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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: 2018 All-Permian Basin Team - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: 2018 All-Permian Basin Team

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Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 2:00 am

SUPERLATIVES

UTILITY PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Brandon Cerna, RB/LB

Crane, 5-11, 180, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Cerna had 200 rushing attempts for 1,777 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was a big part of Crane’s memorable season that included a District 1-3A Division II title and an area playoff appearance. Cerna had a big game during Week 6 at Ozona when he ran for 254 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns, which included an impressive 58-yard score, in a 42-14 victory. In Week 5, Cerna scored three times while tallying 179 rushing yards in a 59-13 rout of Stanton. Cerna was also a big threat on defense. During the bi-district playoff against Coahoma, Cerna had a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown to help the Golden Cranes advance with a dominating 28-7 win.

>> Peter says: It was a special year for the Golden Cranes. Cerna was a big part to their success whether it was on defense or offense. There’s a reason why Cerna garnered District MVP honors. His speed, power and agility made him a tough back to take down.

 

 NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Trey Cross, RB

Greenwood, 5-8, 165, soph.

>> Key Stats: Cross was named District 1-4A Division II Offensive Newcomer of the Year for a reason. He had 142 rushing attempts for 1,301 yards and 18 touchdowns. Cross had a breakout game against Sweetwater on Sept. 28 when he had 21 carries for a game-high 269 yards and five touchdowns.

>> Peter says: Thrown into the fire as a sophomore, Cross stepped up tremendously while the Rangers dealt with injuries early in the season. Cross proved he could compete on the varsity level week in and week out, and he has a bright future after getting so much valuable playing time.

 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Justin Hammond, Slot

Permian, 6-0, 173, sr.

>> Key Stats: Caught 46 passes for 833 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed for 654 yards and five TDs on 92 carries and had 253 yards on seven kickoff returns, including a 100-yard touchdown. Led Permian with 116 points scored.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: Not only was he consistent in his play and continuing to get better, he was also a big-play kid. When you needed a big play, look for No. 4, and our quarterback did and our team believed in him.

 

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cole Daggett, MLB/TE/P

Fort Stockton, 6-0, 227, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Daggett was named MVP of District 1-4A Division II for a reason. He was a multi-faceted player contributing on defense, offense and special teams. Defensively, he tallied a team-high 238 tackles with six tackles for loss, two sacks, four caused fumbles, three pass deflections and three interceptions. On offense he had 19 rushing attempts for 168 yards and one touchdown while he caught one reception for three yards. Daggett also finished making 26-of-34 point after attempts. He went 3-of-6 in field goal attempts with his longest being from 31 yards out. He also had 24 punts for 985 yards and three of his punts landed inside the 20.

>> Peter says: Daggett was the heart and soul of Fort Stockton. He’s multi-talented and can contribute in a big way on just about anywhere on the field. After being named first-team defense on last year’s all-district team, Daggett had a banner senior season leading the Panthers to their first playoff appearance since 2014.

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

Jared Sanderson, Greenwood

>> Key Stats: Sanderson’s second season at the helm of the Rangers’ program saw a marked improvement from 2017 as Greenwood captured the District 2-4A Division II crown with an undefeated run through Snyder, Fort Stockton, Monahans, Lamesa, Sweetwater and Pecos, fashioning a nine-game winning streak that was snapped in a regional quarterfinal playoff loss to Iowa Park.

>> Key facts: The Rangers faced adversity early with injuries. But Sanderson was able to fill the gaps, most noticeably with running back Trey Cross and the Rangers gelled and took off on a run that ended in the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Suddin Sapien, QB

MIDLAND HIGH, 6-4, 222, SR.

>> Key Stats: Completed 155 of 315 passes for 2,211 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed for 1,246 yards and 26 TDs on 186 carries. Either ran or passed for all but eight of Midland High's touchdowns for the season.

>> Coach Tim Anuszkiewicz says: Hard to argue with a quarterback that rushed for over 1,000 yards and threw for over 2,000 yards. He's definitely one of the most successful quarterbacks ever that's gone through Midland High

 

OFFENSE

Brett Leach, QB

Andrews, 6-2, 170, JR.

