Thursday, December 28, 2006

AP names six Gilmer Buckeyes to all-state teams

Gilmer Buckeyes’ senior quarterback G.J. Kinne was named the Associated Press Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year, and teammate Curtis Brown was named to the first team defense, headlining a group of six Buckeyes honored by the AP.
Kinne won the Offensive Player of the year award for the second straight year. In 2005, Kinne was selected after leading the Canton Eagles to the Class 3A Regional Finals, before losing to eventual state champion Tatum. After his father, Canton head coach Gary Joe Kinne left the Eagles for a position at Baylor, Kinne moved with his mother and step-father to Gilmer, and joined the Buckeyes for his senior season.
Kinne’s season was nothing short of spectacular, but once again Kinne and his teammates suffered a playoff loss to the eventual state champion; this time to Liberty-Eylau in the first round. Kinne finished the regular season with 2,962 yards, 43 touchdowns and only one interception, while completing 149 of 218 passes, helping the Buckeyes’ offense average 528.7 yards and 55.4 points per game. The selections were based on regular season statistics.
“It’s really just a great tribute to the coaches and players around me,” said Kinne. “It’s great, but it’s kind of hard to be excited about it with such a disappointing end to the season.” Kinne said that he would trade both Player of the Year honors for a state championship trophy. “This doesn’t even compare. It’s great, and I’m happy that I received it, but I’d definitely rather have the other one.”
Brown’s selection to the first team defense is both impressive and puzzling, since the Texas Longhorns’ commitment played sparingly on the defensive side of the football, and missed most of 5 games with an ankle injury. Despite missing almost half of the regular season, Brown put up jaw-dropping numbers for the Buckeyes’ offense, catching 33 passes for 831 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brown also contributed 14 rushes for 136 yards and another touchdown, and returned 4 kick-offs for a total of 138 yards and another score, along with gaining 59 yards on 7 punt returns. In all, Brown accounted for 1164 yards and 15 touchdowns in just over 5 games.
“It was a surprise,” Brown said, when asked about being named as a defensive player. “I guess they felt like they had to give me something since I’m considered to be one of the best players in the state.” According to, Brown is the best player in the state. The recruiting website has Brown listed as the state’s top recruit, and 9th best recruit in the nation. Brown committed to Texas in March, and the Longhorns are expected to play him at cornerback; the position Brown last played as a sophomore on the Buckeyes’ state championship team.
Buckeyes’ junior running back Justin Johnson was named to the second-team offense after posting 1,015 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 86 carries. Johnson also contributed 357 yards and 4 touchdowns on 15 catches, along with 153 yards and another score on 5 kick-off returns.
Junior offensive lineman David Snow, along with junior receiver Lamar Harris, and senior linebacker Arsenial Richardson were honorable mention selections. Snow had 60 pancake blocks and graded out at 83 percent, while Harris caught 39 passes for 641 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Richardson led the Buckeyes’ defense with 113 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 interceptions.
Kinne has committed to Baylor, and is expected to join the Bears this summer. Brown graduated from Gilmer High School early, and will play in the Army All-American game on Jan. 6 in San Antonio before enrolling in classes at Texas the following week. Richardson is hoping to land a Division 1 scholarship offer, while Johnson, Snow, and Harris are each considered to be among the state’s top 100 recruits, and will return to the Buckeyes next season.

Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
G.J. KINNE (16) and CURTIS BROWN (3) were among the AP's Class 3A All-State selections for 2006.

