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Buckeyes reload for 2012

Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
HIGH CLOUDS help cool summer temperatures to the low 90s as the Gilmer Buckeyes open their football practices Monday under the watchful eye of Head Coach/Athletic Director Jeff Traylor. Tanner Barr looks back at Josh Walker as the line blocks during the opening series of downs. In photo below, taking a break after opening drills are, from left, Blake Rice, Justin Vestal, William Harrison; Britt Rice, standing; Jason Thorpe, Jackson McQueen and Christian Loyd. MaxPreps recently rated the Buckeyes as one of the 10 most consistent high school football programs in Texas. They are 134-22 since 2000 with three appearances in the state championship game, winning it twice. Gilmer opens the season in Tyler against Atlanta on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
CATCHING A PASS during the first drill of the season, Devondrick Dixon heads downfield as the Gilmer Buckeyes battle for starting positions in the 2012 football season. The Buckeyes’ first scrimmage of 2012 will be against the Whitehouse Wildcats there on Friday, Aug. 17. They will then return home to Buckeye Stadium to scrimmage the New Boston Lions on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
RUSHING THROUGH the defense, black-clad Adrian Johnson moves in the open field during the first day of practice for the Gilmer Buckeyes Monday. Coach Jo Ed Bowin, left, moves to get out of way of the running back. Multiple players are battling for the starting job as the ball carrier for Gilmer as the coaches rebuild the offense.

Mirror Photo
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM approaches Buckeye Stadium shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday. Gilmer Head Coach Jeff Traylor said the Buckeyes had already concluded the outdoor portion of football practice that day and were in the Field House studying game video. The heavy weather this week was, in fact, a welcome contrast with what the players and coaches had to go through during the first week of practices in 2011 when the high temperatures under mostly cloudless skies here averaged in excess of 105 degrees. The forecast for the annual Meet the Buckeyes rally at the stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday is for clear skies and temperatures in the low 90s.

Meet the Buckeyes Saturday

Meet the Buckeyes will kick off 7 p.m. Saturday when the Buckeye Band and the Stars march into Buckeye Stadium for the national anthem.
Cheerleaders, Stars, the volleyball squads, crosscountry, and the three football squads: freshmen, junior varsity and varsity will be introduced by their respective coaches.
After the school song concludes the public portion of the program at 8:10, parents will meet with their students’ coaches, football from seventh grade through varsity in the field house and volleyball at the gymnasium.
Special appreciation is offered by the Buckeye Boosters for the assistance given by Etex Communications, First National Bank and Mike Craig Ford in assisting with the cost of feeding the almost 300 students involve in the affair.
Reserve seat tickets will go on sale Aug. 20 through Aug. 24 at the Field House, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also: 2012 LSG Texas High School Football Team Preview — Gilmer Buckeyes


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With only 16 teams left in the Class 3A Division I playoffs, the Gilmer Buckeyes are just one of many teams with impressive résumés.

“They’re all good this time of the year,” stated Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, who has led his alma mater to a 108-17 record and one state championship in his 10 years at the helm of the Buckeyes.

Take La Vega, the Buckeyes’ opponent Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Mesquite. The Pirates have gone at least three rounds deep in the playoffs every year since 2006, sporting an impressive 10-3 playoff record in that span.

“We do have some experience and tradition,” admitted La Vega head coach Willie Williams, who has a 135-84-2 record in his 20th season as Pirates’ head coach.

Like Traylor, Williams is coaching in his hometown. “This is the only place I’ve known. I graduated from here and I’ve coached here for 27 years. I’ve never coache…