Houk inks with Emory & Henry

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The Maroon Tide’s multi-purpose threat was one of the region’s top defensive backs in 2008

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Tyler Houk is picking a good time to be an Emory and Henry Wasp.

Foremost, Emory and Henry notched 16 football wins in the past three seasons after winning just 19 in the previous five. Secondly, the program is gaining continuity as this year’s senior class is the first to play all four years under head coach Don Montgomery.

And third, win or lose, the E&H football program is on its way to having some pretty sweet digs.

Houk, a quarterback, safety and special teams standout for Galax High School, made his college plans known when he committed to play football for Emory and Henry, an NCAA Division III school and a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Houk made it official in a ceremony with his family and coaches Thursday at the Galax High School library.

Houk was a starter for the Maroon Tide and a key figure at several positions on both sides of the ball. As a defensive back, Houk earned second-team all-Region C and second-team Associated Press all-Group A honors, leading his team with 88 total tackles and two interceptions. He was also named to the Roanoke Times’ all-Timesland second team as a kick returner after racking up 624 return yards.

Offensively, Houk led the Maroon Tide in rushing and passing, carrying 152 times for 981 yards and seven touchdowns. He also completed 74 of 146 passes for 806 yards and six TDs.

In his junior and senior seasons combined, Houk totaled 1,306 rushing yards, 1,446 passing yards and 22 total touchdowns.

Houk was a first-team all-Mountain Empire District choice his senior season at runningback, kick returner and defensive back. He was a second-team all-MED defensive back as a junior.

In Emory, Houk will be playing for a man who knows what it’s like to be in a winning program. In the 27 years before coming to Emory and Henry, Montgomery was an assistant coach at Mount Union (Ohio), the dominant Division III program in the nation. With Montgomery serving as the Purple Raiders’ defensive coordinator, Mount Union won seven D3 national championships and had a string of 104 regular season wins.

Houk will be among the first to see action in the newly renovated Fred Selfe Stadium, which is undergoing a $4.5 million overhaul. The upgrade includes an artificial playing surface and new scoreboard, both of which have been installed, a new field house and improvements to both the home and visitors’ stands.