The playmaker


Photo by Jackson Haltom

Freshman Tradarian Ball kneels on sideline during practice. Ball is first year varsity starter, who has made a big impact on Texas High football.

Story by Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor

Texas High football consistently produces a reputation of being a winning team. This season, a band of underclassmen shocked the Tigers with overwhelming levels of talent, playing a large part in the success of the team.

Tradarian Ball, a freshman running back, is among the youthful, impactful, new players stepping into big roles for the Tigers. 

Ball transferred into TISD during his eighth grade year, in hopes for better opportunities academically, as well as athletically.

Playing under a bigger school with better competition and being in a classroom with a higher standard of education felt like the right fit for a kid with big dreams.

“We felt it was the right thing for me because it was a better environment,” Ball said. “My family thought that this was the best place for me to better myself.”

After making the move, the improvements being made were substantial.

“When I made the switch, I instantly knew we made the right decision,” Ball said. “Being at TMS was fun, the competition was making me better, the classes were more challenging.”

Though life in middle school was fun, it didn’t last forever. Ball’s next, biggest challenge would take place right across Kennedy Lane. 

“I was nervous coming out of middle school,” Ball said. “Everything looked so big from the outside, it was intimidating. I just couldn’t wait to get on the field.”

Every high school athlete dreams of competing on the varsity level, but not many freshmen get the opportunity. The summer before freshman year is what really counts if you want to compete on the higher level. Summer workouts are where you make your first real impression.

“Summer workouts were tiring, harder than middle school for sure,” Ball said. “My main goal was to just transition from a middle school mindset to high school.”

Ball didn’t start the season with the big guys. He worked himself up from the bottom until he got where he wanted to be: a varsity starter, making his first appearance in AT&T Stadium against Lone Star High School.

Senior Cody Reese threw a 24 yard pass to Ball, who ran in his first ever varsity touchdown in the Cowboy’s Stadium, and it was up from there.

“There was a lot going through my head when I got in that game,” Ball said. “Scoring my first touchdown there was special.”

Since the Lone Star game, Tradarian has scored at least one touchdown in every game he has entered. 

“My mentality going into every Friday night never changes,” Ball said. “I just go in thinking that I’m the same as everybody else, I have to have a good mindset.”

After an immense amount of hard work and preparation, the time spent working to improve himself is finally beginning to pay off. 

On October 3, 2022, Ball received his first D1 offer from the University of Texas at San Antonio, after only playing in five varsity games for Texas High. 

“Four years from now, I want to be somewhere playing Division One football,” Ball said. “That’s been my dream for as long as I can remember.”

With three more upcoming years of high school eligibility for Ball, the limits for his success are nonexistent, with a bright future ahead for Texas High Football.