Shoemaker cornerback Dwayne Williams became accustomed to hauling in opponents’ passes this season. Now, he’s hauled in a big honor.
After helping the Grey Wolves make it to the playoffs for the first time in five years and second time in school history, Williams was named the District 8-5A Defensive Player of the Year.
“He’s a guy that every offense in the district has a gameplan for and had to be aware of where he was at,” Shoemaker head coach Channon Hall said. “This is very deserving for him.”
Eleven Shoemaker players were named to the all-district first or second teams. The Grey Wolves finished third in the district before losing to Mansfield Timberview in the opening round of the playoffs.
Williams intercepted 10 passes, returning them for 276 yards and a touchdown.
Shoemaker defensive tackle Kendall Jones was named the 8-5A Defensive Newcomer of the Year, finishing the regular season with 15 total tackles, including seven for loss and a sack.
After a memorable debut season, Copperas Cove quarterback Manny Harris earned co-MVP honors.
Harris completed 280 of 454 passes (62 percent) for 3,775 yards and 38 touchdowns in the regular season. The junior helped the Bulldawgs finish fourth in district and make it to the playoffs for a 10th consecutive year.
“Manny receives an award and very deservedly so, but there’s a lot of people that go behind something like that, so that’s a tribute to our offense as well as to Manny,” Copperas Cove head coach Jack Welch said. “Manny did a very good job this year, so we’re very proud of that.”
Shoemaker quarterback Ziere Banner and wide receiver Nahome Anderson also earned first-team honors.
Banner completed 256 of 432 passes (59 percent) for 2,351 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was the district’s third-leading rusher, finishing with 1,091 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Anderson caught 47 passes for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns, including a 53-yard score against Timberview.
Bulldawgs senior Phillip Baptiste (113-1,556 and 17 TDs) was selected to the first-team offense and also earned second-team honors as a returner.
Killeen running back Daniel McCants (1,620 yards, 18 TDs) earned unanimous first-team honors after finishing second in the district in rushing for the Kangaroos, who finished one game out of the playoffs.
“He had a great year,” Killeen head coach Sam Jones said. “I thought he ran hard and he was banged up, but most good backs have to play with a little pain.”
Harker Heights running back Marcus Anderson II (1,005 yards, 4 TDs) joined McCants on the first team. McCants was also a special teams first-teamer after returning nine kickoffs for an average of more than 30 yards.
Temple running back Jeff Carr, wide receiver DeAngelo Bell, center Tanner Morgan, offensive linemen Darius Joiner and Devontae Moore and fullback Chris Minter each earned first-team honors.
Temple’s Erick Arizmendi also received two selections, landing on the first team offense as a utility player and and a punter.
Belton offensive lineman Justin Murphy was named to the first-team offense.
Shoemaker inside linebacker Malik Clemons led the team with 119 tackles in the regular season and garnered first-team defense honors, while safety Darnell Everett also earned first-team honors after breaking up 12 passes and scoring a defensive touchdown in the regular season.
Copperas Cove outside linebacker Jalen Waters and cornerback JD Post were first-team selections, and Post was an honorable mention as a kick returner.
Peyton Searcy represented the Kangaroos on the first-team defense, while Temple defensive end James Judie, outside linebacker Michael Hicks and safety Clint Cole were also named to the defensive first team, and Shoemaker deep-snapper Adderick Wiggins was a first-team selection for special teams.
Shoemaker center Matthew Goulart earned second-teamhonors. Grey Wolves running back Rayshun Spearman also landed on the second team after running for more than 800 yards.
Copperas Cove wide receiver Hunter McVeigh was a second-team selection after catching 53 passes for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns in the regular season and was honorable mention as a punter. Bulldawgs tight end Chris Ash, offensive lineman Remington Weis and fullback Shaq Fluelen were also selected to the second team.
Killeen’s T’Mond Johnson and Ellison’s Reggie Jackson were second-team selections on the offensive line and utility positions, respectively.
Temple running back Marques Hatcher and offensive lineman Xavier Bryant were second team offense selections, along with Belton’s Kavan Johnson and Brandon Rhoads.
Shoemaker defensive tackle Tolly James and outside linebacker Diamon Cannon combined for 76 total tackles in the regular season and earned second-team honors.
Copperas Cove defensive tackle Shakanah Herrera and Spencer Malchow represented the Bulldawgs on the second team. Killeen defensive end Lamont Alexander and cornerback Keondre Sheppard were also selected to the second team, along with Knights defensive end Justin Ellis and outside linebacker Quincy McKennon.
Temple defensive end O’sha Solomon, inside linebacker Dominick Thompson and cornerback Jamarkese Williams were all selected to the second team.
Bulldawgs kicker Jason Stanley was the second-team kicker, and Killeen’s Keleen Yates, who punted 31 times for 1,132 yards, earned second-team honors.