>> Key Stats: Leach completed 207-of-362 passes for 3,315 yards and 40 touchdowns. On the ground he carried the ball 82 times for 400 yards and nine scores. Leach led the Mustangs with 3,715 total yards of offense. He averaged 309.6 yards of offense a game. Leach threw a season-high six touchdowns in a 55-14 win over San Angelo Lake View on Nov. 2. On Aug. 31, Leach compiled a season-high 586 yards of total offense in a 52-50 loss to Lubbock-Cooper where he also completed 30-of-55 passes for 521 yards and five touchdowns.

>> Peter says: Andrews had one of the most dangerous offenses in Class 4A Division I and Leach was one of its biggest catalysts. After appearing in four games tallying 305 yards passing as a sophomore, Leach had a breakout season and proved that the Mustangs will be a tough team to bring down next season.

Ed Williams, RB

Permian, 5-9, 185, SR.

>> Key Stats: Rushed for 1,517 yards and 19 touchdowns on 256 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per rushing attempt. Finished sixth on Permian's career rushing list.

Josh Traylor, RB

Midland Lee, 5-8, 180, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Led District 2-6A with 1,905 yards rushing with 22 touchdowns on 206 carries, caught 13 passes for 113 yards. Rushed for at least 100 yards in nine games. Finished second on Lee's career rushing list.

>> Coach Clint Hartman says: Josh is a special running back. I think we all know that. When you're the second all-time leading rusher only to Cedric Benson, you're in pretty elite company. He's just a great kid and a great football player.

Loic Fouonji, WR

Midland Lee,6-5, 189, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Caught 51 passes and led Lee with 903 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. Also punted, handled kickoffs and returned kickoffs.

>> Coach Clint  Hartman says: I have one receiver playing in the pros (Marcus Johnson of Indianapolis) and Loic's very comparable to him. He's big, athletic. He's the ultimate team guy. He'll block, he'll punt, he'll kick. He'll do whatever he needs to to help us win.

Wade Halterman, WR

Wink, 6-4, 175, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Halterman led the Wildcats with 59 receptions for 1,327 yards and 16 touchdowns. On defense he finished with 50 tackles and a team-high seven interceptions. Halterman ranked second on offense with 1,338 total yards. He earned Class 2A Built Ford Tough Player of the Week honors in Week 2 after he caught seven passes for a season-high 260 yards while reeling in three touchdowns in a 40-21 defeat of Stanton. On defense against Stanton, he grabbed a game-high two interceptions. Halterman also had 21 punts for 789 yards for a 37.6 average. His longest punt of the year went for 66 yards in a game against Van Horn on Nov. 2.

>> Peter says: There’s no debate that Halterman was the best receiver in all of Class 2A. Week in and week out, Halterman always found a way to get one-on-one opportunities to make the biggest plays of the game on offense. Wink had a deadly offense with QB Nick Gray and RB Kaneon Baker, and Halterman was just the cherry on the top.

 Brody Ray, WR

Greenwood, 6-2, 160, Jr.

>> Key Stats: One of Greenwood’s leading receivers, Ray had 40 receptions for 847 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also finished with seven tackles and two interceptions on defense. Ray caught the game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass in a 28-21 victory over rival Seminole in Week 4. He tallied a season-high 135 yards receiving in a 49-7 rout of Snyder on Oct. 19. Ray caught a season-high three touchdowns on two occasions against Seminole and Monahans. On special teams he returned 11 kickoffs for 154 yards while he reeled in seven punts for 122 yards.

>> Peter says: Ray made the Rangers well-rounded on offense. After tallying 533 yards receiving as a sophomore, he had a breakout season and proved that he’s capable of being a leader on and off the field. It’s also no surprise that Ray garnered Utility Player of the Year honors in District 1-4A Division II after showing versatility on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

 Landon Peterson, OL

Permian, 6-6, 265, Sr

>> Key Stats: Graded 95 percent for the season with 79 pancakes and 88 knockdowns to help Permian average 431.6 total yards and 39.7 points per game.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: From where Landon started two years ago, from spring (of 2017) to playing that season, the growth he made last spring really came along big-time. He did a great job in the weightroom in preparation, putting on the weight and gaining the strength. He was a great athlete to begin with, but on top of that with his hard work and dedication and wanting to be a good offensive lineman, he's come a long way.

Dawson Reynolds, OL

Permian, 6-3, 310, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Graded 96 percent for the season with 88 pancakes and 75 knockdowns to help Permian average 431.6 total yards and 39.7 points per game.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: The thing about Dawson is he loves being an offensive lineman. Dawson took so much pride in it, the very essence of an offensive lineman. By nature, they're protectors, and he's a very caring person off the field. When it's on the field, he flips the switch and he's an aggressive football player. He wants to dominate the guy across from him. He loves that. He likes to push people around.