Buckeyes dominate all-district selections

Thirty-seven players and the Gilmer Buckeyes’ coaching staff were honored recently when the District 15-3A Football Team was announced. The Buckeyes finished the season with a 10-1 record, and the Associated Press’ No. 1 ranking in Class 3A.
“We’re extremely proud to have that many kids make it. I take great pride in that,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “Whenever you work hard, you get rewarded; and that’s a good thing.”
Buckeyes’ quarterback G.J. Kinne was named the district’s Most Valuable Player after passing for 3,261 yards and 47 touchdowns, while completing 68 percent of his passes. Kinne also ran for an additional 9 touchdowns, and suffered only one interception on the season. That one interception came on Kinne’s first pass as a Buckeye.
Jamell Kennedy was chosen as the district’s Offensive MVP, after totaling 906 total offensive yards and 9 touchdowns on 30 catches and 26 rushes. Kennedy moved to receiver for his senior season after being named first team all-district in 2005 as the Buckeyes’ quarterback.
“It’s amazing how it turned out for Jamell,” stated Traylor. “He was quarterback last year, and he didn’t get the Offensive MVP; now he moves to wide receiver and he is the Offensive MVP.”
Both Kinne and Kennedy have committed to Texas universities to continue their education and football careers. Kinne plans on playing quarterback at Baylor, while Kennedy will line up at receiver for SMU.
Buckeyes’ linebacker Arsenial Richardson was selected as the district’s Defensive MVP for leading the Black Flag Defense with 113 tackles during the regular season. Gilmer’s defense only allowed 54 points in 5 district games.
Gilmer freshman safety Stump Godfrey and sophomore cornerback Kezie Camp were voted as the district’s Co-Defensive Newcomer of the year. Camp led the Buckeyes with 4 interceptions, while the defense held opponents to an average of only 103 passing yards per game.
Last season’s Offensive MVP Curtis Brown, headlines the 15-AAA All-District First Team. Brown, who played in only one full district game, missed most of 5 games for the Buckeyes, but still managed to accumulate 1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns on only 56 offensive touches. Brown is listed as the top recruit in the state of Texas and has committed to play football for the Texas Longhorns, starting next season.
14 other Buckeyes were named to the First Team with Brown. Junior running back Justin Johnson and junior receiver Lamar Harris, along with junior linemen David Snow, Cody Lee, Chip Elms, and Garrett Adkins were all First Team Offense selections.
Senior linebackers Wes Wynne and Dominique Buchanan join senior linemen Dakota Bickerdike and Donte Harris on the defensive first team, along with senior safety Jules Johnson. Junior cornerback Dustin Jones was the only Buckeyes’ underclassman chosen for the first team defense.
Jones was also named as the first team’s punt returner, along with kicker Matt Burgin. The Buckeyes’ coaching staff was named the Coaching Staff of the Year.
Traylor summed up the honor this way: “Whenever you have a team, and 36 of them make All-District; it’s a tremendous compliment to the program, and to our kids and their parents.”

