|Wildcats land 11 players on All-District 11-4A football team|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Dec. 9, 2006 - There weren't a whole lot of surprises in the All-District 11-4A football balloting done this week. Texas High dominated in the awards as the Tigers did on the football field.
Texas High had 22 players make the All-District First or Second Team, almost twice as many as any other school.
Sulphur Springs landed five players on the Second Team: one on offense, three on defense and one special team player. The Wildcats also placed six on the Honorable Mention list.
On the Second Team were junior wide receiver DaQualin "Boo" Evans, who led the team in receiving touchdowns; senior kicker Jon Holt, who was true on all of his extra point attempts; junior outside linebacker Brittan Diamond, who converted to defense midway through the year; and junior defensive linemen Rodney Evans and Tyler Francis, the top two tacklers among the linemen.
Honorable Mention awards went to senior offensive linemen Colt Hooten and Levi Moore, senior wide receiver Tyler Rhoades, junior wide receiver Jeff Beck, junior inside linebacker Josh Dunn and senior cornerback Ryan Gibson.
"We would have liked for some of our guys to have gotten better recognition, but this was a very tough district when it comes to individual athletes," said SSHS head coach Greg Owens. "We certainly think some of our guys were deserving of higher awards."
The way the team is selected, coaches from the six district schools nominate the players they think are deserving. The coaches then vote on the nominees, but a coach cannot vote for his own players.
Generally, the higher a team finishes in the district standings, the more players they have on the All-District squad.
It worked that way this year.
Texas High, which went through the season unbeaten, had the district's Co-MVP in senior quarterback Ryan Mallett, who shared the top recognition with North Lamar senior running back Antowoine Smith. Mallett was also the First Team punter.
Texas High also had the Defensive Player of the Year in senior safety John T. Johnson, and Defensive Lineman of the Year with senior end Courtney Hope. The Tigers also had six unanimous choices on the First Team.
Mount Pleasant had 14 players on the All-District team including Kick/Punt Returner of the Year Jonathan Aguilar, who was also a First Team running back, and Defensive Co-Newcomer of the Year in sophomore Tevin Elliott. Paris had three superlative awards with Offensive Newcomer of the Year sophomore running back Walter Gunn, Offensive Lineman of the Year junior Stephen Good, and Defensive Co-Newcomer of the Year with sophomore Micahl Milton. Lindale had the top offensive player in the district in senior quarterback Lucas Shipman.
Unanimous First Team selections included Paris quarterback Quinn Ashley, Lindale receiver Seth Bauman, and from Texas High tailback Rowland Smith, tight end Daniel Glover, wide receiver Joe Anderson, offensive tackle Joseph Miller, defensive end Johnta Montgomery and cornerback Jimmy Strong.
From Sulphur Springs, the following players were honored for their production:
DaQualin "Boo" Evans (6-1, 170), caught 20 passes for 357 yards and six touchdowns in district play, with the yardage and TDs being team highs. Overall, he had 35 receptions for 526 yards a team-high seven TDs.
Jon Holt (6-2, 175) was good on all of his extra points during the year. Overall, he hit 16 of them and was good on 1-of-2 field goals attempted. Holt also had a 34.9-yard average on 50 punts.
Brittan Diamond (6-1, 190) converted from quarterback to outside linebacker with three games to play. In those final three contests, he had 24 tackles, one for a loss, and recovered a fumble.
Rodney Evans (6-1, 270) was the second-leading tackler among Wildcat defensive linemen with 44 stops during the year, two losses. In district game, he had 24 tackles, two for losses. Evans also had 1/2 sack and forced two fumbles.
Tyler Francis (6-3, 220) was the second-leading tackler on the team with 52 stops, including four behind the line of scrimmage. In district, he had 23 tackles, two for losses, and forced two fumbles.
Josh Dunn (5-10, 185) was the team's top tackler with 125 stops, three for losses and 1/2 sack. Sixty-one of his tackles came during district play.
Jeff Beck (5-8, 165) had 37 receptions for 404 yards and one TD. In district play, he caught 15 passes for 150 yards.
Tyler Rhoades (6-1, 190) led the team in receptions for the season with 48 for 563 yards and two TDs. In district play, he caught a team-leading 29 passes for 274 yards.
Levi Moore (6-1, 240) and Colt Hooten (6-3, 260) each started at tackle, though Hooten ended up playing three different positions as the team needed him.