 Keevan Majors, OL

Odessa High, 5-10, 260, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Majors was named honorable mention all-district. He finished the season with an 88 percent grade with34 knockdowns, 20 pancakes and just one sack allowed on the season.

>> Tony says: Keevan was a three-year starter and a mainstay for the Bronchos on the offensive line. His work helped spring runners like Josh Lara, who finished with over 1,000 yards rushing, and quarterbacks Trey Smith and Kameron Gonzales who threw for 17 touchdown passes between the two.

 Ralphie Navarette, OL

Crane, 6-3, 330, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Navarette had five cut blocks and 81 pancakes. He graded out at 98 percent and did not allow a single sack. Navarrette was named first team all-district offense in District 1-3A Division II for a reason.

>> Peter says: Crane’s solid running attack behind Brandon Cerna was not complete without its solid offensive line. Navarrette played a vital role in allowing the Golden Cranes to execute their game plan every week on offense. Each week Crane improved in the trenches and it showed as it was able to capture a district title and make an appearance in the area round.

 Reece Azam, OL

Andrews, 6-3, 288, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Azam appeared in all 12 games for Andrews, not surprising for a three-time all-district lineman selection. He graded out at 92 percent with 62 pancakes blocks, 40 knockdowns and eight downfield blocks (15 or more yards) that resulted in Mustangs' touchdowns. He didn’t allow a sack or a tackle for a loss all season.

>> Coach Ralph Mason says: Reece had an incredible season with stats that exceeded last year's. He has had no setbacks or injuries in three years of starting for us.

 Derek Rimer, K

Greenwood, 5-10, 140, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Rimer tallied 53 total points in 10 games. He finished making 41-of-44 point after attempts while he went 4-of-7 on field goal attempts. His longest field goal attempt of the year was a 40 yarder in a 30-21 win over Monahans on Nov. 2. Rimer recorded 60 kickoffs that went a collective 2,856 yards. His longest kickoff was 60 yards. He also tallied 21 punts for 795 yards and seven of his punts made it inside the 20. Rimer’s longest punt went 76 yards in a game against Lamesa on Oct. 5. He accounted for eight extra points in a 65-20 defeat of Sweetwater on Sept. 28.

>> Peter says: Behind a high-scoring offense is usually a solid kicker. Rimer was no doubt one of the best kickers in the Permian Basin. He earned first team All-District 1-4A Division II honors as a punter for a reason and his ability to pin offenses deep in enemy territory.

 DEFENSE

 Jacob Mechler, DL

Andrews, 6-4, 235, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Mechler ranked second on the Mustangs’ defense with 96 tackles. He also led the defense with 24 tackles for loss and six sacks. In a 48-26 win over Snyder on Sept. 21, Mechler tallied a game-high 20 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss which earned him the recognition of Class 4A Built Ford Tough Player of the Week for Week 4.

>> Peter says: With his big stature and build, it wasn’t that hard to miss Mechler on the gridiron. He was in on every tackle and every play, and was a big leader of the Mustangs’ solid defense.

 Matt Jones, DL

Permian, 6-3, 234, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Recorded 63 total tackles, including team highs with 28 tackles for loss and 12 sacks with one pass breakup.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: I've talked to people around the district and they were all very complimentary of Matt. He's a great football player and he's one of those guys you're lucky to have on your team because you don't want to go against Matt. He's got that knack that he's always around the football. That's just an instinct he has.

 Austin Aguirre, DL

Odessa High, 6-1, 200, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Aguirre emerged as a versatile playmaker up front for Odessa High. The junior moved over to the defensive side of the ball and was simply all over the place. He finished with 31 tackles, three sacks, recovered three fumbles, forced another one and even took one back for a touchdown. He also came away with an interception against Permian.

>> Tony says: Aguirre made plays on a defensive line that was breaking in some new faces for Odessa High. He recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown during a game against Frenship.  Head coach Danny Servance had been looking for a playmaker to emerge on the defensive line and Aguirre showed that he was able to do that in 2018.

