VYPE Houston Region
Other North HS
Gullo Athlete of the Month -- Klein Oak's Larenzo Stewart
May 14, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - North Houston
Larenzo Stewart, Klein Oak Running Back/Track
Standing at 5-foot-6, Larenzo Stewart won’t blow you away with overwhelming size. However, the Klein Oak sophomore will certainly make sure that he leaves you in the dust on both the gridiron and the track.
As an all-purpose back and sprinter for the Panthers, Stewart emerged as one of the premier dual-sport athletes this season and is primed for an encore as an upperclassman beginning next fall.
“It was great just learning from the seniors last season. Having the chance to learn from their experience has just helped me become a better player,” said Stewart. “To help improve my game as a student-athlete, I’ve just taken everything day-by-day and continue to give it my all.”
As a sophomore back, Stewart totaled 1,300-plus rushing yards – averaging nearly nine yards per carry – while posting a dozen touchdowns. In just three playoff games last season, Stewart accounted for 530 rushing yards including a game-high 304 yards – and two touchdowns – on the ground in Klein Oak’s 48-29 win over Kingwood in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
Rather than using the offseason as a time to remain complacent, Stewart traded in his helmet and pads for a pair of track shoes as he had a breakout spring season on the track, clinching the District 13-5A championship in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.97. Two weeks later, Stewart set a personal best with a time of 10.61 in the Region II-5A meet.
“My goals next year on the football field are to have twice as many rushing yards and touchdowns as I had this past season,” says Stewart. “So, track is something that I do to help keep in shape for football season while helping me gain that extra edge.”
With a small frame, Stewart uses his quickness and ability to get in-and-out of cuts while changing direction on a dime help accelerate downfield. Moreover, his job is made a bit easier with a solid offensive line that creates large gaps for the standout back.
Despite losing some weapons on offense and trying to replace quarterback Conner McQueen, the Panthers will have a veteran-laden offensive line with a driven athlete in the backfield. That combination could help Klein Oak in their quest to repeat as District 13-5A champions next fall.
“Our biggest strength next season will be our offensive line and the backfield,” said Stewart. “We still have a long way to go to get where we want to be, but our district will help prepare us for another deep playoff run.”