If the 2019 Kilgore High School football season was about getting back into the playoffs and setting the tone for the future, mission accomplished, and now there is some fruit bearing for the labor.
Kilgore sophomore outside linebacker Davin Rider was named the defensive newcomer of the year this week, as a part of the District 10-4A, Division I all-district team, chosen by the district’s coaches, but a bit delayed due to Carthage reaching the 4A-DI state title game.
Rider had company. Several of coach Mike Wood’s KHS standouts earned all-district distinction. First-team selections were senior running back Kennieth Lacy; wide receiver Brian Brown, a junior; senior offensive lineman Brayden Johnson; senior defensive lineman Deundre Blanton; defensive end Kaden Kenney, a junior; senior safety Jayce McFarland; cornerback Donovan Adkins, a junior; punter Cade Pippen, a junior; and senior Mason Henderson, chosen as a first-team utility player.
Bulldogs named to the 10-4A, DI all-district second-team were running back Tray Epps, a junior; senior fullback Sam Witt; senior wide receiver Davondrick Crowe (who recently played in the Blue-Gray All-American Game at AT&T Stadium); Donovan Adkins, at wide receiver; senior offensive lineman Calvin Woodside; sophomore kicker Chris Baldazo; junior Trey Williams at defensive line; Brian Brown once again, at inside linebacker; senior outside linebacker Zack Williams; and cornerback Dalton Smith, a junior.
Kilgore players as honorable mention selections were offensive linemen C.J. Brown and Josh Flores, quarterback Dalton McElyea, and defensive end Kentravious Anderson.
Carthage went on to win the 4A-DI state championship, and wide receiver Kevontay Dixon was named the 10-4A, DI overall most valuable player. Carthage swept the MVP honors: Dixon’s teammates, running back Mason Courtney and linebacker Rayvon Ingram, were named the district’s offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively. Coach Scott Surratt was named coach of the year, and wide receiver Braeden Wade was, along with wideout Tyson Berry from Chapel Hill, named co-offensive newcomer.
That won’t be the case next year — Carthage is dropping down a notch to 4A-DII under the UIL’s new realignment, which will be made public in a few weeks in February. Van will also be coming down to 4A-DII.
In addition, and impressively, 18 Bulldogs were named academic all-district. They are (in alphabetical order) Billy Bell, C.J. Brown, Carter Clark, Davondrick Crowe, Josh Flores, Karson Gee, Jose Jaime, Dalton McElyea, Jayce McFarland, Karson Offerding, Bobby Owens, Brantley Propes, Cade Pippen, Scott Silvey, Kaden Thrower, Zack Williams and Sam Witt.