 Iram Villarreal, ILB

Fort Stockton, 5-9, 195, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Villarreal ranked second on the Fort Stockton defense with 123 tackles. He also had four tackles for loss, three sacks, one quarterback hurry and one pass deflection. Villarreal recorded a game-high 18 tackles in a 31-18 win over Pecos on Sept. 28. On special teams he returned one punt for 25 yards during a Week 9 game against Sweetwater. Villarreal earned first team All-District 1-4A Division II honors on defense.

>> Peter says: Sometimes overshadowed by star LB Cole Daggett, Villarreal was a big part of Fort Stockton’s defense. He showed poise and determination on the gridiron and he should have a stellar season in 2019 after the numbers he put up during this storybook season.

 Cade Mendoza, LB

Odessa High, 5-11, 200, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Mendoza emerged as one of the top playmakers for Odessa High in 2018. He finished the year with 93 tackles to go with 15 tackles for loss and six sacks, all leaders in their respective categories. He also forced two fumbles and recorded a pass breakup.

>> Tony says: Mendoza emerged as one of the most productive leaders on the Odessa High defense. His signature game came against Wolfforth Frenship, where he recorded four sacks in the first half of the Bronchos 56-10 win. He also emerged as a leader on defense and will be leaned upon in a big way next year.

>> Key Stats: Essman put up some impressive numbers to close out his high school career, surpassing the 200-tackle mark in 2018. The senior finished with 207 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, six sacks, forced a fumble and recover one as well for the Bulldogs.

>> Tony says: As a leader of the Bulldogs defense, Essman was one of those players that was simply all over the place on the field. His efforts on that side of the ball helped Midland High reach the postseason for the fifth straight year, an accomplishment that the program had not reached before.

 Tanner Adams, LB

Permian, 5-10, 215, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Led Permian with 92 total tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and three sacks. Also intercepted four passes, forced a fumble and blocked a punt.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: Tanner Adams is Mr. Mojo. When you talk about all the great players we had on our football team, all those guys were the legs, the arms, the body of our team. But Tanner was the heart. He was the one pumping black and white through everybody. He's the one everybody turned to and he was the one that would get everybody in line. When it was time to go, Tanner got them going.

 Christian Tschauner, DB

Permian, 6-0, 185, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Made 33 total tackles with three tackles for loss. Intercepted four passes with 123 return yards, including a 97-yard touchdown, in addition to gaining 59 yards on kickoff and punt returns. Returned a blocked PAT for a score.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: Just the consistency Christian's had and the reliability back there at corner. To see his confidence grow, we put him out there as a sophomore and his first game was against Austin Vandegrift, which is a very good football team. We kind of threw him in the fire early and he's done nothing but respond year in and year out.

 James Hurston, DB

Seminole, 6-0, 150, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Hurston had 21 receptions for a team-high 516 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had two rushes for 77 yards and one score. Defensively, Hurston recorded 37 tackles and one tackle for loss. He also grabbed a team-best five interceptions and had a team-high seven pass deflections. Hurston returned 10 kickoffs for 311 yards. His longest return was for 95 yards against both San Angelo Lake View and Fabens. He also was a key punt returner racking up 256 yards on 19 punts. He hauled in a season-high 132 yards receiving in a 33-7 win over Denver City on Sept. 28.

>> Peter says: Hurston missed a good chunk of the season with an injury, but despite that he bounced back and had a solid season. He was an integral part of Seminole’s intricate triple-option offense and defense, which captured the District 2-4A Division I title.

 Chase Stell, DB

Permian, 5-10, 185, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Led Permian with seven interceptions, finishing with 156 yards and a touchdown on returns. Made 39 total tackles with two tackles for loss and broke up nine passes. Added 93 yards on kickoff and punt returns.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: At the beginning of the year, Chase was new to the position. We worked with him in the spring and fall camp. His first game as a starter was against DeSoto, and he was wide-eyed. Just the improvement he made throughout the year. Chase made a lot of big plays for us. Even now, he's extremely hungry. He wants to get better.

 Karl Taylor, DB

Midland Lee, 6-0, 160, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Finished with 63 total tackles with nine tackles for loss. Led Lee with six interceptions and eight pass breakups. Also forced two fumbles and blocked a field goal. Had 594 yards on kickoff and punt returns. Scored three touchdowns on interception and kick returns.

>> Coach Clint Hartman says: Karl's special. He had two kick returns for touchdowns and an interception. That's other touchdowns that are not on offense. It's hard to do. He's as good as anybody I've ever coached in the secondary. I think he's a can't-miss Division I college player and he's a team guy and a great leader. He was a team captain as a junior.

