By DAVID CLAYBOURN
At 5-6, 150 pounds, Leonard senior Solomon Titus isn’t what you’d call a big guy.
But he played really big this football season for Leonard at running back and cornerback, helping the 11-4 Tigers reach the Class 2A Division II state semifinals for the first time in school history. Titus earned most valuable player honors on the Herald-Banner Dream Team that recognizes the top players from the local area for the 2013 season.
Titus set a new school record for Leonard with 2,595 yards rushing for the season, getting some big yards in the Tigers’ playoff wins of 43-36 over Edgewood, 35-21 over Blooming Grove, 55-44 over S&S Consolidated and 28-20 over Cooper.
Titus was also a “shut-down” corner on defense, preventing the other team’s big receiver from getting open.
Leonard’s head coach Shane Fletcher claimed the coach of the year honors after guiding the Tigers to their memorable season. Leonard beat two undefeated teams in the playoffs, S&S and Cooper, and lost to eventual state champion Cisco in the semifinals.
Players from playoff teams Boles, Farmersville, Rains, Lone Oak and Caddo Mills claimed the other top honors on the Dream Team.
Boles’ all-state senior running back Devan Harris, who was a second-team all-state selection in Class A, shared the offensive player of the year award with Farmersville junior running back Darrin Pennington. Harris ran for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns for the 9-2 Hornets. Pennington rushed for 1,436 yards and 17 scores for the 7-5 Fightin’ Farmers.
Rains senior defensive back Jesse Hudson, a two-time honoree on the Class 3A all-state team, earned the defensive player of the year award after helping transform an 0-10 Wildcat team in 2012 into a 4-7 playoff team in 2013. Hudson, who was also a 1,000-yard rusher on offense, recorded 81 tackles on defense, including 50 solos, and intercepted three passes.
Farmersville senior speedster Andrew Simons captured the utility player of the year award. Simons averaged 7.8 yards per carry as a running back and 21.8 yards per catch as a receiver.
Newcomers of the year awards went to Lone Oak sophomore quarterback Jake Williams and Caddo Mills senior quarterback Erik Richards. Williams passed for 2,462 yards and 33 touchdowns for the 7-4 Buffaloes. Richards threw for 1,342 yards and 15 TDs for the 4-7 Foxes and rushed for 1,145 yards and 18 more scores.
Players from Leonard, Quinlan Ford, Greenville, Royse City, Lone Oak, Community, Farmersville, Boles, Wolfe City, Caddo Mills, Celeste, Commerce, Fannindel, Campbell and Greenville Phoenix earned first-team, second-team and honorable mention honors.
2013 Dream Team
Most valuable player — Solomon Titus, Leonard, RB-CB, Sr.
Offensive players of the year — Devan Harris, Boles, RB, Sr.; Darrin Pennington, Farmersville, RB, Jr.
Defensive player of the year — Jesse Hudson, Rains, DB, Sr.
Utility player of the year — Andrew Simons, Farmersville, RB-WR, Sr.
Newcomers of the year — Jake Williams, Lone Oak, QB, So.; Erik Richards, Caddo Mills, QB, Sr.
Coach of the year — Shane Fletcher, Leonard.
QB Justin Bennett Leonard Sr.
RB Jon Humphries Quinlan Ford Sr.
RB Tyler Matthews Greenville Sr.
WR Jake Glisch Royse City Sr.
WR Trent Sikes Lone Oak Sr.
TE Chawn Cooper Lone Oak Sr.
OL Dylan Pelton Leonard Jr.
OL Dillon Stevens Greenville Sr.
OL James Weimer Community Sr.
OL Taner Renfro Quinlan Ford Jr.
OL Brandon Martinez Royse City Sr.
PK Ty McKinney Leonard Sr.
DL Nick Davis Farmersville Sr.
DL Dylan Pelton Leonard Jr.
DL John Franklin Greenville Sr.
DL Grant Russell Rains Sr.
LB David Hernandez Boles Jr.
LB Justin Wilkinson Wolfe City Sr.
LB Nick Grell Rains Jr.
