North Mesquite High School Athletic Trainer
Dennis Hart has been honored at the state, district and national levels for his contributions and service to the athletic training profession. The chair of the founding committee of the Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association (TSATA) also served on the TSATA Concussion Legislation Task Force in 2011. He co-authored Texas HB 2038, Natasha’s Law, which mandates a current standard of care for secondary school athletes suffering sports-related concussions. Other awards include Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame Class of 1998; Texas High School Trainers’ Association 1998 Athletic Trainer of the Year; Member, MISD Apple Corps recognizing educator excellence; National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame Class of 2012 & 1999 Most Distinguished Award.
Mesquite High School Football Alum / Richardson Police Department / Killed-in-Action
David Sherrard, a 1999 graduate of Mesquite High School and former Skeeters football player, died on Feb. 8, 2018. The 14-year Richardson Police Department veteran was killed in the line of duty coming to the aid of strangers. Also a member of the SWAT team, he was described as a “brave, tenured officer who died in the service of his community.” On May 6, 2019, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill that would name part of the North Central Expressway that runs through Richardson after Sherrard. The father of two is also remembered as a hero, a dedicated public servant and a true leader with a sharp wit and keen sense of humor.
Mesquite High School Athletic Trainer
Bucky Taylor’s 36-year athletic trainer career at Mesquite High School included state championships, near state titles, hundreds of taped ankles and much more. One of his biggest accomplishments was his role in making MISD a pioneer district. But perhaps his biggest achievement was writing the MISD “return to play” policy in 2009. The concussion strategy, the first to be adopted by a school district in the nation, was at the forefront of keeping student athletes safe in their respective sports. Taylor’s dedication to protected performance culminated in a two-hour program on concussion safety that aired before the 2010 Super Bowl. This in turn led to the passing of numerous concussion policies throughout the nation, including Texas HB 2038, Natasha’s Law, which he co-authored with Dennis Hart. The pair was also instrumental in developing and implementing a drug testing policy for the district. The Texas High School Coaches Association named Taylor the Texas High School Trainer of the Year for the 1999-2000 school year. In 2000, he was recognized by the National Athletic Trainers Association as the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer. In 2001, he was inducted into the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame.
North Mesquite High School Girls Basketball
Known for her coaching wins and country witticisms, Donna Capps’ legend spans the high school and college levels. Compiling an amazing 510-199 (.731) record, she is one of the most successful coaches in Texas high school girl’s basketball history. The two-time Dallas Morning News Coach of the Year (1983 and 1988) was also honored as the Dallas Times Herald Coach of the Year (1988). In 1988, she earned High School Women’s Coach of the Year honors by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, Texas Girls Coaches Association and Baden Sports Inc. As head coach of UT Arlington, she was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year, turning a struggling team into a NCAA contender. She won more than 600 games as a head coach in both the prep and college ranks. As a player, she was a four-year All-District player at Crandall High School, where the forward’s forte was to shoot.
North Mesquite High School Football/ Former MISD Athletic Director
Charlie Qualls enjoyed an impressive career of firsts. Mesquite ISD’s first athletic director was also the first head football coach at North Mesquite High School. As the Stallions coach, his win-loss record was 106-52. Named to the Texas High School Coach Association (THSCA) and Texas High School Athletic Director Halls of Honor, his career included stints also as head football coach at McKinney and Mesquite high schools. He served as THSCA president in 1979.
North Mesquite High School Football (2000-2002)
He won a national college football championship at UT and played with the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 Super Bowl, but Tarell Brown has never forgotten his roots. During his 10 years with the NFL, the former All-District North Mesquite Stallion defensive back returned to Mesquite every summer with fellow professionals to host a popular and free summer football camp. His generosity reappeared every school year through giveaways of back-to-school supplies and holiday meals through Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church. Brown continues to give speeches to our students and mentor MISD athletes. He founded Brown’s Kids Foundation to empower youth to success in the areas of education, self-growth and break the cycle of poverty.
North Mesquite High School Softball (2004-2007)
Amy Hooks—a softball phenom at North Mesquite High School—continued earning athletic accolades at the University of Texas, played professionally and now coaches at Northwestern State University. The three-time All-District 12-5A First Team performer and District 12-5A Offensive Player of the Year in 2004 and 2006 led the district in hitting both years, hitting .600 and .594 respectively. Playing for the University of Texas, she was Big 12 Player of the Year, Easton All-America Second Team, All-Big 12 First Team, NFCA All-Central Region Second Team and Big 12 Player of the Week—all in 2011. Other collegiate awards included being named to the 2010 All-Big 12 Second Team and 2009 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team. Other career highlights include playing in the National Pro Fastpitch Softball League and promoting women’s softball within the U.S. She continues to instill the love of softball into young people by coaching at Northwestern State University and conducting softball camps all around the country.
Mesquite High School Girls Golf (1991-1995)
From Mesquite High School and Texas A&M University to the LPGA Tour, this golfer made her mark at all three places. As a Skeeter, she played varsity golf and competed in regional playoffs all four years and earned a spot in the state tournament her senior year. At age 18, she captured the Texace American Junior Golf Association Championship. At Texas A&M, she was a Southwest Conference Medalist in 1995 and Second-Team All-American in 1997. She won the 1996 Broadmoor Invitational and the 1997 Southern Amateur. From 1998-2012, she played professionally with career earnings of over $910,000.
North Mesquite High School Cross Country / Track (1975-1976)
Greg Lautenslager was the first-ever state champion in Mesquite ISD history. The 1976 Class 4A State Champion in mile run held two North Mesquite High School track records for 44 years – for fastest mile and two miles. He has remained an inspiration to runners throughout his continued collegiate and post-collegiate running, coaching and writing careers. The second-team NCAA All-American in cross-country and track missed making the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team in the 5,000m by seven seconds. He was a sportswriter for 25 years, including 10 years with The Dallas Morning News, where he wrote the running column. Lautenslager has coached hundreds of athletes at the University of North Texas and for the National Academy of Distance Running in New Zealand. Many of his protégés, including his sons, have earned conference and national titles.
1974 MESQUITE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
The 1974 football season was an exciting time for the entire Mesquite community. It was the first year since 1941 that MHS had a trip to the playoffs. The Skeeters became MISD’s first high school team to win a district championship and qualify for the state playoffs. Besides the 2001 Mesquite High School championship team, these athletes are the only ones in MISD history to play in the Texas High School Football Championship. Head football coach Tom Gray, an inductee in the 2018 inaugural class of the MISD Hall of Honor, led the 43-man roster to an impressive record of 11-1-3.
POTEET HIGH SCHOOL BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
State Champions (1990 / 1991 / 1993)
Poteet High School opened in 1989 – already armed with a group of talented, highly motivated cross-country athletes. The team took seventh place in state in 1989, the year that started a nine-year run for Poteet of district and regional cross-country championships. In 1990, the team was tied at the state championship until the Pirates’ sixth runner outsprinted his opponent by a half step in an exciting finish to secure the team’s first state win. Led by Coach Doug Robinson, the Pirates captured two more state championships (1991 and 1993) and a bronze medal for third place in 1992.