Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX


December 6, 2012

Zebras, Wildcats dominate all-district selections

GRANDVIEW — Grandview and Godley dominated the District 12-2A All-District superlatives and first- and second-team selections.

The Zebras, who were undefeated district champions, placed eight players on the first team and seven players on the second team. The Wildcats, who came in second place, had seven players on the first team and six players on the second team.

For the second year in a row, Grandview senior quarterback Ryan Breton received the district most valuable player award. Breton was 227-of-336 passing for 3,293 yards, 35 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also had 587 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Breton led a Zebra attack that produced 487 yards per game on offense, which was among the top five in the state in all classifications.

“Last year, I thought it was a great accomplishment as a junior and I think he set that expectation for himself this year,” Grandview Coach Casey Walraven said. “I knew the district was going to be tougher. I knew there would be a lot of other guys that were worthy of it, but I think he proved to be the MVP. I’m very confident and I know all the other coaches agreed that he was the best player so I think he deserves every bit of it.”

Godley senior linebacker Drew Benge received the defensive MVP of the district.

“I think he deserved it,” Godley Coach Randy Brawner said. “He’s been a three-year starter for us. He’s obviously one of the best players we’ve got in our program. The bad thing is he’s a senior and he’s not coming back next year. But I’m proud of Drew and all the work he put in his four years and he got what he deserved.”

Grandview junior Colby Lee received the nod as the district’s top utility player as he played offense and defense. Lee primarily played receiver and had 101 receptions for 1,455 yards and 15 touchdowns. Grandview sophomore running back Jordan Martinez garnered the offensive newcomer of the year as he had 193 carries for 1,561 yards and 28 touchdowns with 28 catches for 348 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

“I think it fits Colby just because we used him on so many different things,” Walraven said. “He had such a big year offensively and then he ended up contributing on defense. If you’re not going to get the MVP, the utility is a great award to have because it shows how versatile you are. With Jordan, I think it was a no-brainer. He played well beyond being a sophomore. He played extremely well throughout the year and was consistent. He rarely he had a turnover and put up more than 1,500 yards.”

“It’s always good to be rewarded for the hard work that is put in during the season,” Martinez said. “I don’t think grade level matters really but all the hard work in the offseason paid off.”

Godley sophomore Devin Bolden received the defensive newcomer of the year at defensive back for the Wildcats.

“He really came on from where he was last year playing on the freshmen team,” Brawner said. “He has a lot of athletic ability and really came on and matured mentally and physically. We’re looking forward to seeing how much better he can get the next couple of years. He had a great season and it was good to see him catch up mentally to where he was physically. Hopefully he’ll continue to do that and become a great player.”

Grandview senior linebacker Caleb Armstrong, senior defensive end Austin Wylie, senior linebacker Caleb Hollingsworth, junior linebacker Peyton Mahan, junior tight end Chase Goldwater, junior receiver Bailey Smith and junior offensive linemen Josh Russell and Dusty Holt were chosen as first-team selections.

“I think we got what we deserved,” Walraven said. “... The players we have on first team are extremely solid. All eight of them, starting with Caleb Armstrong, obviously. Every one of them, we couldn’t have done what we did without them and they deserve every bit of recognition they get and they put up the numbers to achieve that.”

For Godley, senior offensive lineman Blake Washington, junior quarterback Jay Mathis, senior offensive lineman Kyle Speicher, junior linebacker Dylan Washington, senior receiver Kyle Samples, junior running back Cory Anderson and junior offensive lineman Jerry Taft were all first-team selections for the Wildcats.

Brawner said the most impressive thing about his team’s selections is the amount of underclassmen he has to work with next year.

“Probably what I like most about what I see is that there’s a lot of those kids on the first and second team that are coming back next year,” Brawner said. “The seniors we did have were good but we didn’t have many. Ten of the 13 kids are coming back, so a significant portion of those kids will be back. As a coaching staff, that gives you hope that we can continue to be successful in the years to come.”

Two of Godley’s selections — Mathis and Anderson — are impressive considering the circumstances. For Mathis, it was his first year playing quarterback after he played receiver last year, and Anderson received first-team honors in his first year as a varsity player after being quarterback for the junior varsity last season.

“As far as Jay being a first-year QB and being a junior, playing that position is hard enough,” Brawner said. “In the offense we run, the QB is the hardest position to play. At times early he struggled and it was a growing process but by the end of the year he was a good QB and he’s a really good athlete. We look forward to having him next year and seeing how much he can improve.”

“I never thought I would make first-team running back,” Anderson said. “It means a lot to me to get voted into that spot. I’m happy about it, but I think I can do better.”

For Grandview, Mahan also received recognition on offense as a receiver on the all-district second team. Joining Mahan on the second team are junior defensive back Tyler Wallace, senior defensive back Ethan Whitaker, senior defensive lineman Logan Holzmeier, sophomore defensive lineman Colton Franko, senior offensive lineman William Willis and senior offensive lineman Michal VanBenthuysen.

“Mahan was the only one we had get something for defense and offense,” Walraven said. “Tyler Wallace and Ethan Whitaker stepped up this year in the secondary. There wasn’t a whole lot of expectations out of them from people and they opened eyes as to what they could do. I’m real proud of what they did.

“We had a couple of seniors on offensive and defensive line that have worked so hard over the years and I’m glad to see them get rewarded for all the work. We also had Colton, who was a sophomore, and you never know how sophomores or freshmen contribute on varsity through the year, but he’s going to be a pretty special player for us. He got so much better each week. He’s going to have a great future.”

On the second team for Godley, sophomore running back Taylor Luce, junior offensive lineman Sklyer Lenz, junior linebacker Jacob Escalante, junior defensive back Dylan Portillo, freshman receiver Ian Aguiree and freshman linebacker Johnny Davis were selected.

Junior defensive lineman Brandon Ybarbo, junior offensive lineman Ace Rurak, junior kicker Nathan Gullickson and sophomore defensive back Tristan Morphew were honorable mention selections for the Zebras. Senior receiver Riggin Cleveland, junior defensive lineman Hunter Massengale and freshman offensive lineman Blake Hickey were honorable mention selections for Godley.

The Grandview coaching staff was voted as the district coach of the year.

Palmer senior quarterback Judge Wolfe was voted the district’s offensive MVP and Clifton senior offensive lineman Talon Clift was the lineman of the year.

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