School Spotlight: DeSoto High School

DeSoto High School is home to the Eagles in Desoto, TX, around 30 minutes outside Dallas. DeSoto is a humungous 6A school with approximately 3,000 students in their high school. This football program is one of the elite programs in Texas. Winning their first championship in 2016, with Coach Todd Peterman, they have been a team that can be a contender for the championship every year. They are coming off of their second championship from last year with their head coach now, Claude Mathis. The Eagles played Vandegrift Vipers in the championship defeating them 42-17. Some big-name players have come from their high school and have made it all the way to the NFL. These players include A.J. Green, Von Miller, Laviska Shenault, James Proche, Ed Ingram, and more. So far this team has defended its championship by being 7-0 with a point differential of 353 to 92.

Photo by John Askew

Coach Mathis has been coaching for almost 20 years. In 2004, Coach Mathis started his career at Somerville High School. He was only there for a year before he took over coaching at Austin’s Lyndon Baines Johnson High School, in 2005. In 2008 he finally made his way over to DeSoto High School as the head coach and assistant athletic director. Claude Mathis stepped away from head coaching at DeSoto to go to the next level and be the running back coach for SMU, where he’d coached from 2015 through 2016. In 2017, Mathis went back to the high school level to coach at Marshall High School, before finally returning to DeSoto as head coach where he’s remained coaching till this day. Coach Mathis has a coaching record of 119-27 for his entire time coaching for DeSoto’s football program while having a 44-10 record since coming back in 2019.

Photo by John Askew
Photo by John Askew

QB DJ Bailey 5’10” 165lbs – DJ is a senior leader of this offense who led this team to a championship last year as their starting quarterback. Getting the starting job at quarterback his junior year, DJ threw for over 3800 yards, 45 passing touchdowns, and five rushing touchdowns, while only throwing two interceptions on the season. He has committed to play at Sam Houston State next year to continue his football career.

RB Deondrae Riden 5’11” 195lbs – Deondrae is a junior running back for the Eagles. He is coming off of an impressive season, winning offensive MVP in the state championship game. Last season, Deondrae rushed for over 1300 yards, and 18 rushing touchdowns. Deondrae isn’t just a rusher he has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield to help in the passing game too. Still not being committed anywhere, he has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Ole Miss, and so many more.

WR Daylon Singleton 5’10” 165lbs – Daylon is a junior wide receiver for DeSoto. Having a smaller roll last year, with eight receptions for 86 yards, and one touchdown, Daylon has already surpassed that in half a season with 23 receptions for 469 yards, and seven touchdowns. Daylon is a multisport athlete and uses his athleticism to help make acrobatic catches and to move by defenders with his speed and agility. Daylon has recently committed to SMU and will be attending there in 2025, after his senior season.

DB Mario Buford 5’11” 165lbs – Mario is a senior defensive back, who is a leader on this defense. Mario had over 30 total tackles last year and a fumble recovery. He uses his speed and quick reflexes to match up with his opponent to defend the ball the way he knows how. Recently, Mario has committed to play football for Nebraska next year.

LB Brandon Brooker 6’1” 205lbs – Brandon is a senior linebacker and is a huge core to this Eagles defense. Brandon is all over the defensive side of the ball. He recorded over 130 total tackles last year and got 1.5 sacks to add to his 9.5 tackles for losses. He also put in effort for the passing game, having 4 interceptions and a couple of pass deflections. Brandon is committed to playing in college at SMU.