North Forest just had the greatest year of any high school in Houston ISD.
On the athletic side, the Bulldogs made history by being the first HISD school to ever win four district championships in one year – football, baseball, boys soccer and track.
It was football and track’s third- straight year to win titles, and for soccer and baseball it was the program’s first-ever.
The girls soccer team also made history. They didn’t win district but the school principal was proud of the fact that they made the playoffs for the first time.
“I definitely give a lot of appreciation and kudos to our coaches,” Dr. Darryl Henson, the North Forest principal said. “This year they have really studied the game and became better coaches.”
What makes North Forest athletic success such a big deal is because at one point their athletic program seemed to be extinct due to Hurricane Harvey.
More than 30 percent of the school was affected by the hurricane and fall sports like football had to forfeit their preseason games. In fact, the football team didn’t get equipment until the night before their first district game.
The hurricane left North Forest with nearly no athletic equipment and little hope for their athletic seasons.
However, despite being a victim of Mother Nature, North Forest didn’t stay down for too long.
They received help from Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins with football equipment and Academy Sports and Outdoors also helped replace other sport equipment the Bulldogs lost.
With the help they received, North Forest developed a “No Excuses” mantra and the effects of Hurricane Harvey became a blessing in disguise.
“The hurricane worked out to our benefit. All things work together for those who love the Lord,” Henson said. “The students lost a lot of their personal belongings. Seeing that they can bounce back made the kids feel like if we survived the hurricane, what’s a test going to be to them. What’s playing against Kashmere or Yates going to do to us?”
Bouncing back from the hurricane definitely boosted North Forest’s confidence, so much so that North Forest academic success was just as good as their athletic success.
Out of all Achieve180 schools in HISD, North Forest improved the most on the EOC/STARR test.
The Achieve180 is about the schools who have made a turnaround from underachieving to overachieving academically, and the Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 this year.
“We’re hyped! We walk around with that confidence,” Henson said. “It’s a different level of swagger that we have because we know that we’re training hard, we’re preparing hard and we’re enjoying the fruits of our labor here at North Forest High School.”
With the athletic and academic success, Henson, the teachers and coaches are focused on keeping the kids invested and making sure they believe in themselves.
On the last day of school, they passed out shirts to every student with “BELIEVE” written on the front of it. “BELIEVE” is about encouraging the students to believe that North Forest and its students can be the best at everything.
For next year, Dr. Henson said the goal for North Forest is to “continue improving academically and in athletics. It’s state football championship or bust.”
“We strive to be the best in all that we do,” Dr. Henson said. “We strive to be the best from academics, to athletics and to the arts.
“We want parents to know we’re truly trying to build a well-rounded child,” Dr. Henson continued. “We’re building kids who can sit down and take a test academically and athletically they know how to compete with grace, class and ultimately win.”
Clifton Terrell – Football Coach
Titus Standberry – Boy’s Track Coach
Craig Sandoval – Soccer Coach
Myron Clark – Baseball Coach
Jasmin Cardenas – Girls Soccer Coach
This article appeared in the June Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations today!