ALL-DISTRICT 8-5A TEAM
- Co-MVPs—Manny Harris, QB, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Xavier Hailey, WR, Waco Midway, Sr.
- Offensive Player of the Year—Jeff Carr, RB, Temple, Jr.
- Defensive Player of the Year—Dwayne Williams, CB, Shoemaker, Sr.
- Offensive Newcomer of the Year—Eric Clayburn, RB, Midway, Soph.
- Defensive Newcomer of the Year—Kendell Jones, DT, Shoemaker, Soph.
- Co-Coaches of the Year—Mike Spradlin, Temple; Terry Gambill, Midway.
Quarterback—Manny Harris*, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Ziere Banner, Shoemaker, Sr.
Running Back—Jeff Carr*, Temple, Jr.; Eric Clayburn*, Midway, Soph; Daniel McCants*, Killeen, Sr.; Marcus Anderson, Harker Heights, Sr.
Wide Receiver—Xavier Hailey*, Midway, Sr.; Phillip Baptiste*, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Nahome Anderson, Shoemaker, Sr.; DeAngelo Bell, Temple, Sr.
Tight End—Jayson Clements*, Midway. Sr.
Center—Tanner Morgan*, Temple, Sr.
Offensive Line—Christian Beard*, Midway, Sr.; Darius Joiner, Temple, Sr.; Devontae Moore, Temple, Sr.; Justin Murphy, Belton, Sr.
Utility—Erick Arizmendi, Temple, Sr.
Fullback—Chris Minter, Temple, Jr.
Tackle—Kendell Jones*, Shoemaker, Soph.; BuBu Alvarez*, Midway, Sr.; Cody Kipp, Harker Heights, Sr.
Defensive End—James Judie*, Temple, Sr., Cody Pruitt, Midway, Sr.
Inside Linebacker—Malik Clemons, Shoemaker, Sr.; Peyton Searcy, Killeen, Jr.
Outside Linebacker—Jalen Waters, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Michael Hicks, Temple, Sr.
Cornerback—Dwayne Williams*, Shoemaker, Sr.; Kyrell Gibson*, Midway, Sr.; JD Post, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Kahlil Haughton, Midway, Jr.
Safety—Darnell Everett, Shoemaker, Sr.; Clint Cole, Temple, Jr.
FIRST-TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
Kicker—Leo Peralta, Midway, Sr.
Punter—Erick Arizmendi, Temple, Sr.
Deep-Snapper—Adderick Wiggins*, Shoemaker, Sr.
Returner—Daniel McCants, Killeen, Sr.
Quarterback—Ben Hicks, Midway, Jr.
Running Back—Marques Hatcher, Temple, Jr.; Kavan Johnson, Belton, Jr.; Stephon Free, Midway, Sr.
Wide Receiver—Hayward Clay, Ellison, Sr., Hunter McVeigh, Copperas Cove, Sr.,
Tight End—Chris Ash, Copperas Cove, Sr.
Center—Matthew Goulart, Shoemaker, Jr.
Offensive Line—Remington Weis, Copperas Cove, Sr.; T’Mond Johnson, Killeen, Jr.; M.J. Morris, Midway, Jr.; Joseph Alaniz, Harker Heights, Sr; Xavier Bryant, Temple, Sr.
Utility—Brandon Rhoads, Belton, Jr.; Reggie Jackson, Ellison, Sr.; Rayshun Spearman Shoemaker, Sr.
Fullback—Shaq Fluelen, Copperas Cove, Sr.
Tackle—Shakanah Herrera, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Tolly James, Shoemaker, Jr.
End—Jamie Jacobs, Midway, Sr.; Justin Ellis, Harker Heights, Jr.; Lamont Alexander, Killeen, Sr.; O’sha Solomon, Temple, Sr.
Inside Linebacker—Lenoy Jones Jr., Midway, Jr.; Dominick Thompson, Temple, Sr.
Outside Linebacker—Andrew Easley, Ellison, Sr.; Quincy McKennon, Harker Heights, Sr.; Sammy Guardiola, Midway, Sr.; Diamon Cannon, Shoemaker, Jr.
Cornerback—Keondre Sheppard, Killeen, Jr.; Jamarkese Williams, Temple, Sr.
Safety—Spencer Malchow, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Marcus Johnson, Midway, Jr.
SECOND-TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
Kicker—Jason Stanley, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Austen Roden, Harker Heights, Sr.
Punter—Troy Smith, Harker Heights, Jr.; Keleen Yates, Killeen, Jr.
Deep-Snapper—Chandler Chick, Midway, Jr.
Returner—Phillip Baptiste, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Cayson Buchle, Midway, Sr.
Clay Whittington contributed to this report.