“The past few years we’ve had some talent but have just
never been able to put it together. We had new coaches last
year. This year is different. We have the same coaches coming back, same plays, roles. We’ve all been working on the
same thing all year and most of our seniors are coming back.
That’s going to help us a lot.” –Daniel Feingold
CARTHAGE HIGH SCHOOL
High Expectations in 2013
IN 23 YEARS OF COACHING, SCOT T SURRAT T HAS NEVER
had his entire offense return from the previous year.
Surratt enters his seventh year as Carthage’s head coach
with his 2012 offense virtually intact. The top passer, top
two rushers, top four receivers, all five starting offensive
linemen and tight end return. Only Payton Klysen, the starting fullback, graduated in May.
“I think the most we’ve ever had is six or seven back on
offense,” said Surratt, who is 73-14 with three state cham-
pionships at Carthage. “If we stay healthy and keep the right
attitude and keep getting better, I think we have a chance to
be a special offense.”
Blake Bogenschutz needs 1,458 passing yards to tie
Carthage’s career record ( 7,024; Anthony Morgan). Tevin
Pipkin is fifth on the school’s career rushing list. Tee Goree,
Okeeron Rutherford, and Kolby Blissett bring back 2,242
receiving yards and 34 touchdowns from 2012.
Then there’s the offensive line that averages more than
The Bulldogs may have to rely on their offense early.
Texas A&M-bound defensive tackle Isaiah Golden and
linebacker Trent Jackson graduated, among other front-seven veterans.
But Surratt is optimistic about his defense.
“I don’t think we’ll be as big, but I think we’ll be faster than
we were last year,” he said.
Carthage enters 2013 as one of the favorites to reach the
Class 3A Division I state championship. If an experienced
offense that averaged 42. 1 points per game a year ago gets
even better, the Bulldogs may play for their fourth title in six
years. –Gabe Brooks
POPE JOHN XXIII HIGH SCHOOL
Adversity Shapes Senior
Class at Pope John XXIII
THE SENIORS AT POPE JOHN XXIII EXPERIENCED A LOT
during their first three years of football.
As freshmen, most watched as the varsity won one game.
Many members saw the field as sophomores in 2011 as
the team started 4-0 despite a rash of season-ending injuries to lineman Robert Stasney, middle linebacker Damian
Espinoza, fullback Edd Williams and safety Zach Braunreiter
all before week five. The lack of depth eventually caught up,
coach Scot Mills said, as Pope John lost six of its final se¬¬ven
games and missed the playoffs. The Lions did finish with five
victories, which was the most in school history. Sophomore
Greg Moore rushed for 1,451 yards and 15 touchdowns.
As juniors, the class again tallied five victories, with
more than half being in district play to make the playoffs,
where they lost in the first round. Again the team overcame
adversity as several players were ruled ineligible and missed
the whole season. Moore struggled through ankle and knee
injuries to finish with 902 yards and six touchdowns.
TEAGUE HIGH SCHOOL
Lions Poised to Make
DANIEL JOHNSON IS RETURNING TO TEAGUE HIGH SCHOOL
for his second year as athletic director and head football
coach, and with him comes stability; something which his
players hadn’t been accustomed to until now.
“The stability the kids have seen is going a long way.
They look at us, they trust us and they finally know they have
an athletic director and coaching staff that aren’t going to
leave,” Johnson said. “I’m returning for a second year and all
these kids have never had that before.”
A playoff victory - just the second in program history - en
route to an 8-4 record in 2012 helped legitimize what John-
son and his coaching staff brought to the table.
“Anytime you win a playoff game in your first year you’re
there as a coach, you feel like you’ve accomplished something,”
Johnson said. “When you work so hard for something and put in
a lot of time, passion and emotion, and you get rewarded with a
playoff win, it makes doing it the next year worth it.”
The Lions are poised to make a return to the playoffs
and do damage while there. Among the returning starters
are juniors Austin Skinner (QB) and Aaron Mitchell (WR) as
well as senior Ben Long (RT), along with underclassmen who
Johnson feels can contribute greatly in games.
“We can win a state championship. All we have to do is
believe,” he said as a final message directed at his team. “The
most important thing that we need to do is to not quit at anytime. No matter what happens, don’t quit and we will have the
opportunity to win a state championship.” –Daniel Feingold
WELLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
Family Ties Run Deep
EVER SINCE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH WADE WILLIAMS
came home to Wellington in 2008, the plight of the Skyrockets has been on an upward path.
During those five years, Wellington has gone 57-7 in 1A-
Division II, and made the school’s first ever semifinal appearances in 2011 and 2012. With a large nucleus returning, the
goal is even higher this fall.
“We are motivated and want to make it one more game,”
said senior offensive lineman Will Baumgardner, whose
father, Joe, graduated from Wellington in 1977 and played
football for Wade’s father, James.
In Wellington, the Williams family is synonymous with football as James, now 73, coached the Skyrockets from 1972-92
and Wade was a standout quarterback from 1979-82.
“It’s hard to find someone in this town who didn’t have
someone in their family either play for me or my dad,” said
Wade, who previously guided Hico High School to the AA
state playoffs 16 of the 19 years he coached there.
Wide receiver Trey Long, who is Wade’s nephew, used to go
to Hico with his grandfather to watch his older cousin’s games.
“Everyone was pretty excited,” Long said of Williams’ hiring. “I don’t think anybody knew how good he would be here.”
Williams’ oldest child, Westin, was a junior, when Wade
chose to return to Wellington. Walker will be a senior this
year and he has another eighth grade son.
“It was not only family ties,” Wade said. “Throughout the
community and administration, there were a lot of things
that drew me this way.”
Williams and Kurt Ashmore, who is the principal and for-
mer football coach, played at McMurray University. Ashmore’s
son, Klark, is returning as the starting quarterback this fall.
“My ultimate goal is to win a state title,” Wade said.
ORANGEFIELD HIGH SCHOOL
to Celebrate Playoff
THIS SEASON MARKS A 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY FOR
Orangefield, but it’s an anniversary they’ll be trying to move
forward from instead of celebrating. A decade has passed
since Orangefield last made the postseason, but second-year Head Coach Josh Smalley firmly believes his team can
right the ship in 2013.
“There’s no doubt I think our team has the ability to reach
the playoffs and be successful,” he said. “The major [rea-
sons are our] work ethic, the offseason program, and also
we have a lot of kids coming back. When you combine those
things, I think we’ll have a pretty good year.”
Among the players returning are seniors Mason Sonnier
(TE), Dustin Verrett (DB) and all-district RB Carl Wiley. This
season for the Bobcats will not only bring experience, but
more depth as last year Smalley at times found himself
dressing out as few as 24 players. The roster will be in the
mid-30s this go-around, giving the coaching staff more
“You never really know what’s going to happen but you
have to plan for everything,” Smalley said. “We’ll have plans
in place for injury and other situations.”
Having lost theirs to graduation last year, one position
Orangefield is looking to fill is quarterback, which will factor
greatly into their push to return to the postseason. But with
one full season as head coach under Smalley’s belt, and
a full offseason ahead of he and his team, things are now
working more into Orangfield’s favor.
“We don’t necessarily talk about how long it’s been. We
do talk about getting there,” he said. “We want this group to
be the group to get us headed in the right direction, to get us
in the playoffs.”
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TEXAS 2013