Tigers will take on the Tyler Legacy Red Raiders in their last preseason game before district play kicks off Friday, Sept 16, 2022, and the Tigers have some adversity to overcome. 

Senior starting running back Trent Kelley completely tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the Tiger’s first home game against Colleyville. 

Luckily for Texas, we have a deep running back lineup, and three more athletic RB’s that are more than capable of stepping up to fill the void of Kelley. 

“They’re all three in a new offense and young,” Head Coach Gerry Stanford said. “The speed of the game has changed a lot for them growing up, we just need to find a balance of consistency.”

Freshman Tradarian Ball has come in and made an incredible impact on the field. 

With 24 attempts and 143 rushing yards, Ball averages 5.96 yards per carry and has reigned in three touchdowns, leading rushing stats for the Tigers. 

“In practice I’ve just been working hard, going full speed every snap,” Ball said. “After I saw Trent go down, I knew I was going to have to step up for my team.”

Sophomore Javari Johnson moves the ball for Tigers as well, and he’s also been an important member of the team so far this season. 

Johnson has 22 attempts on the season for 81 rushing yards, following right behind Ball. Averaging 3.68 YPC and a total of two touchdowns, Johnson will play a huge role in the rest of Texas’ season. 

Junior Trystan Powell is another big RB for Texas, with 11 attempts, 62 rushing yards and one touchdown on the season. Powell has been working to keep up the team morale and is focused on helping the Tigers pull out a win every week. 

“Playing without Trent is tough, the team morale definitely went down a bit,” Powell said. “We just have to have that next man up mentality.” 

Senior Cody Reese suffered a dislocated shoulder and tears of the cartilage surrounding his shoulder in this past week’s game against Benton, Sept 9, 2022. 

“I’ve told David to just be who he is,” Reese said. “The moment isn’t too big for him and if he just does his job controlling the offense and moving the ball every play, he’ll be just fine.”

Getting his first start this week, sophomore David Potter will be taking the place of Reese for the duration of the season. 

“I was scared going in after Cody’s injury because it was my first time really getting to play on a Friday night,” Potter said. “This week in practice I’ve just been focused on giving 100% for the team, so I can get us this win against Legacy.”After the two injuries, Stanford has stepped back to evaluate the team. 

“Obviously, you want to make adjustments when you have injuries, it’s just part of the game,” Stanford said. “We will continue to evaluate what we can and can’t do based on ability.”

Going into this week against the Red Raiders, the Tigers are hoping to see a few people step up to help out the young guys who are taking on big roles for Texas.

“Our offensive line [will have to] continue to improve, they’ve got to play really well,” Stanford said. “They make the quarterback and the running backs go, they’re only going to make those guys play better.”

The Tigers have tried to focus on not getting shaken by these obstacles thrown into their season, and keeping their heads on straight to do what they need to do to pull out wins. Even in the absence of a couple of impact players.

“It’s part of football, they’ve been through this before,” Stanford said. “They just have to stay the course.”