Brian Emerson believes individual recognition is the byproduct of a team’s success.
So, when the 8-3A All-District Team revealed only three Lampasas players were first-team selections, he was content.
“It is relative to where the schools finished in the district standings,” the first-year Badgers head coach said. “I thought it was very fair. ... I think the district coaches did a great job of selecting the teams. It was well thought out, and everybody is where they need to be.”
Running back Steven Jazdyk, tight end Charlie Woods and offensive lineman Jesse Uvalle represented the Badgers (3-7) on the first team after helping Lampasas finish second in scoring despite its 1-4 record.
Anchoring an offensive line that averaged 35.8 points per game during district play, Uvalle was one of only four unanimous selections on the first-team offense.
The honor was well deserved, according to Emerson.
“Jesse is a stud,” he said, “and he got better and better every week of the season. If you see him walking down the halls, you wouldn’t pick him as an all-district offensive lineman, but that son of a gun can play.”
On a team that completed 60 passes all season, Woods, a junior, assumed the role of a blocking tight end and was instrumental to the Badgers’ gameplan.
“I mean this as a compliment, but he can go unnoticed,” Emerson said. “He always does what he is expected to do, he rarely makes a mental errors, and he is going to carry out his assignment correctly all the time.”
In addition to Uvalle, the Badgers will also lose Jazdyk, who rushed for 848 yards and 13 touchdowns during district after being sidelined for a majority of the first five games of the season and used sparingly in the district opener against Gatesville.
During a two-game stretch, however, Jazdyk was almost unstoppable.
In consecutive weeks, Jazdyk flirted with 300-yard games, rushing for 298 yards and four touchdowns against Llano before following it up with a 296-yard, six-touchdown performance against Brownwood.
Teammate Gary Spencer was one of only two players to top 1,000 rushing yards, but a leg injury derailed a breakout season, causing him to miss four of the five district games.
Again, Emerson accepts the outcome.
“Jazdyk had a great district campaign,” he said. “Gary only played against Gatesville on our district schedule, so, unfortunately, his timing was not quite as good as Steven’s, and I think that had a little bit of play as far as the selections go, which is quite understandable.”
After going 9-1 in the regular season, including an undefeated run to the district title, Liberty Hill received the most recognition with 21 selections, while Burnet and Brownwood, which finished in a three-way tie for second place, followed closely with 19 and 16 players, respectively, landing on the list.
Burnet claimed a pair of superlatives as senior quarterback Derek Kiser was unanimously voted MVP, while junior Kody Hall was named defensive MVP. Liberty Hill running back Will Fromme received co-offensive MVP honors with Llano quarterback Layton Rabb, and Brownwood receiver Conner Howard was named newcomer of the year.
Gatesville senior running back Jake Kee was placed on the first team after leading the district in rushing, posting 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns, one year after being named the district’s offensive player of the year.
Tying for third in interceptions with three, Andraque Jones was the Hornets’ lone representative on the first-team defense.
The Hornets’ 3-7 campaign (1-4 in district) also yielded four second-team selections, including sophomore Cooper Edmiston, who was recognized as a tight end and a linebacker. Junior receiver Zae Paskett and seniors Derrick Waters (center) and Scott Shults (defensive lineman) also made the list.
Lampasas receiver Cale Walker and offensive lineman Lane Wiggins both made the second-team offense, while Toper McGehee (defensive lineman), Chism Carpenter (linebacker) and Chase Birck (defensive back) landed on the second-team defense, and senior Bobby Joe Nielsen was a second-team special teams selection.
While Emerson is happy to see four of his juniors (Woods, Walker, Wiggins and McGehee) earn recognition, he knows the success is only temporary.
“They need to realize that whatever they did during their junior year really is going to make no difference next fall,” Emerson said.
“They are going to have to earn it again.”
8-3A ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
- MVP—Derek Kiser, Burnet, Sr.*
- Co-Offensive MVPs—Will Fromme, Liberty Hill, Sr.; Layton Rabb, Llano, Sr.
- Defensive MVP—Kody Hall, Burnet, Jr.
- Newcomer of the Year—Conner Howard, Brownwood, Fr.
