FOX 7 Football Field Trip: La Grange
The La Grange Leopards will most likely go as far as one of the state's top running backs, J.K. Dobbins, takes them.
For Dobbins, being the face of La Grange football is nothing new.
"It's something special. It's a great community to live in and all people, they support me. I just cherish it, you know, it's a good feeling to know that people look up to you," Dobbins says.
La Grange head coach Matt Kates says, "When he (Dobbins) goes to HEB, 99% of people know who he is, I promise you."
The reasons for Dobbins's longtime local fame around La Grange are many. There's starting every game at the varsity level since his freshman year. There's the 2,700 rushing yards last season that made him a 1st team all state running back. There's his commitment to play college ball next season at Ohio State. And then there's his coach.
Kates says he has no problem saying that heading into 2016, Dobbins is the best player in Texas.
"I've kind of thrown it out there since the end of his sophomore year. After his sophomore year, anybody that knows football can turn on the film, you can see the explosiveness, the lateral movement," Kates says.
"With him (Kates) saying that it's great because it shows how much trust he has in me. How much he sees me growing and all that stuff," Dobbins says.
Kates isn't the only one impressed by Dobbins.
La Grange quarterback Colter Siptak says, "It really gives people incentive to watch because this is a once in a lifetime talent you're going to see and it really adds to the excitement."
"He lead this team team ver since he's been a sophomore. That's when I got moved up to varsity. he's been a leader ever since then. He's been handling this whole face of the program pretty well. He's not too boastful. He's a very humble man," La Grange linebacker John Garza says.
Not much more could be asked of Dobbins in his first two seasons on varsity. In that time, La Grange lost only two games; once in the state quarterfinals and once in the state semis.
It was a much different story last season. The Leopards practically fell off the map losing four times including their first round playoff game. It was a painful loss and that hurt is still part of what drives Dobbins to get his team back on top and drives him to say Ohio State can wait.
"They don't pressure on me to learn their stuff, they want me to focus on now and on my senior year and have fun. My hopes and the team's hopes, they go together. I want to get a state championship before I leave and I'm sure my team wants to too. And that's really the main goal. I don't play the game for stats and all that stuff, I just play the game to win," Dobbins says.