Nine members of the Houston High School football team were selected to the 2017 all-SCA team.

Dalton James, Michael Clayton and Paydon Dixon led the way with spots on the first team. Aiden Sawyer was named to the second team while five others –– Josh Hurst, Gavin Alston, Robert Faupel, Daniel Hutcheson and CJ Lee –– were recognized with honorable mention. Lee was also a third-team punter.

James, a senior, was the top offensive lineman for a Houston team that rushed for 1,688 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. The Tigers averaged 4.2 yards per carry on the ground.

“Dalton did a good job opening holes for us and brought a good attitude to practice daily,” HHS coach Eric Sloan said.

Clayton, a senior, transitioned from defensive end to linebacker during the season. He led the Tigers with 11 tackles for losses, four sacks and three forced fumbles. He also ranked fourth on the team with 71 tackles and had one interception.

“Michael really played well for us this season,” Sloan said. “He developed into a leader and was willing to move positions to help the team. Every coach knew where No. 35 was every Friday night.”

Dixon, a junior safety, was second on the team with 83 tackles and 10 tackles for losses despite missing one game. He had a team-best two interceptions.

“Paydon runs the alley like a linebacker,” Sloan said. “He is a coach on the field and gets everyone in the right coverage before the snap.”

Sawyer, a junior linebacker, was among the team leaders with 57 tackles and seven tackles for losses. He also forced one fumble.

“Aiden is very strong and did a good job setting the edge for our defense,” Sloan said.

Hurst, a senior lineman, played multiple positions on the offensive line for HHS after bouncing back from an offseason injury.

“He had a rough start to the season after breaking his foot during camp,” Sloan said. “He rebounded and did a nice job for us on the line.”

Alston, a senior receiver, had 57 carries for 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 33 yards.

“Gavin really started playing well in the Willow Springs game and had some really key runs the rest of the season,” Sloan said. “My favorite moment was when he broke a tackle and scored the long touchdown to seal the win against Mountain Grove.”

Faupel, a senior defensive lineman, was third on the team with eight tackles for losses and among the team leaders with 56 total tackles.

“His quickness off the ball caused a lot of disruption for opposing offenses,” Sloan said.

Hutcheson, a freshman, started every game in his first high school year. He started the season at safety and moved to linebacker before settling at defensive end. He was third on the team with 82 tackles and tied for second with 10 tackles for losses. He also had an interception, sack and fumble recovery.

“Daniel is very fast and strong for a freshman,” Sloan said. “It will be fun to watch him continue to grow and develop over the next three years.”

Lee, a junior linebacker, led the HHS defense with 90 tackles, including four tackles for losses and a forced fumble. As the team’s punter, he averaged 33.4 yards per punt, highlighted by a season long of 50 yards.

“He was involved in a lot of plays defensively,” Sloan said. “He has a big leg and was able to help us with field position in the kicking game.”

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