After nearly 20 years of research, the magazine is finally here. Get your copy of “Black and White” – the 2017 Howe Bulldogs Record Book. Each copy is $5 and available at the Howe Development Alliance/Howe Area Chamber of Commerce building at 101 E. Haning St. in Downtown Howe. Or you can purchase online by ordering here.
In the coaching carousel at Howe High School, the latest coach to leave is Tim Short, who has been the varsity basketball coach since the 2014-15 season. With the departure of Short, that leaves only Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Zack Hudson from the entire varsity football coaching staff from a year ago. Previously leaving Howe was Dale West, who took the athletic director position at Collinsville. He subsequently took Josh Rollins and Richard McAdams with him. Wes Rhoten landed the offensive coordinator position at Canton High School where he can be closer to his family. Varsity baseball coach Heath Grant will no longer be on the varsity coaching staff due to a family decision. Howe will also have a new varsity volleyball and softball coaches next season departures.
Short’s mother is in her 80s and lives in Pottsboro which he says was the driving factor on why he wanted to be closer. He has been making the drive from Pottsboro to Howe on a daily basis and can now be much closer at a moment’s notice.
” I wasn’t looking to move, this job opened up, I interviewed and was lucky to get it.” said Short. “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Howe. It’s a wonderful school district. Coach Hudson and Kevin Wilson are probably the best administrators I’ve worked for. The high school faculty is fantastic, some of the best teachers I’ve worked with in 37 years of teaching. I’ve made friendships that I hope will last a lifetime but probably the most important group of people I’ll miss are the young men and ladies’ lives that I’ve had an opportunity to be a part of for a few short years, they’re a great group, I’m going to miss them. I’m very appreciative of Howe ISD to allow me to be a part of the coaching staff and faculty for the past few years.”
In Monday’s Howe Enterprise, we will feature a full story on the coaching changes and get a feeling of how Hudson feels about his newly assembled cast of star-studded coaches.
The Lady Bulldogs, despite muddy conditions, despite having four head coaches in four years, despite a one-game series, and despite falling behind early against a really good pitcher, stared adversity down in the face, made in-game changes to the approach to the game and came from behind to win their third consecutive bi-district title.
The series with S&S was changed from a three-gamer to a one-gamer due to UIL’s ruling of not allowing two games on Thursday night, which was to be played in S&S. With the ruling, the game was relocated to Gunter for Wednesday and the field, despite great efforts from Gunter ISD, was on the sticky side. That was evident as the field conditions played a role in the very first batter Howe faced. A bouncing ball was tapped back to pitcher Torrey Stubblefield who turned to throw to second baseman Madisyn Hargrove covering first base. However, Hargrove slipped and never made it to the bag and the runner was safe. At that point, things seemed to unravel for the Lady Bulldogs in the first inning as Stubblefield then fielded a bunt and quickly made an errant throw to first base to Hargrove covering which resulted in an error and runners at the corners with no outs. Howe then traded a run for an out on a grounder to Blackburn. The next batter hit a grounder just out of the reach of Hargrove which allowed the second run of the inning to come in.
Howe trailed 2-0 after the first frame and couldn’t get on top of the constant high fastball from S&S’s lefty Jada Muller. The Lady Bulldogs popped out five times of their first nine outs in the game. Howe head coach Jeff Martin then changed the strategy in stride and forced the game into the S&S defense via an attack of bunts. The Lady Rams had trouble picking the ball off of the sticky surface and making the plays. In the top of the fourth, Peyton Streetman walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a bunt by Hargrove. The run cut the Lady Rams’ lead in half at 2-1.
The game was turned around in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a tremendous at bat by Payton Griffin. The tall power hitter worked a full count and fouled off several pitches to stay alive before drawing a leadoff walk.
“I was just thinking that I needed to get on to start the inning off. I had to be a leadoff (hitter) and I had to show it.” Said Griffin.
