Sometime next summer, Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard and San Antonio Northside Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson will probably find a quiet place in Austin to sit and talk about their final high school football game.
By then, if they stick to their verbal commitments, they’ll be teammates playing for the Texas Longhorns.
Tonight, however, they’ll be on opposite sides at AT&T Stadium, each one hoping to end their high school careers with a Texas Class 4A Division II state championship.
The two met at a football camp and recently saw each other at the Texas-Oklahoma State football game.
“We talked a little bit at the game,” Heard said. “I did mention that I thought we’d play against each other this year.
“He’s solid, he’s a big guy. He’s pretty impressive [on videotape]. It makes it kind of interesting to be playing against a future teammate.”
Roberson praised Heard’s play at quarterback. “He’s cool, real chill ... he’s got some good moves. I’m still going to get after him.”
While Heard’s exploits and the success of the Guyer Wildcats has been well documented in North Texas, Roberson and the Brennan Bears have made a meteoric rise on the high school football scene.
Consider this: Guyer’s rise to an elite program has been considered quite remarkable. The campus opened in 2005, and the Wildcats went 0-10 in their first varsity season. Their fortunes have changed with five trips to the state semifinals in the last six years and three state championship appearances in the last four, winning a 4A Division I crown in 2012.
Brennan opened in the fall of 2010 and its first football team finished 0-10. Last year, the Bears reached the state quarterfinals and now, in just their fourth season of football, they are 15-0 and playing for the championship.
“We knew we’d have some decent players to work with,” head coach Stephen Basore said. “We struggled early, but then got things rolling.”
He knew his program had taken a big step last season when the Bears reached the state quarterfinals, falling to eventual 4A Division II champion Cedar Park.
With 30-plus seniors back this season and at least two NCAA Division I prospects, Basore sensed his team could have the makings of a title contender. The Bears handled everyone on their schedule, breezed through the first four rounds of the playoffs, and were impressive in their 31-7 state semifinal victory over Houston Stratford.
“We were mostly sophomores and juniors last year, now we’re mostly juniors and seniors and that makes a world of difference,” he said. “We had a lot of guys coming back on both sides of the ball who had experience. Big difference.”
A big impact, too, starting with Roberson, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end who has been a monster on defense. He moved in from Las Vegas before his junior season and finished this season with 103 tackles (39 for loss) and a whopping 20 sacks on a defense that has given up only 51 points all season.
The Bears’ offense, which has averaged 54.5 points a game, is led by dual-threat quarterback De’Shawn Key, a 6-foot, 160-pound junior. Key has completed 93 of 132 passes for 1,809 yards, 22 touchdowns and two interceptions. He is the team’s leading rusher with 1,877 yards on 187 carries (10.8 yards per carry) and 33 touchdowns.