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Super Centex Football Team: Crawford’s Steinkamp, Bremond’s Paul were at very best in final seasons

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Under the guidance of Coach Delbert Kelm (right), Crawford's Lucas Steinkamp (left), the Super Centex Defensive Player of the Year, led Central Texas with 222 tackles and three interceptions as the Pirates went 14-2 and advanced to the Class 2A-Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium last month.

Staff photo — Rod Aydelotte

Crawford’s football program has seen a lot of leaders come and go over the years.

Some talked a lot, and it worked. Some were quiet, and that worked, too.

What they had in common were their actions — the part that always came naturally to senior linebacker Lucas Steinkamp, the Defensive Player of the Year on the Tribune-Herald’s 62nd annual Super Centex Football Team.

“Look at his total body of work and his work ethic, how dedicated he was to being the best he can be,” Crawford coach Delbert Kelm said. “He was someone who always bought into what we were doing and how we do things.

“He led with his actions, and that made him a great leader. What he did on the field always spoke for itself.”

Steinkamp, 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, led Central Texas with 222 tackles and three interceptions as the Pirates went 14-2 and lost to Refugio, 23-20, in the Class 2A-Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium last month.

He repeats as a Super Centex pick from 2015, when he led Central Texas with 202 tackles. Crawford’s defense pitched four shutouts this season and held opponents to 14 points or less five other times.

“The (number of tackles) wasn’t something I ever paid much attention to,” Steinkamp said. “I knew when I’d have good games, obviously, but it was more about what the team did as a whole than about any one person. If I had a good season or a good game, it meant the team was doing good and that was always the main goal.”

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ATH Roshauud Paul • Bremond, Sr. • Paul, a two-time Super Centex pick, never lost a game as a starter for Bremond. He signed with Texas A&M last week and is enrolled there for the winter semester so he can work out with the team and participate in spring football.

Offensive Player of the Year: Roshauud Paul, Bremond

Bremond coach Jeff Kasowski’s first memories of Roshauud Paul aren’t even on the football field.

“He was just a little kid, fifth or sixth grade, and he was a really good drummer,” said Kasowski, who came to Bremond in 2009 as an assistant coach. “He was a drummer with the middle school band and I’m telling you, he was good.”

As Paul moved up the ranks in Bremond’s system, Kasowski still wasn’t convinced he could play quarterback – something this year’s Super Centex Offensive Player of the Year ended up doing better than anyone in Texas history, going 47-0 as a starter and winning three consecutive state titles.

“I just didn’t think he was going to be big enough,” Kasowski said. “We put him at quarterback in seventh grade, and he just kept at it. We could always tell he was a great athlete, and I guess he proved me wrong a little bit as he started to get bigger.”

This season, the 6-foot, 170-pound Paul threw for 2,256 yards, 24 touchdowns and three interceptions while rushing for 2,892 yards and 55 touchdowns.

In a 49-28 win over Iraan in the Class 2A-Division II championship game at AT&T Stadium, he racked up 384 yards of total offense and six touchdowns.

“He’s so in control out there, it’s just unreal,” said Bremond senior offensive lineman J.R. Rocha, another Super Centex selection. “You block for him, and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Paul, who signed with Texas A&M last Wednesday and has already enrolled in college, also made an impact on defense with 55 tackles and five interceptions. In college, he’ll switch positions to wide receiver.

“These guys are my brothers, they always fought hard,” Paul said. “We had some young guys this year who had never been in situations like this before, and they responded great when we did face some adversity. Just a great group of guys to play with and a great team to be on.

“We faced adversity a few times, but we always responded well. You can’t let things get in your head, you always have to get ready and get prepared for the next down.”

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Coach Delbert Kelm • Crawford

Coach of the Year: Delbert Kelm, Crawford

Kelm guided Crawford to a 14-2 record and the Class 2A-Division I championship game for the first time in his 10 seasons as head coach.

Kelm, the Super Centex Coach of the Year, has gone 61-8 in the last five seasons at Crawford. Kelm was an assistant coach for the Pirates for 17 seasons under his brother-in-law, Robert Murphy, before taking over as head coach.

