Midway's 'beast' the best, heads defense on Super Centex football team

Midway High School's Beau Blackshear is the Defensive Player of the Year on the Trib's Super Centex football team.

Beau Blackshear is used to being the center of attention on a football field.

Of course, with Midway’s 6-foot-4, 270-pound man-child lined up right over the nose of the ball, it’s difficult for opponents not to take notice.

Not that it did them much good.

Even with two or three blockers trying to keep him out of the backfield on almost every play, Blackshear had a singular purpose in Midway’s 3-4 defense, which he said was to “just blow stuff up.”

Nobody in the area did that to opposing offenses better, and that’s why the senior has been selected as the Super Centex Defensive Player of the Year.

It’s the second straight year a Panther has taken the top defensive honor, as Blackshear follows linebacker Charles Kelly. Blackshear, a Baylor commit, is joined as an award winner this year by sophomore teammate Chrishard Buhl, the Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

“It’s a great honor to have, and it shows that the work in the offseason has paid off,” Blackshear said. “It’s just a great feeling.”

Cameron Yoe quarterback Jack Rhoades is the Offensive Player of the Year, and Teague quarterback Jake McClain earned the Offensive Newcomer of the Year honor. Mart’s Rusty Nail earned his second state championship in five years at the school, which also earned him the Coach of the Year nod.

Despite facing constant double and triple teams, Blackshear recorded 77 tackles, 20 for losses, seven sacks and 14 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered two, and broke up six passes en route to District 8-4A co-MVP honors.

Just imagine if he would have been healthy.

Blackshear suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder last spring. He managed to play every game with the help of painkillers, and said, “Once I was in the game, it was more adrenaline, and I wasn’t thinking about it.”

He thought about having surgery to have the shoulder repaired when it happened, but decided it could wait until after the season.

It turned out to be a historic one for Midway.

In coach Terry Gambill’s first season at the helm, the Panthers cruised through the regular season with a 10-0 record. Midway continued its roll with blowout wins over Granbury and Saginaw Boswell before running into a brick wall in a 19-10 loss to Denton Ryan, the eventual Class 4A Division I state runner-up, in the third round.

“I was nervous at first, bringing in all the coaches,” Blackshear said. “I didn’t know how the whole team would react to it and what they would bring, but once they got there, it was the most memorable season I’ve had out of all four years. It was a great one to have and a great one to end on.”

Offensive Player of Year

Jack Rhoades, Yoe

Reaching back even to his earliest memories, Jack Rhoades was a quarterback. He couldn’t see it any other way.

Growing up as the son of a coach, Rhoades went from throwing Nerf footballs through a hoop in his room to tossing touchdowns in the Class 2A Division I state title game as a senior at Cameron Yoe, playing under his father, Rick.

The 2010 season — and Jack’s high school career — came to a crushing end, Yoe losing by six to Daingerfield on a 69-yard bomb with only a few seconds left.

But Jack’s season was brilliant. He threw for 3,553 yards, and his 48-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio is one for the ages in Cameron. He was instrumental in the Yoemen’s 10-0 regular season and ensuing playoff run, which fell agonizingly short of state title glory.

For those achievements, he’s the Super Centex Offensive Player of the Year.

“Just being a coach’s kid, he understands,” Rick said. “When I talk to kids about other things, I’ll ask them things like, ‘What’s the most important play?’ And just being around, Jack will blurt out, ‘It’s the next play.’”

Jack was an up-and-coming star under center in his early years, successfully quarterbacking middle school, freshman and JV teams at Converse Judson and Coppell, two football factories with historic backgrounds.

In fact, he played on a Coppell freshman team with Texas commit Jaxon Shipley and Notre Dame pledge Cam McDaniel.

That kind of talent hardened Rhoades to the realities of what it took to succeed as a signal caller.

“In those two programs, you couldn’t get by unless you had to really work your tail off,” Jack said. “I think when you go to a Converse Judson, if you’re not working hard, they don’t need you. You either develop a good work ethic or you don’t play football.”

Suffice it to say, Jack fell into the former category. But it didn’t keep adversity from creeping in when Rick took the Cameron Yoe head job before the 2009 season.

Jack and Steven Townsend battled all offseason for the starting quarterback job, and Townsend won, making for “many nights where (Jack) would come home and he and I would sit down and talk about it, and it was very frustrating for him,” Rick said.

Jack moved to receiver, where he worked through a difficult season spent mostly out of the spotlight.

For the first time in his life, Jack wasn’t the go-to guy.

“I think mentally it took a toll on me because I never had to be a backup before,” Jack said. “When you’re always a starter, there’s a confidence there. When I didn’t win the starting spot as a junior, it took a real hit on my confidence.”

It obviously didn’t have any lingering effects. Jack won the job outright last spring, and he hit the ground running by leading the Yoemen tantalizingly close to the pinnacle of high school football.

