Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Irvin hails Buckeyes as 'dynasty' at Ring Ceremony

By MARY L. KIRBY

“The road to championships are paved with peaks and valleys,” former Dallas Cowboy Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin told the audience at the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony presented by Brookshire’s at the Gilmer Civic Center Saturday. “It is a football family that wins a championship.”

“Teams can handle peaks, but the valleys are handled differently,” said the owner of a National Champsionship ring from the University of Miami and three Super Bowl rings.

“Football teams fail in the valley; a football family bonds in the valley,” Irvin pointed out to the full house. “You got to be a football family.”

Irvin pointed out that he had many opportunites to talk to groups from pee wee to professional who had fallen short of their goal. Those individuals want to know what it takes to be a champion, to reach their goal.

“But that is not the case this time,” Irvin said as he paced the Civic Center stage. “This is the first time that I get to stand and speak to what I call a dynasty.”

“You guys are writing a beautiful history here,” he said as he approached his conclusion. “It is a responsibility to keep it, cherish it, and pass it on, a generational blessing.”

The former wide receiver showed the influence of his pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House, in the pacing of his remarks.

“The greatest gift God gives us is to influence others, and He gives it to us with free will,” Irvin said as he walked down the steps toward Athletic Director and Head Coach Jeff Traylor. He concluded his remarks by shaking hands with the coach for his accomplishments.

The tenor lightened with the announcers from nearby KYKX-FM, Pigskin Bob and Harlan, the Sports Guy, taking over the stage. They were joined by Malcolm Kelly, the former roommate of Gilmer’s Manuel Johnson and now a Washington Redskin, Manny Johnson, Irvin and Gilmer QB Stump Godfrey formed the panel.

Each answered questions on the greatest influence in their lives with Kelly and Irvin saying their fathers and Johnson and Godfrey naming their grandmothers and, in Johnson’s case, his aunt Eleanor.

With all the discussion of championship teams, Kelly had to remind people that the Longview Lobos have four times gone to the state finals without succeeding. His best football memory was beating the University of Texas in his junior year.

The players arrived at the ceremonies in a chartered bus where they walked down a red carpet between two rows of members of the Stars drill team to enter.

Before Irvin arrived, the coaches received plaques and their rings. The speaker was delayed due to the gusty winds which caused the cancellation of his flight to Gilmer.

After Irvin spoke and the panel was held, the ring ceremony continued with groups of players coming up and receiving the rings from Superintendent Rick Albritton and Athletic Director Jeff Traylor before he got a hug from his position coach.

One such coach, Joey Jackson, received a standing ovation when the audience learned he has driven from Tyler for three years while a college student to serve as a coach for the freshmen.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
“BEST YAM SPORTS SHOW period” panelists regale the audience during the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony presented by Brookshire’s Saturday night at the Gilmer Civic Center. From left are Pigskin Bob, Longview’s Malcolm Kelly of the Washington Redskins, Gilmer’s Manny Johnson of the Dallas Cowboys, Michael Irvin of ESPN and formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey and Harlan, the Sports Guy. The KYKX-FM sports announcers ran a panel on the “Best Yam Sports Show” as entertainment during the ceremony, which honored the State Champion 2009 Gilmer Buckeyes football team.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
SPEAKER MICHAEL IRVIN, right, shakes hands with Gilmer Athletic Director and head football coach Jeff Traylor during the Ring Ceremony at the Gilmer Civic Center Saturday. Between the two men Gilmer Superintendent Rick Albritton is seen and behind Irvin are Diedra and Cade Camp, widow and son of the late Matt Camp, whose courageous battle with cancer inspired the “Code Red” theme the team adopted for the 2009 season. A sellout crowd attended the event where the Gilmer Buckeyes received their rings for winning the UIL Class 3A Division I football championship.


Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
ARRIVING AT the Gilmer Civic Center, Gilmer Buckeyes receiver Tevin Godfrey shakes hands with Master of Ceremonies Jeff Rash. Behind him, approaching on the red carpet between GHS Stars are Luis Castro and, stepping off the bus, Vance Green. In below photo Rash interviews Darian “Stump” Godfrey, New Mexico-bound Texas Class 3A Player of the Year. Looking on as the Buckeyes quarterback speaks are teammates Ben Griffith and Beau Blair. All the players and coaches received their Class 3A Division I football championship rings during the almost 3-hour-long event.



Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
MICHAEL IRVIN inspires the audience Saturday night at the Civic Center.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Irvin Speaks At Gilmer’s Ring Ceremony


From KLTV:

Michael Irvin Visits the Gilmer Buckeyes


From Photos by Ruel:

Buckeyes Ring Ceremony


From YouTube:
Stump Godfrey's Top 20 Plays of the Year

Saturday, March 27, 2010

ETEX to televise Ring Ceremony live

ETEX Telephone Coop Inc. plans on televising tonight’s Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony presented by Brookshire’s live to their E-vision customers. The ceremony will be held at the Gilmer Civic Center and is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ETEX Channel 1.
The ceremony will honor the 2009 Class 3A-DI State Champion Gilmer Buckeyes football team by presenting players and coaches their championship rings.
A silent auction of football memorabilia will be held before the ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m.
There will only be an extremely limited number of tickets for sale at the door, on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are $10 each.
Mike Craig Ford-Mercury is the presenting sponsor of the ceremony’s keynote speaker, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
Former Gilmer Buckeyes and current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Manuel “Manny” Johnson and former Longview Lobos and current Washington Redskins wide receiver Malcolm Kelly are also scheduled to appear.
The ceremony is made possible by the following sponsors:
Title sponsor: Texas Farm Bureau Insurance
Presenting sponsors: Brookshire’s Food Store, ETEX Telephone Coop Inc., Mike Craig Ford-Mercury, Nike.
Grand benefactors: All American Home Health, Art and Cynthia Clark, Bill and Delaine Daniels, David W. Buller, M.D., Lewis R. King, M.D., Rucker Steven Murry, M.D., First National Bank of Gilmer, Friends of Matt Camp, Gilmer Discount Tire & Brake, Gilmer National Bank, Jimmy Stanley Construction, Jordan Health Services, Robroy Industries, The Med Shop Medical Depot, Upshur Manor Healthcare, Yazell Chevrolet.
Benefactors: Austin Bank, Dwight A. Brannon, Attorney at Law, Elwyn and Kathy Henderson, Glaze Chiropractic Clinic, Griffith & Smoak Law Firm, P.C., John Dean, CPA, Mr. and Mrs. Bussey, Pacesetter Beauty Salon, Shayne Wilson, Coldwell Banker Lenhart Properties, Subway of Gilmer, Tefteller, Newsom & Tefteller, P.L.L.C., The Logo, Tom Davis, East Texas Insurance & Realty Agency, Wilburn Insurance Agency, Photos by Ruel, Mary Kirby, Tim Miller, Nelms at the Hudgins House.
Patron: Diagnostic Clinic of Longview, La Finca Mexican Restaurant, Paul D. Herndon, State Farm Agent, Randy N. Cooper, Cooper Agency, Allstate Insurance, Wesley A. Bishop, D.D.S.
Sponsor: Croley Funeral Home, Daddy T’s, Dean Fowler, Upshur County Judge, Drew Legrand, Grubbs-Loyd Funeral Home, Lloyd’s Body Shop, Something Special.
Friend: Bran Webb, Indigo Hair, Gilmer Pawn Shop, Kinsman Home Health and Hospice Care, Stewart Insurance & Realty, Swanner’s Hamburgers, The Works.
Additional donors: Bakers Cleaners, Express Lube, Gary Henson Auto Sales, Gilmer Drug & Lous, Miss Haney, Mr. and Mrs. Waller, The R. Brown Company, Williams Furniture.

