Rollison tops District 11-4A All-District football team
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor
Dec. 2, 2007 - What a difference a year - and a whole lot of success - makes.
One year after being shutout of the First Team All-District football selections, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats emerged this week with not only the District 11-4A MVP but three other superlative awards and six First Teamers.
Seven other Wildcats made Second Team All-District and 10 were named Honorable Mention.
It was all a reflection of the team's success after finishing the season with a 9-2 record, 5-0 in district and the Wildcats' first outright district championship since 1994.
"I was very pleased with the outcome. We had a great number of kids honored," said Wildcat head coach Greg Owens. "I thought our kids were rewarded with individual accolades based on what our kids had done this year. We played very well."
Each coach in the district nominated his own players, but couldn't vote for his players.
SSHS junior quarterback Tyrick Rollison (6-2, 175), who set almost all of the school's single season and career passing records, was a unanimous choice for Most Valuable Player. It was an easy selection after he threw for over 3,600 yards and 37 touchdowns while completing 70 percent of his passes.
"It is no surprise that Tyrick Rollison is the district MVP," Owens said. "He had a phenomenal year and did a great job. He kept a level head all year and performed outstanding."
Sophomore safety Bryant "Day Day" Jackson (6-3, 170) was selected as the Defensive Newcomer of the Year after intercepting five passes, senior end Tyler Francis was Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year with Texas High's Jacoby Thomas, and senior Jeff Beck earned a double recognition as not only the Co-Kick/Punt Returner of the Year but also as First Team wide receiver.
Owens and his staff were recognized as Coaches of the Year.
Other First Team recognition went to senior receiver Chris Thompson, junior offensive tackle Jake Russell, senior defensive tackle Rodney Evans, senior outside linebacker Brittan Diamond and junior safety Johnny McSheffery, who was a unanimous selection.
On Second Team were sophomore offensive linemen Alex Peek and Colby Suggs, senior kicker Oscar Marroquin, senior defensive lineman Colton Nash, senior cornerback Dalton Abner and senior linebacker Josh Dunn.
Dunn not being a First Team selection was the only major disappointment for Owens.
"It's not to take anything away from those other two kids who made it, they're First Team linebackers, too," Owens said. "We just know what Josh Dunn meant to this team as an inspirational leader and a guy who made over 125 tackles. He's a great kid and he's handled it well and he's got a big future ahead of him."
Honorable Mention selections went to Diamond and junior Rashad Hall at running back, junior Jack Jackson at receiver, senior Dakota Graham and sophomores Beau Carpenter and Mason Y'Barbo at offensive line, defensive tackle Jamal Freeman and linebackers Daniel Wasilowski, Dillon Verner and Jayden Wallace.
Owens said the seniors helped set a standard that will pay dividends in years to come.
"I'm extremely proud of the way they rebounded from a 2-8 year to 9-2 this year," he explained. "It's a positive thing right now. I think we're moving forward. The legacy these seniors leave behind is the work ethic they have set. They've set the standard for others. I'm excited about the status of the program right now."
Other superlative awards went to Mount Pleasant senior receiver Trenston Hill as Offensive Player of the Year, Texas High senior linebacker Brandon Brown as Defensive Player of the Year, Texas High sophomore quarterback Nathan Sorrenson as Offensive Newcomer of the Year, Texas High senior Adrian Williams, Lindale senior Mitch Baker and Paris senior Stephen Good as Offensive Linemen of the Year.
Below is a rundown of each SSHS player and their contributions:
Tyrick Rollison, Jr., QB, set school records by completing 295-of-424 passes for 3,665 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also ran for 459 yards and seven more TDs.
Bryant "Day Day" Jackson, So, FS, tied for the team lead with five interceptions and had a team-high 11 passes defensed. He also had two fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown, and 33 tackles.
Tyler Francis, Sr., DE, built on his Second Team selection last season by accounting for 89 tackles, 11 for losses and 3.5 sacks. Francis also blocked a kick, caused a fumble and batted down a pass, and earned Owens' praise as "the most improved defensive lineman we had on the team this year."