Coach of the Year

Rusty Nail, Mart

With 18 seniors on the roster, the most he’s had in his five-year tenure at Mart, Rusty Nail thought the Panthers could be in for a special season.

He never could’ve imagined how right he was.

Nail and the Panthers claimed their second state championship in the coach’s fifth year with the school by dominating Goldthwaite in the second half for a 28-7 victory that avenged a loss to the Eagles earlier in the season.

For leading Mart to the top again, Nail earned the nod as Super Centex Coach of the Year.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by people who cover your games and from your peers,” Nail said. “All of the credit goes to the (coaching) staff and this team. This award gets shared a lot of ways, and I don’t take it lightly. I’ve been blessed to do a lot of things because of the chances Mart’s given me and the success we’ve had.”

With a dominating defense that posted six straight shutouts, a streak that lasted through the entire district season and two games into the playoffs, Mart cruised to within two games of the title.

But in the semifinals, a showdown with No. 1 Canadian loomed. The Panthers had a score to settle with the Wildcats, who had dominated them in the 2008 Class 1A Division I state championship game, and Mart came through with a 31-17 victory.

That game was an even sweeter win for the Panthers than the title game, said Nail, who also pointed out that this championship is more meaningful than the first.

“It was special because all but three (of the seniors) had been here for my entire tenure here,” Nail said. “We’ve been through a lot together, all of the ups and downs, victories and celebrations, and disappointments. Anytime you’re with a group for that long, you develop a special bond.”

Offensive Newcomer

Jake McClain, Teague

Quarterback Jake McClain has to count the number of places he’s played football on his fingers just to keep them all straight.

Moving around with his father as a coach, there was Big Sandy, Livingston, Rusk, Crawford, Marshall, Harleton, Maud and finally Teague. When former Maud coach Josh Finney moved to Teague last offseason, he took his coaching staff with him, including McClain’s father.

The adjustment was easy as breathing, earning McClain the Super Centex Offensive Newcomer of the Year award in his senior season, his first and only year at Teague.

“In Teague, they are some of the nicest people in the world,” McClain said. “They made it so easy to fit in.”

Despite missing a few games with a severe concussion, McClain threw for 1,116 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he ran for nine more. He was a pivotal player in Teague’s turnaround from 1-9 in 2009 to a 7-4 playoff team.

“To go into a program that went 1-9 last year and to go 7-4 and make the playoffs was really a big achievement for us,” McClain said.

Defensive Newcomer

Chrishard Buhl, Midway

Midway came into the season expecting its defense to be a strong suit, with the backbone of that unit having played a key role in the Panthers’ 21 wins over the last two seasons.

But an infusion of youth helped make an already impressive group even better.

Sophomore Chrishard Buhl moved into the starting lineup at outside linebacker during the summer because of an injury to a teammate, and he never gave the job back.

“I felt like I was going to have to step in and do what I’m capable of doing,” Buhl said. “I just had to help out the best way I could.”

Buhl helped Midway to a 12-1 record that included an undefeated regular season with 63 tackles, eight of which came behind the line of scrimmage.

That production earned him the District 8-4A Defensive Newcomer of the Year honor, and now he can add the Super Centex Defensive Newcomer of the Year to his list of accomplishments.

“When the coaches told me (about the award), I knew I was doing pretty good, but I didn’t know I was on that type of level,” Buhl said. “All I can do is thank God for putting me here and helping me make it throughout the season.”



