There was a reason the coaches in District 9-4A chose Kilgore quarterback Patrick Jackson as the offensive most valuable player on the 2016 all-district team.
In fact, there may have been several. But this number alone would do it: 2,103 yards. That’s Jackson’s combined rushing and passing totals for the ’16 season.
And Jackson wasn’t alone. Eleven Bulldogs were chosen to the all-district team’s first team, and another, sophomore wide receiver Deiontrae Wheat, was named newcomer of the year.
That’s saying something in a district that included two state-ranked teams for much of the year (Henderson and Carthage), and the eventual 4A Division I state champion (Carthage again).
Kilgore won the district title, the Bulldogs’ second straight, with just one district loss (to Center). The all-district team bears that out.
Jackson rushed for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns on 138 carries –his yardage total there was second only to teammate Melek Hamilton, a senior who gained 1,292 yards and scored 11 times, and was named all-district first-team.
Wheat had 17 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 103 yards and scored twice.
Bulldogs joining Hamilton on the first-team offense were fullback Garrett Meyers (senior), wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd (junior), offensive linemen Austin Adams (junior) and Dylan Scarlett (senior), and kicker Elivan Torres (sophomore).
Kilgore players named first-team defenders were defensive lineman Kevin Tinney (senior), defensive end Demorrea Richardson (junior), inside linebacker Jamal Nobles (senior), safety Mateo Meraz (senior), and punter Elian Torres (sophomore).
In addition, receiver Cole Wood (a senior) was named all-district second-team, as were senior center Jackson Hatcher, senior defensive end Dimontray Sibley, and sophomore cornerback Jerrick “Deuce” Ervin.
Isaiah Smith of KHS, a junior, was named the Bulldogs’ top utility player, and Rodney Coleman, a senior, was named Kilgore’s top specialist.
Kilgore players listed as all-district honorable mentions were senior wideout-defensive back A.J. Henson, senior offensive lineman Braden Honzell, senior defensive lineman David Perry, and offensive lineman McKinnon White, a junior.
KHS coach Mike Wood and his staff were named the coaching staff of the year. Henderson senior running back LaKendrick VanZandt, a TCU verbal commitment, was named the district’s overall most valuable player. Carthage linebacker MyKel Gates was named the defensive MVP, and Henderson sophomore defensive lineman Keivie Rose was named top defensive newcomer.