Buckeyes celebrate historic Homecoming against Daingerfield
Sep 19, 2013 | 4734 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby<br>
KRIS BOYD (21) returns a kick for the Buckeyes last Friday night in Jacksonville. Also pictured is teammate Desmond Pollard (8).
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
KRIS BOYD (21) returns a kick for the Buckeyes last Friday night in Jacksonville. Also pictured is teammate Desmond Pollard (8).
UPDATE AT NOON FRIDAY: Homecoming game postponed until 11 a.m. Saturday

Due to heavy rains forecast to continue into tonight, the kickoff of the game between the Gilmer Buckeyes and the Daingerfield Tigers at Buckeye Stadium has been delayed until 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Homecoming and 100-year celebration festivities will take place at halftime.

THE GILMER BUCKEYES are celebrating the 100th season of high school football in Gilmer in style so far, averaging 61 points per game in their three consecutive wins to start 2013, 10 points more per game than the 2009 state champion team averaged after three games.

The first road trip of the season to Jacksonville last Friday night went very well indeed with the Buckeyes coming home from Cherokee County with a 60-20 win that was decided well before halftime.

Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor went over some of the Buckeyes who had oustanding games against Jacksonville:

“John McPherson had nine tackles, two pressures. Bryan Restine had four tackles, two pressures, one fumble recovery.

“Charles Williams, three tackles, five assists, one pressure. Darrian Lewis, five tackles, three assists.”

Coach Traylor then praised quarterback Tanner Barr, who was 20-of-24 passing for 341 yards and four touchdowns.

“I thought it was Tanner’s best game by far, as far as accuracy and running around and checking the plays. Offensive line, it was their best game of the year and they protected very well.”

The Daingerfield Tigers of District 8-2A, Division I, come to town Friday night to play the Buckeyes on Gilmer’s Homecoming. The longtime Gilmer rivals have started out 1-2 in 2013, with an opening game 16-14 loss to Gladewater, then a 48-35 loss to Atlanta and finally a 61-0 win over Clarksville last Friday night.

This will be both teams’ final tuneup before district play begins. The Gladewater Bears come to Buckeye Stadium to begin District 16-3A play against the Buckeyes on Friday night, Sept. 27, while the Tigers will be traveling to Redwater to play the Dragons in their first district game on that same night.

Many Gilmer fans who traveled to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, to watch the Gilmer-Navasota game for the 3A Division II State Championship got there early enough to watch the Daingerfield-Cameron Yoe 2A Division I title game right before our game. Like the Buckeyes, the Tigers wound up on the short end of the scoreboard that day. Yoe won 38-20 over the Tigers. It would have been the seventh state championship in football for Daingerfield had the Tigers won. Both teams obviously want to make it back to that same venue, now renamed AT&T Stadium, this December.

The Tigers have won at least 10 games a year for the past five seasons. They won three straight championships under Barry Bowman in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Current Daingerfield head coach Aric Sardinea is 23-10 in his two seasons and part of a third at the helm. In his first season, the Tigers made it to the quarterfinals.

He played college football for the Angelo State Rams in San Angelo from 1994 to 1997.

AngeloSports.com asked the former Rams running back (at an Angelo State alumni and friends gathering held at Coopers BBQ in Fort Worth in July) what he was going to tell his team going into this season.

“Well, we just want to strap it on and try to get after it. A lot of our kids don’t have a lot at home and we just want to make sure we build a nice foundation from a family standpoint and, you know, we just want to hug the kids and treat them the right way, just like I was taught a long time ago.”

He added, “When I played I was under a staff that was hard nosed. I feel like some of those things that I learned from those guys, it’s been 20 years ago, I feel like I learned a lot. I learned to treat kids the hard nose way.”

According to ETSN.fm, Daingerfield has six starters back from an offense that averaged 34.3 points per game. Keris Alexander is back as the Tigers’ quarterback after having a breakout junior season that included more than 2,200 passing yards and 21 total touchdowns.

On defense there are also six starters back. Calvin Bryant is the most recognizable name returning for Daingerfield. He had a monster junior season as East Texas’ No. 2 tackler . Bryant has had two big seasons to set him up for what could be a huge senior finale.

Cory Smith and Troy Stuard are veterans in the secondary, while Kelshin Neal gives Sardinea another quality defender at the linebacker spot. ETSN.fm concludes that Daingerfield may be a bit undersized, but the Tigers certainly don’t lack speed.

Coach Traylor commented on this year’s Tigers, whom he declared “one of the best 1-2 football teams you’ll ever see,” beginning with Keris Alexander (18), “The quarterback’s really good. And he can really throw the football. He was great at our camp and a joy to work with.”

Keaton Key (3) and Denzel Mims (8) are “fantastic” receivers, he added. Keenan Whetstone (6) is another “very good player.”

Willie Evans (52) is a “great offensive lineman.”

Defensively, linebacker Spencer Alexander (12) is a “good ball player.”

Overall, he said they’re a typical Daingerfield defense running around all over the place and making tackles. He said the Tigers could easily have a 3-0 record at this point.

Last week I added up the total yardage erroneously and shorted the Buckeyes 100 yards. They actually had 694 yards of total offense against Prestonwood, not the 594 I reported last week. The Gilmer offensive juggernaut is now averaging 631 yards per game: 346 passing and 285 rushing.

It would be a good idea to arrive at Buckeye Stadium early Friday night. Kickoff is at 7:30 but Homecoming festivities will start at least 30 minutes or so before that.

As most already know, this Homecoming is going to be a special commemoration of the 100th season of football here. Football alumni of Gilmer and Bruce schools are invited to a barbecue compliments of First National Bank beginning at 6 p.m. at the Gilmer High School Cafeteria.

At halftime, players representing each class of Buckeyes/Dragons for the past several decades will be honored.


Noon Wednesdays, Buckeyes Booster Club meets at Gilmer Country Club.



Located in Buckeye Stadium

Sponsored by Gilmer ISD and Gilmer FFA

Price range $10 to $20 (Cash only)




Etex, Channel 2, will replay Gilmer games at 10 a.m. Saturdays and 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

(This channel also carries the audio of the games live.)

New Diana games will be replayed 2 p.m. Saturdays and 6 p.m. Thursdays

Harmony games will be replayed 6 p.m. Saturdays and 6 p.m. Tuesdays.





Bounty Hunter of the Week:

Pablin Olivares

Special Teams

Player of the Week:

John McPherson

Scout Team

Players of the Week:

Eric Wilson, Offense

Matt Caldwell, Defense
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