2021 All-Orange Leader Football Team; LC-M’s Morris MVP

Published 12:36 pm Monday, December 13, 2021

Looking back on the 2021 Orange County high school football season, what a great campaign it was and what a great turnaround from the previous season.

In 2020 West Orange-Stark, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Orangefield, Bridge City and Vidor went a combined 18-24.

This season, the five schools went a combined 41-17, won a district championship (WO-S) and shared another (Vidor, LC-M).

It was business as usual for the WO-S Mustangs as they racked up yet another district title and made the Class 4A Region III Finals for an amazing 10th time in 11 years under long-time coach Cornel Thompson.

The biggest turnaround was definitely at LC-M as first-year head coach Eric Peevey had the Bears, the LC-M student body and the fan base amped up. The Bears zipped to an 11-3 mark, shared the District 10-4A Division I title with Vidor and advanced all the way to the 4A Region III Division I Finals for the first time since 1997. The 1-7 campaign by the Bears is no longer in the rear-view mirror.

Long-time Vidor head coach Jeff Mathews had the Pirates humming again, zipping to a co-district title and earning the No. 1 seed out of the district in the postseason. The Pirates, despite facing nagging injuries, especially in their backfield midway through district, finished with an 8-2 mark.

Orangefield, which will move back down to Class 3A next year, had another superb season for Coach Josh Smalley once again, despite facing much bigger schools in 4A. The Bobcats finished 7-4 to make the playoffs as they finished in a three-way tie for second in district play.

Another nice improvement came over in Bridge City where the Cardinals improved from 1-7 to 4-6 under the direction of first-year head coach Cody McGuire.

It was a tremendous season for everyone, and there will be some big goals again next year as the school will look to top this season’s 41-17 mark.

So without further ado, here is the 2021 All-Orange Leader Football Team.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:

DEMARION MORRIS, LC-M

It was a tremendous junior year for LC-M’s Morris as he displayed his talents in every aspect of the game. He was definitely the Bears’ go-to back in the backfield as he shredded opposing defenses for 1,811 yards and 21 touchdowns on 249 carries. He was also the team’s leading receiver with 36 catches for 427 yards and two TDs. From his defensive back spot, Morris made 37 tackles and had a team-leading six interceptions. On special teams he averaged 13.2 yards on his punt returns and 22.8 on kickoff returns. Now we can all get our popcorn ready for next season to see what he can do as a senior.

OFFENSIVE MVP

ELIJAH GALES, WO-S

Gales, the Mustangs’ dynamic senior running back, had another great campaign and an added bonus, he became the program’s all-time leading rusher. Gales, due to the Mustangs winning games by big scores, still had superb numbers, finishing his last season with 1,294 yards and 23 touchdowns on 162 carries. His biggest role this year was being a tremendous senior leader as many called him the ‘heart and soul’ of the Mustangs.

DEFENSIVE MVP

CARMELLO JONES, WO-S

Jones backed up his junior season with another great one in his senior year. Jones spearheaded a WO-S defense that led the district in total defense once again. The Baylor commit finished with 79 tackles, 11 for losses. He also had 10 sacks, 10 more quarterback pressures and forced three fumbles.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

BRAYDEN PARKER, ORANGEFIELD

Parker had a superb run in his first season running Coach Smalley’s hard-running Slot-T offense. Parker grasped things quick and was calm, cool and collected in many tight situations that led to some nice district wins. He also helped open up the offense more by putting the ball in the air and completing some key passes. Next year, Parker and the Bobcats will look for even bigger things when they drop down to Class 3A after rushing for 250 yards and two TDs and passing for 510 yards and four TDs.

COACH OF THE YEAR

ERIC PEEVEY, LC-M

Every team showed improvement in Orange County this season, but no program improved more than the Battlin’ Bears as Coach Peevey brought in loads of enthusiasm. LC-M definitely has a new “heartbeat” as the student body and community showed up in droves for the first time in well over 24 years as they kept their eyes on the Bears for four full quarters. All five county coaches certainly deserve mention here but Peevey definitely gets the nod as the Bears won 10 more games than they did last season.

Here is the 2021 All-Orange Leader Football Team:

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Da’Marion Morris, LC-M

OFFENSIVE MVP: Elijah Gales, WO-S

DEFENSIVE MVP: Carmello Jones, WO-S

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Brayden Parker, Orangefield

COACH OF THE YEAR: Eric Peevey, LC-M

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Ashton Landry, LC-M

Running backs: Cameron Dischler, Orangefield; Weston Sepulvado, Vidor

Fullback: Hunter Ashworth, Orangefield

Wide receivers: Carson Peet, LC-M; Darren Anderson, WO-S

Tight end: Morgan Sampson, Orangefield

Offensive line: Demetrius Hunter, WO-S; Aaron Aery, Vidor; Gunner Johnson, LC-M; Bryson Jordan, WO-S; Hunter Norwood, Orangefield

Kicker: Cristian Quiteno Polio, WO-S

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Jordan Smith, Vidor; Amir Washington, LC-M; Andrew Wilson, WO-S; Jason Watson, Vidor

Linebackers: Brayden Babineaux, Orangefield; Andy McDow, LC-M; Dontrey McClain, WO-S; Jailen Brown, WO-S

Defensive backs: Jamaal Shaw, WO-S; Dakarion Judge, WO-S; Dwight Davis, LC-M; Jadon Jones, WO-S

Punter: Ethan Oceguera, Bridge City

 

 

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Eli Simmons, Vidor

Running backs: Layne Wilhelm, Vidor; Ricky Gall, Vidor; Kyler Garlaska, Bridge City

Tight end: Dean Reynolds LC-M

Wide receivers: Keaton Rives, LC-M; Joey Murty, Bridge City

Offensive line: Khaleen Johnson, LC-M; Hunter Bellanger, Bridge City; Ja’kalen Jenkins, WO-S; Coby Coulter, Orangefield; Davin Heard, WO-S

Kicker: Victor Hernandez, Bridge City

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Kolbe Sowell, Orangefield; JS Bearden, Bridge City; Cameron Judge, LC-M; Nichols Lejeune, Bridge City

Linebackers: Mason Pruitt, Bridge City; Jarrett Odom, Vidor; Nicholas Granger, LC-M; Connor McKay, Vidor

Defensive backs: Dane Villadsen, Vidor; Deegan King, Bridge City; Tyler Shearin, Orangefield; Gavin Garrett, Bridge City