In 2019, the Atascocita Eagles went a perfect 8-0 in 6A region III district 22. However, after dropping down to 6A region III district 21 the Eagles have had to settle for second place in the district behind Galena Park North Shore Mustangs for several years. By adding a few pivotal pieces on the offensive end and having several returning stand-out seniors, the Eagles are hoping to turn things around this season. Leading the offense this season is their returning star quarterback Zion Brown.
“He means a lot to our program. At the quarterback position, he is the guy that gets to touch the ball every play and without him, the offense doesn’t move,” said Atascocita head coach Craig Stump. “As a younger quarterback, a bad play would really upset him, and possibly lead to another bad play. However, this season he’s more mature in those moments.”
Brown is a dual-threat quarterback who last season threw for over 2,845 yards with 26 touchdowns and ran for 829 yards with 10 touchdowns. Through 10 games this season, Brown has accounted for over 2,276 yards passing with a completion rate of 65%, 375 yards rushing with seven touchdowns, 26 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions. However, due to back-to-back losses against both North Shore and Summer Creek, some critics still doubt his ability to lead a team in tough games.
“I can take criticism because that comes with the job. Disappointing my teammates and coaches is a hard pill to swallow. Practice can’t get here fast enough,” said Brown.
Brown began playing football when he was 5 years old. He played with the Atascocita Red Eagles in the Humble Area Youth Football League (HAYFL) before moving on to play with the Houston Panthers in the Texas Youth Football Association (TYFA). He then attended Timberwood Middle School and later Atascocita High School.
The teams and schools changed, but one thing that remained constant was his position. Brown has always played quarterback.
Freshman year, Brown played four games at the freshman level before being moved to varsity.
“The game was super-fast. I had the opportunity to play under Gavin Sessions and that helped me develop,” said Brown.
As a sophomore, Brown understood the assignment. When Sessions went down with a season-ending injury, it was next man up. Brown took control of the offense and never looked back.
“Gavin was a big playmaker. Things would happen, but he would always turn it into a big play. That’s what I try to do, keep the momentum going on our side,” said Brown, who has leaned into his leadership role as a senior.
“I’m just making sure everybody is focused on the bigger picture. We have to get better every week. In the offseason, a large part of it was making sure people were present every day, sometimes picking them up from their house for summer workouts, just being that big brother role,” said Brown.
Brown studies USC’s Caleb Williams and the Houston Texans rookie quarterback CJ Stroud as he looks to improve his game.
“I like Caleb Williams’ scramble ability and his pocket awareness,” said Brown.
Earlier in the season Brown committed to Northwestern State University, but as the season went on, he withdrew his commitment and found a new home.
“I had a checklist that included several important things: great academics, great coaching staff, longevity from the head coach, major airport so my family can fly in, and NIL opportunities,” said Brown. “The University of Texas Rio Grand Valley checked every box. UTRGV is new and my name will be a part of their history forever.”
“They’re getting a great kid and they’re getting a very committed young man that’s an overall well-rounded athlete that cares about school and his teammates,” said Stump.
When looking back at how far he has come, Brown offers advice to the next generation who seek some of the same success he experienced.
“Stay confident and be there for your team. Try to be a great leader and know it will take time, but you will get better at it.”
About Zion Brown
Height & weight: 5-feet-11, 180 pounds
Players he studies: Caleb Williams (USC), CJ Stroud (Houston Texans)
Status: Committed to The University of Texas Rio Grand Valley
Favorite artist: NBA YoungBoy
Favorite subject: Calculus
Shout-outs: God, Coach Stump, offensive coordinator, mom, dad and sister.