Five Wildcats receive honors on APSE All-State team
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Dec. 16, 2005 - The backbone of any offensive unit is the line, and that was evident Thursday when the Class 4A All-State team was announced.

Sulphur Springs had five players receive honors on All-State team selected by the Associated Press Sports Editors, led by a pair of offensive linemen.

Senior left tackle Jose Vargas was a First Team selection, which backs up his preseason selection as a Super Team Second Team pick by Texas Football magazine.

Senior right guard Torrence Wright was a Second Team pick on the All-State team in his first year as a varsity starter.

Making honorable mention were senior wide receiver Josh Riley, who was also a First Team All-State selection in baseball, senior running back Chris Person and junior safety Colby Mills.

"It's good for the kids. We've had good teams and we've had good kids. It's nice for them to be recognized for their efforts," SSHS head coach Brad Turner said Friday as he cleaned out his office to make the move to Springtown. "Those guys are going to go on and play at the next level, so what a way to go out."

Vargas, a two-year starter for the Cats, was the most decorated player for the Wildcats. At 6-4, 330, he led the team in pancake/knockdown blocks with 113 and did not allow a sack in about 350 pass attempts.

Vargas was not available for comment because he was taking a recruiting visit to Iowa State. He has already been offered full scholarships from a half-dozen Division I colleges.

"Jose had a tremendous year. He really led that offensive line and was a team leader," Turner said. "Torrence came as far as anybody in terms of how much he improved from one year to the next.

"I've said all year that those two are the best two offensive linemen, and to be First and Second Team was great."

Wright (6-2, 280) made the second team by recording 93 pancake/knockdown blocks and also did not allow a sack.

Riley made his second All-State team by leading the state in receptions. He a school-record 91 passes for 980 yards and eight touchdowns this year. He also set a school record with 104 catches over two seasons.

"I thought Josh Riley would have been First Team," Turner said. "He led the state in receptions, so how was he not up there? But, to be mentioned there was good."

Person was also a record-setter for the Wildcats. He was second in school annals with 1,712 yards this year on 230 carries, a 7.5-yard per carry average. He also twice ran for more than 300 yards, including a school-record 307 yards against Greenville. He is second all-time in career rushing with 2,863 yards.

"Chris statistically has had two really good years in a row, and he deserved that," Turner said.

Mills had 86 tackles from his free safety position, and led the Wildcats with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

"Colby was as good of a player as we had on defense," the coach said.

Other players from District 12-4A who were on the All-State team include First Team selections Broderick Franklin of North Lamar at running back, Dustin Earnest of Texas High at linebacker, and Chaise Mooty of Texas High at safety.

On Second Team were North Lamar offensive lineman Michael Booker and Paris linebacker Ryan Southworth. Honorable mention picks were offensive linemen Aaron Kelley of Texas High and Stephen Good of Paris, Texas High quarterback Ryan Mallett, Greenville kicker Cole Jones, and North Lamar linebacker Tyler Michael.

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