“As a head coach, it’s certainly an honor to get (to the championship game), and something I don’t take lightly,” Kelm said. “It was a team effort, a joint effort and something a lot of people had to work hard for. I’ve said this before, but I kind of cringe every time I hear someone say ‘Delbert Kelm’s Pirates’ or something like that, because I just get to be the head coach. Crawford represents a lot more than one person … I just get to be the head coach.

“To make it to the championship game you have to have so many things go your way, and you need a little luck along the way, too.”

Crawford seemed to rarely rely on luck. On paper, Crawford routinely found itself outmatched when it came to size — which did little to help opponents once the game actually started. It’s a style of play fostered by Kelm and his staff over years and years.

“I think you would just call it being fundamentally sound,” Kelm said. “That goes way back to Coach (Robert) Murphy and my roots. We wanted to establish a program that was sound fundamentally, and over the course of time I like to think we’ve done that.”

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QB Zack Andress • Cameron Yoe

Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Zack Andress, Cameron Yoe

After Andress won a position battle in training camp that lasted almost right up until Cameron Yoe’s season opener, he never looked back. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound junior threw for 3,116 yards, 45 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and rushed for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Cameron Yoe finished 11-3 and made it to the Class 3A-Division I state quarterfinals.

“Since I was a little kid, I wanted to be the quarterback at Cameron Yoe,” said Andress, the Super Centex Offensive Newcomer of the Year. “And from the first drive of the year, I felt like I clicked with my teammates.”

The Yoemen scored on their first drive of the season against Bellville, and plenty after that. Cameron Yoe averaged 42.1 points and had four different receivers with at least 400 receiving yards.

“He’s everything you look for in a quarterback and a leader on and off the field,” Cameron Yoe coach Tommy Brashear said. “Does really well in the classroom and works hard in the offseason … he’s one of those kids that grew up around here and couldn’t wait to put on that Cameron Yoe uniform.

“It seemed like he really fed off the big moments this season. He wanted to be the guy with the ball in his hands when the game was on the line, the one to make the big pass or the big play to win the game. I think he thrives on that type of stuff.”

And he still has a year left to lead the Yoemen.

“I think I benefited a lot this year from having experienced playmakers around me,” Andress said. “Just had to get the ball in their hands, and they did the rest.

“I really can’t wait for (next season) to start … I’m missing it every day. I need to get stronger and faster in the offseason, connect with the guys that are going to be stepping up and will be our new receivers.”

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DB Donta Stuart • La Vega, So. • La Vega’s biggest question mark headed into the season was how the defense would play without 2015 Super Centex Defensive Player of the Year Parrish Cobb. Stuart, this season Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year, turned out to be the answer with 89 tackles, 10 pass breakups, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a Central Texas-leading eight interceptions – with three of those returned for touchdowns.

Defensive Newcomer of the Year: Donta Stuart, La Vega

Perhaps the biggest question facing La Vega entering this season was how they would replace 2015 Super Centex Defensive Player of the Year Parrish Cobb, a superstar defensive back/kick returner/wide receiver who led the Pirates to an undefeated season and first state title in school history.

With Cobb now playing for Oklahoma, it was Stuart who took the reins on his way to being named Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

“I was surprised by some of the success, because before the season I wasn’t even sure if I would start or not,” Stuart said. “After our very first game, though, I started to feel like I could play at a high level.”

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound sophomore led Central Texas with eight interceptions – three returned for touchdowns – to go with 89 tackles, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 10 pass breakups.

Stuart said it was constant prodding from La Vega defensive coordinator Don Hyde and La Vega defensive backs coach Jermaine Carpenter that pushed him to step his game up.

“I think we heard the doubters before the season, and wanted shut them up by putting in hard work and that showed,” Stuart said. “The key was that Coach Carp and Coach Hyde just kept getting on me, kept pushing us every day to be better. Whether it was working on your footwork or what you needed to do in the classroom, they were always pushing us.”


