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2012 All-Collin County Football Team
BY Kevin Hageland, Matt Welch, Chris O'Dell and Richard C. White, Staff Writers
MVP: Soso Jamabo, Plano West
The hype for Plano West sophomore running back Soso Jamabo had been building for some time prior to his first varsity game (Aug. 31 against Flower Mound Marcus).
Jamabo wouldn't fulfill that hype on his first carry.
"Soso has a great maturity about him; he is a sophomore that played like a senior," said Mike Hughes, West head coach. "And he is just so effortless out there. It looks like he's gliding, but he is also quick and agile, so he can turn on the jets when he needs to.
"A lot of guys tried to block him, but most times they didn't."
Jamabo averaged 7.54 yards per carry while racking up 1,697 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season. He also caught 20 passes, averaging 22.7 yards per reception, and scored four more touchdowns through the air.
He saved his best for the playoffs though.
Jamabo scored 13 touchdowns in the first three rounds of the playoffs, including three game winners, as West went from having a singular playoff victory (2004) in program history to the fourth round in 2012.
Jamabo was the driving force behind West's historical season.
"Guys like Soso come along once in a blue moon," Hughes said.
Offensive Player of the Year: Lamar Jordan, Frisco Centennial
Centennial's offense was a model of consistency in 2012, scoring at least 35 points in 10 games.
Senior quarterback Lamar Jordan was the key cog of that offense.
In his second season as a starter, Jordan completed 207-of-357 pass attempts for 2,697 yards, 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The duel-threat signal caller also tallied 577 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
"[Jordan] really matured with his decision making since last year," said Mark Howard, Centennial head coach. "He did a really good job of making reads in the running game and the passing game."
The senior's numbers were down in the ground game from the 2011 season where Jordan ran for a team-high 920 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, with opposing defenses focusing on Jordan's feet, the quarterback torched them through the air.
"As the season progressed, because of what [Jordan] could do running the ball, team's forced us to pass it more and he was still successful doing that," Howard said.
After leading the Titans to a 12-2 mark in 2012, Jordan finished his high school career with a 24-3 mark as a starting quarterback. The 12 wins this season also gave the Titans their longest playoff run in school history, reaching the regional finals before a 38-24 loss to Tyler John Tyler spelled the end of their season.
"He was always trying to improve," Howard said. "He always wants to get better. He's just a very unselfish player."
Jordan plans to continue his football career at the collegiate level and is currently committed to Arkansas.
Defensive Player of the Year: K.J. Smith, Frisco Centennial
Senior defensive end KJ Smith wasn't the most vocal player on Centennial's defense this season.
Smith let his play on the field do all the talking and that spoke volumes.
In 2012, Smith had 102 tackles, a staggering 20 sacks and 22 quarterback pressures to go along with six forced fumbles.
"Every team's game plan is to stop the best player," said Mark Howard, Centennial head coach. "[Smith] got double-teamed throughout the year because you just can't block him with one player."
Double teams also weren't enough to slow the Baylor commit, who averaged nearly 1.5 sacks per game.
In a game epitomizing Smith's dominance, West Mesquite saw first-hand how difficult the defensive end can be to handle. Smith began the game with a pair of sacks on the first two West Mesquite plays from scrimmage before batting down a pass on third down during each team's postseason opener.
"He's just exceeded above and beyond our expectations," Howard said. "He's been a dominant force for us on defense."
Smith's play also set an example for other Centennial players and allowed the Titans to lean heavily on a strong defensive unit in consecutive seasons. Opposing offenses were held to 14 or less points eight times during the season, paving the way for Centennial's offense to break games open.
"The kids really looked up to him tremendously," Howard said. "Just because of his style of play."
Smith will now carry his talents to Waco and look to become as dominant for Baylor as he was during his three years as a varsity starter with Centennial.
"[Smith] has a tremendous future ahead of him," Howard said. "He has the mindset to be a very good college football player and maybe even beyond that."
Coach of the Year: Tom Westerberg, Allen
There are only 10 games on a high school football schedule.
Yet after nine seasons at Allen, Tom Westerberg is averaging more than 11 victories per year, which speaks to his team's regular season dominance and continued playoff success.
Westerberg helmed his second state title in 2012 as Allen beat Houston Lamar in the Class 5A Division I State Finals. Prior to Westerberg, the Eagles had never won state.
"Tom is very deserving of your recognition," said Jeff Fleener, Allen offensive coordinator. "He has a couple coordinators here that want to score or post a shutout on every play and coach Westerberg does a great job reminding us what the reasonable expectations are. He does a great job seeing the big picture."
That includes allowing his players to have a little fun.
"Coach Westerberg has a great relationship with our kids," Fleener said. "And he makes it so they really enjoy football; they don't look at it as a grind or a beating."
