John Tyler's district dominance on the football field reflected on the All-16-4A team, with the Lions claiming three of the four major superlative awards.
All three JT superlative winners won in unanimous fashion. Greg Ward repeated as the District Most Valuable Player, Tyus Bowser played his way to Defensive Most Valuable Player honors, and Ricklan Holmes, the Lions' leader on the sideline, capped off the accolades as Coach of the Year.
Whitehouse junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes earned Offensive MVP honors. First-year Whitehouse standouts received recognition as well, with junior receiver Jake Parker picked as Offensive Newcomer of the Year, and Wildcats sophomore safety Justin Dunning splitting the Defensive Newcomer of the Year honor with Corsicana's Darius Watson.
JT led the team with 13 first-team spots, half of the selections unanimous. JT two-way senior standouts Darion Flowers (receiver, cornerback) and DeQuante Woods (kick returner, running back) both dotted the team at two different positions. Three more Lions — receiver Fred Ross, defensive end Kavante Jefferson and safety Elliott Hart — garnered votes from all the district's coaches.
The Lions went unbeaten in district play at 5-0, running their win-streak against league foes to 20 games. The Lions lasted until the Class 4A Division I state semifinals before losing a thriller, 57-53, to Denton Guyer. `
Ward enjoyed a memorable five-game stretch in district, accounting for 1,818 yards and 22 touchdowns. Ward completed 97 of 124 passes (78 percent) for 1,437 yards, with 17 TDs and zero interceptions. The dual-threat signal-caller added 381 yards and five TDs on the ground.
Bowser racked up 8.5 sacks, 13 tackles for losses, three pass break-ups and caused five fumbles in five district games.
Holmes helped JT outscore district opponents by an average of 37.2 points per game.
Other JT first-teamers included senior kicker Porfirio Benitez, senior defensive tackle Chris Mobley, senior linebacker Richard Gipson, senior cornerback Darion Flowers, senior offensive tackle Emmanuel Terrazas and senior offensive guard Carnelius Davis.
Mahomes made a big mark in district, where he threw for 1,568 yards, 24 TDs and three interceptions in five games. Mahomes sparked Whitehouse to a near-upset of JT in the district finale, a game the Lions won 45-38 in comeback fashion.
Parker pulled in 31 catches for 371 yards and six TDs in district. Dunning intercepted two passes against 16-4A opponents.
Along with the three superlatives, Whitehouse placed six on the first team: Dylan Cantrell (receiver), Destin Wilkins (kicker), Chris Reese (linebacker), Colby Campbell (safety), Hunter Conn (offensive tackle) and McKenlee Smith (offensive guard).
All-District 16-4A Football Team
Coach of the Year — Ricklan Holmes, John Tyler (U)
Most Valuable Player — Greg Ward (5-11, 165, Sr.), John Tyler (U)
Offensive MVP — Patrick Mahomes (6-3, 200, Jr.), Whitehouse
Defensive MVP — Tyus Bowser (6-3, 230, Sr.), John Tyler (U)
Offensive Newcomer of the Year — Jake Parker (6-0, 165, Jr.), Whitehouse
Defensive Newcomers of the Year — Justin Dunning (6-3, 190, So.), Whitehouse; Darius Watson (6-1, 185, So.), Corsicana