2016 Tribune-Herald Super Centex Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year: Roshauud Paul, Utility, Bremond
Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Zack Andress, QB, Cameron Yoe
Defensive Player of the Year: Lucas Steinkamp, LB, Crawford
Defensive Newcomer of the Year: Donta Stuart, DB, La Vega
Coach of the Year: Delbert Kelm, Crawford
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
PosPlayerClHtWtSchool
QBChase AllisonSr.6-0190Robinson
RBKeaton DudikSr.5-9165China Spring
RBMarc GutierrezJr.5-10170Clifton 
WRBraxton AshcraftJr.6-5190Robinson
WRSicory SmithSr.5-9150Cameron Yoe
WRD’Yonte HeckstallJr.5-11180Temple
TEKedrick JamesSr.6-6260La Vega
ATHRoshauud PaulSr.6-0170Bremond
OLClayte HickeySr.5-9170Crawford
OLHenry DawsonSr.6-0265La Vega
OLChris OliverSr.6-4295China Spring
OLHakeem WhiteJr.6-4275Midway
OLJ.R. RochaSr.6-1285Bremond
KJoanly MartinezSr.6-0190McGregor
RSJeff WardSr.5-9160Crawford
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DLJaxon PlayerJr.6-0275Midway
DLAndrew ForsytheSr.6-3220Connally
DLTaquon GrahamSr.6-4240Temple
DLFred RogersSr.6-2225La Vega
LBKody FulpSr.6-2220China Spring
LBBrayden MathisJr.6-3220China Spring
LBCooper HaigoodSr.5-10210Lorena
LBLucas SteinkampSr.5-8175Crawford
DBGarrison VaughnJr.6-1180Belton
DBDonta StuartSo.5-10160La Vega
DBJace TerryJr.6-0165Mart
DBJonathon PhenixJr.6-0175McGregor
PPeyton MansellSr.6-2205Belton
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
PosPlayerClHtWtSchool
QBJeric SmithSr.5-10160Reicher
RBAlex ThompsonJr.5-8170Gatesville
RBNick WardSr.5-9170University
WRPayden SmalleySr.6-0170Reicher
WRJacob SpiveySr.5-11180Lorena
WRNoah WeigantSr.5-6155Whitney
TETyrick JamesJr.6-3225China Spring
ATHCutter HaigoodSr.6-0190China Spring
OLConnor BarnettSr.6-0285Robinson
OLCameron CavanaughSr.6-3270Troy 
OLAustin StamperSr.6-4295Frost
OLJesus EnriquezSr.6-2190Clifton
OLMarcus WilliamsJr.6-1245Teague
KNyle TabatJr.6-0215Belton
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DLJesse ValdezSr.6-1230Cameron Yoe
DLBraylon WatkinsJr.6-1200La Vega
DLTarrance RischerSr.6-1275Fairfield
DLLa’Daidreaian GlaskerSr.6-2280Waco High
LBJared RogersSo.5-10195La Vega
LBEric WilganowskiJr.5-8xxxBremond
LBCooper BaizeJr.5-11175Mart
LBRogers FranklinSr.6-1195Temple
DBCaydyn GillhamSr.6-0185Hubbard
DBLevi MayJr.5-11165Cameron Yoe
DBDawson SulakSr.5-10175West
DBTyrone StewartSr.6-3165Hillsboro
PCole ShiversSr.5-8155Wortham
HONORABLE MENTION

