Cibolo Steele loaded with talent, leadership

There are new high schools opening doors on a yearly basis in the state of Texas. A few years ago, Steele High in Cibolo opened their doors. Around the San Antonio area, Steele was thought to be an area that could excel on the football and baseball field, but nobody expected the level of success on the gridiron this quickly.

The Cibolo Steele Knights have tasted near instant success on the gridiron. The 27-4A program under the direction of head coach Mike Jinks posted a 3-7 record in year one and appeared to be headed on the path that many new schools must walk before building into a football power over time.

That path was accelerated in 2007 with an 11-2 campaign and a district title.

With the fast tracked success, a number of returning starters and some immensely talented players in the sophomore class, Cibolo Steele went from the motivated hunter to the team with big "X" on their back.

To no one's surprise in the district or region that has seen the talent combined with the structure around the program, the 4A school that neighbors Schertz Clemens answered the bell in 2008 by winning another district title and finishing 10-2. Their final game was a loss to eventual state champion Lake Travis 38-21 in which Steele led at the half and trailed 24-21 early in the fourth quarter.

Head Coach Mike Jinks couldn't be happier with the start the program is off to in a short amount of time.

"It's been fun," Jinks said. "It's been a very challenging and interesting climb to this point, but I couldn't be prouder of our kids and our community the way they have come together. There is no doubt that Cibolo, Texas is a special place to be," Jink added.

The word special used by Coach Jinks can also be used when speaking about sophomore running back Malcolm Brown. The 6-0, 212-pound bruiser with a deceptive stride was among the state's leading rushers through seven games before going down with a small fracture in the ankle area.

With 1,351 yards and 17 touchdowns on only 134 carries and an ability and desire to lead that was evident last Thursday when Burnt Orange Beat was on hand for an off-season workout, Coach Jinks knows he not only has a very talented runner, but a special person in his program.

"For the first six or seven games of the year, you would be hard pressed to find anybody better in the state. The thing that makes Malcolm special is that we have an unbelievable person and leader. I call him my Tim Duncan. The way he carries himself is his true strength. Whatever he does, wherever he ends up, he is going to be special," Jinks said.

Not bad praise for a youngster that is yet to turn 16 years old that is already attracting recruiting attention from Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas A&M among many others.

Brown isn't the only sophomore with big time ability either. On the defensive side of the ball, tackle Marquise Anderson can be a dominant force. The strong and agile 2011 prospect has impressed Coach Jinks from day one in the program with his ability to understand and play with technique at a young age.

Anderson can be dominant

"Marquise is a 6-2, 6-3 kid and about 260 pounds. He plays with his hands. One of the things I noticed early on as a freshman when he was bigger and stronger than everybody, he still understood technique. He understands leverage and how to play with the hands and for a big kid, that's one of the last things to come. We lost him last year to an MCL for a while, but he played well and will be fun to watch the next couple of years," Jinks said.

As is the case with Brown, both programs regionally and nationally are taking notice of the talented sophomore.

Joining Brown and Anderson as key returning players off of last year's playoff team are four juniors who will all be recruited by Division I programs. Leading the way is receiver Sheldon McClain, who posted 26 catches for 488 yards and three scores on a predominantly running team.

"Sheldon has unbelievable potential. There is no doubt in my mind he will tap that out because of the type of kid he is. He's an A/B student, he's about 6-3, a 10.6-10.7 kid in the hundred and he's got great hands. He's going to be a special player for somebody," Jinks said.

College programs are in agreement with Coach Jinks as the wiry junior is receiving heavy attention from the likes of Stanford, Texas A&M, Northwestern, Oklahoma State and others.

Joining McClain in the 2010 class for Cibolo Steele is right tackle Drew Phillips (6-4, 245), corner back D. J. Jones (5-11, 175) and nose tackle Corey Hill (5-11.5, 293).

Steele will begin the 2009 season by taking on East Central.

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