West's Harrison convinced to shine at wide receiver
By BY WILL BROWN - WBROWN@VICAD.COM
Nov. 4, 2011 at 6:04 a.m.
He's someone who loves just about everything about team sports, yet on separate occasions people had to convince Seth Harrison to try football.
Harrison always had the physical attributes, but he was more of a baseball player. A classmate at Patti Welder convinced him to try out in seventh grade. Two years later, it was a coach at Memorial who had to do it again.
These days, Harrison is the leading receiver for Victoria West and one of nearly 30 seniors who will play their final game of their varsity career Friday night when it plays Victoria East.
"We've been talking about it all week, how our season hasn't gone the way the seniors have wanted it to, but a win against East would make it easier to swallow than 2-8 or losing to your rival on top of everything else that has gone on this season," Harrison said.
After catching 52 passes as a junior, Rice, TCU and SMU all expressed some interest in the 6-foot-2 receiver. But as teams have focused on eliminating his ability to change games and the Warriors have adjusted with a new quarterback, Harrison has only 25 catches for 376 yards and five touchdowns through nine games.
Though he would prefer winning, his father, John, noticed the maturation in his oldest child as the losses mounted.
"I just like being with the team," said Seth, who turned 18 three days after the Warriors' Sept. 2 season-opening loss at San Antonio Brackenridge. "I have never done any individual sports. I like hanging out with my friends, being together as a team and having a family-type deal."
It's the small things, like telling stories with Kyle Loescher, or playing practical jokes with his good friend Tyler Foeh or smelling the coffee West coach Leonard McAngus brews on Saturday mornings as the team watches film of the previous night's contest.
Harrison admits he won't know what to do on Saturday mornings anymore.
For a school that is developing traditions and memorable athletes Harrison's legacy might be more evident in hearts, than record books.
Last fall Harrison would routinely look up opponents on social networks and remain friendly long after games. At the beginning of the 2011 season Calhoun fullback Brandon Griffith asked him if he was willing to start a tradition the two schools could maintain after both of them graduated.
Prior to the Warriors Oct. 21 game against Calhoun he locked arm in arm with the Sandcrabs fullback and conducted a pregame prayer at midfield with Griffith.
A prayer at midfield for health and other blessings not only received a standing ovation from the crowd at Memorial Stadium that night, but provided another example of Harrison's leadership through his deeds.
West coach Leonard McAngus observed Harrison is a "character kid" whose leadership style is displayed through his actions on and off the field.
"Probably the thing you in him that stands out the most, other than his athletic ability, is that he is a competitor," McAngus said. "He is going to compete for the football every time it's in the air. He wants to win the route, win the block."
John was a high jumper at Victoria High and TCU. Seth's mother Deborah played basketball, softball and other sports when she was younger. Athletics, and the lessons derived from it, have been as much a part of the Harrison family as the memories and victories on the field.
Following a 16-14 loss to Gregory-Portland eliminated the Warriors from playoff contention, John and Seth spoke about his football future - one both hope will continues beyond Friday.
"I told him 'You have to understand what you are trying to do is get someone to pay for your college education,'" the elder Harrison said. "This is what your college career may be like.
"You have to deal with the wins and the losses. Life is about how you deal with the losses, not how you deal with the wins."
A lesson Seth has learned during the trials of a wayward football season.