Offense

QB — Reid Hesse, Sr., Temple; Tanner Mordecai, Jr., Midway; Pentyon Mansell, Sr., Belton; Jace Terry, Jr., Mart; Caydyn Gillham, Sr., Hubbard; Mitchell Waller, Sr., Groesbeck; Cedric McLeain, Sr., McGregor; Devin Wilson, Fr., Whitney; Antonio Heard, Jr., Teague; D.J. Weaver, Jr., Bruceville-Eddy; Zack Andress, Jr., Cameron Yoe; Gage Pearson, Jr., Crawford; Kobe Hailey, Sr., Frost; Jett Truss, Jr., Gatesville; Hernan Arroyo, Sr., Moody; Zach Jones, Sr., Wortham.
RB — Terrance Hamilton, Jr., Waco High; Davion Peoples, Sr., Belton; Adrian Mathis, Sr., Bosqueville; Tyrek Horne, So., Mart; Kane Sullivan, Sr., Groesbeck; Alex Parsons, Sr., McGregor; Riley Seiter, Sr., Troy; Garrett Dutschmann, Jr., Crawford; John Richards, So., La Vega; Dillon Daniel, Sr., Crawford; Noah Bleything, Sr., Crawford; Kaidyn Peralez, Jr., Bremond.
WR — Jeff Ward, Sr., Crawford; Clayton Keahey, Sr., Reicher; Dallas Anderson, Sr., Meridian; Chandler Boyd, Sr., Groesbeck; Andrew Taylor, Sr., McGregor; James Lane, Sr., McGregor; Trevoin Shaw, Sr., Hillsboro; Jamal Long, Jr., Hillsboro; Beau Williams, Sr., Bruceville-Eddy; Marcus Abilez, Sr., Bruceville-Eddy; Hunter Watson, Jr., Whitney; Alik Brooks, Jr., Marlin; Iverson Westbrook, Jr., Cameron Yoe; Jordan Wells, Sr., Cameron Yoe; Cade Johnston, Sr., Crawford; D’unte Brown, Sr., Midway.
TE — Timothy Ramirez, Sr., Hamilton; Micheal Merritt, Sr., Hubbard; Coalson Foss, Sr., Crawford; Josh White, Sr., Bremond; Jayce Black, Sr., Wortham; Brayden Bradley, Jr. Groesbeck.
ATH — Ronnie Briscoe, Sr., Connally; Isaiah Houston, Jr., Robinson; Zach Martinez, Sr., Reicher; Clayton Caniford, Sr., Clifton.
OL — Ty Harris, Sr., China Spring; Kolten Benton, Jr., China Spring; Anakin Sullivan, Jr., Hubbard; Mark Smith, Jr., Groesbeck; Joe Falwell, Sr., Whitney; Chass Firth, Jr., Whitney; Austin Culver, Jr., Bruceville-Eddy; Hesston Woodlock, Sr., Bruceville-Eddy; Will Worrell, Jr., Crawford; Seth Kohlscheen, So., Crawford; Bailey Adair, Sr., Gatesville; Eladio Cedillo, Jr., Gatesville.
K — Adrian Ceballos, Jr., Robinson; Anthony Avila, Jr., Troy; Gerardo Ponce, Jr., Bremond; David Saldiver, Jr., Gatesville.
RS — Tayvon Thompson, Jr., McGregor.

Defense

DL — Nakeveyon Vincent, Jr., Waco High; Cory Ebron, So., Waco High; Travion Shepard, Sr., La Vega; Mason Oliver, Jr., Clifton; Clayton Bayer, Sr., Clifton; Cameron Cavanaugh, Sr., Troy; Marcus Williams, Jr., Teague; Tyree Williams, Sr., Mart; Bishop Andrews, So., Hubbard; Conner Zacharias, Sr., McGregor; Noah Kostroun, Sr., Cameron Yoe; Cayl Wagner, Jr., Bremond; Tanner Reedus, Sr., Bremond; Owen Sibley, Jr., Gatesville.
LB — Isaiah Houston, Jr., Robinson; Kemoche Hobbs, Jr., La Vega; Grahm Gonzalez, Sr., Bosqueville; Hesston Jermstead, Sr., Meridian; Adolfo Rodriguez, Sr., West; Zamar Kirven, Jr., Mart; Kolby Pederson, Jr., Hubbard; Laden Frazier, Jr., Groesbeck; Brayden Bradley, Jr., Groesbeck; Alex Parsons, Sr., McGregor; Wyatt Allison, Jr., McGregor; Shannon Beaman, Sr., China Spring; Cayden Johnson, Jr., China Spring; Josh Fills, Sr., Hillsboro; Demond Oliver, So., Hillsboro; Anthony Avila, Jr., Troy; Nathan Vick, Sr., Teague; Akeem Jackson, Sr., Fairfield; Sam Shorts, Jr., Whitney; Eddie Luna, Sr., Cameron Yoe; Brandon Wilkins, Sr., Cameron Yoe; Cade Johnston, Sr., Crawford; Coalson Foss, Sr., Crawford; Koby Smith, Jr., Crawford; Michael Pruitt, Jr., Bremond; Riley Mitchell, So., Lorena; Sam Jackson, Sr., Gatesville.
DB — Mike Jones, Jr., Groesbeck; Trae Cherry, Jr., China Spring; Hobbs Price, Jr., China Spring; B.J. McQuirter, Sr., Teague; Alik Brooks, Jr., Marlin; Kevondre Wesley, Sr., Cameron Yoe; Jeff Ward, Sr., Crawford; Luke Humphries, Sr., Crawford; Reed Rogers, Jr., Crawford; Xavier Abalos, So., Midway.
P — Mitchell Waller, Sr., Groesbeck

First-team profiles: Offense

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QB Chase Allison • Robinson, Sr. • Allison, an honorable mention pick last season, threw for 4,659 yards, 59 touchdowns and seven interceptions and ran for 274 yards and one touchdown. Behind its high-flying offense, the Rockets went from 1-9 in 2015 to 9-3 in 2016, including a first-round playoff win over Caldwell. Allison, the son of Robinson coach Tommy Allison, is signed to play golf for Abilene Christian.