Quarterback — Chris Keesee, Brownwood, Sr.
Running back — Braxton Kilgo, Brownwood, Sr.; Steven Jazdyk, Lampasas, Sr.; Jake Kee, Gatesville, Sr.
Tight end — Drew Martin, Liberty Hill, Sr.*; Charlie Woods, Lampasas, Jr.
Wide receiver — Cody Jones, Burnet, Jr.; Blayne Parisher, Burnet, Sr.; Issac Hutto, Llano, Sr.*; Kaiman Ontiveros, Brownwood, Sr.
Offensive line — Jesse Uvalle, Lampasas, Sr.*; Zach McLeskey, Burnet, Sr.*; Jake Sanders, Liberty Hill, Jr.; Mike Livingston, Brownwood, Jr.; Tyler Smith, Liberty Hill, Jr.
Center — Colton Hall, Liberty Hill, Jr.
Kicker — Austin Huff, Burnet, Sr.
Punter — Austin Huff, Burnet, Sr.
Defensive line — John Spurgeon, Liberty Hill, Sr.*; Will Smith, Liberty Hill, Sr.*; Hunter Thomas, Burnet, Sr.*; Chase Mardis, Burnet, Sr.*
Defensive end — Chris Robinson, Liberty Hill, Sr.*; Ryan Mansell, Llano, Sr.
Linebacker — Everado Medrano, Burnet, Sr.*; Jacob Covington, Liberty Hill, Jr.*; Jason Reeves, Liberty Hill, Jr.*; Dylan Lewis, Brownwood, Sr.
Defensive back — Andraque Jones, Gatesville, Jr.; Kaimon Ontivers, Brownwood, Sr.; Jake McElroy, Burnet, Jr.; River Marks, Liberty Hill, Sr.*; Gary Denson, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Special teams — Lucas Rizzotto, Liberty Hill, Jr.*; Brian Johnson, Brownwood, Sr.*
*-indicates unanimous selection
Quarterback — Tyler Vickers, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Running back — Nick Barrios, Liberty Hill, Sr.; Trenton Hafley, Burnet, Sr.; Carter Tatsch, Llano, Sr.
Tight end — Cooper Edmiston, Gatesville, So.; Hayden Day, Brownwood, So.
Wide receiver — Cale Walker, Lampasas, Jr.; Zae Paskett, Gatesville, Sr.; Jalen Bauman, Llano, Jr.; Brock Foster, Burnet, So.
Offensive line — Gilberto Arredondo, Llano, Sr.; Christian Saldivar, Burnet, Jr.; Christopher Saldivar, Burnet, Jr.; Kory Owen, Brownwood, So.; Lane Wiggins, Lampasas, Jr.; Colton Center, Llano, So.; Justin Price, Brownwood, Jr.; Jaylan Bocknite, Brownwood, Sr.
Center — Derrick Waters, Gatesville, Sr.; Jarad McHazlett, Burnet, Jr.
Kicker — Abraham Oviedo, Brownwood, Jr.
Punter — Isaac Hutto, Llano, Sr.
Defensive line — Scott Shults, Gatesville, Sr.; Braxton Kilgo, Brownwood, Sr.; Dakota Hall, Liberty Hill, Sr.; Topher McGehee, Lampasas, Jr.
Defensive end — Cameron Chafin, Burnet, Sr.; Dylan Liesman, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Linebacker — Chism Carpenter, Lampasas, Sr.; Cooper Edmiston, Gatesville, So.; Taylor Webb, Liberty Hill, Sr.; Henry Rivas, Brownwood, Sr.; Caleb Penny, Llano, Sr.
Defensive back — Sawyer Stiles, Llano, Sr.; Chase Birck, Lampasas, Sr.; Ceth Hardy, Brownwood, Sr.; Jeremy Ayers, Burnet, Sr.; Nick Hernandez, Liberty Hill, Jr.; Christian Anderson, Liberty Hill, Jr.
Special teams — Jamal Brown, Burnet, Sr.; Logan Barnes, Liberty Hill, Jr.; Chance Ware, Llano, Sr.; Bobby Joe Nielsen, Lampasas, Sr.