Westerberg started coaching at Cameron Junior High after graduating from Texas A&M in 1987 and took the helm at Allen in 2004. Westerberg, who took a larger role in special teams this season, won his 100th game with the Eagles in the Region II Finals against Skyline.
Win No. 102 equaled state title No. 2.
"Tom truly knows what it takes to run a successful program based on character and respect," Fleener said. "I couldn't work for a better man."
Utility Player of the Year: Oliver Pierce, Allen
Allen senior Oliver Pierce was a starting quarterback this season.
He was also a starting slot receiver.
He was also a running back, defensive end and punt returner.
Pierce filled all those roles in 2012.
"And if you asked Oliver, he would probably play nose tackle or safety too," said Tom Westerberg, Allen head coach. "That's just the kind of person he is; he was raised with the work ethic where if you ask him to do something he'll do it 110 percent."
Pierce, a finalist for The Landry Award, completed 24-of-37 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns as Allen's starting quarterback during non-district. On the bye, the Eagles switched to sophomore Kyler Murray as the starter.
"Oliver wanted to stay at quarterback, but we visited for a long time and he went with the decision because it was best for the team," Westerberg said. "You tell Oliver what role you need him to fill and he'll do it."
Pierce moved to the slot where he was a unanimous first team all-district selection after hauling in 44 catches. He continued to run too, carrying the ball 78 times for 374 yards and 11 touchdowns. Pierce, who continued to quarterback during practice every Thursday, contributed in other phases too as he registered two sacks as a defensive end and served as the team's primary punt returner.
Billy Whitman Award: Jeff Fleener, Allen
Allen entered 2012 without a proven varsity quarterback and little experience at wide receiver.
Then the team made a quarterback change before district.
These are the tenets of a team that will struggle offensively.
Instead, the Eagles entered the state title game having scored at least 34 points in 13-of-15 games, surpassing the 50-point threshold six times and accumulating more than 6,600 yards of offense. At the forefront of that explosion was offensive coordinator Jeff Fleener.
"Coach Fleener did an unbelievable job this season," said Tom Westerberg, Allen head coach.
Not only did the Allen offense have to adjust, so did its coordinator.
"We sat down during the spring and talked about where we wanted to go and what was the best way to get there," Westerberg said.
Fleener, who took over play-calling duties, used a two-tight end system in spring football. Allen moved away from it during the regular season, but the team continued to evolve during the playoffs and integrated tight ends back into the offense.
And Fleener's duties don't stop with offense; he is also Allen's recruiting coordinator.
"He is probably the best math tutor in the school district too," Westerberg said. "He's up here until 7:30-8 p.m. tutoring kids all the time."
That dedication is one of the reasons Fleener, and state champion Allen, has excelled.
"Coach Fleener has done a good job making this offense his own," Westerberg said. "We aren't where we are without him."
First Team Offense
Lamar Jordan: QB, Senior, Frisco Centennial
The Titans were only going as far as senior quarterback Lamar Jordan led them this season.
The duel-threat signal caller carried his team to the regional finals, coming just one win shy of a state tournament berth.
With team's focusing on Jordan's ground game in 2012, the senior saw his rushing numbers dip to 577 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Jordan finished the year with 2,697 yards through the air, 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions after completing 207-of-357 attempts.
Bryan Driskell: RB, Senior, McKinney Boyd
The all-state back and two-time Landry Award finalist had a memorable 2012. His season stats included 23 rushing touchdowns and 1,882 yards off 247 touches for an average of nearly 8 yards per carry.
Driskell also surpassed several premier high school football career milestones, including rushing for more than 5,000 total yards and scoring over 400 total points. He also ran for a program-record seven touchdowns in a single game and set the school record for the longest run and touchdown run from scrimmage at 94 yards this season.
Soso Jamabo: RB, Sophomore, Plano West
The electric playmaker only got better as his first varsity season went on.
After missing a game against Allen due to concussion-like symptoms, Jamabo helped lead West to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Once there, Jamabo took over with five touchdowns in each of the Wolves' first two postseason victories and another three in a win over Lufkin that propelled West to the regional finals for the first time.
Auston Anderson: RB, Junior, Plano West
The other part in West's "dynamic duo" was just as important to ensuring the Wolves had one of the most feared backfields in the state.
Anderson, the faster back, was a breakaway threat any time he touched the ball.
After getting his first taste of varsity competition last year, Anderson really upped the ante in 2012 as he was named first team all-district after running for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Connor Fuentes: WR, Senior, McKinney
Fuentes, who continually proved to be a potent weapon in McKinney's dynamic passing attack, was honored with an all-district selection this year in recognition of his stellar 2012 season.
