One young man from Sabine High School got a state-wide honor for Christmas.
Sabine’s Kobe Renfro was named earlier this week as the defensive player of the year for UIL Class 3A by the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors, as a part of the 3A All-State football team. A trio of West Rusk players were named second-team and honorable mention on the 3A team, and four Kilgore players were second-team or honorable mention on the 4A squad.
The Cardinals, led by first-year head coach Rex Sharp, didn’t make the 3A playoffs this year, but Renfro’s numbers and effort jumped off the page. And the best news: Sharp and the football program will get him back another season. He’s just a junior.
Renfro, a linebacker, finished with 191 tackles, 20 of them for loss, as well as four sacks, two pass break-ups, three fumble recoveries, and five forced fumbles.
Sharp pointed out that this is not Renfo’s first venture into triple-number tackle-totals. “He had 140 last year,” Sharp said. “…He is solid every Friday night. And a great kid, too.”
Others from the News Herald’s coverage area who made the actual 3A all-state team were West Rusk’s Tyree Wilson, also a linebacker, and defensive lineman Darrien Johnson, both named as part of the second-team. West Rusk running back Jaylon Garland was named a 3A all-state honorable mention.
The Raiders were co-champions of District 9-3A, Division II, and went 10-2 on the season, finally falling in the third round to unbeaten Newton, which is facing Gunter this weekend at AT&T Stadium for the 3A DII state title.
Wilson, a verbal commit to Texas A&M, finished second on the Raiders’ defense with 126 total tackles (Diego Molina had 137). Eighty-eight of the senior’s tackles were solo. He also had 38 tackles for loss , five sacks, 29 quarterback hurries, five fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles.
Johnson, also a senior, had 83 tackles, 67 of them solo, 32 for loss, eight sacks (led the team), six hurries, seven caused fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Garland, a junior for coach John Frazier, was the Raiders’ leading rusher again. He had 1,152 yards on 135 carries (an average of about 8.5 yards a carry) in 10 games played; he finished with 20 touchdowns, and six games where he rushed for over 100 yards.
Kilgore senior defensive end Demorrea Richardson was named to the Class 4A second-team Tuesday.
Bulldogs named 4A all-state honorable mention are senior offensive lineman Austin Adams, senior running back Briant Mumphrey, and defensive back Nesba Brown, a junior.
The Bulldogs finished 9-4, falling to Henderson in a third-round playoff game at Pine Tree’s Pirate Stadium. It was Kilgore’s seventh straight yea in the playoffs.
Richardson finished with 50 total tackles, 25 of them solo, eight for loss, a team-leading 10 sacks, three caused fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 32 hurries.
Mumphrey led the Bulldogs in rushing – he had 1,461 yards on 161 carries, about 9 yards a carry, and also led in touchdowns (20).
Adams and the offensive line helped the Bulldogs garner 5,174 yards of total offense, including 4,363 rushing yards.
Brown was a co-leader (with Sebastian Mumphrey) in tackles for Kilgore, with 165, and had 131 solo tackles. He had three tackles for loss, two interceptions, a sack and two hurries. He also had five punt returns for an average of 20.4 yards and a touchdown.