It was a banner year for Shoemaker, and the reasons why are obvious.
For just the second time in program history, the Grey Wolves finished as a runner-up in their district’s standings, matching their best showing ever.
A mere two seasons removed from a two-victory campaign, which followed a pair of winless seasons, the turnaround occurred quickly thanks in part to a talented pair of senior playmakers, who were each recently rewarded for their efforts.
Shoemaker receiver Monaray Baldwin — a Baylor signee — was named 12-6A All-District Co-Most Valuable Player after guiding the Grey Wolves to a 7-3, 5-2 record. He shares the award with Temple junior Samari Howard.
Additionally, quarterback Ty Bell snagged a superlative for Shoemaker, being named co-most valuable player on offense along with Harker Heights junior Terrance Carter.
While the accolades marked the conclusion of the Grey Wolves’ careers, a teammate helps ensure a bright future. Defensive end/linebacker Zavian Tibbs, a sophomore, was named co-defensive newcomer of the year along with Bryan sophomore Matthew Cooks.
Shoemaker also placed eight players on the first team, capturing four spots on each side of the ball. Senior standouts Devin Brown, a running back, receiver Trent Hudson and tackle Jacob Cote along with junior guard Jamil Knight represented the offense, while tackle Ke’sean Thomas, inside linebacker Keith Cunningham and outside linebacker Dontavius Burrows, who area all seniors, and junior cornerback Darmel Hollins earned recognition for the defense.
Also making the playoffs, Harker Heights (7-4, 5-2) received six first-team selections to go along with its pair of superlatives.
Complementing Carter’s honor, Knights sophomore running back Re’Shaun Sanford was named offensive newcomer of the year, while Temple sophomore Taurean York rounded out the individual superlative recipients, earning the title of defensive most valuable player. The Wildcats’ coaches were named staff of the year.
First-team selections for Harker Heights included seniors Jack Byse (ILB) and Savonte Sanford-Paige (S) on defense and Shaun West (QB), Quintin Howard (FB), Marcus Maple (WR) and Romeo Taua’a (T) on offense.
Killeen earned five first-team nominations with seniors Tyquan Jones (T) and Kadarius Marshall (OLB) making the defensive squad, while juniors Aunnor Wright (G) and Emory Arthur (Utl) were placed on the offensive team. Sophomore punter Tri-bi Diakite was a first-team selection on special teams.
Completing the area’s first-team representatives, Belton captured six spots on the squad, Ellison had three and Copperas Cove had one.
Five offensive players highlighted the Tigers’ nominees, including four seniors.
The quartet of quarterback Ruben Jiminez, running back Maurice Reed, guard Thomas Bowman and utility player Kanyn Utley capped off their careers with the recognition, while junior tight end Bryan Henry also made the list. On the special teams first team, Belton junior punter Will Hayes was honored.
Defensive end Devonte Tezino, a junior, was the Eagles lone defensive selection, while senior teammates Trejon Spiller (WR) and Damashja Harris (RB) were placed on the offensive first team.
Copperas Cove senior Rusty Cochran was the Bulldawgs’ only first-team representative, earning a spot as a utility player.
Along with all its other recognition, Shoemaker landed nine players – defensive tackle To’O To’O Maugaotega, inside linebacker Zae’veon Cummings, safety Adonte Crayton, cornerback Omari Evans, running back De’Andre Exford, receiver Vontez Martin, offensive tackle Judea Milon, utility player K’Zjari Herrera and kicker Kaleel Pomerlee – on the second team, while Harker Heights also had nine.
The Knights’ second-team selections were defensive tackle Elijah Setefano, defensive end Christian Wooden, outside linebacker Malik Francis, safety Christopher Sistrunk, running back Aimeer Washington, receiver La Princeton Dixon, center Cameron Drayton and offensive guards Etueni Ropati and Connor Casanova.
Killeen, Ellison and Copperas Cove received seven spots apiece on the second team, and Belton had six.
ALL-DISTRICT 12-6A TEAMS
CO-MVP—Monaray Baldwin, Sr., Shoemaker and Samari Howard, Jr., Temple
CO-OFFENSIVE MVP—Ty Bell, Sr., Shoemaker and Terrance Carter, Jr., Harker Heights
DEFENSIVE MVP—Taurean York, So., Temple
OFFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR—Re’Shaun Sanford, So., Harker Heights
CO-DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR—Zavian Tibbs, So., Shoemaker and Matthew Cooks, So., Bryan
COACHING STAFF OF THE YEAR—Temple
QB: Shaun West, Sr., Harker Heights; Ruben Jiminez, Sr., Belton; Humberto Arizmendi, Sr., Temple.
RB: Devin Brown, Sr., Shoemaker; Maurice Reed, Sr., Belton; Damashja Harris, Sr., Ellison.
FB: Quintin Howard, Sr., Harker Heights.
