Thursday, September 28, 2006

Massey Ratings

Homefield Advantage: 1.20 Points
Standard Deviation: 14.14 Points
Chng Team W L T Rating Power Offense Defense Sched
1 + 1 Celina 3 0 0 2.084 45.25 ( 1) 46.30 ( 3) 20.36 ( 1) 24.81 ( 25) 3A II-9
2 - 1 Gilmer 2 0 0 2.059 43.99 ( 2) 52.70 ( 1) 12.71 ( 22) 29.70 ( 5) 3A II-15
3 + 6 Giddings 4 0 0 1.999 41.35 ( 3) 45.86 ( 4) 16.90 ( 12) 24.67 ( 26) 3A III-23
4 + 1 Cuero 4 0 0 1.975 41.14 ( 4) 44.73 ( 6) 17.83 ( 8) 23.11 ( 33) 3A IV-29
5 - 2 W Orange Stark 3 0 0 1.907 40.24 ( 6) 43.51 ( 8) 18.14 ( 6) 24.17 ( 31) 3A III-21
6 - 2 Decatur 4 0 0 1.901 38.51 ( 7) 44.63 ( 7) 15.30 ( 14) 27.38 ( 13) 3A I-8
7 - 1 Liberty Hill 3 1 0 1.876 40.53 ( 5) 50.25 ( 2) 11.70 ( 37) 33.68 ( 2) 3A III-18
8 + 5 Wimberley 3 1 0 1.770 38.47 ( 8) 41.26 ( 10) 18.63 ( 4) 28.41 ( 8) 3A IV-25
9 + 2 Sweetwater 3 1 0 1.730 36.26 ( 10) 40.31 ( 13) 17.37 ( 9) 32.79 ( 3) 3A I-7
10 + 4 Carthage 3 0 0 1.684 35.61 ( 11) 40.45 ( 12) 16.57 ( 13) 17.83 ( 55) 3A III-20
11 - 1 Abilene Wylie 3 1 0 1.667 37.37 ( 9) 38.77 ( 17) 20.02 ( 2) 24.29 ( 30) 3A I-7
12 + 4 Dal Madison 3 0 0 1.660 34.46 ( 13) 37.18 ( 23) 18.70 ( 3) 18.69 ( 50) 3A II-11
13 - 6 Palestine 3 1 0 1.629 35.31 ( 12) 44.99 ( 5) 11.74 ( 35) 26.29 ( 17) 3A III-19
14 - 6 Liberty Eylau 3 1 0 1.531 32.21 ( 16) 35.07 ( 31) 18.56 ( 5) 27.54 ( 12) 3A II-16
15 + 2 Burkburnett 3 1 0 1.507 30.36 ( 17) 34.72 ( 33) 17.06 ( 10) 28.80 ( 6) 3A I-6
16 - 4 Hutto 3 1 0 1.496 33.05 ( 15) 40.14 ( 14) 14.33 ( 15) 21.46 ( 40) 3A III-18
17 - 2 Bellville 3 1 0 1.488 33.36 ( 14) 40.62 ( 11) 14.16 ( 17) 18.57 ( 52) 3A III-23
18 +10 Robinson 3 1 0 1.444 29.21 ( 20) 39.23 ( 15) 11.40 ( 40) 26.54 ( 16) 3A III-17
19 +12 Gatesville 3 1 0 1.437 29.29 ( 19) 41.80 ( 9) 8.91 ( 62) 26.67 ( 15) 3A III-17
20 + 6 Monahans 3 0 0 1.372 26.61 ( 25) 39.06 ( 16) 8.97 ( 60) 19.81 ( 45) 3A I-1

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

AP Rankings

Class 3A
Team Rec Pts Pvs

1. Cuero (15) 4-0 192 1
2. Gilmer (5) 3-0 182 2
3. Giddings 4-0 148 4
4. West Orange-Stark 3-0 147 3
5. Celina 3-0 117 8
6. Dallas Madison 3-0 80 9
7. Decatur 4-0 57 T10
8. Hutto 3-1 39 6
T9. Liberty Hill 3-1 21 T10
T9. Wimberley 3-1 21 x

Dropped out: No. 5 Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, No. 7 Palestine.

Also receiving votes: Carthage 15, Texarkana Liberty-Eylau 14, Midland Greenwood 11, Sweetwater 9, Cameron Yoe 9, Rio Hondo 9, Palestine 7, Monahans 6, Hondo 5, Snyder 3, Bellville 2, Needville 2, Devine 1, Caldwell 1, Breckenridge 1, Canyon 1.

