November 6, 2007

A&M commit dealing with the drama

Don't talk to Keon Furtch about drama. He has had all the drama anyone could want during his senior season.

Entering the season, his Paris (Texas) team was favored as one of the top teams in the district but after some disciplinary issues early in the season, his squad is finding itself stumbling into a season finale with an 0-4 district record. Add on the fact that the school he has been committed to since March is suddenly facing a potential coaching change, and Furtch has one more storyline that he wasn't looking for.

On Friday night, Paris faces Texas High School in what was supposed to be a showdown of two of the top teams in the district but thanks to some early season adversity, Paris now comes in as a clear underdog.

"We've got a new coach, but he's been there for a long time," Furtch said. "But we've had a lot of discipline problems and he's kicked a lot of people off the team. Right before we got into district, seven people got kicked off the team. Then a couple weeks later five more got kicked off. Most of the guys were starters."

With such a big hit to the program, it has been a tough pill to swallow for Furtch and his competitive nature but he is still coming into the season-ending game with a positive attitude.

"I really think we can beat them," he said. "If we play with our mentality that we've been having and keep our heads on straight and the seniors step up I think we've really got a chance."

Last season, Ryan Mallet led Texas High to a tight victory over Paris, its 22nd straight win in the series. This season, Furtch dearly wants to end that streak, but unfortunately he know has plenty of other issues to worry about.

With rumors swirling around Coach Franchione's job security at Texas A&M, the Aggie commit has had plenty of questions to answer.

"I was hoping you weren't going to ask me that," Furtch said when the topic of Franchione came up. "Everyone at school and everyone around town are asking me 'are you going to go to Texas A&M?' and 'what about the coaches?'

"If Coach Fran leaves it's going to be pretty hard to go there but I know a lot of the coaches there and we get along pretty well," he said.

Though Furtch has grown found of the school, his relationship with Franchione is what sold him on being an Aggie.

"I like the school a lot," he said. "I really do like the school because the school is like no other. I like the coaching staff because they make me feel welcome they make me feel at home.

"If he left and they got a new head coach, I probably wouldn't go there," he said. "The next coach that comes in you wouldn't really know him and the other coaches jobs wouldn't be guaranteed like coach Lebesse and coach Clay. I guess I would wait and see how the new coaching staff would make me feel."

Furtch has also been hearing from some other programs in the wake of the Texas A&M coaching rumors and one school has stuck out more than the others.

"[Oklahoma State] has been recruiting me pretty hard," he said. "OSU is another school that I'd go to because I talk to the coach and I like to play basketball and football. I was talking to the basketball coach and they said that I could do both."

While the coaching rumors in College Station will continue to loom over Furtch and his commitment, his main focus this week is his last high school football game and ending a long losing streak.


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