Position Name School Grade Stats
MVP G.J. Kinne #16 Gilmer 12 6-2 215
Off. MVP Jamell Kennedy #5 Gilmer 12 5-8 160
Def. MVP Arsenial Richardson #44 Gilmer 12 5-10 185
Off. Newcomer Jake Fudge #6 Spring Hill 10 5-8 160
Def. Newcomer Darian Godfrey #20 Gilmer 9 6-0 180
Kezie Camp #18 Gilmer 10 6-0 180
1st Team Offense:
QB *Brandon Gibbons #6 Gladewater 12 6-0 165
RB *Justin Johnson #22 Gilmer 11 6-2 190
*Ray Martin #20 Mineola 12 5-8 185
TE Winston Manley #81 Spring Hill 11 6-2 200
WR Curtis Brown #3 Gilmer 12 6-0 180
*Lamar Harris #15 Gilmer 11 6-2 180
Jacob LeTourneau Spring Hill 12 6-2 190
Chris Tuck Mineola 12 6-5 205
*David Snow #76 Gilmer 11 6-4 300
*Cody Lee #72 Gilmer 11 6-0 260
*Chip Elms #54 Gilmer 11 5-10 220
Garrett Adkins #73 Gilmer 11 6-2 250
Cameron Cockerell #65 Gladewater 12 5-9 225
Brandon Martin #72 Mineola 11 6-2 290
Anthony Ballard #69 Spring Hill 12 5-11 220
Drew Sabin #53 Spring Hill 12 5-11 190
2nd Team Offense:
QB Chris Lee #8 Spring Hill 11 5-10 170
RB Edwin Harris #37 Gladewater 11 5-7 165
Cory Jones #26 Mineola 11 5-8 155
TE Craig Blankenship #44 White Oak 12 6-2 215
Seth Gilbreath #84 Mineola 12 6-2 220
WR Jarod Dollison #7 White Oak 12 5-11 150
Brennan Thompson #12 Gilmer 11 6-0 180
Devane Clark #26 Gilmer 10 5-7 150
Carwin Cooper #27 Gladewater 12 5-9 175
Robby Garcia #21 Spring Hill 12 5-8 160
O-Line Dakota Hagler #70 Gilmer 10 6-0 280
Daniel Jenkins #71 Gilmer 11 6-4 260
Jared Crenshaw #54 Mineola 11 6-1 240
Isiah Colbert #66 Sabine 11 5-10 220
Joe Bill #78 Spring Hill 12 5-10 210
Travis Koonce #50 White Oak 12 6-1 225
1st Team Defense:
Cameron Cockerell #65 Gladewater 12 5-9 225
*Shawn Hawkins #14 Spring Hill 11 6-4 220
Rance Thomas #63 Spring Hill 11 6-1 220
Dakota Bickerdike #25 Gilmer 12 5-9 160
Donte Harris #6 Gilmer 12 5-10 170
OLB *Travis Vickery #3 Spring Hill 12 5-10 175
*Wes Wynne #11 Gilmer 12 6-3 205
ILB *Craig Blankenship #44 White Oak 12 6-2 215
Dominique Buchanan #7 Gilmer 12 6-2 225
CB *Jacob LeTourneau #30 Spring Hill 12 6-2 190
*Dustin Jones #14 Gilmer 11 5-8 150
S *Jules Johnson #4 Gilmer 12 6-2 180
*Cole Tomberlain #33 Spring Hill 12 5-8 160
P Taylor Pechacek #9 Spring Hill 12 5-8 170
K *Matt Burgin #41 Gilmer 12
Kick Returner *Jacob LeTourneau #30 Spring Hill 12 6-2 190
Punt Returner *Dustin Jones #14 Gilmer 11
2nd Team Defense:
D-Line J.D. Fitzgerald #50/30 Mineola 12 5-11 290
Nick Thompson #82 White Oak 12 5-11 185
C.J. Kyle #40 Gilmer 12 5-9 220
Kodey Wear #42 Gilmer 12 6-2 205
OLB Max Garcia #25 Spring Hill 11 5-10 175
Dunterius Goodman #2 Gilmer ISD 12 6-2 200
ILB Aaron Miranda #27 Spring Hill 12 5-8 175
Cullen Heim #8 White Oak 11 6-0 195
CB Zack Jones #13 Gilmer 10 5-8 150
Ryan Kennedy #32 Sabine 12 5-11 165
S Carderian Lewis #21 Gladewater 10 5-10 175
Brennan Thompson #12 Gilmer 11 6-0 180
P Ray Martin #20 Mineola 12 5-8 185
Jarod Dollison #1 White Oak 12 5-9 150
K Taylor Pechacek #9 Spring Hill 12 5-8 170
Kick Returner Justin Phillips #22 White Oak 11
Punt Returner Blake Ware #17 White Oak 11
* unanimous selection
Coaching Staff of the Year
Honorable Mention
Evin Wilson
Jeremy Reeves
David Smith
Justin Fielden
Dexture Carr
Josh Thompson
Jud Murry
Jake Manning

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Congratulations to Manuel Johnson

His No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners have earned the right to play No. 9 Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 1. It sure beats the Alamo Bowl. In spite of the loss to Texas, OU won the Big 12. Rhett Who?