Peterson running front page pic

Alvin Yellowjackets' fullback Dayshawn Peterson became the first Alvin football player to earn first team all-state honors since Gary Keithley in 1968.

(File photo)

Give the Petersons an opening to make a game-changing play on the gridiron and they’re more than likely to run through it.

Don’t be surprise either if the run ultimately results in a history-making moment.

In 1996, Alvin Yellowjackets’ linebacker Will Peterson dashed 95 yards with an PAT interception to spark a 16-12 come-from behind 24-5A triumph over Galveston Ball at Courville Stadium.

The pick-2 by Peterson paved the way for Alvin’s first ever road victory at a home field famously known as “the Rock” for the Tors’ traditional dominance over visting teams at the time.  

The Yellowjackets went on to capture their first district championship in 28 years and also win their first playoff game in 12 years that same season.

A little more than three-and-a half decades later, Yellowjackets’ fullback Dayshawn Peterson (the son of Will Peterson) has also blazed the game-changing formula into the Alvin record books.

The 6-2, 195-pounder has rambled for 2,710 yards and 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons, becoming the first Alvin football player to earn all-state first team honors since Gary Keithley in 1968 and the fourth Yellowjackets’ back to collect back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons on the ground.

While Peterson’s overall resume includes a pair of all-state and all-district accolades along with also making the All-Greater Houston Area Football First team, Alvin head coach James Gage said the senior’s impact as a role model at both game time and on the practice field left just as much as an indelible mark on the program.

“Dayshawn was not only a good football player, but a two-time team captain,” Gage said. “To have that honor tells you what kind of kid he is and how much his teammates looked up to him.

“What he did the last two years for us on varsity is something hopefully the freshmen and sophomore kids and the ones in the junior highs are hopefully looking up to. Realizing the work he has put in and the commitment he made to the team ended up in the results he put up on the field.”

Peterson admits he wasn’t expecting much when he was first asked by his coaches at age 10 to try out the running back position, because he had only played   defense up to that stage.

However, once he touched the ball, the electricity quickly set in so much that Peterson motored all the way to the end zone  on the first play of the first game he ever put his pads on.

“It was just so exciting that I couldn’t help myself,” Dayshawn said. “I was jumping around and went to my mother. Since then, it’s just been at running back and no other position.”

Considering what happened in that first contest and his explosive touches afterwards, Alvin coaches are probably more than ecstatic that Peterson found a new home in the Yellowjacket backfield.

After rushing for over 900 yards on the junior varsity in 2020, Peterson dashed for 1,241 yards and 12 TD’s his junior year on the varsity with the gaudy numbers leading to a first team all-district recognition and a second team all-state accolade by the Texas Sportswriters Association.

Receiving encouragement from friends that the second team all-state honor should have been a notch higher, though, immediately put Peterson on a mission for 2022.

“That made me want to prove to everyone at Alvin High School and to my parents that I had what it took to make first team,” he said. “My goal is to always get more yards than the year before. I was also mad at myself when I got close on the JV, but didn’t get it (a 1,000 yards).”

As was the case in 2021, Peterson gave opposing defenses plenty to be mad about last fall. Averaging a staggering 7.9 yards a carry, the Yellowjacket fullback delivered 1,469 rushing yards on 185 carries and 17 TD’s. With a 96-yard TD ramble in week two against Cleveland (the second longest run in school history) also thrown into the mix, enough TSWA voters were convinced to give Peterson the first team all-state nod this time around.

“I feel like the progress (from junior to senior year) started at quarterback (Brayden Griffin),” Peterson said. “We really got into sync working together.

“A good deal of credit goes to my offense line, because you can’t do much without your offensive line. A  lot of my yards also came because of (sophomore fullback) Kadyn Hodson. There was one game you could see  against Hastings where Kadyn went up first (blocking) and I followed him.”

While the offers to play at the next level didn’t exactly roll in at first, listening to his father’s wisdom to be patient eventually paid huge dividends with Eastern New Mexico University extending Peterson an invitation to start his collegiate career there.

The invitation soon turned into a commitment with the EMNU coaches’ education first approach immediately making an impression on the all-state first teamer. With the Greyhounds also employing the same flexbone offensive scheme as Alvin,  the two factors proved to be deciding factors in Peterson signing with the Division II school.

“Their coaches really inspired me,” he said. “They don’t think of us as athletes first. To them, it’s education first and then we’re players. They really look after their athletes.”

Thanks to a recent invitation to play in annual Bayou Bowl Football Classic, June 10, Peterson receives one final chance to compete at the high school ranks this summer.

Whether it’s playing in an all-star game or later at EMNU, though, Peterson said his Alvin days will always rank first because of his teammates.

“It was very difficult playing my last game here, because I’m going to miss playing for my guys,” Dayshawn said. “I told my dad if I had one chance in life, I would play for this team again and no other. I love these guys. They are like brothers to me.”

His soon to be former head coach will feel the void too.

“He’s going to leave a big hole for us to fill (next year) and we’ll definitely miss him,” Gage said.”He has definitely set the standard and the way on how that position needs to be played in this offense at this school.”

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