WO-S’ Teate among Smith Finalists

Published 9:16 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

BEAUMONT — The Offensive and Defensive Finalists were announced Wednesday night for the prestigious Willie Ray Smith Awards and West Orange-Stark linebacker Davien Teate and Vidor linebacker Joey Ciccio are among them.

Joining Teate and Ciccio as Defensive Finalists includes Beaumont West Brook linebacker Donald Collins and Newton linebacker Corbin Foster.

Offensive Finalists are Port Neches-Groves quarterback Roschon Johnson, Port Arthur Memorial running back Elijah Hines, Newton running back Darin Barlow and Nederland running back Devon Simmons.

Teate had over 150 tackles to help spark the Mustangs on their way to a fourth straight Class 4A Division II State Championship Game.

Ciccio notched 109 tackles and eight sacks for the Pirates, who advanced to the Class 5A Region III bidistrict round. Collins posted 126 tackles for the Bruins, including 22 for losses while the Eagles’ Foster notched 240 tackles and five sacks for the Class 3A Division II state champions.

PN-G’s Johnson passed for 2,654 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for 1,406 yards and 26 TDs in helping the Indians advance to the third round of the postseason.

Newton’s Barlow shredded opposing defenses for 2,246 yards and 38 TDs on the ground. PAM’s Hines zipped for 1,070 yards and 10 TDs and Nederland’s Simmons had 1,362 yards rushing and 16 TDs and caught 25 passes for 351 yards and five scores.

The Smith Awards is considered Southeast Texas’ Heisman Trophy. It was created in 1992 and first given out in 1993.

Smith won 235 games and two state championships in 33 seasons as coach at Beaumont Charlton-Pollard, Orange Wallace and Lufkin Dunbar.

Players are first nominated by their coaches and then members of the media vote for their top four players in each category. Media winners then vote for one winner on each side of the ball.

The winners will be announced at the banquet in mid February.