The Orange Leader
Another superb Orange County football season wrapped up after the West Orange-Stark Mustangs advanced all the way to the Class 3A Division I state quarterfinals.
Their were plenty of bright spots along the way, especially with Little Cypress-Mauriceville making the playoffs for the first time since while the Orangefield Bobcats entered postseason play for the first time since 2003.
The Mustangs (11-2) captured their ninth district title in 10 years after they dropped down to the 3A ranks in 2004.
The Mustangs proved critics wrong. Many before the season started, predicted Silsbee to win the title. After all, the Mustangs returned just two starters off one of their best defensive units ever.
Well, WO-S went on to hammer Silsbee 27-0 in the district title game and advanced all the way to the fourth round of the postseason for the third consecutive year under Cornel Thompson.
LC-M (5-5) caught fire in 20-4A play under the guidance of Randy Crouch. The Bears went 5-2 in what was a rugged 20-4A race to end a 16-year playoff drought.
Orangefield (6-5) made a nice run under second-year head coach Josh Smalley. Having to win their last 21-3A games to get into the postseason, the Bobcats churned out big victories over Buna and Bridge City to end their 10-year drought.
The Vidor Pirates (4-6), who had made the playoffs three out of the previous four years, had a young squad that fought hard throughout the season in losing some close 20-4A battles. Coach Jeff Mathews will see a slew of talent come back for next season.
The Bridge City Cardinals (2-8) saw their four-year playoff streak come to an end but Coach Cris Stump and. Co. played a lot of youngsters this year that will look to make their mark next season.
The Orange Leader Friday night staff, which includes Van Wade, Tommy Mann, Jr., Steven Pollock, Gerry Dickert, Daucy Crizer, Mark Pachuca, Troy Jones would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thanks for another joy-filled football season.
So without further ado, here are the superlatives for the 2012 All-Orange Leader Football Team:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: CARL WILEY, ORANGEFIELD
After talking with Carl Wiley and his brother Carmichael Wiley way back in the dog days of August, they both mentioned how special it would be to lead the Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
Well, they did it and were impressive doing it.
Carl Wiley definitely earns the MVP honors. He played extremely well on both sides of the ball along with special teams as he very seldom left the field, playing hurt in many instances.
Wiley shredded opposing defenses on the ground as he rushed for 1,581 yards and eight touchdowns on 226 carries.
From his linebacker spot, he compiled 81 tackles, four of them for losses.
OFFENSIVE MVP: BRANDON TOLIVER, LC-M
Toliver was a all-district defensive back last year and looked to do the same this year plus see some backup time at tailback.
That all changed when LC-M started district play as Toliver’s quick legs and powerful running helped push the Bears to the postseason and a nice run through District 20-4A play.
Toliver piled up 1,357 yards and 13 TDs on just 170 carries. Running behind a stout Bear line, Toliver averaged eight yards per carry.
DEFENSIVE MVP: ELIJAH TEEL, WO-S
Stepping into the starting lineup as a senior, Teel was a tackling machine for WO-S as the Mustangs once again led 21-3A in total defense despite the loss of nine starters from the previous season.
Teel was the anchor for the Mustangs at linebacker. He compiled an amazing 155 tackles, 17 of them going for big losses as he kept opposing offenses reeling.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: DILLON STERLING-COLE, WO-S
Sterling-Cole certainly arrived on the scene as a sophomore in helping lead the Mustangs to another 21-3A crown and four-deep in the playoffs.
The future looks bright the next two years for Sterling-Cole, who completed 137-of-225 passes for 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
He also rushed for 500 yards and 11 TDs on 120 carries.
TOP UTILITY PLAYER: DALTON DOYLE, LC-M
Doyle, one of the most versatile players in Southeast Texas, closed out a great run in a Bear uniform as he did it all for LC-M in all facets of the game.
Despite seeing a lot of double teams at receiver, Doyle was able to haul down 35 receptions for 437 yards and four TDs.
On the defensive side of the ball, he was a ball-hawk, picking off eight passes and returning them for 177 yards and he also notched 30 tackles.
On special teams, he averaged nearly 23 yards per kickoff returns and over 20 yards per punt return.
COACH OF THE YEAR: CORNEL THOMPSON, WO-S
Thompson picks up this honor for a second straight year after guiding a young football unit to their third straight appearance to the state quarterfinals.
Many non-believers didn’t think such a young squad could win its ninth district title in 10 years but the Mustangs buried all of their critics, going a perfect 6-0 in 21-3A play and outscoring their six 21-3A counterparts 229-46 in the process.
In his three years as head coach after serving so many years as the defensive coordinator, the Mustangs have went 34-6 and a perfect 18-0 in 21-3A play.
Here is the 2013 All-Orange Leader Football Team as selected by the Orange Leader football staff that covered and shot photos of games throughout the season:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Carl Wiley, Orangefield
OFFENSIVE MVP: Brandon Toliver, LC-M
DEFENSIVE MVP: Elijah Teel, WO-S
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Dillon Sterling-Cole, WO-S
TOP UTILITY PLAYER: Dalton Doyle, LC-M
COACH OF THE YEAR: Cornel Thompson, WO-S
Quarterback: Carmichael Wiley, Orangefield
Fullback: Sage Smith, Vidor
Running back: Chris James, WO-S
Receivers: Will Johnson, WO-S; Malcolm Busby, Bridge City
Tight end: Matthew Chitty, LC-M
Offensive line: Paul Hebert, WO-S; Westin Crain, Orangefield; Ethan Reed, LC-M; Jacob Hryhorchuk, WO-S; Tyler McDaniel, Vidor
Utility: Chase Rutledge, WO-S
Kicker: Trent Manuel, LC-M
Defensive line: Octavius Crosson, WO-S; Josh Tims, WO-S; Jonathan Hebert, Orangefield; Jared Watkins, Orangefield
Linebackers: Steven Tims, WO-S; Kayl Simon, LC-M; Colby Choate, Orangefield
Secondary: Deionte Thompson, WO-S; Teondre Gant, LC-M; Tre Spencer, WO-S; Thomarcus Fontenot, WO-S
Punter: Chase Rutledge, WO-S
Quarterback: Caleb Harley, LC-M
Fullback: Seth Trahan, LC-M
Running back: Jeremy Stephenson, Vidor
Receivers: Dwain Boullard, WO-S; Coby Roddy, LC-M; Blaine Slaughter, Bridge City
Offensive line: Dustin Daigle, LC-M; Josh Khoury, Bridge City; Marvis Brown, LC-M; Josh Orebo, WO-S; Taylor Hulsey, LC-M
Kicker: Rodrikson Cano, WO-S
Defensive line: Matthew Chitty, LC-M; Brandon Bray, Orangefield; Jordan Schamber, Bridge City; Bradley Hartman, Vidor
Linebackers: Brady Lyons, LC-M; Kalen Garrett, WO-S; Steve Niemczynski, Vidor
Secondary: Byron Trahan, Bridge City; Dustin Verrett, Orangefield; Chase Shugart, Bridge City; Alex Boutte, Vidor