Offensive Player of the Year: Jack Rhoades, Yoe

Defensive Player of the Year: Beau Blackshear, Midway

Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Jake McClain, Teague

Defensive Newcomer of the Year: Chrishard Buhl, Midway

Coach of the Year: Rusty Nail, Mart


Pos Player Cl Ht Wt School
QB Jack
Sr 6-3 175 Yoe
RB Darrell
Jr 5-11 185 Waco
So 5-8 185 Midway
WR Heath
Sr 6-2 185 West
WR Stephen
Sr 6-1 185 Groesbeck
UT Damyon
Sr 5-5 155 Yoe
OL Christian
Sr 6-2 260 Midway
OL Michael
Sr 5-11 235 Fairfield
OL Michael
Jr 6-5 265 La Vega
OL Gabe
Sr 6-2 260 Mart
OL Jackson
Sr 6-5 270 Bremond
K Collin
Jr 6-0 175 China
RS Devin
Sr 5-9 165 La Vega
Pos Player Cl Ht Wt School
DL Beau
Sr 6-4 265 Midway
DL Anthony
Sr 5-10 210 Mart
DL Nick
Sr 6-1 225 Reicher
DL Jordan
Sr 5-9 180 La Vega
LB Lee
Sr 6-3 195 Midway
LB D’Shun
Sr 5-10 190 Mart
LB O’Neil
Sr 5-10 201 Yoe
LB Johnathon
Sr 5-11 185 Bremond
DB Trevion
Sr 5-9 175 Yoe
DB Chandler
Sr 5-10 175 Lorena
DB Jake
Sr 6-1 175 Crawford
DB Kieran
Sr 6-2 170 McGregor
P David
Sr 6-3 217 Belton
Pos Player Cl Ht Wt School
QB Ryan
Sr 5-11 165 Midway
RB Robert
Sr 6-0 195 Fairfield
RB Alex
Sr 5-8 175 Dawson
WR Adonis
Jr 6-2 190 University
WR Kevin
Sr 6-2 195 Midway
UT Jake
Sr 6-1 200 Gatesville
OL Jacob
Sr 6-3 225 Midway
OL Justen
Sr 6-2 260 China
OL Dominique
Sr 6-2 268 Fairfield
OL Ines
Sr 5-11 230 Yoe
OL Kolton
Sr 6-2 235 West
K Kevin
Sr 5-9 165 Midway
RS Michael
Jr 6-0 180 Bosqueville
Pos Player Cl Ht Wt School
DL Dylan
So 6-2 240 McGregor
DL Jairo
Sr 6-1 185 Yoe
DL Jared
Sr 6-0 210 Hamilton
DL Dewayne
Sr 6-4 195 Marlin
LB Tristan
Sr 5-11 195 Waco
LB Colby
Sr 5-9 170 Lorena
LB Brodrick
Sr 6-0 205 Fairfield
LB Des
Sr 5-10 220 Marlin
DB Adrian
So 5-10 175 Waco
DB Shakiel
Jr 6-5 190 Midway
Sr 6-0 160 Yoe
DB Leonard
Jr 5-8 170 Mart
P Jasenio
Sr 5-10 180 Italy
Quarterbacks: Justin Stranacher, Axtell; Chase Burrow, Groesbeck; Holden Strunck, Mart; Troy Allison and Keith Reineke, McGregor; Brant Embry, Riesel; Deonte’ Phillips, Waco High; Kolbey Carpenter, West; Dillon Hightower, Whitney.
Running backs: Brandon Bordovsky, Axtell; Eric Bradley, Chilton; Michael Armstrong and Michael Martin, China Spring; Cameron Kendrick, Crawford; Michael Vaughan, Dawson; Anthony Price, Fairfield; Philip Page, Frost; Matt Barnes, Groesbeck; Alex Sikes and Dylan Turner, Hico; Brian Crosby, Hillsboro; Jakeem Hoffman, Mart; Marcus Irons, McGregor; Doug Gentry and Broderick Reeves, Mexia; Bryce Murphy, Reicher; Stephen Mitchell, Robinson; Shawn Bell, Rosebud-Lott; Jaylin Gibson, Teague; Bodazypha Farmer, Troy; Dustin Hubbard, Valley Mills; Dennis Gibson, Waco High.
Receivers/tight ends: Adrian Henderson, Belton; Ryan Rekieta, Bremond; Zach Brashear and Thomas Rinn, Cameron Yoe; Dillon Dumas, China Spring; Daniel Post, Crawford; Nick Renfro, Dawson; Nardi Meyers, Gatesville; Heath Clemons, Italy; Tyree Jackson, La Vega; Bradly Krall, Lorena; Daleon Robinson, Mexia; Hunter Jarmon, Ronnie Lee and Logan Simpson, Midway; Nate Wilburn, Moody; Jordan Smith, Reicher; Dustin McDonald, Riesel; Brandon Ashcraft, Robinson; Jared Hodges, Rosebud-Lott; T.Q. Echols, Whitney.
Offensive linemen: Taylor Barnes, Bosqueville; Harvey Steele, Bremond; John Smitherman, Cameron Yoe; Brandon Byars, China Spring; Will Dreyer and Roy Rodriguez, Clifton; Garrison Dean and Nathan Pogue, Crawford; Cory Black, Fairfield; Ethan Chamberlain and Chris Mack, Groesbeck; Andres Lara and Devin Threat, Mexia; Cody Stidham, Midway; Lincoln Plsek and Luis Ramirez, Reicher; Casey Stripling, Riesel; Daniel Bass, Temple.
Kickers/punters: Ben Diaz, Waco High; Stedson Childress, Reicher; Joseph Pickett, Temple; Brandon Clark, Troy.
Return specialists: Brandon Dwyer, Reicher; Quinton Franklin, Temple.
Defensive linemen: Dakota Park, Bosqueville; Cody Bodiford and Jeffery Drymalla, Bremond; Edgar Luna and Deantana Holt, Cameron Yoe; Adam Rodriguez, Chilton; Justin Tabor, Crawford; Robert Jackson, Fairfield; Bryant Davis, Marlin; Anthony Jones, McGregor; Jacob Beachum, Mexia; Austin Chick, Midway; Wade Venable, Teague; Troy Healy, Temple.
Linebackers: R.J. Bell, Bosqueville; Jordan Hawkins, Bruceville-Eddy; Jarrett Beckhusen and Ty Morgan, Cameron Yoe; Brad Morrow, Clifton; Jake Blenden and Kole Johnston, Crawford; Michael Passini, Dawson; Darion Scott, Fairfield; Christian Santulan, Gatesville; Jakob Coker, Lorena; Dustin Schilling, McGregor; Marqis Melton, Mexia; Ty Marshall, Riesel; Steven Gausmeier, Javier Ruiz and Devonte Williams, Rosebud-Lott; Dustin Hunt and Ryan Lynch, Teague.
Defensive backs: Michael Graves, Groesbeck; R.J. Mitchell, Hillsboro; Quentin Bryant and Hunter Dawson, Mart; Charles Smith and Orion Stewart, Midway; Jarante Carter, Teague; Quinton Franklin, Temple.