QB Chase Allison

Robinson, Sr.

Allison, an honorable mention pick last season, threw for 4,659 yards, 59 touchdowns and seven interceptions and ran for 274 yards and one touchdown. Behind its high-flying offense, the Rockets went from 1-9 in 2015 to 9-3 in 2016, including a first-round playoff win over Caldwell. Allison, the son of Robinson coach Tommy Allison, is signed to play golf for Abilene Christian.

 
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RB Keaton Dudik • China Spring, Sr. • Dudik, a two-time Super Centex pick, rushed for 2,107 yards and 24 touchdowns – his second consecutive season passing the 2,000-yard rushing mark. China Spring went 13-2 and snapped a three-game losing streak to rival La Vega in the Class 4A-Division I quarterfinals.

RB Keaton Dudik

China Spring, Sr.

Dudik, a two-time Super Centex pick, rushed for 2,107 yards and 24 touchdowns – his second consecutive season passing the 2,000-yard rushing mark. China Spring went 13-2 and snapped a three-game losing streak to rival La Vega in the Class 4A-Division I quarterfinals.

 
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RB Marc Gutierrez • Clifton, Jr. • Gutierrez, who only played five games as a sophomore, rushed for 1,975 yards and 27 touchdowns while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Gutierrez had his biggest game of the year in a 35-21 win over Triple A Academy on Oct. 28, rushing for 306 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries.

RB Marc Gutierrez

Clifton, Jr.

Gutierrez, who only played five games as a sophomore, rushed for 1,975 yards and 27 touchdowns while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Gutierrez had his biggest game of the year in a 35-21 win over Triple A Academy on Oct. 28, rushing for 306 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries.

 
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WR Braxton Ashcraft • Robinson, Jr. • Ashcraft, 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, carved out one of the greatest single seasons for a wide receiver in state history with 104 catches for 2,090 yards and 37 touchdowns – fourth on the all-time list in single-season receiving yards and second in single-season touchdown receptions. Ashcraft, a Super Centex pick last season in baseball, is committed to play baseball for Baylor.

WR Braxton Ashcraft

Robinson, Jr.

Ashcraft, 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, carved out one of the greatest single seasons for a wide receiver in state history with 104 catches for 2,090 yards and 37 touchdowns – fourth on the all-time list in single-season receiving yards and second in single-season touchdown receptions. Ashcraft, a Super Centex pick last season in baseball, is committed to play baseball for Baylor.

 
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WR Sicory Smith • Cameron Yoe, Sr. • Smith, a Super Centex pick last season at return specialist, had 70 catches for 1,339 yards and 20 touchdowns. It was Smith’s third consecutive season with 1,000-plus receiving yards, putting his career totals at 4,198 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns.

WR Sicory Smith

Cameron Yoe, Sr.

Smith, a Super Centex pick last season at return specialist, had 70 catches for 1,339 yards and 20 touchdowns. It was Smith’s third consecutive season with 1,000-plus receiving yards, putting his career totals at 4,198 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns.

 
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WR D’Yonte Heckstall • Temple, Jr. • Heckstall helped propel Temple to the Class 5A-Division I championship game with 65 catches for 1,091 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on the way to being named the District 18-5A Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Heckstall, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, was at his best late in the season with back-to-back 100-plus-yard receiving games in the state quarterfinals and state semifinals.

WR D’Yonte Heckstall

Temple, Jr.

Heckstall helped propel Temple to the Class 5A-Division I championship game with 65 catches for 1,091 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on the way to being named the District 18-5A Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Heckstall, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, was at his best late in the season with back-to-back 100-plus-yard receiving games in the state quarterfinals and state semifinals.

