NEDERLAND — ‘Dogs Washington dominating the competition
By Gabriel Pruett
The News Sports Writer
NEDERLAND – Nederland Coach Larry Neumann knows exactly how to describe defensive lineman DeShawn Washington.
He called Washington dominating. He called him a high-character young man. He called Washington a leader.
Neumann hit it on the head on all descriptions about the future Texas A&M Aggie.
“You could make a full highlight tape on Washington just from last week’s game alone,” Neumann said. “That was as dominating a performance from a defensive player I have ever seen in my entire career. He imposed his will.”
Washington walked off the field this past Friday with 3.5 sacks and he and his defensive teammates held the Beaumont Ozen Panthers to 147 total yards.
It was easy to see from anywhere inside the Butch Center in Beaumont that Washington was a big reason why other Nederland players were finding success.
Washington was a man on mission against Ozen, yet he was the first to say the 2013 season did not start out the way the three-year starter wanted.
The reason for his so-called “slow start” might surprise even the biggest Nederland football fan.
“At the beginning of the season I could not get excited for the games,” Washington said. “I had a very mediocre non-district. I sat down and watched some tape and realized I had no confidence. I was protecting myself on every play. The Crosby loss really hurt and I started to doubt what type of team we had this year. Then the wins started to roll in and I knew I had to play harder for this team.”
So the dominant Washington is back for the Bulldogs and even though he might seem mean on the field, DeShawn is a different guy once the final whistle blows.
This past Friday he was seen as one of the last Bulldogs to leave the field. He spent several minutes shaking hands with the younger fans and talking with them about anything on their minds.
“I was in their shoes,” Washington said. “I can remember going to the games and looking up to the players. All I want to do is put a smile on those kids’ faces. It means a lot to them but it means a lot to me at the same time.”
This is why Washington is one of Neumann’s favorite all-time Bulldogs. The veteran coach enjoys all his current and former players but there is something different about No. 6.
“DeShawn’s on the field abilities are only surpassed by his character off the field,” Neumann said. “He does all the right things and says all the right things. I can’t take any credit for that. That comes from his upbringing and how his parents raised him. Our team is full of respectful players this year.
“I could not be more pleased with the group of young men we have on this team. A lot of that character starts with guys like DeShawn and Caleb Malveaux. They are just great human beings.”
Now that his head is right and he is playing up to his potential, Washington and the Bulldogs are starting something new late this year. There is no more hiding from the 22-game District 20-4A winning streak.
“We are going to embrace it now,” Washington said. “Since my sophomore year, I have known we are the best team in the district. Every team out there is motivated to beat us and we have a target on our backs every game in 20-4A. We now are being motivated by that and we want to come out and fight for that streak.
“The difference in our team now from a few weeks ago is we trust each other. It is a great feeling to know you can trust the guy beside you to do his job and fight with you. Our defensive has started to play great and, even though our offense has had its troubles here and there, we still have confidence in those guys. They are practicing every day so they have the defense’s support.”
Bulldog Bites: DeShawn Washington is the son of Paul Washington and Marjorie Bell…There is no secret who Washington pulls for on Saturday mornings. He though said he still cannot believe he will soon be called a Texas A&M Aggies player…Washington was in attendance at the Alabama/Texas A&M game…His favorite team is the Houston Texans and receiver Andre Johnson is favorite player. He was a fan of Mario Williams and cannot believe the Texans let Williams go as a free agent and sign with Buffalo.