DISTRICT CHAMPS!

No. 7 Tompkins beats Seven Lakes to stay undefeated, wins 19-6A outright

By Dennis Silva II | Sports Editor
Posted 11/27/20

Tompkins senior defensive back Colby Huerter stood alongside head coach Todd McVey after Friday evening’s 52-0 rout of Seven Lakes at Legacy Stadium that secured the outright District 19-6A title for the Falcons.

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DISTRICT CHAMPS!

No. 7 Tompkins beats Seven Lakes to stay undefeated, wins 19-6A outright

Posted

Tompkins senior defensive back Colby Huerter stood alongside head coach Todd McVey after Friday evening’s 52-0 rout of Seven Lakes at Legacy Stadium that secured the outright District 19-6A title for the Falcons.

“We’ve still got some more work to do,” Huerter said as he basked in the celebratory atmosphere near the team’s locker room.

“Yes, we do,” McVey responded.

The last time Katy High was not Katy ISD’s district champion in football, Barack Obama won the presidential election to become the first African American in that capacity, The Dark Knight was the highest-grossing movie, and Flo Rida’s “Low” featuring T-Pain was the top song.

It’s been 11 years, a dynastic run of supremacy that was halted as Tompkins continued its undefeated season to win its first district title in football in only its seventh year of varsity play.

But it’s not the end-all, be-all, Tompkins coaches and players stressed. It was merely one step forward, one goal reached.

“This is just a short-term goal. Our long-term goal is the state championship,” senior quarterback Jalen Milroe said. “It feels great to accomplish one of them. You start in the offseason, when you put in week by week of work. I’m just happy and proud to accomplish this goal. Now we have to put more work in to accomplish our next goal.”

Just three years ago, the Falcons were 0-9. Since then, they have gone 10-3, 11-2 and now 8-0 this season, ranked No. 23 nationally and No. 7 in the state.

“It shows how much work we put in the last four years and how we kept getting better each season,” Huerter said. “All the work we’ve put in created the outcome we got. It’s a lot of early mornings, a lot of weight room. It’s a lot of not wanting to do stuff sometimes, but knowing you have to, knowing you should. It all paid off. Keeping each other accountable and continuing to play for each other is the biggest part of football.”

The Falcons got off to a fast start against Seven Lakes, leading 21-0 after the first quarter. They led 42-0 at the half.

Senior running back Marquis Shoulders had 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Milroe completed six of seven passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Sherman Smith, who has won a district title in each of his four years of high school after spending the first three years at Katy, rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and caught two passes for 49 yards.

McVey played his reserves for the entire second half.

“Last week (in a 56-21 win over Mayde Creek on Nov. 19), we started off slow,” Shoulders said. “Against good teams, we can’t do that. This week, we had to start fast and play hard.”

Tompkins left no doubt. It scored touchdowns on its first six possessions before settling for a Hunter Huckaby 29-yard field goal on its seventh.

Defensively, the Falcons held the Spartans to 43 total yards. The only sore spot for Tompkins was penalties, as it compiled 10 for 75 yards.

“Anything worth having is worth sacrificing for,” McVey said. “The kids understand that, but it’s tough for a 17-year-old to figure that out. When they start seeing the resolve of their work, like we call it ‘payday,’ they start understanding why and our core value of discipline.”

McVey was hired to lead the Falcons in 2017. Before he got there, Tompkins had lost 25 of 30 games over three seasons.

His first year, the team was winless. But over the course of the next few seasons, players embraced his culture of sacrifice, selflessness and work ethic.

“Chop wood, carry water,” McVey is fond of saying.

“It’s crazy the journey it took to get here,” Milroe said. “It took buy-in from the players to change the culture around. There was a losing mentality before. Coming in, we wanted to build the chemistry … mat drills, Falcon curls, 110s. Just going through all that work with your brothers and building that relationship with them.”

McVey called the district title a “blessing” for coaches and players.

“It’s very rewarding for these coaches, these kids,” he said. “I’m talking from 2017 and on. We were hard on them, and they bought in. It’s these lessons they’ve learned that I’m hoping they take with them later in life. It’s rewarding in that way for the kids.”

Tompkins finished its regular season undefeated. It has an open week next week before starting the playoffs. It will be a No. 1 seed in Class 6A, Division I.

The last two seasons, the Falcons have fallen in the third round of the postseason. They’re hoping this season is the one they break through that barrier.

“It’s been about the team,” Shoulders said. “Chemistry. One game at a time. For us to accomplish all of this is amazing. But we still have a lot more to accomplish. A lot more to do.”

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