The District 2-3A tri-champion Brownwood Lions earned 30 roster spots, including three superlative awards, on the all-district football team. Not counting players receiving honorable mention, the Lions finished with 23 selections - one more than Abilene Wylie and three more than Graham.
The Lions, Wylie and Graham shared the 2-3A championship - Brownwood’s first district title since 2003 - in the toughest 3A district in the state. The Lions advanced to the third round of the playoffs, while Wylie went on to compete for the Class 3A Division I state championship last weekend and Graham squared off with Carthage for the 3A Division II state title Saturday night.
All-district lists cannot be released until all teams in the district finish their seasons.
Brownwood senior defensive end Joseph Henry was named tri-defensive player of the year along with Graham senior Ethan Hiser and Wylie junior Jimmy Holley. Lions sophomore cornerback Kevin Vaccaro was selected the defensive newcomer of the year, while Brownwood first-year head coach Bob Shipley shared coach of the year honors with Wylie’s Hugh Sandifer and Graham’s Brad McCoy.
Shipley led the Lions to their first 10-win season since the 2003 campaign and their deepest postseason run since 2006 - which marked the last time Brownwood advanced to the playoffs prior to this season.
Henry, an Associated Press Class 3A honorable mention all-state pick, finished the regular season - which is when the vote for the all-district squad took place - with 91 tackles, four sacks and three fumble recoveries. Vaccaro, meanwhile, tallied 51 tackles and broke up a team-high eight passes.
Four Lions - senior offensive lineman Michael Gonzales, junior receiver Jaxon Shipley, junior quarterback Vance McShan and sophomore running back Stehl Ratliff - landed on the first-team offense.
Gonzales helped paved the way for an offense that averaged 28 points and 380 total yards - 229 passing and 151 rushing - per game during the regular season. McShan, who had not taken a snap from center until the Wylie game, completed 81-of-130 passes for 1,141 yards with eight touchdowns in district play. Shipley finished the regular season with 37 catches for 622 yards and seven touchdowns in just six games, while Ratliff rushed for 722 yards and 11 touchdowns during the first 10 games.
Defense is where the Lions showed their greatest improvement this season as Brownwood allowed just 17.5 points and 278 yards per game during the regular season. Seven first-team defensive roster spots were awarded to six Lions - tackle Levi Westerman (79 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries), end Rey Arriaga (54 tackles, four sacks), inside linebacker Payton Christopher (73 tackles, five passes broken up), outside linebacker Caden Ellis (81 tackles, two sacks), Shipley (nine tackles, one pass broken up, one interception) at cornerback and Derek Longoria at both safety (78 tackles, three interceptions, one blocked kick) and punter (41.8-yard average, long of 55, 11 kicks inside the 20). Longoria was also named the AP first-team all-state punter in Class 3A.
Making the second-team offense for Brownwood were Longoria (45-215, 4 TDs) at running back, junior Matt Newton on the offensive line and junior receivers Dillon Ellis (33-517, 2 TDs) and Luke Chastain (21-330, 3 TDs). Ellis was also named the second-team kicker.
The second-team defense included four Lions - junior tackle Jorge De La Paz (77 tackles, three sacks), junior outside linebacker Tyler Harth (51 tackles, 10 sacks), senior safety Logan Gough (45 tackles, one interception) and Chastain (28 tackles, two forced fumbles) at cornerback.
Receiving honorable mention offensively for the Lions were running back Levi Perez (56-297, TD), receiver Cade Johnson (20-311, 2 TDs) and linemen Cameron Chisholm, Dylan Burleson and Reco Cadena. Linebacker Weston Jacobs (42 tackles) and end Alex Elizondo (38 tackles) received defensive honorable mention.
Graham senior quarterback Case McCoy was named the 2-3A MVP, while Wylie senior quarterback Matt Preston was tabbed offensive player of the year. Snyder sophomore Keenon Ward was named the district’s offensive newcomer of the year.