Monday, September 25, 2006

How Gilmer came to be known as the Buckeyes

Long before the birth of Christ the buckeye was known to have medicinal value.
The nutlike seed, found abundantly on shrubs here in East Texas, first got its notoriety as a curative agent from the Greco-Roman culture. Their god of medicine was Aesculapian. Even today botanical scientists place the buckeye within the genus Aesculus, recognize it as a member of the horse-chestnut family and are still highly puzzled by its many and varied phytochemicals.
“Phyto,” as you may recall from biology, simply means “from plants.”
There are a great number of antioxidants and maintenance chemicals found in the buckeye’s pulp. There are also many toxic compounds and several of the substances are downright poisonous.
Early Greek docs would skin the buckeye and boil the endosperm, producing a brew that was taken internally. Most often, just as the case may still be today, the cure inevitably turned out to be worse than the disease.
So now, we see that the buckeye is poisonous. We also begin to get the drift that the buckeye has a little something to do with good luck. The patient was lucky to leave the sawbone’s office alive.
As the Greek and Roman medics got smarter they began to use the buckeyes as a psychosomatic tool. They were centuries ahead of Freud in their psychological wizardry. They’d just simply tell the martyr to disease not to be caught without a buckeye.
The infirm would place the buckeye somewhere in their clothing. Men usually put it in their pockets. They’d fondle it, rub it, squeeze it and an occasional smart-aleck, every now and then, would go it doggy-style ... pitch it up and catch it in his mouth.
It’s possible, but not probable, that Columbus had several buckeyes stowed away in his knickerbockers when he boarded ship in 1492.
H.P. McGaughy, John Barnwell and Danily Warren definitely had buckeyes in their pockets as they stood along the sidelines in Henderson and hollered for the celebrated Gilmer football team in the early 1920s. McGaughy and Barnwell were local bankers and Warren, self-admittedly, was a man of many “functionalabilities.”
Henderson fans were aggravated and indignant as they stormed toward the Gilmer rooters following the game’s end. Why shouldn’t they be bitter? Their local team had blown a 0-0 tie at kickoff time and allowed the visitors to score the next 103 points. Day labor was 10 cents an hour in that day and time and a lot of the ole boys had seen a 6-day work week vanish quicker than a hiccup.
What would be your first response when encountered by a highly inflamed rival, especially when nothing was being said about the game, bets, etc.?
Addressing McGaughy, the hottest of the hottest bellowed, “Why all you guys from Gilmer got your hands in your pockets and seem to be juggling something? Heh, heh, heh.
With a grin as wide as the wooden goalposts left standing on the field, the Gilmer financier withdrew a mightily-used buckeye from his pocket and said ...
“It’s a buckeye, friend. Everybody in Gilmer, as far as I know, carries a buckeye in his britches. Ole John here (Mr. Barnwell) has one in each pocket. He’s got a heap of arthritis and it keeps him down. Better’n aspirin. Show ’em, John.”
Mr. Barnwell displayed both of his buckeyes to the man who seemed to be simmering down a little by now. One of the buckeyes was light brown and the other had a slight jade color.
“Why’s one turning green?” His chin rose and mouth turned down as he awaited an answer.
John was thinking he was back in Gilmer behind his desk and in his swivel chair when he shot back, “When they start turning green, Bob, that means they’ve absorbed about all the arthritis they can hold.”
“Can I have one of those things? You say, it’s called a buckeye?”
Barnwell gave the man both of his buckeyes and explained he had some more growing in a back patch.
McGaughy and Warren said their buckeyes brought them luck. You gotta be lucky to give 75 points and win on a football game.
The Henderson fella that got the two buckeyes waved goodbye as carloads of fans headed back to Upshur County. Fighting the dust, he yelled, “See you next year, GILMER BUCKEYES.”
The name stuck! The orange and black clad Buckeyes ruled the roost all over East Texas for over a decade under the tutelage of Henry McClelland.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Gilmer junior touted as No. 2 prospect in Class of 2008
Justin Johnson, aka the Bus or Bus 1, has been out of action lately, but I imagine he is looking forward to taking the field against Center on Friday night at Buckeye Stadium. Here he is scoring a TD on Oct. 21, 2005, against Gladewater at Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Buckeyes outscore Daingerfield, 62-42, in offensive shootout