WR: Trejon Spiller, Sr., Ellison; Trent Hudson, Sr., Shoemaker; Mikal Harrison-Pilot, So., Temple; Marcus Maple, Jr., Harker Heights.
TE: Bryan Henry, Jr., Belton.
C: Matthew Frye, Sr., Temple.
OG: Thomas Bowman, Sr., Belton; Brandon Walton, Jr., Bryan; Alan Camacho, Sr., Temple; Jamil Knight, Jr., Shoemaker; Aunnor Wright, Jr., Killeen.
OT: Alex Rodriguez, Sr., Temple; Jacob Cote, Sr., Shoemaker; Romeo Taua’a, Jr., Harker Heights.
UTL: Nico Bulhof, Sr., Bryan; Kanyn Utley, Sr., Belton; Emory Arthur, Jr., Killeen; Rusty Cochran, Sr., Copperas Cove.
DT: Jayven Taylor, Sr., Temple; Ke’sean Thomas, Sr., Shoemaker; Tyquan Jones, Sr., Killeen.
DE: Devonte Tezino, Jr., Ellison; Eric Shorter, Jr., Temple; Tanner Allen, Jr., Bryan.
ILB: Nic Caraway, Jr., Bryan; Jack Byse, Sr., Harker Heights; Keith Cunningham, Sr., Shoemaker.
OLB: Dontavius Burrows, Sr., Shoemaker; Kadarius Marshall, Sr., Killeen; Cameron White, Sr., Bryan.
S: O’Tarian Peoples, Jr., Temple; Savonte Sanford-Paige, Sr., Harker Heights.
CB: Darmel Hollins, Jr., Shoemaker; Keon Williams, Sr., Temple.
FIRST-TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
K: Aaron Wagaman, Sr., Temple; Nico Bulhof, Sr., Bryan.
P: Tri-bi Diakite, So., Killeen; Will Hayes, Jr., Belton.
DS: Blake Faldyn, Sr., Bryan; Dylan Hinkle, Sr., Temple.
R: Tr’Darius Taylor, Jr., Temple.
QB: Malcolm Gooden, So., Bryan; Faleifa Mauga, Sr., Ellison.
RB: Aimeer Washington, So., Harker Heights; Brandon Ortega, Sr., Copperas Cove; De’Andre Exford, Sr., Shoemaker.
FB: Ezekiel Sheridan, Sr., Ellison.
WR: Hunter Vivaldi, Jr., Bryan; Jocbia Thomas, Jr., Killeen; AJ McDuffy, Sr., Temple; La Princeton Dixon, Sr., Harker Heights; Seth Morgan, Jr., Belton; Vontez Martin, Sr., Shoemaker; Luke Allen, Sr., Temple.
TE: Milan Kemp-Murray, Sr., Killeen; KeAndre Smith, Jr., Temple; Christopher Uresti, Ellison.
C: Cameron Drayton, Sr., Harker Heights; Austin Pennington, So., Bryan; Connor Beeman, So., Killeen.
OG: Chris Garcia, So., Copperas Cove; Etueni Ropati, So., Harker Heights; Connor Casanova, Sr., Harker Heights.
OT: Judea Milon, Sr., Shoemaker; Andrew Buban, Jr., Bryan; McKenzie Agnello, Sr., Copperas Cove; Charles Wilson, Sr., Belton.
UTL: K’Zjari Herrera, Sr., Shoemaker; De’van’Te Johnson, So., Killeen.
DT: To’O To’O Maugaotega, So., Shoemaker; Bryan Luna, Sr., Belton; Elijah Setefano, Sr., Harker Heights, Cody Little, Sr., Temple; Aaron Barnwell, So., Killeen.
DE: Christian Wooden, Sr., Harker Heights; Tomas Torres, Jr., Temple; JonTavian Workman, Jr., Bryan.
ILB: Zae’veon Cummings, Sr., Shoemaker; Kendal Parker, Sr., Copperas Cove; Jabez Elam, Sr., Killeen; Joe Sniffin, Sr., Belton.
OLB: Malik Francis, Sr., Harker Heights; Calvin Harper, Jr., Ellison; Marshall Grays, Jr., Temple.
S: Du’wayne Paulhill, Jr., Bryan; Christopher Sistrunk, Sr., Harker Heights; Jayden Hill, Sr., Killeen; Adonte Crayton, Sr., Shoemaker; Aaron Bain, Jr., Belton; Amare Johnson, So., Ellison; Jaden Jackson, Jr., Temple.
CB: Omari Evans, Jr., Shoemaker; Kenny Collins, Sr., Bryan; Trent West, Jr., Belton; Tyrese Carter, Jr., Copperas Cove; Isaiah Chisholm, Sr., Copperas Cove.
SECOND-TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
K: Kaleel Pomerlee, Sr., Shoemaker.
P: Caleb Newberry, Jr., Copperas Cove.
DS: Christopher Uresti, Sr., Ellison.
R: Damashja Harris, Sr., Ellison.