 
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TE Kedrick James • La Vega, Sr. • James never blinked an eye when La Vega’s coaches put his primary function at setting the edge and blocking for La Vega’s talented stable of running backs – something he did at a very high level, dominating outside linebackers as the Pirates went 13-1 and made it to the Class 4A-Division I quarterfinals. James, 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, also had 14 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns and is committed to play football for Alabama.

TE Kedrick James

La Vega, Sr.

James never blinked an eye when La Vega’s coaches put his primary function at setting the edge and blocking for La Vega’s talented stable of running backs – something he did at a very high level, dominating outside linebackers as the Pirates went 13-1 and made it to the Class 4A-Division I quarterfinals. James, 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, also had 14 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns and is committed to play football for Alabama.

 
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ATH Roshauud Paul • Bremond, Sr. • Paul, a two-time Super Centex pick, never lost a game as a starter for Bremond. He signed with Texas A&M last week and is enrolled there for the winter semester so he can work out with the team and participate in spring football.

ATH Roshauud Paul

Bremond, Sr.

Paul, a two-time Super Centex pick, never lost a game as a starter for Bremond. He signed with Texas A&M last week and is enrolled there for the winter semester so he can work out with the team and participate in spring football.

 
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OL Clayte Hickey • Crawford, Sr. • Defensive linemen that faced Hickey over the last two seasons have told a common story – underwhelmed by their first glimpse of the 5-foot-10, 175-pound two-time Super Centex pick … then overwhelmed after actually having to play against him. Hickey’s blocking helped lead Crawford to the Class 2A-Division I state semifinals in 2015 and the state championship game this season, where the Pirates lost a heartbreaker to Refugio.

OL Clayte Hickey

Crawford, Sr.

Defensive linemen that faced Hickey over the last two seasons have told a common story – underwhelmed by their first glimpse of the 5-foot-10, 175-pound two-time Super Centex pick … then overwhelmed after actually having to play against him. Hickey’s blocking helped lead Crawford to the Class 2A-Division I state semifinals in 2015 and the state championship game this season, where the Pirates lost a heartbreaker to Refugio.

 
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OL Henry Dawson • La Vega, Sr. • The lead blocker for La Vega’s running game, Dawson went 29-1 over his final two seasons.

OL Henry Dawson

La Vega, Sr.

The lead blocker for La Vega’s running game, Dawson went 29-1 over his final two seasons.

 
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OL Chris Oliver • China Spring, Sr. • Oliver paved the way for over 4,000 rushing yards for China Spring and into the Class 4A-Division I state semifinals. Can play guard or tackle, has elite size at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds and also carries a 3.4 grade point average.

OL Chris Oliver

China Spring, Sr.

Oliver paved the way for over 4,000 rushing yards for China Spring and into the Class 4A-Division I state semifinals. Can play guard or tackle, has elite size at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds and also carries a 3.4 grade point average.

 
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OL Hakeem White • Midway, Jr. • White, in his second year as a starter, was a dangerous combination when paired up with junior quarterback Tanner Mordecai as the two helped lead the Panthers to an eight-game winning streak, the District 8-6A championship and a playoff berth after an 0-2 start.

OL Hakeem White

Midway, Jr.

White, in his second year as a starter, was a dangerous combination when paired up with junior quarterback Tanner Mordecai as the two helped lead the Panthers to an eight-game winning streak, the District 8-6A championship and a playoff berth after an 0-2 start.

 
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OL J.R. Rocha • Bremond, Sr. • Rocha dominated defenders in Bremond’s run to a third consecutive state title, grading out at 92 percent for the season with 27 pancakes. Has offers from Midwestern State and Texas A&M-Commerce.

OL J.R. Rocha

Bremond, Sr.

Rocha dominated defenders in Bremond’s run to a third consecutive state title, grading out at 92 percent for the season with 27 pancakes. Has offers from Midwestern State and Texas A&M-Commerce.

 
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K Joanly Martinez • McGregor, Sr. • Martinez, a second-team Super Centex pick last season, hit 41 of 46 PATs, 3 of 6 field goals and had 13 touchbacks.

K Joanly Martinez

McGregor, Sr.

Martinez, a second-team Super Centex pick last season, hit 41 of 46 PATs, 3 of 6 field goals and had 13 touchbacks.