Just moments after winning his first game ever at Daingerfield, Gilmer Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor didn’t feel like celebrating. “We did just enough to win; that’s all we did,” lamented Traylor following Gilmer’s 62-42 victory over the winless Tigers.
“That’s just where our program has gotten to; where you win by 20, and the coaches aren’t excited, the players aren’t excited and the fans aren’t excited. That’s where we’ve come in the last seven seasons,” continued Traylor, who improved his record to 64-13 as the Buckeyes’ boss. “That’s what makes us better though; we get somebody’s best effort every week, which makes us so much better because we have to play their best every week.”
Daingerfield certainly played their best football of the season. After averaging only 17.5 points and 229.5 yards total offense in their first two games; the Tigers scorched the Buckeyes’ defense for 42 points and 546 total yards in the losing effort. “We’ve got to address some things on defense obviously,” stated Traylor. “I would say worried would be a good way to describe it. We’ve got to look at it and we’ve got to make some tough decisions in the next two weeks.”
The Buckeyes have two weeks to address their defensive problems thanks to an open date in their schedule this week, before they host Center on Friday, Sept. 29, at Buckeye Stadium. “We’ll get it fixed,” promised Traylor. “We’ve got to move some kids around on defense. Our job as coaches is to get players in position to make plays, and teach them how to make plays, and right now we’re not getting that done, so we’ve got to get that fixed.”
While Traylor offered no excuses for his defense’s performance against the Tigers, fatigue certainly played a factor. Daingerfield controlled the clock for almost 36 of the 48 minutes, running 78 offensive plays to the Buckeyes’ 43. Combine that with the fact that the Tigers gained 61 more yards than the Buckeyes, and it’s hard to believe that Gilmer won the ball game by 20 points. But that’s what happened, thanks to a prolific Gilmer offense that had four touchdown drives that lasted less than one minute.
The first of those drives tied the score at 7-7, when Curtis Brown took a handoff from the 4-yard line and went untouched, around the left side, into the end zone for the first of his four touchdowns of the game. That drive covered 59 yards in only three plays and lasted all of 45 seconds. Matt Burgin kicked the first of his seven PATs of the game.
Gilmer’s second touchdown drive lasted a little longer, as the Buckeyes covered 54 yards in five plays and 2:04 on the clock, finishing with a beautiful pass-and-catch from G.J. Kinne to Lamar Harris from 14 yards out, giving Gilmer a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Daingerfield would tie the score less than 3 minutes later when Johnie Hurndon ran the ball in from 5 yards out, completing an 8-play, 80-yard drive.
62 seconds later, Kinne would score the first of his three straight rushing touchdowns, following his offensive line, untouched up the middle, from a yard out. That drive covered 56 yards in only four plays. The Buckeyes would never trail after taking the 21-14 lead.
Following a Tiger fumble recovered by the Buckeyes’ Jud Murry at Gilmer’s 43-yard line, the Buckeyes went on their longest drive of the night, covering the 57 yards in six plays and a snail’s pace of 2:14 on the clock before Kinne scored from nine yards out on a nifty run with 5:35 remaining in the first half.
The Buckeyes defense came up big again on Daingerfield’s next possession, when Arsenial Richardson dropped Tiger quarterback Matt Whorton for a 9-yard loss on 4th-and-1 from Gilmer’s 23-yard line, giving the Buckeyes’ the football at the 32.
After big passes to Harris and Brown, Kinne stayed on the ground the final yard, crossing the goalline untouched behind the escort of his offensive line. That drive took four plays to go 68 yards in only 52 seconds, giving the Buckeyes a comfortable 35-14 lead at halftime.
After Gilmer recovered a Tiger fumble on the opening kick-off of the second half, it looked like the rout was on. But the Tiger defense managed to stop the Buckeyes’ offense for the first time in the game; as Kinne was sacked for a 7-yard loss on the first play, and then threw two incomplete passes, forcing Gilmer’s first punt in four games, dating back to the Buckeyes’ last meeting with Daingerfield in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
The Tigers took over at their own 20, and proceeded on an 8-play, 80 yard drive, consuming 3:13 on the clock, before Hurndon scored from five yards out, closing the score to 35-21.
That’s when Gilmer answered the question, “What can Brown do for you?” as Curtis Brown scored the next three Buckeyes’ touchdowns on a 25-yard catch, an 82-yard kick-off return and a 43-yard catch. Those touchdowns came on scoring drives of 33 seconds, 16 seconds and 1:38, and gave Gilmer a 55-28 lead with 7:56 to play in the game.
Daingerfield responded less than 2 minutes later when Whorton scored the second of his three rushing touchdowns on a 1-yard scamper.
Gilmer would finish their touchdown barrage with a final scoring drive covering 48 yards in three plays, when Kinne hit Harris for a 43-yard strike with 4:01 left in the game.
The Tigers wrapped up the scoring on Whorton’s 34-yard touchdown run, and 2-point conversion with only 1:40 to play.
That left Gilmer’s coaches and players shaking their heads over the 104 total points scored. “I guess they were real riled up to play us, because they put on a show,” said the Buckeyes’ Brown, who put on quite a show himself, totaling four touchdowns and 328 total yards on only 13 touches. “Curtis played just amazing again,” said Traylor. “We’re just becoming used to that. He was sick all last week, but he showed up every day. What a leader he has become.”
Traylor also complimented the Tigers for their effort. “Daingerfield was really up for the game. They’re the Daingerfield Tigers; they’ve got a lot of pride in their program. You’ve got to give Daingerfield a lot of credit. I thought their kids played well,” Traylor said, specifically referring to Whorton’s performance that included 278 yards passing and 160 yards rushing for the Tigers’ senior quarterback.