Fuentes' strong season included 72 receptions for 1,062 yards for an average of 14.75 yards per catch. Fuentes also scored 10 touchdowns and didn't commit a single fumble all season.
Collin Shaw: WR, Senior, Plano East
The Plano East offense produced with staggering efficiency during the early stages of the season and ranked among the best in the Metroplex before injuries took their toll. A steady presence on and off the field, Shaw was one of the unit's lone constants in 2012, recording 52 receptions for 888 yards and 10 touchdowns during his senior campaign.
Tejan Koroma: C, Junior, Allen
It's easy to see why Koroma was the unanimous first team all-district center in 10-5A.
On a dominant offensive line, Koroma stood out by allowing a singular sack and helping pave the way for an Allen rushing attack that amassed 4,401 yards prior to the state finals.
The 6-foot, 250-pounder was also named first team all-state by the Associated Press.
He will anchor the Allen offensive line in 2013.
Jake Raulerson: OT, Senior, Celina
There's a reason one of the most successful programs in college football history wanted two-way lineman Jake Raulerson.
The senior was a reliable force for sophomore quarterback Nathan Elliott, surrendering just one sack all season and earning an average grade of 96 percent after racking up 32 pancakes and 28 downfield blocks.
Raulerson also cleared the way for a ground game that was the staple of Celina's offense in 2012.
Joseph Noteboom: OT, Senior, Plano Senior
Plano's offensive line was laden with underclassmen and inexperience in 2012. Noteboom helped ease that transition for the younger crop of Wildcats by bolstering the line at left tackle. The towering 6-foot-6, 265-pound TCU commit totaled 57 pancakes and graded out in red in all 11 games during his senior campaign to help guide the Wildcats to a playoff berth.
John Clark: OG, Senior, Allen
Allen used to be known as the land of the giants when it came to the offensive line.
Clark was part of a new breed of linemen for the Eagles in 2012 as the 6-foot, 267-pounder dominated the line of scrimmage despite not possessing overwhelming size.
Clark was a unanimous first team all-district selection and the Eagles won the Class 5A Division I State Championship for the second time in five years.
Alex Shaheen: OG, Senior, McKinney Boyd
On a team that prided itself on its premier running game, Shaheen led the pack for the Broncos when it came to the offensive line.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior was a first team District 10-5A selection and a true leader on the offensive line. Chief among Shaheen's game-changing abilities was that he created crucial running lanes for teammate and DFW 5A rushing leader Bryan Driskell.
First Team Defense
K.J. Smith: DE, Senior, Frisco Centennial
There was no secret who opposing offenses had to fear the most when playing Centennial.
Senior defensive end KJ Smith was a force on nearly every play, pressuring the quarterback and stuffing the opposition's running game all season. Smith tallied 102 tackles on the year with a staggering 20 sacks and 22 quarterback hurries. Smith also forced six fumbles on the season.
Smith's contributions allowed Centennial to carry over its dominant defense from 2011, despite losing multiple key starters.
Slayton Shiels: DE, Senior, Lovejoy
This Lovejoy varsity staple handled the transition to Class 4A with ease in 2012. While the 56 tackles, including 19 for loss, are impressive in their own right, Shiels carved out his niche as one of the district's premier pass rushers. That much was evident behind the defensive end's 11 sacks and 24 quarterback hurries en route to being named the 13-4A Defensive Player of the Year.
Byron Bonds: DT, Senior, Allen
Bonds could be listed at a variety of positions as he was capable of lining up at nose guard, defensive tackle or end depending on the scheme Allen used from game to game.
Bonds dominated wherever he was.
By the time Allen reached the state semifinals, Bonds had recorded 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and two recovered fumbles en route to being named District 10-5A's Defensive Player of the Year.
Thomas Kotecki: LB, Senior, Lovejoy
Kotecki played in just nine games during the 2012 season, but still made his presence felt as one of Lovejoy's top defensive standouts. Kotecki totaled 74 tackles -- 13 for loss -- four sacks, four forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and one pick-six to help pace the Leopards towards their first undefeated regular season in program history.
Adam Brown: LB, Junior, McKinney Boyd
A fearsome linebacker, Brown's defensive skill was on display all season long.
The scrappy 5-foot-11, 160-pound junior was a first team District 10-5A selection for his strong contributions this fall. His 2012 stats include an astounding 142 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, one recovered fumble, two interceptions and three sacks.
David Griffith: LB, Junior, Plano Senior
Opposing skill-position players didn't have the greatest luck when venturing into Griffith's crosshairs during the 2012 season. The junior built off his district Defensive Newcomer of the Year nod in 2011 by tallying 119 tackles -- 82 solo -- in addition to 17 tackles-for-loss, four quarterback pressures and one interception. Griffith also blocked three kicks as a special teams force.
