By BRAD KEITH
(January 20, 2018) — No one reporter covers as much high school football as highly-praised and much-deserved award-winning Evan Ren, Big Country sports reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News.
Few publications cover as vast an area as the Reporter-News either, making its All-Big Country Football Team one of the most prestigious honors lists in all of the Lone Star State, especially its 4A-6A team.
And the sports writers for the Reporter-News searched high and low but found no coach more worthy of its Coach of the Year honor than third-year Stephenville leader Greg Winder, who oversaw the Yellow Jackets’ eight-win improvement in 2017, going from four wins in 2016 to the final four a year later.
Stephenville was 12-3 and won the Region I-4A championship before bowing out to Kennedale in the state semifinals. The Jackets captured their first district championship since 2014, then went journeyed at least four rounds deep in the state playoffs for the seventh time in 10 seasons.
Winder was 7-15 as head coach when the year began, going just 3-8 then 4-7 as the program rebuilt following the loss of head coach Joseph Gillespie, quarterback Jarrett Stidham and running back Kaegun Williams.
But Winder completed 2017 with a 19-18 record and guided the 2017 Jackets to the school’s eighth state semifinal appearance.
Fittingly, Abilene Reporter-News sports writers also named Yellow Jackets to 16 different spots on its 4A-6A honors list, including seven first-team selections, six second-team spots and three honorable-mention picks. There are 14 players honored, with two recognized on both sides of the ball.
RB Krece Nowak: 243 carries, 1,793 yards, 18 TDs; 42 receptions, 654 yards, 7 TDs… Total offense – 285 touches, 2,447 yards, 25 TD
OL Ty’Von Anderson-Robinson: All-State senior linemen leading team to 6,283 total yards, or 418.9 per game.
OL Devon Roeming: Senior helped offense to 418.9 yards per contest.
K Chase Carrillo: 69-77 kicking PATs, 5-6 kicking FGs, 84 total points
DL Pacen Parker: 85 tackles, 9 sacks, 15.5 TFL
LB Blu Caylor: 189 tackles, 17.5 TFL, 10 Sacks
DB Gage Graham: 146 Tackles, 7 TFL, 5 Int, 7 PD, 2 FR
OL Lane York, OL Jacob Poston, DB Cole Pettit (6 Int, 20 PD, 2 FR)
Easton Jones (61.1 percent passer for 3,083 yardds, 35 TD with 9 Int.), RB Blu Caylor (15 TD), WR Gage Graham (38-678, 6 TD), Blake Aragon (52-924, 11 TD), WR Kyle Lindsey (35-584, 5 TD), LB Zane Walker (114 tackles)