Monday, September 18, 2006
I took this photo of Oklahoma Sooner and former Gilmer Buckeye Manuel Johnson in late 2002 during MJ's sophomore season. He was playing wide receiver just as he does now for OU.
He continued to catch the ball until the 2004 season when, for the good of the team, he switched to quarterback and led Gilmer to its first (and only so far, although that may change soon) state championship in history.
Manuel Johnson had more than 5,000 yards total offense over the 16 games of the 2004 season. He was Class 3A Player of the Year in Texas.
Here he is seen throwing another strike against Tatum in the Region II title game of 2004, which Gilmer won, 60-35.
Here's an article representative of what was being written about that year's team, this written by Chase Colston of the Tyler Morning Telegraph on the eve of the state title game. There were not enough superlatives to describe that team, especially on offense.
GILMER PUTTING UP SPECTACULAR NUMBERS
You would have to excuse Gilmer opponents in 2004 for thinking they were in a track meet: