Deron Fontenot is a believer in the saying, "It's not how you start but how you finish." If he wasn't one who believed that before the high school football season started, Fontenot is now.
The Oklahoma State commit has played in only one full game this season for South Grand Prairie High School because of a severe ankle sprain. But the 5-foot-9, 183-pound senior linebacker could return for Friday night's showdown with crosstown rival Grand Prairie High School.
"He's one of the best defensive players on our football team," said South Grand Prairie head coach David Fisher. "Of course, it's killing him having to stand there on the sidelines and watch. He's started as a sophomore and all of last year as a junior, so it's been hard for him."
Fontenot had an outstanding game in helping South Grand Prairie open the season with a 20-17 overtime victory over Mansfield Summit. The next week, against Arlington Sam Houston, he suffered the ankle injury on the sixth play of the game, and missed the remainder of that game and the next two games.
"We're 4-0 and 1-0 in district play but it hasn't been easy without having one of our top defensive players," Fisher said. "We're hoping to get him back on the field this Friday. We're trying to get him well so he can play again. He needs to be 95 percent to 100 percent if he's going to play. We want him back but we want him healthy. It's a long season. We're just getting ready to play our fifth game, and we're going to need him as district play heats up."
Fontenot, who had 146 tackles (33 for losses) and six quarterback sacks as a junior, knows that when he does get back on the field he'll have plenty of help.
"We start almost all seniors on defense, and they can all make big plays," Fontenot said. "So I'm not the big playmaker guy. We've got a lot of guys out there who can play and make big plays."
Fontenot, who was elected a captain by his teammates before the season started, is working on getting bigger and stronger. Although for a 183-pounder his numbers in the weight room aren't too shabby: 310-pound power clean, 290-pound bench and 475-pound squat.
"I'll probably be a safety-type player in college so I've got to get bigger and I probably need to improve my coverage awareness," he said.
Fisher says that Fontenot is the real deal.
"He's got great instincts. He's very explosive. He's got great speed," his head coach said. "It's hard to teach a guy how to be instinctive. You can teach him how to play technique, or work with him on his quickness or speed, but you can't teach a guy instinct, and that's what he has.
"He's the best linebacker I've ever had in all my 21 years that I've been coaching."
Catching Up With Future Cowboy Deron Fontenot
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