Editor’s Note: All Brownwood statistics used in this article were through the completion of the regular season. Listed below is the complete 2-3A all-district football roster:
* unanimous selection
*Case McCoy, Sr., Graham
*Matt Preston, Sr., Abilene Wylie
Joseph Henry, Sr., Brownwood; Ethan Hiser, Sr., Graham; Jimmy Holley, Sr., Abilene Wylie
Offensive Newcomer of the Year
*Keenon Ward, So., Snyder
Defensive Newcomer of the Year
* Kevin Vaccaro, So., Brownwood
Coaches of the Year
Bob Shipley, Brownwood; Brad McCoy, Graham; Hugh Sandifer, Abilene Wylie
First Team Offense
Quarterback - *Vance McShan, Jr., Brownwood
Running Backs - *Stehl Ratliff, So., Brownwood; *John Miller, Sr., Wylie; *Cameron Bailey, Sr., Graham
Fullback - *Joe Nasser, Jr., Wylie
Utility Back - David Howard, Sr., Breckenridge
Tight End - *Rayce Burks, Sr., Wylie
Receiver - *Jaxon Shipley, Jr., Brownwood; *Austin Gray, Sr., Wylie; *Dylan Fulford, Jr., Graham; Anthony Taylor, Jr., Snyder
Center - Russell Dobbs, Jr., Graham
Linemen - *Michael Gonzales, Sr., Brownwood; *Sal Tonche, Sr., Wylie; *Codey Kinney, Sr., Graham; Cole Rhoades, Sr., Sweetwater
Kicker - *Austin Gray, Sr., Wylie
First Team Defense
Linemen - *Levi Westerman, Jr., Brownwood; *Sal Tonche, Sr., Wylie; *Chris Harrison, Sr., Graham
Ends - Rey Arriaga, Jr., Brownwood; *Robert Miller, Sr., Wylie
Inside Linebacker - Payton Christopher, Jr., Brownwood; *Derek Morrow, Jr., Wylie; *Jordan Dies, Sr., Graham
Outside Linebacker - Caden Ellis, Jr., Brownwood; *Corey Ramos, Sr., Wylie; Kenneth Norman, Sr., Sweetwater; Kelton Garcia, Jr., Snyder
Cornerback - *Jaxon Shipley, Jr., Brownwood; Brian Sides, So., Graham; Keith Green, Sr., Wylie; Grayson Martin, Sr., Wylie; Tom Davis, Sr., Snyder
Safety - *Derek Longoria, Jr., Brownwood; *Hubbell Allen, Sr., Graham; Austin Gray, Sr., Wylie; Shade Roemisch, Jr., Snyder
Utility - Alex Hernandez, Sr., Snyder
Punter - Derek Longoria, Jr., Brownwood
Second Team Offense
Quarterback - Nick Zajicek, Sr., Snyder
Running Back - Derek Longoria, Jr., Brownwood; B.J. Walker, Jr., Sweetwater; Cory Ramos, Sr., Wylie
Fullback - Blayne Street, Jr., Breckenridge
Utility Back - Shade Roemisch, Jr., Snyder
Tight End - Jimmy Holt, Jr., Snyder; Tyler Ryan, Jr., Graham
Receiver - Dillon Ellis, Jr., Brownwood; Luke Chastain, Jr., Brownwood; Conner Higgins, Sr., Graham; Jason Vause, Sr., Sweetwater; Steven Cottner, Sr., Wylie; Garrett Sparks, Sr., Graham
Center - Ryan Stoker, So., Breckenridge; Caleb Champion, Sr., Wylie
Linemen - Matt Newton, Jr., Brownwood; Blake Jordan, Sr., Graham; Jarvis McCann, Sr., Sweetwater, Evan Myers, Sr., Wylie
Kicker - Dillon Ellis, Jr., Brownwood
Second Team Defense
Linemen - Jorge De La Paz, Jr., Brownwood; Kolter Wright, Sr., Wylie; Stetson Marin, So., Breckenridge
Ends - Colton Monk, Sr., Graham; Clint Jay, Sr., Sweetwater
Inside Linebacker - Dakota Carroll, Jr., Snyder; Cole Richards, Sr., Sweetwater; Leo Medina, Sr., Breckenridge
Outside Linebacker - Tyler Harth, Jr., Brownwood; Sheldon May, Sr., Graham; Joe Nasser, Jr., Wylie; Jake King, Jr., Breckenridge
Cornerback - Luke Chastain, Jr., Brownwood; Spencer Sims, Sr., Graham; Hagen Little, Sr., Graham; Zach Wetsel, Sr., Sweetwater
Safety - Logan Gough, Sr., Brownwood
Utility - Quenton Kramer, Sr., Graham
Punter - Jason Vause, Sr., Sweetwater
Brownwood Honorable Mention
Offense - RB Levi Perez, WR Cade Johnson, OL Cameron Chisholm, OL Dylan Burleson, OL Reco Cadena
Defense - LB Weston Jacobs, DE Alex Elizondo