“That was a big part of it.” Said Martin. “We had to get something going. It was hard at first because we couldn’t get anyone on base to get bunts going. We knew that the first and third baseman were playing deep and were not coming up. So we just went down the lines.”
Consecutive bunts by Dani Ross and Kamryn Fulenchek loaded the bases with no one out. Emily Sanders then hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Griffin to tie the game at 2-2. Erin Blackburn followed with a single up the middle to drive in Ross and give Howe their first lead of the night at 3-2.
Beyond the first inning, starting pitcher Stubblefield began to settle in and faced only two over the minimum in the last five innings of the game. Overall, she struck out nine batters while walking two, allowing one earned run on three hits and went the distance by throwing 119 pitches. S&S starting pitcher Muller also threw a complete game, striking out eight, walking four and allowing four earned runs on seven hits. She threw 125 total pitches.
Howe’s two insurance runs came in the top of the seventh inning when Blackburn led off with a single and was driven home on a sacrifice fly by Hargrove. Stubblefield then reached on a hard liner that was “too hot to handle.” Kayla Anderson then rammed one off of the right centerfield wall to bring in Stubblefield for the game’s final score of 5-2.
Stubblefield slammed the door on the Lady Rams with strikeout to end the game.
“I thought the kids showed a lot of grit tonight. We didn’t play very well and left too many people on base.” Said Martin. “It’s about surviving and advancing.”
Howe senior running back Tyler Grisham had 75 yards on 17 carries according to Howe High School’s official stats for the regional championship Friday night with Mineola. This gives Grisham a varsity total of 3,044 yards which moves him past Anthony Hawthorne’s 2,984 total. With complete stats accounted for from 1980-current, this is the most any Howe player has amassed. The only other rusher in Howe history that would come close to that amount is Billy Bryant Cloud in his two varsity seasons of 1935 and 1936, but his complete game-by-game rushing stats are not available.
Grisham, a week ago, moved past Nathaneal Falls for rushing and total touchdowns. Grisham scored his 43rd rushing touchdown Friday night. Falls recorded 41.
“It’s an honor to be able to hold the record, but there’s no way I could have done it without my boys on the line.” said Grisham in a statement. “It feels good to know you’ll get at least four to five yards a carry running behind these guys.”
It is game number 744 in Howe Bulldogs history and playoff game number 35. It is the 6th ever Regional Championship Howe has ever played in, but the second in three years. Howe has an overall record of 381-338-24 and an overall playoff record of 14-17-3. Howe advanced on two of the three ties.
The Bulldogs have won 24 of their last 31 games and Head Coach Zack Hudson has tied Buck Smith with 29 wins in Howe history. That total only trails Norman Dickey (51), Jim Fryar (41) and Davey DuBose (34). Hudson now has won more playoff games (5) than any other coach in Howe history.
It is the second time Howe has ever played at Royse City ISD Stadium. Howe beat Edgewood in a comeback thriller last year in the bi-district round, 43-33. Howe had 513 rushing yards that game to set a school playoff record for rushing yards and total yards.
It is the first ever meeting between the Howe Bulldogs (9-3) and the Mineola Yellowjackets (10-2). Mineola went undefeated in District 7. Out of that district came Farmersville (playing Pottsboro tomorrow), Mt. Vernon (eliminated by White Oak, 46-12) and Winnsboro (eliminated by Jefferson, 43-36). Mineola has scored 576 points on the season (48/g) and given up 202 points (17/g). Howe has scored 395 (33/g) and given up 262 (22/g).
Mineola will feature senior 5’9, 190 quarterback Jeremiah Crawford who has rushed for 1,918 yards (12 yds/carry) and thrown for 782 yards (47 completion percentage). They are led on defense by head Coach Joe Drennon’s son, Michael Drennon, who plays linebacker.
Mineola lost to Cameron Yoe in the state championship two years ago and got beat in the semifinal round a year ago by eventual state champion Brock. Now those sophomores and juniors are seniors and they feel this is their year to win the whole thing.
