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The Dawson Eagles seemed destined to win the state title in 2012. Lake Travis, the team they couldn’t overcome, moved up to 5A. Manvel, the team that took the district from them in 2011, also moved up to 5A. James White was the guy at running back, the defense was solid, and they had two solid quarterbacks. Then, the Nederland game. The Eagles uncharacteristically shot themselves in the foot and went home early.

All of that seemed secondary when they lost teammate Folabi Akanbi in February. Akanbi collapsed and died during a pickup basketball game. His death was tragic. A young man with so much promise had his life cut short. His teammate’s won’t allow his memory to fade. They are playing the season in his honor and have a greater appreciation for each other. Coach Eric Wells says the chemistry this team has already garnered is unlike anything he’s seen.

There’s plenty of talent on the roster. Ross Wicklund is the new quarterback, but he led the JV team to an unbeaten season. Brett Winnegan is the new running back, and he is a track star, finishing second at the world youth championships in Chicago. Tony Upchurch will do great things at LSU once he graduates. For now, one of the area’s best wide receivers will again terrorize opposing defenses.

On defense, they’re in good shape. Eric England and Brett Johnson command the line. Alan Galloway is a fantastic linebacker with great range and defensive back Josiah Cooks is one of the most underrated players in the city.

District 24-4A is loaded. Texas City and Dawson are both legitimate state championship contenders. Winning this district will not be easy and we are set up for an amazing game on October 4th, when they play in the game that will likely decide the district championship.

No matter who comes out on top, both teams have everything they need to go all the way.

The Dawson Eagles are on the Road to State!

Road to State: Dawson – Eagles Soaring to State? [LISTEN]  was originally published on

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