 
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RS Jeff Ward • Crawford, Sr. • An honorable mention defensive back last season, Ward dominated in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams – but turned games on their heads as a returner. Ward had 17 punt returns for 160 yards and one touchdown, along with 13 kickoff returns for 513 yards and three touchdowns. As a wide receiver/running back Ward also had 1,183 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns.

RS Jeff Ward

Crawford, Sr.

An honorable mention defensive back last season, Ward dominated in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams – but turned games on their heads as a returner. Ward had 17 punt returns for 160 yards and one touchdown, along with 13 kickoff returns for 513 yards and three touchdowns. As a wide receiver/running back Ward also had 1,183 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns.

 

First-team profiles: Defense

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DL Jaxon Player • Midway, Jr. • Player’s breakout season helped trigger Midway’s run to the Class 6A-Division I playoffs. The 6-foot, 265-pound defensive tackle racked up 88 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Player was named the District 8-6A Defensive Player of the Year and still has one season left to play. In two seasons as a starter, Player has 26 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

DL Jaxon Player

Midway, Jr.

Player’s breakout season helped trigger Midway’s run to the Class 6A-Division I playoffs. The 6-foot, 265-pound defensive tackle racked up 88 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Player was named the District 8-6A Defensive Player of the Year and still has one season left to play. In two seasons as a starter, Player has 26 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

 
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DL Andrew Forsythe • Connally, Sr. • Forsythe refocused on being a more complete player as a senior and turned into a leader for the Cadets’ defense and coach Shane Anderson, leading the team with 105 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and six sacks. Had three sacks in 34-32 win over Royse City on Sept. 8.

DL Andrew Forsythe

Connally, Sr.

Forsythe refocused on being a more complete player as a senior and turned into a leader for the Cadets’ defense and coach Shane Anderson, leading the team with 105 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and six sacks. Had three sacks in 34-32 win over Royse City on Sept. 8.

 
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DL Taquon Graham • Temple, Sr. • Graham is a two-time Super Centex selection after leading Central Texas with 10 sacks despite battling numerous injuries and being double-teamed all season. Temple finished as Class 5A-Division I runner-up and Graham had 22.5 sacks over his final two seasons. Orally committed to play for Texas, Graham had over 20 scholarship offers from all over the country.

DL Taquon Graham

Temple, Sr.

Graham is a two-time Super Centex selection after leading Central Texas with 10 sacks despite battling numerous injuries and being double-teamed all season. Temple finished as Class 5A-Division I runner-up and Graham had 22.5 sacks over his final two seasons. Orally committed to play for Texas, Graham had over 20 scholarship offers from all over the country.

 
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DL Fred Rogers • La Vega, Sr. • One of La Vega’s senior leaders, Rogers put up big numbers this season with 86 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hurries, seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

DL Fred Rogers

La Vega, Sr.

One of La Vega’s senior leaders, Rogers put up big numbers this season with 86 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hurries, seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

 
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LB Kody Fulp • China Spring, Sr. • After struggling with injuries as a junior and missing six games, Fulp turned himself into a Divison I prospect this season, using his speed and athleticism to rush off the edge and make plays sideline-to-sideline. Fulp led China Spring with 144 tackles, 12 pass breakups, five sacks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Made an oral commitment to play for North Texas in November after originally committing to play for Lousiana-Monroe.

LB Kody Fulp

China Spring, Sr.

After struggling with injuries as a junior and missing six games, Fulp turned himself into a Divison I prospect this season, using his speed and athleticism to rush off the edge and make plays sideline-to-sideline. Fulp led China Spring with 144 tackles, 12 pass breakups, five sacks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Made an oral commitment to play for North Texas in November after originally committing to play for Lousiana-Monroe.

 
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LB Brayden Mathis • China Spring, Jr. • Mathis, along with Crawford’s Lucas Steinkamp, can stake a claim as being the most consistent defensive player in Central Texas the last two seasons. He followed up his school-record 178 tackles in 2015, which earned him Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year, with 138 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four interceptions this season.

LB Brayden Mathis

China Spring, Jr.

Mathis, along with Crawford’s Lucas Steinkamp, can stake a claim as being the most consistent defensive player in Central Texas the last two seasons. He followed up his school-record 178 tackles in 2015, which earned him Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year, with 138 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four interceptions this season.