Traylor’s own senior quarterback, Kinne, was equally impressive, throwing for 384 yards and four touchdowns, and rushing for another 31 yards and three touchdowns. “G.J. Kinne had his best game,” said Traylor. “He really played the position of quarterback well. You can tell he’s starting to understand what’s going on.”
Gilmer needed big games from Kinne and Brown, due to junior running back Justin Johnson’s absence. Johnson, who had 6 touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ first 2 games, suited up, but didn’t play. “He could have played,” said Traylor. “He’s just been bruised up, and I just decided to hold him out. We’ve got an open week, so we’ll try to get him well.”
Johnson was replaced in the backfield by sophomore Josh Thompson, who earned Traylor’s praise. “Josh Thompson stepped in and played every snap. His pass protection was wonderful; he picked up a lot of good blitzes. He only carried the ball five times, but he picked up 35 yards, so that’s seven yards a carry. I was very proud of him.”
Traylor is confident that his defense will improve. Couple that with an offense that is averaging 497 yards and 54 points per game, and you can understand why he is ready to get this off-week behind him. “If you would have told me before the season that we would be 3-0; beating Las Vegas, Tatum and Daingerfield all by 20 points or more, I would have said you were crazy. I remember saying that we could go 8-3 and it be a good year; well now it’s looking like we could be better than that.”

Offense: Prentice Bell
Defense: Kirby Spencer

Gilmer Daingerfield
17 First downs 33
16-104 Rushes-yds 50-268
21-27-0 Passing 19-28-0
384 Passing-yds 278
488 Total yds 546
4-35 Penalties-yds 9-60
2 Fumbles lost 2
1-23 Punts-avg 2-25
1 2 3 4 T
Gilmer 14 21 13 14 62
D’field 7 7 14 14 42

Gilmer Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
THOSE BUCKEYES PICTURED in ascending order include Lamar Harris, Curtis Brown, G.J. Kinne, G.J. Kinne again and finally Jamell Kennedy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

An Army of Buckeyes are We

For more than half a century, that’s been the unifying creed of Gilmerites everywhere. Over the decades, it has bound our community together on autumn Friday nights, and followed us into our daily lives. It is the common fabric we use to weave an orange and black fabric around us, cloaking our differences in ethnicity, creed and socio-economic standing. It is something we can agree upon, as we express our encouragement and support for our sons and daughters. It is something that unites us in celebration and creates an unstoppable optimism when they are successful in their endeavors. And when we gather together on their behalf, it strengthens us as individuals, defines our community, and sends an undeniable message to anyone and everyone to see; we are ONE.
That lesson has not been lost on our children. As Gilmer Buckeyes, they are taught that the needs of the ONE outweigh their own selfish desires. They are taught that the weakest individual is the individual that needs the most help and encouragement, and they rally around them until that individual does his part for the team. They are taught that building character individually is their individual responsibility to the team and to each other. They have applied these important lessons, experienced success and learned the importance of humility. So it is no wonder how they have responded this year in support of one of their.
Josh Nelson is a Gilmer Buckeye, whose story is familiar to many Buckeye fans. He has certainly not had the average life of a normal 17 year old. Last year, Josh was a handsome and popular kid, a budding star on a championship football team, a tough and gritty player on the field, and a warm hearted, polite and kind young man off of it. I guess one could say that Josh Nelson has had what every kid wants and more…in this case, much more. Last year Josh discovered he also has leukemia. That news followed on the heels of his mother’s worsening condition with the same disease, with which she lost her battle early this year. This unimaginable fate could befall almost anyone at any time, and yet it happened to Josh, a young man who had the world at his feet, and one year later now carries the world on his shoulders. Josh has had many complications in battling his disease, the list of which is both too long and too horrific to name here. But despite the world throwing almost every life altering tragedy imaginable at him over the past year, he is still applying BUCKEYE lessons to the situation in his hospital bed. Be POSITIVE, have RESPECT for yourself and others, be INTENSE and never give up, and be DISCIPLINED in EVERYTHING you do. That’s P.R.I.D.E. That’s what Josh Nelson was taught, and that’s what he has practiced.
Being a Gilmer Buckeye, Josh Nelson is entitled to the strength of the ONE any time he needs it. And Josh needs it right now, today. As he said goodbye to his mother, his teammates were with him, supporting and encouraging him, carrying him when he was unable to carry himself. They have adopted his name and it is their motto for the upcoming season. “NELSON”- the origin of the word means “Son of the Champion”, you can hear it loud and in unison each and every time the Gilmer Buckeyes gather. This name unites our team, and I am calling it out loud now to unite the Army of Buckeyes. As a sign of a commitment to unselfishness, NO Gilmer Buckeye wears the #1 on their jersey and no Gilmer Buckeye wears their own name on the back of their jersey. That has been the tradition instated and enforced over the past six years, and has stood until today. Now, that jersey number is reserved for you, The Army of Buckeyes…and the name on the back reads, “NELSON”. It symbolizes our commitment and dedication to each other. ONE Army, ONE City, ONE P.R.I.D.E. We are from Gilmer, Texas, and we are ONE Army of BUCKEYES.
My challenge to you, the Army of Buckeyes is simple. Please pick up your jersey at Special Tees on Hwy 155 south, across from Upshur Rural Electric. (All proceeds to the Josh Nelson Fund to help offset medical bills and to pay for Josh’s future education.) Show up early to every game, wear your ONE jersey, and get ready to let Buckeye P.R.I.D.E. become part of you, as you become part of the ONE.