 Carson Roberts, P

Permian, 6-0, 160, Jr.

>> Key Stats: Averaged 38.9 yards on 23 punts with a long of 54 yards, putting nine punts inside the opponents' 20. Opponents attempted just one punt return for minus-3 yards. Handled all kicking duties.

>> Coach Jeff Ellison says: In high school, it's such a huge advantage, especially with the leg Carson has, to be able to flip the field on people. We know what we have in Carson. He's a great asset to our football team. The consistency with his punts, kickoffs and PATs, that's huge.

 UTILITY

Julian Galindo

Odessa High, 5-9, 170, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Galindo was a versatile playmaker for the Bronchos, finishing with 39 receptions, 625 yards and seven touchdowns. He also proved valuable on special teams, returning both a kickoff and a punt return for a touchdown as well and also filled in at defensive back when needed.

>> Tony says: Galindo was one of the main targets on offense for Odessa High this season and was a player that was always a big-play threat whenever he had the ball in his hands. The senior also tied Gabriel Rodriguez for the school record for most career receptions with 83, adding another record to a senior-laden Odessa High team.

 Charles McClure

Odessa High, 5-10, 160, Sr.

>> Key Stats: McClure was a do-it-all playmaker for the Bronchos as a returner, punter and safety. He took two kickoff returns back for touchdowns, had a receiving touchdown averaged 37.3 yards per punt over 22 punts and had three interceptions on defense, while finishing with 57 tackles. McClure was named honorable mention academic all-state by the Texas High School Coaches Association

>> Tony says: McClure was the heart and soul of the Bronchos this season. He finished wiAfter suffering a scary neck injury against Permian, he returned wearing his father’s number 30 and took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown against Wolfforth Frenship. McClure was named first-team all-district at safety. He was also selected as second-team punter on the all-district team.

 Markeese Lawrence

Andrews, 5-9, 145, Soph.

>> Key Stats: Lawrence led the Andrews receiving corps with 53 receptions for 1,107 yards and 18 touchdowns. Lawrence also had five rushing attempts for 35 yards. On defense, Lawrence recorded 42 tackles while grabbing a team-high three interceptions. Lawrence scored a team-best 116 points. He tallied a season-high 168 receiving yards in a Week 1 game against Lubbock-Cooper.

>> Peter says: When Lawrence was on the field there was a sure chance he was going to come up with a big play. The Andrews offense had an arsenal of weapons and Lawrence was a big key component to its high-scoring games.

 Marcos Mendoza

Balmorhea, 5-9, 190, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Mendoza had 87 rushing attempts for 901 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also grabbed 19 receptions for 391 yards and two scores. Defensively, Mendoza tallied 102 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Mendoza also had three defensive touchdowns. He earned District 7-1A Division I MVP honors on offense along with first team All-District linebacker recognition.

>> Peter says: Mendoza was the backbone for the Bears all year long. He was a huge playmaker on defense and offense, proving each week how versatile and multi-faceted he was on the gridiron.

 Carson Fuentes

McCamey, 6-0, 165, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Fuentes completed 35-of-58 passes for 807 yards and nine touchdowns. In addition, he rushed for 126 yards on 33 carries with three scores. Fuentes also had 23 receptions for 439 yards and eight touchdowns. In the biggest game of the season for the Badgers, Fuentes caught what ended up being the game-winning 9-yard touchdown in a 12-6 overtime defeat of rival Iraan.

>> Peter says: Fuentes was a big part of McCamey’s district championship season whether he was on defense or offense. He was always one of the biggest playmakers on the gridiron. Sophomore QB Ivan Rubio replaced Fuentes under center, but Fuentes was a true leader and team player.

 Jerry Lee Cadena

Grandfalls-Royalty, Sr.

>> Key Stats: Cadena caught 63 passes for 1,033 yards and 26 touchdowns. Defensively, he had 59 tackles, three forced fumbles and six interceptions. Cadena earned first-team All-District 5-1A Division II honors as a spread back and safety.

>> Peter says: Cadena is as versatile as they come. He made a big impact wherever coach Joe Helms needed him whether it was leading the team as a quarterback, wide receiver, spread back or safety. Cadena was a big part  of Grandfalls-Royalty’s success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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