Newton High School- located in Newton, Texas- plays in the 3A classification of Texas high school football. They are ranked as the #205 team in the state, and the #6 team in their classification of 3A. The Eagles, whose colors are purple and white, had a great year going 12-2 and winning their district. They had a deep run in the playoffs before losing to a good Harmony team. This week, I had the honor of talking to Drew Johnston, and got to talk to him. Some of the topics include coaching at the same school his dad coached at, the vision he has for this team, and the future he has for this program.
While talking to Coach Johnston, he talked about how the community of Newton is truly one big family. Growing up in Newton, he figured out that coaching and staying in the Newton community was the only thing he wanted to do. Playing under coach Curtis Barbay, he truly saw how the tight-knit community of Newton was, and even got to win the 2005 football state championship as a player . Coaching under his dad W.T. Johnston, coach Drew Johnston was truly happy being the team’s defensive coordinator, much like his dad did under Coach Barbay. Winning the state championships in both 2017 and 2018 shows how much success this team has had.
Newton is not a big school but one that takes a lot of pride in their school. With an enrollment of around 283 kids, this is a school that has a very rich tradition of “playing bigger schools and competing with bigger schools, even beating these bigger schools”. This was evident the past year when they were beating schools such as Jasper and West Orange-Stark, which are both 4A schools. Asking Coach Johnston about how his team has success, he talks about how all of his kids are very hard-working kids. The kids at Newton know it is their turn after 7th grade to continue the proud tradition of this school, and to “keep working hard while having parents who support us”.
Before letting him go, I was able to ask Coach Johnston to highlight some of the talent he had on both sides of the ball that would be returning to help the team build on a great season.
Railyn Adams, a junior, is a do-it-all kid who plays both sides of the ball. Coach Johnston mentioned he believed that Railyn is one of the best players in the district.
Aaron Foster is a junior who plays both LB and DE. At 6’2 215 lbs, Coach described him as a big guy who can run.
Heiko Malone is a junior who plays both sides of the ball at WR/TE and DE/OLB. At 6’2 195 lbs, he is an explosive player who can do it all.
Jonathan Kenebrew is a DE at 6’1 220 lbs. Coach Johnston described him as someone who is a great football player and great for the team.
Looking towards the future, Coach Johnston is not worried knowing how important football is for this community. He is focused on continuing to build on the foundations that have already been set in stone, and keep the proud traditions of Newton going for years to come.