Hall of Famer Michael Irvin headlines tonight's Ring Ceremony

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin will be the keynote speaker tonight at the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony presented by Brookshire’s.
The ceremony will be held at the Gilmer Civic Center, starting at 7 p.m. A silent auction of football memorabilia will start at 5:30 p.m.
Irvin, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida starred at St. Thomas Aquinas High School before going on to national prominence at the University of Miami. Irvin helped lead Miami to the 1987 National Championship and left the Hurricanes as the career leader with 143 receptions, 2,423 receiving yards and 26 touchdown receptions.
Irvin declared for the 1988 NFL Draft after his junior season at Miami and was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 11th pick in the first round. He was the last first-round pick made by the Cowboys under Dallas’ long-time head coach Tom Landry.
Irvin became the first rookie receiver to start a game in 20 years and responded by catching his first NFL touchdown in that game. He finished his rookie season with a 20.4 yards per catch average, which led the NFC.
From 1991 through 1998, Irvin recorded 1,000-yard seasons in all but one year, racking up an impressive 10,265 yards over an 8-year span. During that time, Dallas made four straight appearances in the NFC Championship Game (1992-1995) and won three Super Bowl titles.
His best season was in 1995, when he set Dallas records with 111 receptions and 1,603 receiving yards, while also scoring 10 touchdowns and setting an NFL record with 11 games with over 100 yards receiving.
One of his greatest performances was in Super Bowl XXVII, where he caught seven passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdowns catches were both in the second quarter and occurred in a span of just 18 seconds, the fastest pair of touchdowns ever scored by one player in Super Bowl history.
After playing 12 seasons with the Cowboys, Irvin retired from the NFL after the 1999 season, finishing with 750 receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns. He won three Super Bowls in his career and was selected to the Pro Bowl five consecutive times.
Along with his former Cowboy teammates Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Irvin was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor on September 19, 2005.
He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and delivered one of the most emotional and memorable acceptance speeches in recent memory.
Since his retirement from professional football, Irvin has worked as a NFL studio analyst for ESPN, hosted his own radio show, and now can be seen on the NFL Network as an analyst.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Come out and support our State Champion Buckeyes at Mike Craig Ford on Saturday, March 20

Ford Motor Company and Mike Craig Ford are partnering to help raise money in support of Gilmer High School as part of Ford’s Drive One 4 UR School program.
Gilmer community members have the opportunity to participate and help raise up to $6,000 for Gilmer High School by test driving a Ford vehicle at the school.
This one-day event will take place on March 20 (today) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ford Motor Company and Mike Craig Ford will donate $20 to Gilmer High for every person from a unique household who test drives a Ford vehicle.
Participants will be raising money for Gilmer Athletic Boosters. In 2009, the Mike Craig Ford Drive One 4 UR School events raised 12,000.00 for Upshur County High Schools.
Each test drive will last approximately 5 minutes. Participants must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license.
Limit one test drive per household.
A large group of student volunteers will be on hand to help school supporters test drive a variety of Ford vehicles, including the Taurus, Fusion Hybnid, F-150, Escape, Explorer, Edge and many more. This will be the third Drive One 4 UR School event hosted by Mike Craig Ford. In 2009, similar events raised $12,000 for Upshur County schools.
Also beginning today, the Gilmer ISD Foundation will sponsor a sports memorabilia “Silent Auction” at several local businesses. The Silent Auction will begin at Mike Craig Ford’s “Drive for the Rings” Event all day from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Mike Craig Ford in Gilmer. Auction items for bidding will be on site, and will benefit the Matt Camp Memorial Scholarship.
Items including signed state championship team footballs, signed team photographs donated by Photos by Ruel, football and jersey signed by Michael Irvin and former Buckeye collegiate football players trading cards will be available for silent auction bidding at First National, Gilmer National and Austin Banks the week of March 22 through March 25 leading up to the State Championship Ring Ceremony.
The Ring Ceremony will feature NFL Hall of Famer and Dallas Cowboy Legend, Michael Irvin, and will be held at the Gilmer Civic Center on March 27. Winners of the Silent Auction will be announced at that event.
Tickets went on sale for the event on Monday, March 15 at First National Bank, Gilmer National Bank and the Gilmer High School Field House. They are $5 each in advance, $10 at the door.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
THERE WILL BE plenty of great visuals at Saturday’s Drive One 4 UR School event benefitting the Gilmer High School Athletic Boosters. A large group of student volunteers will be on hand to help school supporters test drive a variety of Ford vehicles, including the Taurus, Fusion Hybnid, F-150, Escape, Explorer, Edge and many more. This will be the third Drive One 4 UR School event hosted by Mike Craig Ford. In 2009, similar events raised $12,000 for Upshur County schools.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Update: Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony



The Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony presented by Brookshires tickets will go on sale Monday, March 15 at First National Bank, Gilmer National Bank and the Gilmer High School Field House.
Tickets cost $5 and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets will cost $10 at the door.
The ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 27 at the Gilmer Civic Center. A silent auction of Buckeyes memorabilia will start at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
The Civic Center seats 1,100 people, but only about 600 tickets will be available for sale to the general public due to tickets reserved for players, coaches, their families, and sponsors.
The ceremony will be televised live by Etex and may be simulcast to an overflow outdoor tent if ticket demand warrants.
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and Hall of Fame member Michael Irvin will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Former Buckeyes’ star and current Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Manuel Johnson and Longview native and current Washington Redskins’ wide receiver Malcolm Kelly are also scheduled to appear.
All proceeds earned from the ceremony will go to the Gilmer Athletic Booster Club to help support Buckeyes’ athletic programs.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Godfrey named Built Ford Tough 3A Player of Year

PLANO — Six outstanding student-athletes have been honored as Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Year.

In Class 3A, it’s Gilmer Buckeye Quarterback Darian Godrey.

Those honored in other classes include:

• Class 5A: Jeremy Johnson, QB, John Tyler High School,

• Class 4A: Scotty Young, QB, Ryan High School, Denton

• Class 2A: Nate Jeffery, RB, Caddo Mills High School,

• Class 1A: Traylon Shead, RB, Cayuga High School,

• Private: Johnny Catalano, QB, Trinity Christian Academy, Addison

Following is the capsule summary about Godfrey as a Player of the Year winner:

3A: Darian Godfrey, Senior Quarterback, Gilmer High School: What do the Buckeyes do now? With Darian Godfrey starting at quarterback for the last three years, Gilmer went 41-3, becoming a dominant power in 3A. When you look at the 6-1, 190-pounder’s numbers, you know that Coach Jeff Traylor has his work cut out for him.

In leading Gilmer to a 15-0 record and the 2009 state title victory over Abilene Wylie (Darian hit 20 of 28 for 293 yards and two scores and rushed for 159 yards and two more scores), Godfrey completed a career that made the Gilmer statisticians earn their pay.

As a senior, he threw for 239 yards a game, completing 254 of 357 for 3,581 yards and 42 scores.

He wound up his career with 116 TDs (fifth all-time) and an amazing 9,390 passing yards, fourth-best all time in 3A.

He’s bound for the University of New Mexico in the fall. An active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he also carries a solid B average.

“Darian’s athleticism is unquestionable,” said Coach Jeff Traylor. “It’s the other intangibles that made him a great one. He owns tremendous leadership skills. His teammates respected his outstanding leadership skills and always followed his lead.”

Ford Motor Company and its dealers recognized the six young Texas high school football stars on March 6 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium as the Built Ford Tough High School Players of the Year for the 2009 Season.

This award honors one student-athlete in six of the state’s athletic classifications for his accomplishments on and off the field.

Throughout the 2009 regular season, 60 student-athletes were recognized as the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week in these same six classifications.

This prestigious prize was launched in 2006 by Ford, the manufacturer of the F-150, the best-selling truck for 33 consecutive years, and the Dallas Cowboys to celebrate the best young players in Texas.

The Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week Program has a weekly television series during the season and a website, www.player of the week.com. Production crews traveled to communities across the state to shine the spotlight on these players of the week who’ve excelled not only on the field, but also in the classroom and in their neighborhoods. Please check out the website for additional information on the program.


Courtesy Photo
DARIAN “STUMP” GODFREY, second from left, has been honored as the Class 3A Built Ford Tough Player of the Year. With him are, from left, Todd Vagi, Regional Manager for Ford; Dallas Cowboy Jay Ratliff; and a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Godfrey, who quarterbacked the Gilmer Buckeyes to the Class 3A Division I state championship in 2009, will be attending the University of New Mexico on a football scholarship after he graduates from Gilmer High School. First, he and his state champion teammates will be honored at The Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Gilmer Buckeyes Ring Ceremony presented by Brookshires on Saturday, March 27.

Stump Godfrey's Top 20 Plays of the Year


From the Longview News-Journal:

By JACK STALLARD
Sunday, March 07, 2010


ARLINGTON — Gilmer quarterback Darian Godfrey added another trophy to a growing list on Saturday when he was named the Built Ford Tough Class 3A Texas High School Player of the Year.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010