Quarterback — Carter McCown (6-2, 150, So.), Jacksonville (U)
Running Backs — DeQuante Woods (5-11, 185, Sr.), John Tyler; Ronnie Devereaux (5-8, 165, Sr.), Corsicana
Fullback — Tyler Daniels (6-0, 185, Sr.), Lindale
Wide Receivers — D.D. Franklin (6-2, 180, Sr.), Jacksonville (U); Fred Ross (6-2, 190, Sr.), John Tyler (U); Dylan Cantrell (6-4, 205, Sr.), Whitehouse; Darion Flowers (6-0, 180, Sr.), John Tyler
Tight End — Tiano McDonald (6-0, 205, Jr.), Corsicana (U)
Center — Chris Jones (6-1, 295, Jr.), Corsicana
Guards — McKenlee Smith (6-3, 235, Sr.), Whitehouse; Carnelius Davis (6-0, 240, Sr.), John Tyler
Tackles — Hunter Conn (6-4, 275, Sr.), Whitehouse; Emmanuel Terrazas (6-2, 235, Sr.), John Tyler
Ends — Kavante Jefferson (6-2, 195, Sr.), John Tyler (U); D'Eriq Jordan (6-0, 195, Sr.), Corsicana
Tackles — Jarrett Hall (6-0, 185, Sr.), Corsicana; Chris Mobley (6-1, 235, Sr.), John Tyler
Inside Linebackers — Bryson Haywood (6-0, 190, Sr.), Jacksonville (U); Richard Gipson (6-2, 220, Sr.), John Tyler
Outside Linebackers — Chris Reese (6-0, 170, Jr.), Whitehouse; Ladarius Session (6-2, 190, Sr.), Jacksonville
Cornerbacks — Darrell Minifee (5-10, 170, Sr.), Jacksonville; Darion Flowers (6-0, 180, Sr.), John Tyler
Safeties — Colby Campbell (6-0, 190, Sr.), Whitehouse; Elliott Hart (5-11, 175, Sr.), John Tyler
Returner — DeQuante Woods (5-11, 185, Sr.), John Tyler (U)
Kicker — Porfirio Benitez (5-6, 145, Sr.), John Tyler; Luc Swimberghe (6-1, 185, Sr.), Lindale; Destin Wilkins (6-1, 175, Sr.), Whitehouse
Punter — Luc Swimberghe (6-1, 185, Sr.), Lindale
Quarterback — Cody Slice (6-0, 184, Sr.), Lindale
Running Backs — Reggie Gipson (5-9, 175, Jr.), John Tyler; Isaiah Burton (5-9, 150, Jr.), Whitehouse; Ladarius Session (6-2, 190, Sr.), Jacksonville
Fullback — Hunter Easley (5-9, 175, Jr.), Corsicana
Wide Receivers — Jacob Barnes (6-0, 175, Jr.), Nacogdoches; Bobby Wallace (5-10, 180, Sr.), Corsicana; Darrell Minifee (5-10, 175, Sr.), Jacksonville; Justice Liggins (6-1, 190, Sr.), John Tyler
Tight End — Corey Holman (6-4, 215, Sr.), Jacksonville
Centers — Chris Starling (6-9, 240, Sr.), John Tyler; Jacob Bragg (6-3, 295, Jr.), Nacogdoches
Guards — Jeffery Jordan (6-7, 350, Sr.), Corsicana; Adrian Pulido (6-0, 255, So.), John Tyler
Tackles — Malik Gilder (6-0, 265, Jr.), Nacogdoches; Travaughn Moore (6-3, 260, Jr.), John Tyler
Ends — Brannon Beaton (6-1, 205, Sr.), Whitehouse; Greg Roberts (6-5, 215, Jr.), Nacogdoches
Tackles — Cody Bryce (6-0, 270, Sr.), Nacogdoches; Mat Gipson (5-10, 215, Sr.), Whitehouse; Michael Stiles (5-11, 295, Jr.), Lindale
Inside Linebackers — Brian Scott (6-1 210, Jr.), Nacogdoches; Reggie Long (6-0, 210, Jr.), Whitehouse; Cedric Weaver (5-11, 205, Sr.), Corsicana
Outside Linebackers — Breyon Hill (5-10, 185, Sr.), Corsicana; Andrew Clark (6-0, 205, Jr.), John Tyler; DeQuante Woods
Cornerbacks — Traven Johnson (6-1, 190, Sr.), John Tyler; Isaiah Burton (5-9, 150, Jr.), Whitehouse
Safeties — Kaley Washington (5-8, 165, Jr.), Corsicana; Londedric Taylor (5-10, 175, Sr.), Jacksonville
Kicker — Ryan Travis (5-8, 150, Sr.), Jacksonville