Jeff Beck, Sr., WR, set a school record with 109 career receptions, with 72 of them coming this season for 778 yards and six TDs. He also was the team's leading kickoff returner (12 for 228 yards) and punt returner (7 for 44 yards).
Chris Thompson, Sr., WR, was voted All-District as a flex tight end. As a slot receiver, he caught 60 passes for team-high 898 yards and a school record 11 touchdowns. He also led the team in scoring with 70 points.
Jake Russell, Jr., OT, graded out at 90 percent or above virtually every week and was the top offensive lineman virtually every week. He protected Rollison's blind side.
Rodney Evans, Sr., DT, was a Second Team selection last year, and improved his standing with 67 tackles, four of them for losses and 4.5 sacks. He also scored a pair of two-point conversions.
Brittan Diamond, Sr., OLB, was the team's most versatile player. On defense, he got in on 103 tackles, five of them for losses, and three sacks. He also recovered one fumble and intercepted one pass. Offensively, he caught 27 passes for 221 yards and two TDs, and rushed 36 times for 165 yards and five touchdowns.
Johnny McSheffery, Jr., SS, was the team's fifth-leading tackler with 77 stops and also tied for the team lead with five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He recovered one fumble and broke up four passes.
Daqualin Evans, Sr., WR, set the school record with 16 touchdown receptions. This year, he caught 52 passes for 737 yards and nine TDs.
Alex Peek, So., OG; and Colby Suggs, So.; C, Dakota Graham, Sr., OG; Mason Y'Barbo, So., OG; and Beau Carpenter, So., OT were rewarded for their work in protecting Rollison. "I think our entire offensive line did a tremendous job of protecting our quarterback and getting better each week," Owens said.
Oscar Marroquin, Sr., K, had not played football since the seventh grade, but he solidified the kicking game by making 6-of-8 field goals and hitting 31 extra points to score 49 points.
Colton Nash, Jr., DE, started every game and made 44 tackles, four of them for losses, and tied for the team lead with five sacks. He also recovered two fumbles, intercepted a pass, batted down two passes and blocked a kick.
Josh Dunn, Sr., ILB, led the team in tackles with 137, seven of them for losses, and five sacks. He also recovered a team-high five fumbles and intercepted a pass.
Dalton Abner, Sr., CB, ended the season with three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, 60 tackles and nine passes broken up.
Rashad Hall, Jr., RB, caught 26 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns and also ran 39 times for 189 yards. Defensively, he made 24 tackles and broke up Texas High's final pass of the game.
Jace Jackson, Jr., WR, caught 45 passes for 717 yards, a team-high 15.9-yard average, and six touchdowns.
Jamal Freeman, Sr., DT, was the quarterback of the defensive line and ended with 65 tackles, four of them for losses, and a fumble recovery.
Daniel Wasilowski, Sr., ILB, made 19 tackles, one for loss.
Dillon Verner, Jr., LB, finished second of the team with 112 tackles, nine for losses, and 1.5 sacks. He also broke up two passes and recovered a fumble.
Jayden Wallace, Jr., LB, was a hybrid linebacker/safety and finished with 31 tackles, three for losses, with one sack and an interception.
