Gavin Session can remember stepping into the Allen Eagles Stadium last season — it was his first career varsity start and he was facing a state power.
Although Atascocita lost to Allen 52-27, Session said the moment wasn’t too big for him in his first game. He will look to get his revenge when Atascocita travels back to Allen this season on Sept. 3. The Eagles will also make a trip up I-45 North for a match against Denton Guyer this season on Sept. 17.
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“I was very anxious to get in there and see what it was like,” Session recalled. “It felt good to be in there, but I think this year is going to be different because we have the spring and summer. We are able to get the work in we need. So, we will be prepared.”
Last year, it was a season like no other, as the Eagles played only 10 games including just seven regular season matches.
Atascocita adjusted its schedule and played two scrimmages and one non-district football game in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A planned non-district game against Denton Guyer was also canceled. North Shore also ended Atascocita’s three-year undefeated district title streak.
Still, the Eagles marched on to finish in second place in District 21-6A play.
A year later, Session and the Eagles have had spring ball and are continuing summer workouts as they get ready for fall camp, which begins on Aug. 9.
Session will look to build on last season.
In just seven games in the regular season, Session threw for 1,808 yards along with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also had 119 carries for 580 yards with five touchdowns on the ground for the Eagles.
In his first playoff appearance, Session threw three touchdowns and ran for three touchdowns as the Eagles routed Dobie 54-14 in a Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff game.
However, Session thought he could have performed better during the season but learned a lot about himself while playing in Class 6A.
“First starting season, I think I did OK,” Session said. “This year will be a better, and we’re all looking for improvement. We will see where it goes when the season starts. I can say that I’m tough. The whole team was tough, and we came out and did everything to try and get a win.”
Atascocita coach Craig Stump saw his signal caller grow as a junior with each game. Consistency is key for Session as he prepares for his senior season.
“Early in the season he was a little erratic,” said Stump after the loss to Fort Bend Ridge Point in the regional semifinal. “He was excited, and he learned to play with passion and run the ball like he does. He was able to play the position and calm down. He had that competitive fire in him too. He learned how to play at this level and be levelheaded.”
Tough is just one way to describe Session’s play on the gridiron.
He’s a dual-threat quarterback and isn’t afraid of being hit on the run or lowering his shoulder. The right-handed quarterback also said he isn’t afraid to sit in the pocket and make a play with his arm.
“I favor them both,” Session said with a smile. “I try to show both of them off and do the best I can when I see the field.”
Session will have Keith Wheeler and Chase Sowell back at the wide receiver position. Sowell stepped up for the Eagles last season. He has put on some muscle as well in the offseason. Wheeler has been on varsity since he was a freshman and last year came up big in several spots, including the game winning touchdown against C.E. King.
“Both of those two targets were big for me last year,” Session said. “I know the offense more than I did last year. Chase and Keith are going to be big targets this season. We have seen it in the spring.”
Session is looking for his 2020 senior class to do something special while wearing the Atascocita colors one last season.
But for right now, improvement is what’s on the shifty quarterback’s mind.
“I have been working on my footwork a lot,” Session said. “Standing in the pocket and working on my throws too. I know I can be that elite quarterback, and I know this offense better than last year. I learned so much under Brice (Matthews) and coach Stump. This is our last year for the seniors. The goal has always been state here, and that’s what we work for every year.”