The Katy Tompkins Falcons were arguably the most pleasant surprise of the 2018 season. They put together an impressive 10-3 season that included signature wins over Taylor (27-24) and Cy Falls (31-21). The Falcons made their first ever playoff appearance behind highly-touted young players; quarterback Jalen Milroe committed to Texas in early August and Tunmise Adeleye. Adeyleye is one of the most highly recruited defensive ends in the country.
Both Milroe and Adeleye are in the class of 2021, which is collectively one of the most talented the Houston area has seen in a while. With help from senior running back R.J. Smith, Tompkins is hoping to improve on its first playoff appearance in school history last season.
The Falcons went three rounds deep before losing 49-45 to eventual state runner-up Beaumont West Brook. Tompkins lost some key contributors from last years’ squad but Milroe thinks the rapidly developing team chemistry will give Tompkins a chance to go further in 2019.
“I think we matured positively with the brotherhood,” Milroe said. “Just with hanging out on the weekends and working on the field in the offseason and just trying to get better. We’re really close. Everybody on the team knows each other’s name. That’s really important to know your brother’s name across from you and next to you. Our brotherhood is growing as a program.”
Milroe said another key to success will be playing more as a team in 2019. As a junior with a year of experience as a starter already, Milroe is exactly the quarterback Tompkins needs, and coach Todd McVey knows the Falcons won’t be surprising anyone this season and welcomes the increased scrutiny and enthusiasm surrounding the team.
“I like competition,” McVey said. “I want to play in competitive environments. There’s a scoreboard for a reason, somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. We’re not worried about that, we worry about our effort on the field, one play at a time; one snap at a time.”
The road to a state championship will be tough once again in a deep Class 6A Division II. State champion Longview returns quarterback Haynes King, one of the best signal callers in the nation, and the road to state could go through the Lobos once again. Tompkins returns a great nucleus of players and will be one of just a handful of teams with the talent and experience to make it to Arlington. With good health and a little luck, they could be one of the last standing in December.
- Jalen Milroe
“I think we matured positively with the brotherhood."