Author Unknown (Well, I know who he is, but he wishes to remain anonymous.) ranks Buckeyes No. 1

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Buckeye Stadium via satellite

This is Google satellite imagery of Buckeye Stadium found on the site Wikimapia.

This image was captured sometime during the summer of 2005 as contractors were installing the FieldTurf® and improving the track. The orange seats at left are the most coveted ones in the stadium. Those are where season ticket holders sit and there is a waiting list about a mile long to obtain one.

Jared Baker

He is mentioned toward the end of this article about Austin College's win over Kalamazoo College. Jared was a great defensive player for the Buckeyes in 2000, 2001 and 2002. I'll never forget No. 55 bearing down on opposing QBs and usually sacking them. He is also a very intelligent young man. You have to be to gain admission to Austin College, one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the U.S. and certainly in Texas.

Here's a photo of Jared, who made a number of all-state teams, sacking Pleasant Grove QB Ross Leonoudakis in September 2002:

More audio archives

Tatum game here on Sept. 8, 2006

Bishop Gorman game in Tyler on Aug. 31, 2006

Also, here's a highlight video from the Tatum game.

Monday, September 18, 2006

2006 Gilmer Buckeyes

Curtis Brown

Curtis Brown, a verbal commitment to the Texas Longhorns, is the fourth-best high school player in the Class of 2007 in Texas and the 26th best in the nation, according to the scouting reports at The other night against Daingerfield, he put on an absolutely phenomenal performance with seven receptions for 175 yards. He also returned a kickoff 88 yards for a TD, one of four he scored on the night.

This photo was one taken during the state championship game on Dec. 18, 2004, against Jasper in Nacogdoches when Curtis was only a sophomore. I know he's hoping to leave GHS with two rings in December. (He's planning to move to Austin in January, I hear, so he can participate in spring practice.)

I know UT needs help in the secondary, but Mack Brown needs to give Curtis a shot on offense. He won't regret it, I don't think.

Audio archive of Friday night's game in Daingerfield

Also, here are some newspaper accounts of the game:

Kinne leads Gilmer to wild 62-42 win

Gilmer outscores Daingerfield, 62-42

Gilmer 62, Daingerfield 42

Here are game accounts of Week One's game with the Tatum Eagles:

Buckeyes hand Tatum 45-21 loss

Here is an account of the Week Zero opening game with Las Vegas Bishop Gorman:


Texas Football Top 20

CLASS 3A Texas Football Top 20 Poll
Rank School/Record Prv. Last Week's Result Week 1 Matchup
1 Gilmer (3-0) 1 def. 2A Daingerfield 62-14 Bye
2 Cuero (3-0) 2 def. Bandera 48-21 No. 19 Liberty Hill
3 Giddings (3-0) 3 def. 2A Hempstead 42-14 at No. 8 Hutto
4 Tex. Liberty-Eylau (3-0) 4 def. 4A Greenville 32-14 vs. No. 10 Wimberley (in Waxahachie)
5 West Orange-Stark (3-0) 5 def. Bay City 20-12 Bye
6 Palestine (3-0) 6 def. 4A Henderson 34-6 4A Jacksonville
7 Carthage (2-0) 7 Bye at Pittsburg
8 Hutto (3-0) 8 def. Gonzlaes 41-7 No. 3 Giddings
9 Celina (3-0) 11 def. Plano Prestonwood 28-7 Bye
10 Wimberley (2-1) 12 def. Luling 45-14 vs. No. 4 Liberty-Eylau (in Waxahachie)
11 Hondo (3-0) 13 def. Marion 35-7 Uvalde
12 Dallas Madison (2-0) 14 Bye 4A Dallas Lincoln
13 Decatur NR def. No. 20 Sweetwater 40-26 at Vernon
14 Emory Rains (2-0) 19 def. White Oak 21-0 at 2A No. 19 Farmersville
15 Royse City (3-0) 20 def. Canton 56-30 Sanger
16 Cameron Yoe (2-1) 16 def. Arlington Grace Prep 34-7 at 2A No. 10 Lexington
17 Monahans (2-0) 17 def. Midland Christian 26-21 Andrews
18 Bellville (2-1) 10 lost to 4A Barbers Hill 24-13 Houston Christian
19 Liberty Hill (3-0) NR def. Gatesville 84-10 at No. 2 Cuero
20 Sweetwater (2-1) 9 lost to No. 13 Decatur 40-26 at Canyon

Dropped Out: Gatesville, Van

Hey, we in the Army of Buckeyes really appreciate Dave Campbell subtracting 28 points from Daingerfield's total the other night. 62-14 looks a lot better!

