SPORTS HEADLINES

Saturday Sports Buffet: Still in the books – Ten years later, Christian’s career ranks among best

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, August 23, 2014

In the back of the latest Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine released this summer, Texas High School records are listed.

Ten years after he last touched the field as a Decatur Eagle, Brian Christian still stands as one of the top receivers in the Texas prep history with his 4,175 yards between 2002-04. His total is fourth behind a few other notable names Jordan Shipley, Mike Hicks and Cody Cardwell.

To Christian, 28, it’s a surprise.

GRABBING A PIECE OF HISTORY – Decatur’s Brian Christian hauls in a catch during his senior year in 2004. His 4,175 career yards are the fourth best in Texas High School football. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I don’t know where I stand,” he said. “I haven’t bought a Texas Football since 2007-08. That’s crazy. I didn’t think I’d still be in there.”

And as the game has changed to a wide-open spread attack, with quarterbacks and receivers who hone their skills all summer in 7-on-7 leagues, it is a bit of a surprise that Christian’s career total as well as his touchdown receptions in a game (6 against Little Elm in 2004) still rank among the top five in each category.

“It was rare for us to throw 30 times per game,” Christian recalled. “I saw where a high school kid threw 60 times in a game. I would love that. It’s more fun to watch.”

In 2004, few offenses and few players were more fun to watch than Decatur’s with Christian catching passes from Chandler Dane. Christian hauled in 84 passes for 1,759 yards and 24 touchdowns that season as Decatur rolled to a 12-1 record.

“It was an absolute blast,” Christian said. “We didn’t try to put up big stats. We just had a talented team.

“I wouldn’t have been the receiver I was without Chandler. All I had to do was worry about getting open and he’d get me the ball in full stride. I also can’t do an article without giving credit to the coaching staff.”

In his senior season, Christian averaged 21 yards per catch. He had six games with more than 100 yards receiving. He torched Little Elm for 307 yards and six touchdowns. The 307 yards were the seventh best at the time.

But if Decatur hadn’t been quite so good, his numbers might have been even better.

“Our senior year, we didn’t play in the second half of a lot of games,” Christian recalled. “We played in one fourth quarter in district.”

But after a 12-0 start to the season, the Eagles ran into Abilene Wylie in the third round of the playoffs. In a mistake-filled game, the Eagles fell to Wylie 14-13.

“You can’t play a better game and have more bad luck,” Christian recalled. “We outgained them by 250 yards. We had several turnovers.

“I wish we would have got beat by 40 instead of one.”

Wylie went on to win the state title after knocking out Decatur.

“We have a store in Big Lake,” said Christian, who now works for Lowery Wholesale. “I drive through the southwest part of Abilene and see the Wylie Stadium and everytime I see it, I say ‘Those sorry dogs!’”

Christian said a few years ago he went into the Wylie fieldhouse and saw the 2004 state trophy.

“I had to see it,” he said.

After his record-setting career at Decatur, Christian went to Sam Houston State University. He played his way onto the field as a true freshman and caught his first touchdown pass from former Bridgeport standout Phillip Daugherty.

But by the middle of his sophomore year, Christian had decided he was done with college football.

“I didn’t have it anymore. I lost my drive. It became a job instead of being fun,” Christian said. “I grew up wanting to play high-school football – not college football.”

Not continuing his playing career may have saved Christian’s life. Six months after he stopped playing he had heart surgery after being diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia.

“God let me enjoy football while I could,” Christian said.

While he’s humbled to still be ranked among some of the best in Texas High School football, Christian immediately claims he would much rather have the state title his relative, Caroline Lowery, won in volleyball last November.

“I’d trade all those catches for a state championship ring,” Christian said.

SIDEDISHES

Dual Threat

DUAL THREAT – Decatur’s Justin Myers’ legs along with his arm will help the Eagles’ offense this season. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

  • While working to defend their state championship, the top-ranked team in 4A – Decatur Lady Eagles – are not too busy to lend a helping hand. On their varsity activity day Wednesday, the team helped out at WARM. Not only a great team, but great role models
  • Justin Myers continues to impress in the preseason with his feet and his arm. He will be dangerous out of the pocket making throws down field. Also Decatur will make some plays on busted plays because of Myers’ ability to run
  • A couple of days after surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, Decatur senior Rickey Roberts was on the sidelines Thursday to watch his teammates. After talking to Roberts, who I first met last spring at the region powerlifting, I came away impressed with his perspective about what’s done is done and it’s time to look forward
  • Chico picked senior Jericoe McGuire as its quarterback. The Dragons will be better with him at quarterback as Stephen Carter pointed out because Crese Redman is back at running back
  • A few early predictions for the Wise County team: Joe Randall MVP, Qualynn Wells Offensive MVP, Hagen Davis Defensive MVP. In three months, I reserve the right to forget that last sentence
  • TCU coach Gary Patterson stated last week that barring injury Decatur product Grayson Muehlstein will redshirt
  • In Canyon, Boyd graduate and sophomore Jared Cate entered West Texas A&M’s scrimmage sharing snaps at quarterback. Also Northwest alum Carter James is fighting for the middle linebacker job
  • It was a big weekend for Wise County cowboys in Billings, Mont. Trevor Brazile won the all-round with $203,908, finishing ahead of second-place Tuf Cooper at $130,316. Brazile was second in steer roping and third in team roping. Cooper won the tie-down roping. Jarett Blessing was 12th in steer roping
  • It’s the last Friday night of quiet before the football season. Enjoy and pick up our Fall Sports Preview Wednesday.

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