When the final buzzer rang in Stonewall Friday night, it signaled the end of the season for the North DeSoto Griffins.
It also ended the high school football career of a senior that helped spark the Griffin's amazing turnaround in 2021, linebacker Evan Howe.
"Very sad for him to take off that uniform and take off that helmet for the last time," head coach Dennis Dunn says. "He's the kind of guy that certainly built a foundation here that will be remembered and one that we will follow from now on."
Howe says of the season ending, "It's a new chapter in our life. In a way, you're glad it's over. You're getting older and just growing up. It pains us to say it, but our football careers, for most of us, are over. We all have a big life that we're ready to go live."
It's a life Howe has prepared for from a young age as he's closing in on a 4.0 GPA to close his high school career.
"I'd come home with a bad grade and my parents would be on me and I had to get it all fixed," Howe explains. "It's been instilled in me since lower elementary that grades come first, family, then football."
Grades, family, football, and fishing. Howe is also on the North DeSoto fishing team and looking for the university that will best suit his talents both in the classroom and on the water.
"Looking at college, I'm going to fish. Football is over, fishing is starting. The boat is coming out of the shop and we're about the get ready," he says.
Looking ahead Howe adds he'd like to one day run his own business. His football coach, Dennis Dunn, believes he will chase that goal with the same tenacity he showed on the field each Friday night.
"He will be very successful because he's applied those lessons as a player, he's applied those attributes as a student, and we know whatever he does he's going to be successful in life."
The initial group of 20 high school seniors named in August to the National Football Foundation Ark-La-Tex Scholar-Athlete Watch List:
Sedric Applewhite Jr., WR/DE, Bossier High School
Tonzaiha Bland, OL/DL, Logansport High School
Graeme Fidelak, WR, St. Mary’s High School
B.J. Green, DB, Ruston High School
Connor Heard, OL/C, Minden High School
John Jordan, DB, C.E. Byrd High School
Kelvin Kinney, QB, North DeSoto High School
Gavin LaGrange, OL/DL, St. Mary’s High School
Brayson McHenry, QB, Texas High School, Texarkana
James David Miller, OL/DL, Ouachita Christian High School
R.J. Moore, WR/K/P, Benton High School
Mitchell Ramsey, RB, Byrd High School
Carson Riley, LB/OT, Cedar Creek High School
Jatareon Robinson, LB, North Webster High School
Davis Sellers, DE/TE, Benton High School
Seth Smith, OG, Cedar Creek High School
Tyler Sullivan, WR/DB, Plain Dealing High School
Ryan Todd, DB, C.E. Byrd High School
Tristan Wiley, WR/DB, Ouachita Christian High School
Jed Worthy, CB/TB, Cedar Creek High School
Joining them are the first 10 midseason additions to the NFF Ark-La-Tex Scholar-Athlete Watch List:
Justin Aaron, DB, Natchitoches Central High School
Caleb Aillet, C, C.E. Byrd High School
Caylin Demars, RB, Natchitoches Central High School
Evan Howe, Linebacker, North DeSoto High School
Dqavion Lemons, OL, Southwood High School
Chandler Lytle, LB, Haughton High School
Kyle Monroe, QB, Fouke High School
Jake Pieri, DL, Haughton High School
Joshua Sewell, WR. Haughton High School
Tre Smith, QB, Red River High School
This Watch List will be updated throughout the season as nominations are received. Additional nominees may be submitted by text to NFF board member Doug Ireland at 318-471-2086.