First-team profiles



Sr, Yoe

Unflappable leader
pushed Yoemen to brink
of state crown with
3,553 passing yards,
54 total touchdowns.


Running back

Jr, Waco High

Highlight waiting to
happen rushed for
1,469 yards, 8 TDs,
added 9 scoring catches
for playoff team.


Running back

So, Midway

Burst onto scene with
247 yards in win over
Belton. Finished year with 1,446 yards,
scored 14 times.



Sr, West

A threat to score
every time he touched
ball,l ed area with 92
catches, 1,436 yards,
18 TDs receiving.



Sr, Groesbeck

District MVP shredded
secondaries with 87
receptions, 1,280 yards,
10 TDs; also had 66
stops, 5 interceptions.



Sr, Yoe

Shifty scatback
balanced Yoe attack with
1,640 yards, 24 TDs
rushing; was district’s
offensve MVP.


Offensive line

Sr, Midway

Team’s top lineman
racked up 97
knockdowns, helped
offense that averaged
40 points per outing.


Offensive line

Sr, Fairfield

District lineman of
year graded 90% or
better each game,
paved way for pair
of 1,000-yard rushers.


Offensive line

Jr, La Vega

First-team all-district
performer manhandled
opponents with his
size, superb
athletic ability.


Offensive line

Sr, Mart

One of main reasons
balanced attack
flourished, graded 92%
for season, recorded
57 knockdowns.


Offensive line

Sr, Bremond

First-team all-district
road-grader knocked
down 40 opponents,
gave up no sacks,
graded 92% for year.


Return specialist

Sr, La Vega

District MVP was one
of area’s top athletes,
averaged 32 yards
on punt returns, took
one for TD.


Defensive line

Sr, Midway

Defensive Player of Year
blew up opposing game
plans despite facing
constant double,
triple teams.


Defensive line

Sr, Mart

Speed, quickness too
much for opponents
to handle, helped
teamto state title with
24 tackles for loss.


Defensive line

Sr, Reicher

First-team all-stater
returned pair of
fumbles for scores, forced four more,
recorded 76 tackles.


Defensive line

Sr, La Vega

Terrorized quarterbacks
with 15 sacks, 26 hurries.
Also racked up 83
tackles, 18 of which
were for loss.



Sr, Midway

District’s defensive
MVP led team with
91 tackles, eight sacks.
Also posted 14 tackles
for loss.



Sr, Mart

District MVP patrolled
sideline to sideline
for state champion
with 193 tackles,
19 stops for loss.



Sr, Yoe

Tackling machine
earned district
defensive co-MVP with
227 tackles, scored on
fumble and INT return.



Sr, Bremond

Leader on both sides
of ball instrumental
in Tigers’ state
semifinal run, finished
with 212 tackles.


Defensive back

Sr, Yoe

Ballhawk picked off
four passes, broke up
eight more. Also a sure
tackler who ended year
with 128.


Defensive back

Sr, Lorena

District defensive MVP
always in right place
at right time came up
with 170 tackles, broke
up eight passes.


Defensive back

Sr, Crawford

Heady player made
mark on both sides of
ball to grab district MVP
honors, picked off
seven passes.


Defensive back

Sr, McGregor

Named first-team
all-district after
snagging three INTs,
breaking up 18 passes
for playoff team.



Jr, China Spring

Big leg helped him
to be named first-team
all-district kicker and
punter. Went
4-for-5 on FGs.



Sr, Belton

Offensive Player of Year
nominee with 3,453
passing yards, 49 total
TDs boomed punts for
43-yard average.


Off. Newcomer

Sr, Teague

Move-in was catalyst
for six-game turnaround,
playoff berth; accounted
for 1,819 total yards,
21 TDs.


Def. Newcomer

So, Midway

Newcomer of Year in
8-4A stepped into
veteran unit and made
impact felt with 63
tackles, eight for loss.


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