Most Valuable Player - Tyrick Rollison*, Jr., Sulphur Springs
Offensive Player of the Year - Trenston Hill, Sr., Mount Pleasant
Defensive Player of the Year - Brandon Brown*, Sr., Texas High
Offensive Newcomer of the Year - Nathan Sorrenson*, So., Texas High
Defensive Newcomer of the Year - Bryant Jackson, So., Sulphur Springs
Offensive Linemen of the Year - Adrian Williams, Sr., Texas High; Mitch Baker, Sr., Lindale; Stephen Good, Sr., Paris
Defensive Lineman of the Year - Tyler Francis, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Jacoby Thomas, Sr., Texas High
Kick/Punt Returner of the Year - Jeff Beck, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Courtney Hill, Sr., Paris
Coach and Staff of the Year - Greg Owens, Sulphur Springs
First Team Offense
Quarterback - Terrell Howard, Jr., Mount Pleasant
Tailback - Leroy Jones, Jr., Texas High; Courtney Hill, Sr., Paris
Fullback - Eric Smith, Sr., Mount Pleasant; Slade Heathcott, Jr., Texas High
Tight End - Jesse Jones, Sr., Mount Pleasant; Chris Thompson, Sr., Sulphur Springs; John Stilson, Sr., Texas High
Wide Receiver - Jeff Beck, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Logan Lawrence*, Jr., Lindale; Cobi Hamilton, Jr., Texas High
Tackle - Jake Russell, Jr., Sulphur Springs; Jamarious Reynolds, Sr., Mount Pleasant
Guard - Bo Horner, Sr., Texas High; Josh Gilbert, Sr., Lindale
Center - Eric Stewart, So., Texas High
Kicker - Austin Cunningham, Sr., Paris
First Team Defense
Tackle - Rodney Evans, Sr., Sulphur Springs; JaTabian Oates, Sr., Texas High
End - Ramondric Brown, Texas High; DaJuan Hart, Sr., Lindale
Inside Linebacker - Tevin Elliott, Jr., Mount Pleasant; Terry Matthews, Sr., Texas High
Outside Linebacker - Brittan Diamond, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Sherrod Dawson, Sr., Texas High; Mac Burkett, So., Paris
Cornerback - Cody Baker, Sr., Texas High; Clay Maberry, Sr., North Lamar
Safety - Johnny McSheffery*, Jr., Sulphur Springs; Jacolby Stewart, Sr., Mount Pleasant
Punter - Austin Cunningham, Sr., Paris
Second Team Offense
Quarterback - Nathan Simmons, Jr., Lindale
Tailback - Kendrick Walker, Jr., Mount Pleasant; A.J. George, Jr., North Lamar
Fullback - Eric Swinnen, Sr., Mount Pleasant
Tight End - Colton Wade, Sr., North Lamar
Wide Receiver - Jeremy Stuckey, Sr., Texas High; Travis Rhea, Sr., Lindale; Daqualin Evans, Sr., Sulphur Springs
Tackle - Corey Woods, Sr., North Lamar; Tony Hall, Sr., Paris; Paul Holland, Sr., Lindale
Guard - Alex Peek, So., Sulphur Springs; Mitchell Tackett, Sr., Mount Pleasant; John Nichols, Sr., Paris
Center - Colby Suggs, So., Sulphur Springs
Kicker - Oscar Marroquin, Sr., Sulphur Springs
Second Team Defense
Tackle - David Smith, Sr., Lindale; Garry Williams, Jr., Texas High
End - Colton Nash, Jr., Sulphur Springs; Robert Staples, Jr., Paris
Inside Linebacker - Josh Dunn, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Josh Jackson, Sr., Lindale
Outside Linebacker - Kirk Rosenbalm, Sr., Lindale; Quetin Hoskins, Sr., Mount Pleasant
Cornerback - Dalton Abner, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Jordan Strickland, Jr., Texas High; Equettis Jenkins, So., Paris
Safety - L. D. Hargrave, Sr., Mount Pleasant; Montrae Williams, So., Texas High
Punter - Micah Ramage, Sr., Texas High; Joel Whitaker, Sr., Mount Pleasant
(Sulphur Springs only)
Running Back - Brittan Diamond, Sr.; Rashad Hall, Jr.
Wide Receiver - Jace Jackson, Jr.
Offensive Line - Dakota Graham, Sr.; Mason Y'Barbo, So.; Beau Carpenter, So.
Defensive Line - Jamal Freeman, Sr.
Linebacker - Daniel Wasilowski, Sr.; Dillon Verner, Jr.; Jayden Wallace, Jr.