 
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LB Cooper Haigood • Lorena, Sr. • Haigood was the anchor for the District 9-4A-Division II champions, and earned district MVP honors with 184 tackles, 14 quarterback hurries, seven tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Set the Lorena single-game record with 25 tackles in a win over rival Robinson.

LB Cooper Haigood

Lorena, Sr.

Haigood was the anchor for the District 9-4A-Division II champions, and earned district MVP honors with 184 tackles, 14 quarterback hurries, seven tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Set the Lorena single-game record with 25 tackles in a win over rival Robinson.

 
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LB Lucas Steinkamp • Sr., Crawford • Steinkamp went over 200 tackles each of the last two seasons and is a two-time Super Centex selection. Led Crawford to Class 2A-Division I championship game.

LB Lucas Steinkamp

Crawford, Sr.

Steinkamp went over 200 tackles each of the last two seasons and is a two-time Super Centex selection. Led Crawford to Class 2A-Division I championship game.

 
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DB Garrison Vaughn • Belton, Jr. • Vaughn, a prototype safety at 6-foot-2 and 191 pounds, had 103 tackles and five interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Vaughn, who has an offer from Tulsa and is also being recruited by Notre Dame, also returned 11 kicks for 363 yards.

DB Garrison Vaughn

Belton, Jr.

Vaughn, a prototype safety at 6-foot-2 and 191 pounds, had 103 tackles and five interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Vaughn, who has an offer from Tulsa and is also being recruited by Notre Dame, also returned 11 kicks for 363 yards.

 
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DB Donta Stuart • La Vega, So. • La Vega’s biggest question mark headed into the season was how the defense would play without 2015 Super Centex Defensive Player of the Year Parrish Cobb. Stuart, this season Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year, turned out to be the answer with 89 tackles, 10 pass breakups, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a Central Texas-leading eight interceptions – with three of those returned for touchdowns.

DB Donta Stuart

La Vega, So.

La Vega’s biggest question mark headed into the season was how the defense would play without 2015 Super Centex Defensive Player of the Year Parrish Cobb. Stuart, this season Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year, turned out to be the answer with 89 tackles, 10 pass breakups, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a Central Texas-leading eight interceptions – with three of those returned for touchdowns.

 
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DB Jace Terry • Mart, Jr. • Terry, also Mart’s quarterback, was a game-changer on defense with 45 tackles, six interceptions for 124 return yards and four pass breakups. He also scored two defensive touchdowns – one on an interception return and one on a fumble return – while helping lead Mart to a 12-1 record and the Class 2A-Division I quarterfinals.

DB Jace Terry

Mart, Jr.

Terry, also Mart’s quarterback, was a game-changer on defense with 45 tackles, six interceptions for 124 return yards and four pass breakups. He also scored two defensive touchdowns – one on an interception return and one on a fumble return – while helping lead Mart to a 12-1 record and the Class 2A-Division I quarterfinals.

 
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DB Jonathon Phenix • McGregor, Jr. • Shutdown corner who was placed on opponents’ top wide receivers the entire season – and almost always with success. Phenix had 34 tackles, one interception, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles this season. At 6-foot and 175 pounds, Phenix is the prototypical size for a Division I defensive back and is being recruited by SMU, TCU and Navy.

DB Jonathon Phenix

McGregor, Jr.

Shutdown corner who was placed on opponents’ top wide receivers the entire season – and almost always with success. Phenix had 34 tackles, one interception, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles this season. At 6-foot and 175 pounds, Phenix is the prototypical size for a Division I defensive back and is being recruited by SMU, TCU and Navy.

 
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P Peyton Mansell • Belton, Sr. • Mansell, who is committed to play quarterback for Iowa, could also bail out his defense with his leg. He averaged 41.0 yards per punt on 31 punts, with a long of 64. Mansell pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 14 times and inside the 10-yard line eight times. Also threw for 2,526 yards and 33 touchdowns; rushed for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns.

P Peyton Mansell

Belton, Sr.

Mansell, who is committed to play quarterback for Iowa, could also bail out his defense with his leg. He averaged 41.0 yards per punt on 31 punts, with a long of 64. Mansell pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 14 times and inside the 10-yard line eight times. Also threw for 2,526 yards and 33 touchdowns; rushed for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns.

 

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