HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Wink’s Brock Gibson earns Player of the Year honors

In small school football — particularly at the Class 2A level — players are asked to do just about a little bit of everything for their team. That was certainly the case for Wink’s Brock Gibson.

His versatility and standout performances helped the senior close his high school football career as the 2020 Odessa American Player of the Year.

Looking back, Gibson said he was just focused on finding a way to help his team win.

“I’m most proud of how we came together as a team,” Gibson said. “We wanted to be the best team we can be and that really helped us win 10 games and earn a bi-district championship.”

Gibson was involved in nearly every aspect of the game for the Wildcats in 2020, starting at tight end on offense, linebacker on defense, and as the kicker on special teams.

He led the way both on and off the field for the Wildcats, finishing as the team’s leading receiver over the course of the regular season (39 receptions, 604 yards, six touchdowns).

Gibson was also the leading tackler and a key playmaker on defense for the Wildcats (98 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, one sack).

That wasn’t all as he added three interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns as well.

A big part of Brock’s success also came from being fully healthy.

Brock said that he battled a broken foot for part of last year and also dealt with wrist and ankle injuries as a sophomore.

Despite that, he wanted to set an example for his teammates, helping the Wildcats to a regional final appearance in 2019 and a 10-win season in 2020.

His father, head coach Brian Gibson, echoed that his son’s focus was on the end result rather than the individual numbers.

“Brock has always been one of those kids that’s put the team first,” he said. “The biggest stat that he cares about is a victory at the end of the night. He was always willing to do whatever it took at whatever position.”

That said, Coach Gibson added that there is something special for Brock to get this recognition.

“As a dad and head football coach, I don’t get to brag on my kids very often,” he said. “I’m always geared towards the team.

“For Brock to get recognized for something like this is extremely special and it does give an example to the rest of the program.”

There was another special aspect of the 2020 season for the Gibson family.

On offense, Brock got to catch the passes from his younger brother, Kanon. As Brock finishes his high school career, he’s looking forward to seeing what his younger brother can do.

“It was great over the last four years and especially the last two,” Brock said. “It was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot. He’s a special player that’s going to do some great things.”

As for what’s next for Brock, he is looking to continue his playing career at the next level. He has a planned college visit to Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton and says that Hardin-Simmons, Angelo State and Sul Ross State are among the other schools who have shown interest.

Wherever he decides to go, Brock says the mentality that’s helped him through high school will stay the same: “Wherever they want me to play, I’ll play.”

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