Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Multi-talented Argyle RB has singular focus - state title
6-1, 220-pound junior motivated after losing in 2011
ARGYLE — For every yard he gained, for every record-setting touchdown he scored, Nick Ralston has been driven by one goal — to win a state high school football championship.
That goal is within reach for the junior running back from Argyle, and his performance on the field is a key reason the Eagles will be playing for the Class 3A Division II state title at 4 p.m. Friday against Fairfield at AT&T Stadium.
“It just gives me chills thinking about it,” Ralston said. “I just remember when I was a freshman and we were there against Wimberley, and I remember the feeling we had when we lost. It was a real motivation for us to get back to that game.”
Argyle lost the 2011 state title game to Wimberley, 21-14. It was the Eagles’ second loss in a state championship game in six years. They were ousted in the regional semifinals last season by Gilmer.
With 30 seniors, including 18 returning starters, and nearly a dozen players who were part of that 2011 team, the Eagles have put together an undefeated season — taking out Gilmer in the process — to stay on track to bring the first state football trophy to Argyle.
Ralston, who played in that 2011 game on special teams, has been the unheralded hero on a star-studded 2013 team. Four players have committed to Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
The 6-1, 220-pound Ralston, meanwhile, has been putting up numbers that will probably attract attention by the time he’s a senior.
He has rushed for 3,520 yards in two seasons as a starter, including 1,748 yards this season.
He set a school record for most yards rushing in a game with 365 against Melissa in an area playoff.
He set a school record for most rushing touchdowns in a season with 31 this year.
He set a school record for most career rushing touchdowns with 53.
He has only fumbled twice in his career in 452 carries.
Ralston spent the off-season improving on his speed and strength, and has worked with a personal trainer to improve his footwork and agility skills. Ralston has matured into a hard-charging runner who often gains additional yardage after being hit.
He did suffer a minor injury this season, breaking a bone in his right foot in the season opener against Abilene Wylie. “I didn’t know until the next morning when I woke up and my foot hurt really bad,” he said.”
Said coach Todd Rodgers: “He’s a big back and he has the speed to break away. He’s got the ability to make people miss. He’s got great lateral movement. He can pass-block, he can run-block, and he can run through you.
“I’m glad he’s playing for us and not against us.”
Ralston almost didn’t play for Argyle. He lived in Double Oak and would have attended Flower Mound Marcus until his parents, Haley and Roy, and younger sister Madison — now a freshman at Argyle — moved when he was in the sixth grade. He wanted to play football and basketball.
He gave up basketball last season, but not before helping the Eagles win a state championship as a freshman.
These days, he spends his time training for football and “anything outdoors” such as hunting and Frisbee.
But for now, his focus is on Friday.
“Coming into this year, we knew we had a talented group and knew what we wanted to do,” Ralston said.
“We’re ready to go win a state championship.”
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