Howe has rushed for a school record 4,550 yards and are averaging 6.55 per carry. Howe’s 52 rushing touchdowns is also a new high. Since Howe went to the Slot-T offense three years ago, they have amassed 13,076 yards (6.97 per carry) with 151 touchdowns in 37 games.
Last week, Tyler Grisham became the all-time leader in school history in rushing touchdowns (42) and overall touchdowns (45). He surpassed Nathanael Falls in both categories.
Howe Bulldogs running back Tyler Grisham is racking up some impressive numbers during his team’s success over the past few years. Grisham, who started playing varsity as a freshman in the 2013 season is putting on the final touches of his high school assault on the Bulldogs rushing record books. Grisham has now amassed 2,969 yards on 466 carries and piling up 42 rushing touchdowns which he just moved past Nathanael Falls a week ago who had 41. Grisham has had three receiving touchdowns, which added to his rushing touchdowns means he has crossed the endzone for Howe more times than any other player to ever wear the black and white. Full statistics gathered from 1980 – current have Grisham needing 16 yards to surpass Anthony Hawthorne as the team’s leading rusher during that period.
With the amount of playoff games played, Grisham needs just 61 yards on Friday night to become Howe’s all-time leading playoff rusher. Hawthorne sits on top with his 585 yards in the 2014 round which included three games. Grisham also trails Hawthorne in playoff touchdowns, 10 to 9.
Meanwhile, teammate Jaden Matthews has also crept up the charts also with his 2,372 rushing yards which ranks him fifth among all rushers since 1980. He is also fifth in overall playoff rushing yards at 301. Matthews career 25 touchdowns ties him with M.H. Jeter for eighth all-time.
Howe slot back Brent Masters also ranks seventh in playoff yards with 253.
It is game number 743 in school history and playoff game number 34. Howe’s overall win/loss record is 380-338-24 and playoff record is 13-17-3. Howe has won 23 of their last 30 games with those losses coming to Pottsboro (twice), Waskom, West Rusk, Gunter, Van Alstyne, and Leonard.
This is the first ever meeting between Howe (8-3) and Jefferson (9-2). Jefferson averages 401.8 yards per game on offense and 38 points per game. They are allowing 21 points per game on defense. Conversely, Howe averages 394.1 yards per game and 33 points per game. They are allowing 23 points per game on defense.
Howe’s 33.09 points per game ranks them 4th of 73 in school history in that category.
Howe’s 23.18 points allowed per game is 8th of 17 teams since 2000 in that category.
Howe head coach Zack Hudson has a record of 28-18 at Howe – a remarkable turnaround from the 5-11 record he started with in his first 16 games at Howe. His next win will tie Buck Smith (29-21) in wins. Smith accumulated those totals while the head coach of the Bulldogs from 1980-84.
Norman Dickey, 55 (1964-1976)
Jim Fryar, 41 (1985-1989)
Davey DuBose, 34 (1996-2000)
Buck Smith, 29 (1980-1984)
Zack Hudson, 28 (2013-)
Round 2 playoff games:
12/5/1970, beat Windthorst, 22-0
11/22/1985, beat Grand Saline, 18-0
11/24/1989, beat Electra, 17-9
11/23/1990, tied Olney, 10-10 (tied on penetrations, advanced on first downs)
11/19/1998, lost to Boyd, 28-13
11/22/2003, lost to Maypearl, 21-14
11/19/2010, lost to New Boston, 35-0
11/21/2014, beat Hughes Springs, 50-32
11/20/2015, lost to West Rusk, 31-14
On this day in Bulldogs History
Howe is 1-2 on games played on Nov. 18. In 2000, the ‘Dogs lost the only playoff game played on this date. It turned out to be Davey DuBose’s final game as head coach of Howe.
1938, Howe beat Collinsville, 27-0 at Bulldog Stadium
1966, S&S beat Howe, 34-0 at Bulldog Stadium
2000, Farmersville beat Howe, 20-17 in bi-district at Denton ISD Stadium