Manuel Johnson

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.

You would have to excuse Gilmer opponents in 2004 for thinking they were in a track meet:

Gilmer Buckeyes Head Coach/Athletic Director Jeff Traylor

Jeff Traylor is now in his seventh season as the Buckeyes mentor. His teams have gone 6-4, 8-3, 8-3, 13-1, 16-0, 10-2 and, so far in 2006, 3-0.

The following was published in The Gilmer Mirror on the eve of the 2006 season:

Coach Traylor tells Rotarians there's "not a better place in the world" than Gilmer

Buckeye Coach Jeff Traylor spoke to Gilmer Rotary Club Tuesday about the new season, his pride in his players and his appreciation for the community’s support.
He distributed Buckeye cards to each of the club members, saying these were an emblem of the team’s dedicating the season to Josh Nelson, Buckeye linebacker now being treated for leukemia at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Each player has one of the cards.
On one side is a photo of the team’s goal, the trophy that will be awarded to the state champions in Conference 3A, Division I at the end of the 2006 season. On the other side is the word Nelson with a cross between the two syllables.
Traylor said the team wanted to do something to help Josh be a part of the season. He became ill during the 2005 football season, but was at first was thought to have pleurisy. By January the diagnosis had been changed to leukemia.
Researching Josh’s last name, the Buckeyes learned that it means “son of a champion.” So they adopted that as their motto for the season. Underneath the NEL+SON on the back of the card is printed, “What will you give?”
Coach Traylor explained that he had read about this idea being originated by Shaquille O’Neal of the Miami Heat basketball team. Each player writes down something he is willing to give up to help his team win.
The coach brought with him three key players, who, he said, exemplify the quality of this year’s Buckeye squad.
He introduced Curtis Brown, who has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Texas at Austin next year. Curtis promised to practice as hard as he can every day, and the Buckeye coach said UT Coach Mack Brown had promised to help with that.
Introducing G.J. Kinne, Traylor said the quarterback who transferred here from Canton had been through a lot, and he considered it an honor that his family chose to move here.
Kinne said that he is 4,000 yards short of exceeding the league passing record, but to win state, he knows that he will have to be selfless. He said he would put his statistics aside and run every play if he had to. And he promised to work hard every day.
In introducing Jamell Kennedy the coach called him “the greatest kid.” He said Kennedy, who played quarterback last year but starts this season as a wide receiver, “gives all the time.” Kennedy said he was giving up sodas in order to be in better condition.
Speaking of the inspiration Josh Nelson has been to the team, he related how Tyler Morning Telegraph sportswriter Shane Stark had seen a photo of the team with an empty jersey, No. 28 and asked what it signified. On hearing the explanation Stark wrote a story about how Josh had been diagnosed with leukemia in January, and his mother died of the disease a few months later.
Though Josh himself tried to keep everyone from knowing he was sick, the coaches and players alike were highly upset about his condition, Traylor said, The coach told the Tyler writer that Nelson is “a wonderful kid. Thoughtful. A devout Christian. The kind of kid any coach would love to have on his team. . .
“His commitment to the Lord, and his dedication to our youth group at church has led many of our football players to believing in God. The more he hurts, the more and more he gives to the Lord. The kids have come to know how deep Josh’s relationship is with the creator.”
Emphasizing that Gilmer is his hometown and supports him and the team in a wonderful way, Coach Traylor said he wakes up every day “so grateful to be coach here.”
“There’s not a better place in the world,” he said.
Coach Traylor advised fans to get their tickets immediately for the Aug. 31 East Texas Classic against Bishop Gorman in Tyler; 2,000 were sold the first day they were available.

Nel†son (Tribute to Josh Nelson)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers when you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2) The first time I read this verse I thought that the author had to be insane. No one wants to hurt. To see someone you love helpless in pain or agony isn’t a pleasant thing. It is human nature not to enjoy suffering. Why then would the author of this verse make a statement like that? This verse used to be an enigma to me, but in recent trials I fully grasp the meaning of it.

I can recall 2 1/2 years back, on my first day of high school, when my assigned seating in Geography class landed me beside Josh Nelson. Josh and I had known who each other was since third grade, yet we didn’t know anything about each others true self. Who could have foreseen that that mild acquaintanceship would evolve into an unbreakable brotherhood. Throughout the course of our freshman year Josh and I got to know each other on a more personal level. We seemed to somewhat be at the same place in our walks with God. The closer we got to God the closer we were drawn to each other. Over time we became accountability partners, best friends, and even brothers. Any problem that came our way we were able to conquer with the help of God and one another. Then something unexpected happened…Josh got leukemia.

Naturally, I wanted to ask why. My thoughts were, “His mom already has it. Isn’t that enough?” The ironic thing is that Josh, the one person who definitely had an excuse to question, showed me I was wrong. He shocked me with what he said. His words were, “I wouldn’t trade this for the world. God has a plan and it will shine through.” I couldn’t understand what would cause him to make a statement like that. He clarified by telling me that his eyes had been opened through this humbling experience. That everyday is a gift from God, and we are not promised tomorrow, yet we walk around doing things our way on our own schedule. There are two very simple reasons that we are on this planet. They are “to know Him (Jesus Christ) and to make Him known.” That should be our primary focus. Josh explained to me how often we seem to get so lost and caught up in ourselves that we miss out on God’s plan. He could not wait to get out of bed and back in school just so he could share his faith with others. He also told me how his having leukemia is just another way for God to be glorified. He was sincerely thankful that God had chosen to use him as a tool to advance his kingdom and to be a source of inspiration to others. It shocked me. Here is a boy bedridden with cancer, yet he is thankful. I found that through Josh’s eyes being opened mine had been opened.

