For Dwayne Williams, Thursday started like any other day.
But the normalcy was interrupted by an important text message from Shoemaker head football coach Channon Hall.
“I was surprised, I was in shock, but I was proud of myself for doing it,” Williams said.
Williams along with teammate Nahome Anderson and the Copperas Cove duo of Phillip Baptiste and Manny Harris were named to the Associated Press’ 2013 All-State 5A football team.
Williams, a senior, was a first-team selection at defensive back while Baptiste was a first-team selection at wide receiver. Anderson was an honorable mention as a wide receiver and Harris was an honorable mention at quarterback.
For Baptiste, the honor was part of a total team effort.
“It is great,” he said. “I’ve got a great team, great quarterback, great offensive line, and this is just a good feeling.”
Williams and Anderson helped Shoemaker to a 7-4 record, which included its second playoff appearance since the school opened in 2000.
“We had an amazing year,” Williams said. “I’m so proud of everybody on our team and our coaches. We had a great year.”
“I’m very proud of those guys,” Hall said. “They ... have done everything we asked them to do. They represent Shoemaker well, so I’m proud of them and I’m proud of Shoemaker High School.”
Williams developed a reputation as a playmaking corner after intercepting 10 passes, returning them for 276 yards including a touchdown.
Baptiste and Harris helped Cove make its 10th consecutive playoff trip.
But for Cove head coach Jack Welch, the way both players stayed within the team’s system stood out.
“I don’t want to take anything away from the individuals because the individuals have to have talent to do that, but the team allows them to showcase their individual talent,” Welch said. “Too many times you see individuals try to showcase their talent without the team and it doesn’t work.”
Baptiste caught 104 passes for 1,410 yards and 16 touchdowns to give the Bulldawgs a vertical threat this season.
Anderson, a senior wide receiver, finished the season with 47 receptions for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns, including a 53-yard score in the Division I-5A bi-district playoffs against Timberview.
“I looked at the text and thought he was playing around at first,” Anderson said. “I found out that it’s true because Dwayne told me about his.”
Harris completed 280 of 454 passes (62 percent) for 3,775 yards and 38 touchdowns in the regular season.
While the honor was received in December, Harris and Baptiste started putting in the work long before.
“We did a lot of work throughout the summer,” Baptiste said. “We were always hanging out and throwing, making sure we had a good connection this year.
“We told ourselves we were going to be the best offense in the state, and we were this year.”
Clay Whittington contributed to this report.
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