Sticker Price: Wildcats get helmet decals for outstanding results, individual play

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Sept. 4, 2007 - Sulphur Springs coaches gladly handed out helmet stickers to the players yesterday. That's the benefit of winning and doing it convincingly.

Players are awarded helmet stickers - you'll see them this Friday night - for meeting offensive, defensive and special teams goals and for outstanding individual play.

Everybody gets a sticker for a victory.

Offensively, players got stickers for exceeding 325 total yards, scoring on the first possession of the second half and for having at least four plays that covered 20 or more yards.

Defensively, players were rewarded for being successful on 66 percent of third-down conversions, holding the rushing average under 3.5 yards and coming up with two take-aways.

Special teams was rewarded for keeping kickoff returns under a 15-yard average, punt returns under a 10-yard average and for having three kickoff returns past the 35-yard line.

SSHS head coach Greg Owens said the stickers indicate the success of the team, like Friday's 31-14 season-opening win over McKinney.

"Typically, I go back on Sunday by myself and watch the game, all in its entirety. Bottom line is, we dominated the whole game," he said. "In the first half on the field, it was frustrating because we were on the 1-yard line and can't get in, we're on the 5 and can't get in, we had an interception on a tipped ball.

"Those things were frustrating because I felt like we should have hung 35 on them in the first half. But, as I was watching it again, I was really impressed with the way our kids played. I think it was an impressive first game for us."

Along with team stickers, individuals received stickers for outstanding plays. Junior left tackle Jake Russell was the top offensive lineman as he graded out at 95 percent. Other "Primetime" players were quarterback Tyrick Rollison and wide receivers Jace Jackson and Chris Thompson. For big plays, Rollison, Jackson, Thompson and receiver Jeff Beck all got stickers, and Thompson, Beck and sophomore left guard Alex Peek were rewarded for their blocking.

Defensively, senior tackle Rodney Evans was named the most productive, according to a system devised by defensive coordinator Steve Hale, while Josh Dunn was the leading tackler. Getting rewarded for sacks were Rashad Hall, Colton Nash, Evans and Dunn. Defensive backs Bryant Jackson and Dalton Abner were rewarded for coming up turnovers and linebacker Brittan Diamond for causing a fumble.

Defensive Primetime players were Evans, Nash, Dunn, Hall, Jackson, Tyler Francis, Jamal Freeman and Johnny McSheffery.

Special teams awards went to Diamond for his 40-yard punting average, Beck for his 35-yard kickoff return average, and Dillon Verner for making three tackles and for his blocking.

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