These times are a struggle to me, yet I have learned something from them. God uses the challenges we face to shape the character within us. If we chose to respond to trials by leaning on God for guidance and letting him carry us through them. Then we will come out of them with a much deeper relationship with Him, more wisdom, and more strength. A coal is turned into a diamond under intense pressure and heat. In the same way we are formed into God’s image in the hardest of times. Another thing I have learned is that God will not let us down. The darkest of times are the most ideal for God to show up. In the book of Daniel Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendago stand against a King and an entire nation to remain loyal to God. They are unwilling to worship a false idol and the penalty for that is death. When the King peers into the furnace he is amazed. Not only are the three men walking around in the core of the inferno, but there is a fourth person there…God. When we are in critical times, if we have faith, God will show up, deliver us, and be glorified. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendago had faith in God and because of that God was glorified and a nations eyes were opened to the truth. Because Josh has had faith in God in this present situation, I can step back and see God’s hand at work. Already there have been people led to Christ, stronger unity in multiple families, and unbelievable renewing of minds. The great thing is, God is still working.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-5) Josh has been my role model through all of this. No matter what has been thrown at him, he has taken it head on. He realizes that this is a test of his faith. That as he goes through this he is being formed into the man God wants him to be. From where I have stood through this I have been able to watch Josh change. He is continually growing into an image of Jesus Christ. All because he has faith in God. The amazing thing is, through this trial I’ve seen myself and other grow into stronger Christians. For these reasons you can find joy amidst trials.

Right now, as I look across this hospital room I’m sitting in, I see a young man who once weighed 175 pounds of muscle and had a full head of hair. Now weighing 140 pounds with sparse patches of hair across his head. He’s fast asleep with an oxygen mask on and multiple tubes connected to him, but I see through that. I see a man of God willing for God to complete his work in him and through him. No matter the cost.

Welcome to my Gilmer Buckeyes blog

The Gilmer Buckeyes comprise one of the most successful Class 3A high school football programs in the state of Texas. Since 2000, the Buckeyes have compiled a record of 64-13 with five straight district titles (2001-2005) and one state championship (2004).

Here are game accounts from The Gilmer Mirror of the first two games of the 2006 season, both victories.

Gilmer wins over Tatum, 45-21, before huge crowd here

Turnovers and depth proved to be the difference between the Gilmer Buckeyes and Tatum Eagles Friday night, as the host Buckeyes took advantage of six Eagles’ turnovers and shut Tatum out of the end zone the final 28 minutes, on their way to a convincing 45-21 victory before a standing room only crowd estimated at over 7,500 people at Buckeye Stadium.
Hundreds of fans stood in line at both entrances to Buckeye Stadium several hours before the scheduled 7:30 p.m. kickoff, to witness what some people were calling “The East Texas Super Bowl.” They were not disappointed, as the state’s top-ranked team in Class 2A kicked off to the state’s top-ranked team in Class 3A.
Gilmer started their first drive from their 37-yard line, and quickly established the ground game when Justin Johnson picked up 28 yards on the game’s first play. Johnson would score the game’s first touchdown just six plays later on a 4-yard run, capping off a 2:17 drive in which the Buckeyes did not complete a single pass. Johnson ended the night with 131 yards on just 14 carries. Johnson deferred all praise: “The line blocked good the whole game. I give all the credit to them.”
Tatum would answer right back, only 1:44 later when Lennon Creer powered his way through the Buckeyes’ defense from 23 yards out, tying the score at 7-7. The Eagles only gained 33 yards on the drive, due to an onside kick attempt that was recovered inside 10 yards by the Buckeyes, giving Tatum the ball at Gilmer’s 48 yard line. The Buckeyes’ defense contributed another 15 yards thanks to a late-hit penalty.
Gilmer looked like Gilmer on their second possession, completing three straight passes for 62 yards and a touchdown, with G.J. Kinne and Curtis Brown connecting twice for 59 yards and a touchdown, giving the Buckeyes the 14-7 lead only 1:07 after the Tatum score. Brown finished with four catches for 110 yards and added 77 yards on just four carries.
The Buckeyes’ defense came up big on Tatum’s second possession, stopping the Eagles on a 4th-and-2, giving the ball back to the Buckeyes’ offense at their 42-yard line. Once again, Gilmer wasted little time, scoring three plays later on Kinne’s 1-yard plunge with 3:17 to play in the first quarter, making the score 21-7. This series featured the Buckeyes’ ground game again, with Brown picking up 32 yards on the first play and Johnson gaining 25 yards on the second play.
Tatum showcased their own ground attack the next series, covering 54 yards on eight straight runs, finishing with Bryce Beall’s 15-yard touchdown only 41 seconds into the second quarter. That cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 21-14.
Gilmer’s next series is where the momentum shifted permanently in the Buckeyes’ favor. On the fourth play of the drive, Kinne threw a wild pass under heavy pressure, only to have Tatum’s Jonathan Humphries intercept the throw and return it for a touchdown. As the Eagles’ fans celebrated what looked to be a tied ball game, Gilmer fans were pointing to two yellow flags on the field. The first flag was for defensive holding, and the second flag was for a Tatum personal foul, so the Buckeyes got the football back at the Eagles’ 26-yard line. The Buckeyes went for the jugular on the very next play. Kinne threw a quick pass to Jake Ashley near the Gilmer sideline, and Ashley immediately pulled up and threw a perfect strike to a diving Johnson in the back of the end zone for the touchdown, and a 28-14 lead with 9:22 to play in the half.
Tatum answered back with a methodical 5:19 drive, picking up 15 yards on a Gilmer penalty, and 53 yards on nine rushes, capped off by Cashas Pollard’s 1-yard touchdown run with 4:03 remaining until halftime. That made the score 28-21, but that was as close as Tatum would get the rest of the night.
The Eagles finally managed to stop the Buckeyes from scoring on Gilmer’s fifth possession, forcing the Buckeyes into an apparent punting situation on 4th-and-22 from the Tatum 44-yard line. Gilmer lined up for what would have been their first punt in three games dating back to last season, but the ball was snapped to Brown, who ran for 16 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the 28-yard line.
Two plays later, Jules Johnson intercepted an errant Pollard pass at the Buckeyes’ 37-yard line with 19 seconds to play. Gilmer again reached into their bag of tricks, this time with Kinne throwing to Lamar Harris on a quick hitch pattern. As Harris was hit from behind he flipped the football to Johnson, who raced around the corner and down the Buckeyes’ sidelines before being tackled at the 7-yard line with only six seconds remaining. Gilmer kicker Matt Burgin calmly kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Buckeyes’ a 10-point advantage going into halftime. Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor praised his senior kicker, “I was extremely proud of Matt Burgin; he had a big field goal right before halftime.” Burgin also converted all six of his extra-point attempts.
The start of the second half looked as if the Eagles had handed the Buckeyes a gift, when Gilmer lined up to receive the second half kickoff due to a Tatum error at the game’s opening coin toss.
“Their kid just made a mistake;” said Traylor. “But it worked out good for (Tatum coach) Andy [Evans], we dropped it, so he’s a genius,” said Traylor referring to the Buckeyes’ fumble of the kick, that gave Tatum the ball at the Buckeyes’ 32-yard line.
The Buckeye’s Black Flag defense emerged on this drive, forcing turnovers on all four Tatum possessions in the second half. Jules Johnson recovered a Pollard fumble at the 10-yard line, setting up Gilmer’s longest touchdown drive of the night. The Buckeyes stayed on the ground for seven of the nine plays, but the two pass plays were big. On 3rd-and-5 from their own 27-yard line, Kinne hit Brown for 49 yards. Then on 4th-and-7 from Tatum’s 18-yard line, Brennan Thompson made a spectacular catch over the top of an Eagle defender, giving the Buckeyes a first down at the 1-yard line. Kinne scored the second of his two rushing touchdowns on the next play, giving the Buckeyes a 38-21 lead with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.
Tatum responded with a 10-play drive that saw them reach the Buckeyes’ 1-yard line before two great defensive plays by the Buckeyes. On 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Tatum’s Creer was dropped for a 5-yard loss. On fourth down, Dunterius Goodman hit Pollard as he threw the ball; Justin Johnson intercepted the pass at the 16-yard line and returned it 84 yards for his third touchdown of the game. “I figured somebody was behind me,” Johnson said. “I was praying that they wouldn’t pull me down from behind.”
Lamar Harris and Kezie Camp ended the Eagles’ final two possessions with interceptions, as the Buckeyes’ defense held Tatum to 112 passing yards and 176 rushing yards on the night. “Defensively we played a really good second half,” commented Traylor. “We made some adjustments at half-time, and the defense did the bend-but-not break. Whenever your defense causes six turnovers; it’s a good night.”
The Buckeyes almost doubled the Eagles’ total offense despite 18 fewer plays. Gilmer racked up 536 total yards, with a balanced attack of 288 yards passing and 248 yards rushing. Traylor cited the turnover margin as key to the win. “If you look at our offense; we had one turnover, and that was in the fourth quarter,” said the Buckeye Boss. “That’s pretty impressive to run the offense that we run, and only turn the ball over one time.”
Traylor admitted that he wasn’t confident in victory until the very end. “Whenever you’ve got those kinds of athletes on the field; where they can score on any play, you’re worried. I didn’t feel good until I was taking a knee,” said Traylor, who improved his career record to 4-1 against the Eagles.
For Kinne, the third time was the charm, as his Canton teams had been knocked out of the playoffs by the Eagles in 2003 and 2005. “I had never beaten them before,” said the senior quarterback, who finished 13-of-16 passing for 263 yards and a touchdown. “This year, we have a great bunch of players; it takes a lot of the load off of my shoulders, just to distribute the ball and letting them run.”
Traylor cited Kinne, among others, as doing the little things it takes to win ball games. “There were some great hustle plays that people don’t know about. When Lamar Harris fumbled; G.J. Kinne, from the quarterback position, recovered that fumble. On our first touchdown run, Lennon Creer was blocked to the ground on his back by Jamell Kennedy; we call that a will-breaker. There are just some kids giving some unbelievable effort that people are not even noticing.”
Traylor and his staff notice that effort. They also know how to keep their team’s success in perspective. “For a non-district game, it was a huge win,” said Traylor.