DB Cody McMahon Farmersville Jr.
DB Ryan Basye Lone Oak Sr.
DB Ross Bostick Boles Sr.
DB Hunter Bostick Wolfe City Jr.
P Ty McKinney Leonard Sr.
QB Jordan Graham Community Jr.
RB Quincy Cuba Fannindel Sr.
RB Stephen Lock Fannindel Sr. WR Keaton Jones Caddo Mills Jr.
WR Malik Gaffney Wolfe City Sr.
WR Brett Loeffler Lone Oak Jr.
OL Christian White Lone Oak Sr.
OL Nick Garza Celeste Sr.
OL Kory Kent Boles Sr.
OL Jesus Sanchez Farmersville Sr.
OL Christian Darter Rains Jr.
DL Garrett Cox Caddo Mills Sr.
DL Manuel Leon Lone Oak Sr.
DL Colton Black Caddo Mills Sr.
LB Chase Hill Rains Sr.
LB Cole Anderson Farmersville Jr.
LB Trent Sikes Lone Oak Sr.
LB Isaiah Martinez Commerce Sr.
DB Avery Christensen Boles Jr.
DB Bailey Isom Boles Jr.
DB DeAndre Wilson Royse City Sr.
DB Andy Henderson Gr. Christian Sr.
Quarterbacks — Will Martens, Greenville Christian, Sr.; Ryan Ratliff, Rains, So.; Brandon Fisk, Wolfe City, Jr.; Travis Taylor, Cumby, So.; Jarvis Wilburn, Fannindel, So.; Jacob Camp, Campbell, Jr.; Antwan Blakely, Greenville Phoenix, Sr.
Running backs — Devin Shaw, Lone Oak, Jr.; Collin Croft, Community, Jr.; Bran Kelley, Commerce, Sr.; Alex Ramsey, Royse City, Sr.; Ryan Nixon, Leonard, So.; David Chandler, Caddo Mills, Jr.; Cody Anderson, Cumby, Jr.; Nick Folse, Cumby, Jr.; Ross Bostick, Boles, Sr.; Keith Lynch, Celeste, Sr.; Cameron Walker, Boles, Jr.; Daniel Mothersell, Campbell, Jr.; Chris Wilson, Campbell, Sr.; Tyler Killian, Greenville Phoenix, Jr.
Wide receivers — Ryan Basye, Lone Oak, Sr.; Ty McKinney, Leonard, Sr.; Caleb Twyford, Farmersville, Fr.
Tight ends — Dan Wilner, Caddo Mills, Jr.; Andy Henderson, Greenville Christian, Sr.; Dilan House, Rains, Jr.
Offensive linemen — Jeremiah Howell, Boles, Jr.; Josh Campbell, Caddo Mills, Sr.; Isiah Smith, Caddo Mills, Sr.; Jake Smith, Celeste, Sr.; Grant Farley, Boles, Fr.; Brandon Ramirez, Commerce, Sr.
Defensive linemen — Cameron Wiser, Community, Sr. Alex Sawyer, Cumby, Jr.; Tristan Farber, Leonard, Jr.; De’Corrion Goree, Greenville, Sr.; Chris Sumrall, Boles, So.; Natrone Hawkins, Greenville, Sr.; Kyle Ravsten, Farmersville, Jr.; Andrew Lee, Farmersville, Jr.; Devon Jobe, Wolfe City, Sr; Clayton Mackey, Celeste, Jr.; Colton Quirl, Wolfe City, Jr.
Linebackers — Jordan Bicknell, Caddo Mills, Sr.; Joe White, Caddo Mills, Sr.; Will Martens, Greenville Christian, Sr.; Cody Anderson, Cumby, Jr.; Jim Evans, Cumby, Jr.; Garrett Wisner, Leonard, So.; Adrian Escandon, Community; Austin Shattow, Celeste, Sr.; Colton Smith, Celeste, Sr.; Jack Arsenio, Greenville Phoenix, So.
Defensive backs — Al Jackson, Commerce, Sr.; Dustin Heer, Cumby, Sr.