Smith Awards nominees announced

Published 9:20 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

BEAUMONT — The 27th annual Willie Ray Smith Awards honoring the top high school players in Southeast Texas will be held at a banquet in February.

Each school has nominated their players and Southeast Texas media members will narrow it down to four offensive and four defensive finalists by Jan. 16.

The following players are on the offensive ballot and they include last year’s winner in PN-G quarterback Roschon Johnson, Kirbyville receiver Tylon Cooper, Jasper running back Montavien Hunt, Lumberton running back Ty Cruse, West Brook running back Robert McGrue, Beaumont United tight end Devin Hunt, Orangefield fullback Blake Bradley, Silsbee running back Dralyn Taylor, Silsbee running back Cris Martin, Evadale running back Will Farr, Hamshire-Fannett quarterback Marcus Morris, Nederland quarterback Blaysin Fernandez, LC-M quarterback Adam Pope, Legacy Christian running back Korien Burrell, Hardin-Jefferson running back Justin Smith, West Hardin wide receiver Matthew Anderson, Kelly receiver Tyson Nonette, Newton running back Darwin Barlow and Newton quarterback Josh Foster.

Defensive nominees include WO-S defensive back Teshaun Teel, WO-S linebacker Lande Butler, LC-M defensive tackle Blake Ferguson, Orangefield safety Clayson Choate, Kirbyville defensive back Tylon Cooper, Jasper linebacker William Bluitt, Lumberton defensive end Mason Williams, West Brook safety Darrell Hawkins, Beaumont United tackle J.K. Wilson, Silsbee linebacker Sterling Herrington, Hamshire-Fannett linebacker Blaine Waggoner, Nederland cornerback Adam Roccaforte, Legacy Christian linebacker Gabe Silva, West Hardin linebacker Caleb Brown, PA Memorial defensive end Lazarus Mays, Kelly safety Horace Gordon, Newton linebacker Jadrian McGraw and Newton safety Josh Foster.

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.

Here are the past Willie Ray Smith Award winners:

1993: Dexter Hebert, Kelly

1994: Jay McGuire, Silsbee

1995: Jeffery Spikes, Burkeville

1996: Elijah Burkins, Thomas Jefferson

1997: Bryan Bock, Bridge City

1998: Offense: Chip Ambres, West Brook; Defense: Charles Sias, WO-S

1999: Offense: Beaux Daville, Orangefield; Defense: Rod Gulley, Newton

2000: Offense: Dustin Long, PN-G; Defense: Gayron Allen, WO-S

2001: Offense: Sean Yoder, Nederland; Defense: Jermaine Hope, WO-S

2002: Offense: Tony Eckert, Lumberton; Defense: Ricky Wilson, Lincoln

2003: Offense: Matt Peebles, Bridge City; Defense: William Bryant, Jasper

2004: Offense: Jamaal Charles, P.A. Memorial; Defense: William Morrissey, Silsbee

2005: Offense: Jamaal Charles, P.A. Memorial; Defense: Brian West, Ozen

2006: Offense: Kenneth Beasley, WO-S; Defense: Sean Weatherspoon, Jasper

2007: Offense: Micah Mosley, Nederland; Defense: Earl Thomas, WO-S

2008: Offense: Cody Hussey, Lumberton; Defense: Tramain Thomas, East Chambers

2009: Offense: Christian Micheal, West Brook Defense: Kevin Robinson, WO-S

2010: Offense: Jeremy Johnson, Silsbee; Defense: Jacoby Hale, Central

2011: Offense: Fred Ford, Kirbyville; Defense: Colin Garrett, West Brook

2012: Offense: Terrence Singleton, P.A. Memorial; Defense: Corbin Carr, Nederland

2013: Offense: Montana Quirante, Vidor; Defense: Montana Quirante, Vidor

2014: Offense: Patrick Reed, Silsbee; DeShawn Washington, Nederland

2015: Offense: Michael Jacquet, Central; Defense: Deionte Thompson, WO-S

2016: Offense: Jack Dallas, WO-S; Defense: Steven Tims, WO-S

2017: Offense: Calvin Tyler, Silsbee; Defense: Kary Vincent, PA Memorial

2018: Offense: Roschon Johnson, PN-G; Defense: Corbin Foster, Newton