Rising in the ranks

Freshman pulled up to varsity in the fourth game of the season

Avery Allen, Managing Editor

When freshman Owen Allen started high school in August, he had no idea that he would soon be scoring touchdowns alongside senior varsity players. Allen was running sprints with the freshmen A team after just three games into the season when his coach called him over and told him he’d be practicing with varsity for the rest of the week. Those practices shifted his high school football career, earning him a spot on varsity by the fourth game of the year against Keller. 

After a week of practice Coach Reed asked me to come back and practice with them that next week, the week before green out,” Allen said. “He texted me at the beginning of that week and just told me I’d be playing with varsity that Friday against Keller.”

The game against Keller was the green out game, in which the Dragons won the game 56-14, with Allen scoring his first touchdown of the season. 

It was one of the coolest things to see people so excited for me. Being able to see all my freshmen teammates in the stands just cheering for me and supporting me was amazing,” Allen said. “Once I got past the line of scrimmage my heart started beating like crazy because I knew it was my chance, and I knew I just had to keep running. After I scored I was just in a complete state of shock.”

Though Allen proved his capability throughout the season, he was not originally supposed to play on varsity this year. After the first and second string running backs, Kannon Kadi and Jack Abram, were injured the coaches pulled up the JV running backs and Allen to find someone to help cover the position. 

“The coaches knew from fall camp and the first three non-district games that he was going to be good but there was not any conversation of him playing varsity until we lost both of our starters against Odessa Permian,” running back coach Scoop Reed said. 

Though it doesn’t happen often, Allen is not the first freshman player to be pulled up to play with the varsity team. Last season Quinn Ewers was pulled up as a freshman and is now the varsity starting quarterback, serving as a role model for Allen this year. 

“He had a big role in our offense at such a young age, it’s crazy,”  Ewers said. “Honestly, I don’t even see him as a freshman anymore.”

Allen gained lots of attention locally for his high stats, such as scoring 23 touchdowns this season and rushing a total of 1266 yards. Allen won the Star-Telegram’s offensive player of the week contest, bringing in nearly 2000 votes from friends and family. 

The biggest reason for Owen’s success is his attitude,” Reed said. “He is very coachable and willing to do whatever the team needs. He’s a football player, not just a running back.”

Though the Dragons didn’t make it to state they had a very successful season, remaining undefeated until the fourth round of playoffs. The team lost 49-35, scoring more points against Duncanville than any other team this season. 

“We had hoped to go further in the playoffs but it was amazing to get too see how much all these guys truly love and care for each other,” said Allen. “I think everyone would agree that we’re just like a real family. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience that I’ve been able to have and all the relationships I’ve been able to build.”

With the majority of the team being seniors, emotions were high after the final game with many of the players hugging and crying. 

Next year is going to be a challenge because so many of our players are seniors but it’s all going to depend on the work we put in during the off season,” said Allen. “But I know that with the guys on this team and with our incredible coaches we’ll come out stronger than ever.”