Tatum Gilmer
23 First downs 20
46-176 Rushes-yds 32-248
8-18-4 Passing 14-17-0
112 Passing-yds 288
288 Total yds 536
2 Fumbles lost 1
6-49 Penalties-yds 7-70
31:29 Time of possession 16:31
0-0 Punts-avg 0-0
1 2 3 4 T
Tatum 7 14 0 0 21
Gilmer 21 10 7 7 45

Buckeyes get off to impressive start with 56-14 win over Gaels

The Gilmer Buckeyes wanted to be good hosts to the visiting Bishop Gorman Gaels of Las Vegas, Nevada, in their season opener Thursday night in Tyler. The Buckeyes even gave the Gaels a couple of first quarter gifts to make them feel welcome. Luckily for Gilmer, the Gaels couldn’t take home all of those gifts, suffering a 56-14 blowout to Texas’ top-ranked 3A team in the first game of the third annual East Texas Football Classic played at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Gilmer’s first gift came on the Buckeyes’ very first play from scrimmage, when much-heralded quarterback G.J. Kinne threw an interception to the Gaels’ Trey Mays, who returned it to the Gilmer 47-yard line. The Gaels’ offense went to work for the first time, plodding the 47 yards in 10 plays, and taking a 7-0 lead on Corey White’s 2-yard touchdown run with 6:37 left in the first quarter.
Gilmer’s second possession was a little better than the first. That drive lasted three plays before Curtis Brown fumbled the ball away to Gorman at his own 42-yard line.
“That’s not the way you draw it up to start,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “When you start out with an interception and then a fumble, that’s never good. But we knew it was a long game, and we have some mature kids.”
One of those mature kids is Kinne, who transferred to Gilmer from Canton in April. Last season’s 3A Player of the Year, didn’t have the start he wanted for his new team. “We didn’t start off too hot with that interception and then the fumble, but we rallied back,” said the senior quarterback, who finished the game 13-of-23 for 261 yards and five touchdowns after throwing the interception.
“I haven’t been a part of Gilmer football long, but that’s a good way to start,” Kinne continued, deflecting the credit to his coaches and teammates. “I threw that interception and Coach
Traylor didn’t jump down my throat or anything, so I felt comfortable,” stated Kinne. “It’s a complex offense, and I’m still new. The guys are so good around me that it helps a lot. The offensive line and the receivers did a great job.”
Traylor said there was no reason to be upset at his new quarterback. “I thought he played great. It was his first game out there. I thought he stood in the pocket and threw the ball well. I was very pleased with his effort.”
Following the Buckeyes’ second turnover, Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense would hold the Gaels and force a punt.
The Buckeyes’ third time was the charm, as Gilmer went 80 yards in only 4 plays, capped off by a screen pass to Justin Johnson, who turned up-field and used his blockers to guide him the 58 yards to Gilmer’s first touchdown. Matt Burgin’s PAT was good for a 7-7 tie with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter.
At this point in the game, Bishop Gorman took over the role of giver, trying an ill-advised 4th-and-long attempt that resulted in Gilmer’s ball at their 42 yard line. Johnson led the Buckeyes on a 5-play, 58-yard drive capped off by his second touchdown on the night, this one a 3-yard run up the middle. After a missed extra point, the Buckeyes led 13-7 with 11:28 left in the first half.
The Black Flag Defense flexed their muscles the next series, holding the Gaels to no yards on three plays, forcing a Gorman punt that went to the Gilmer 35. The Buckeyes’ offense then proceeded on their longest scoring drive of the night, covering the 65 yards in nine plays. Kinne did the honors this time, diving into the end zone from a yard out for the touchdown. The Buckeyes lined up for the extra point attempt, but instead quickly snapped the ball, allowing Johnson to run in for the 2-point conversion, giving Gilmer a 21-7 lead with 7:07 remaining in the half.
Just as the Buckeyes looked to be pulling away from the Gaels, junior running back Keola Antolin put the Las Vegas team back into the game with a 50-yard touchdown run just four plays later, closing the score to 21-14 with 5:31 to play in the half.
That touchdown temporarily quieted the crowd of approximately 6,000 mostly Gilmer fans. “I know we had them sweating early,” opined Bishop Gorman head coach David White.
The ensuing kickoff by Bishop Gorman opened the floodgates to a Buckeyes’ 22-point scoring barrage over the final 5:17 of the half, putting the game out of reach, at intermission. Johnson bobbled the kickoff, picking up the ball at the 20-yard line just as Gorman defenders descended around him. This gave Johnson an opening and he took advantage, sprinting down the Gorman sideline untouched for the 80-yard touchdown. The Buckeyes would fake the extra-point attempt again; this time with holder Brennan Thompson throwing to Johnson for the 2-point play, making the score 29-14.
That gave the junior running back 22 points, as Johnson finished with 195 total yards and three touchdowns, despite not playing in the second half. “He’s a gifted athlete, and he played a good first half,” Traylor said. “I’m proud of him.”
Buckeyes’ linebacker Arsenial Richardson delivered a crushing blow three plays later when he picked off a Dylan Barrera pass on a tipped ball. Four plays later Kinne hit Brown from 15 yards out for the senior receiver’s first touchdown of the season. Burgin’s extra point attempt was good, giving Gilmer a 36-14 advantage with 2:27 left in the half.
Gilmer’s defense quickly forced another Gorman punt. Brown caught the ball at midfield and raced through the Gaels’ defenders all the way down to the 23-yard line. Four plays later Kinne hit Lamar Harris with a quick pass, allowing the junior receiver to break free for a 10-yard scoring strike with only 46 seconds remaining in the half, giving Gilmer a 43-14 lead.
Traylor was pleased that the first half provided his Buckeyes some challenges. “It was good for us to have a little adversity. It was really good for us to see how we would come back.” Brown agreed with his coach, “We kept our composure, and we played as a team. We just started making big plays.”
The Gaels came out in the second half determined to get back in the game, taking the opening kickoff and going on a nearly 6-minute drive, before the Buckeyes’ Jud Murry recovered a Gorman fumble on fourth down, giving Gilmer the ball at the Gaels’ 48-yard line. Six plays later, facing a 3rd-and-18 at the 20-yard line, Kinne found Brown in the end zone for the touchdown, and a 49-14 lead after another missed PAT, with 5:13 to play in the third quarter.
Following another Gorman punt, the Buckeyes finished the scoring when Kinne and Brown hooked up for their third touchdown, this one a 40-yarder with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter. Burgin’s PAT was good, making the final score 56-14.
Brown finished with four catches for 98 yards and three touchdowns, and added 18 yards on four carries to go along with his 29 yards on three punt returns.
While Kinne, Brown and Johnson made the headlines, Traylor attributed the win to, “Our depth; we just had so many players that played the game. They had about eight really good players, but they try to play them all both ways. I think our depth was the difference.”
White agreed with Traylor. “These kids saw some Texas football, and they got after us,” said White who became the first high school coach from Nevada to face a Texas team. “We knew they were good. They’re every bit as good as advertised. I would compare them to the best teams we’ve ever played. They’re a great program.”
Traylor quickly quelled White’s assessment. “We don’t need to get carried away; we’re not a national power by any means. We’re a 3A school that plays really good football,” said the Buckeye Boss, who saw his team rack up 429 total yards on offense, while his defense only allowed 194.
“I’m just glad that our first game is over. We’ve got a long weekend, and we’ll see where we are,” Traylor said, cautioning his team not to dwell on the big win against the Gaels, but to focus on next week’s opponent.
“If they don’t know about Tatum, then shame on them. I don’t think we’ll have a problem with that. If we do, we’re not as mature as I thought we were. They know the difference between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Tatum, Texas; at least I hope they do.”
Kinne agreed with his coach. “We have to forget about the win. We have to go out there and work hard in practice next week. Vegas is a real good team, but they’re not in the same league as Tatum.”

Gorman Gilmer
11 First downs 19
41-144 Rushes-yds 28-147
5-17-2 Passing 14-28-2
50 Passing-yds 282
194 Total yds 429
29:25 Time of possession 18:35
8-62 Penalties-yds. 3-20
1 Fumbles lost 1
6-30 Punts-avg 0-0
1 2 3 4 T
Gorman 7 7 0 0 14
Gilmer 7 36 13 0 56