Paris Howell walked away from his junior season not completely satisfied.
It didn't take the Wauwatosa West running back long to decide he was going to put in the time and effort required to make his final year with the Trojans a memorable one.
Howell did just that, earning Now Newspapers All-Suburban honors after rushing for 1,274 yards and 21 touchdowns and leading Tosa West to the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
"Honestly, my junior year, I didn't work as hard as I wanted to," Howell said. "My senior year I just decided to put it all out there on the field because I knew it was my last year. Looking back on film, I saw a lot of things I could work on. I decided to work on those things. I did a lot of work in the offseason with my friends, and it all ended up paying off."
Carrying on a tradition
Since Tosa West changed its offense to become more run-oriented, the Trojans have had a long line of players rack up yardage on the ground.
Greg Lewis and Mickey Morgan were the primary ball carriers in 2012, while Demaris Purifoy rushed for 2,844 yards and 35 touchdowns over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In 2015, Kobe Vines led Tosa West in rushing with 939 yards, while Howell ran for 844 yards and Truman Tyson finished with 673 yards.
With Vines and Tyson graduated, Howell knew it was up to him to carry on the load.
"I learned a lot from them," Howell said of the Tosa West running backs before him. "Watching their film helped me evaluate myself. Since I learned so much from them, it helped me form my game. I took it upon myself to make this my own team."
Leading the Trojans
Howell topped the 100-yard mark in seven of Tosa West's 10 games, gaining at least 140 yards in each of those games. He also scored multiple touchdowns in seven games and found the end zone three or more times in four games.
The 6-foot, 163-pound running back rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns in Tosa West's upset win over Pewaukee, 189 yards and three scores against Grafton, four touchdowns against Pius XI and 163 yards and four touchdowns against Cudahy.
"He was the 'next guy' in what is turning out to be really good high school running backs from Tosa West," Tosa West coach Matt Good said. "Paris has exceptional footwork and makes cuts on a dime. Once he sees the hole, he has explosiveness to take off. He averaged 10.4 yards per carry on a little over 12 carries. He carried our offense and had an incredible senior year."
In addition to earning All-Suburban, Howell was honorable mention All-State, All-Region and first-team All-Woodland West. Now he's hoping his big senior season will help him to play in college.
"It is a great feeling because my junior year, I didn't receive any awards," Howell said. "The only honor I got was honorable-mention All Conference. I came into my senior year with a mindset of, 'I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that.' I ended up accomplishing those things.
"I want to play football at the next level. I grew up watching football all the time, so it has been my dream to play on a college field. It takes a lot of hard work to get to that point, but I feel like I can do it."
Tosa West senior defensive end Javaree Jackson and sophomore offensive lineman Austin Ertl were named honorable mention on the All-Suburban Team.