Josh Raulerson: LB, Junior, Celina
With Celina relying on a physical ground game and dominant defense to win games, senior linebacker Josh Raulerson fit the bill for the Bobcats.
Raulerson was the leader of a Celina defense that surrendered just 12 points per game through the first nine contests of the season. The senior led the Bobcats with 114 tackles while also tallying 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, giving way for a regional semifinals appearance.
Ranthony Texada: CB, Senior, Frisco Centennial
Senior cornerback Ranthony Texada had a breakout year in 2011 and managed to build off that success in 2012.
Texada had the task of shutting down opposing No. 1 receivers and handled the job with ease, intercepting four passes, making 62 tackles and tallying 22 pass break ups. The senior also blocked four kicks, extending his impact to multiple areas for the Titans.
The TCU commit also had return duties on special teams.
Braylin Brown: CB, Junior, Celina
With the Raulerson brothers shutting down opposing running backs, it was junior cornerback Braylin Brown making things difficult on quarterbacks and receivers.
Brown was a dominant force in Celina's secondary, intercepting five passes while also tallying 41 tackles, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Those contributions carried the Bobcats to a second-place finish in the District 10-3A standings and to playoff victories over Krum and Madison before an eventual regional semifinals loss to Henderson.
Daylon Markham: S, Senior, McKinney Boyd
A defensive force in the secondary, Markham made his presence known to opposing offenses early and often this season.
The tenacious 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior was a first team District 10-5A selection at the safety position. His 2012 stats include 125 total tackles, one caused fumble, three interceptions and four pass break ups.
Josh Garrett: S, Senior, Frisco Centennial
There was no shortage of playmakers in Centennial's secondary this season.
The safety position was no exception, with senior safety Josh Garrett racking up 59 tackles, five interceptions and 11 pass break ups.
Garrett contributed to a stingy Centennial defense that surrendered just 16 points per game during district play. That defensive dominance allowed Centennial to stay atop the 9-4A standings after an unbeaten regular season in 2011.
First Team Special Teams
Mick Ellis: K, Junior, Lovejoy
The Leopards were assured points anytime they advanced deep into enemy territory, courtesy of the trusty boot of their kicker. Ellis converted 12 field goals in 2012, including three makes in excess of 50 yards and a season-long of 54. In addition to knocking in 40 PATs, Ellis accounted for 76 total points. He also handled kickoff duties for Lovejoy, where he booted 25 touchbacks.
Shane Tripucka: P, Senior, Allen
At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Tripucka looks more like a wide receiver than a punter.
Until he kicks the ball.
Though Allen didn't put a lot in 2012, Tripucka boomed the ball when they did as the first team all-district selection showed the same leg strength he had displayed while winning or placing top three in a variety of punting competitions across the nation in the offseason.
Ranthony Texada: KR/PR, Senior, Frisco Centennial
The impact senior Ranthony Texada had on Centennial's return game was felt beyond his yards per return average.
Although the speedster tallied 454 yards on just 11 kickoff returns (41.27) and another 200 yards on 17 punt returns (11.7), Centennial often carried an advantage in the field position battle due to opposing teams kicking away from Texada.
The senior's longest return of the season came on an 80-yard sprint that allowed the Titans to take over inside their opponent's 5-yard line.
Second Team Offense
QB: Kyler Murray, Sophomore, Allen
RB: Marcus Ward, Senior, Allen
RB: Ben Cole, Senior, Frisco
RB: Jonathan Shannon, Senior, McKinney
WR: Turner Smiley, Senior, Frisco Wakeland
WR: Cody Bagwell, Senior, Frisco Centennial
C: Parker Murry, Senior, Plano West
OT: Brad North, Senior, Allen
OT: Guy Roecker, Senior, Allen
OG: Mason Brewer, Senior, Frisco
OG: Nick Natour, Junior, Frisco Lone Star
Second Team Defense
DE: Tyler Ferguson, Junior, McKinney Boyd
DE: Landis Durham, Sophomore, Plano East
DT: Jake Raulerson, Senior, Celina
DT: Shane Roberson, Senior, Frisco
LB: Ben Bouchez, Senior, McKinney Boyd
LB: Jake Wodka, Senior, Plano West
LB: James Triplett, Senior, McKinney North
CB: Collin Eberle, Senior, Plano West
CB: Chris Stanton, Senior, McKinney Boyd
S: Ian Neithercut, Junior, Frisco Centennial
S: Chad Adams, Junior, Allen
Second Team Special Teams
K: Jared Symmank, Senior, McKinney Boyd
P: Austin Shoemake, Senior, Frisco Centennial
KR/PR: Bryan Driskell, Senior, McKinney Boyd
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