Buckeyes travel to their 'home away from home' at Lobo Stadium in Longview to take on the Henderson Lions
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Courtesy Photo / Longview ISD<br>
KICKOFF is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Lobo Stadium in Longview for the District 16-3A contest between the Henderson Lions and the Gilmer Buckeyes.
Courtesy Photo / Longview ISD
KICKOFF is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Lobo Stadium in Longview for the District 16-3A contest between the Henderson Lions and the Gilmer Buckeyes.
GILMER IS designated as the home team Saturday night against the Henderson Lions at Lobo Stadium in Longview. But even if the Buckeyes weren’t, they’d probably feel at home there. They have played five games at Lobo Stadium in the last two years, all of them victories:

Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Gilmer 48, Atlanta 14

Friday, Nov. 18, 2011

Gilmer 57, Van 40

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012

Gilmer 28, Henderson 26

Friday, Nov. 23, 2012

Gilmer 57, Atlanta 13

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012

Gilmer 41, Henderson 34

IN FACT, you have to go all the way back to Friday, Nov. 17, 2006, to find the last time the Buckeyes walked off the field at Lobo Stadium on the short end of the scoreboard. That was the 39-36 bi-district loss to LaMichael James’ Liberty-Eylau Leopards, who went on to win the 2006 Division I state title after that upset victory.

Coach Jeff Traylor of the Buckeyes went over some of the standouts in last Friday night’s 56-28 road win over Chapel Hill.

“Ardarius Johnson, six tackles, one assists, one pressure, four knocked-down passes.

“Garrett Parish, five tackles, one assist, one pressure, two sacks.

“Bryan Restine, four tackles, four assists, two pressures, one fumble recovery.

“John McPherson, five tackles, four assists, one forced fumble and one interception.

“Our offensive line played very, very well; blocked a very good front. We had over 440 yards of rushing.”

He then named the members of that line, who deserve to get to see their names in print or in pixels more often:

“Dylan Adkinson, Blake Rice, Colin Hardin, Lucas Garrett, Mitch Lange and Johnny Perez.”

Overall, Coach Traylor was not totally satisfied with his team’s performance.

“We’re just so inconsistent. We play really great at times. We play really poor at times.

“And, you know, if we’re going to get to the team we want to be, we’re going to have to be more consistent.”

On this trip to the campus of Longview High School, the Buckeyes will again be matching up against the Henderson Lions in the KYKX Saturday Night Game of the Week. A player from each team will be awarded a $1,005 scholarship before this District 16-3A contest.

Coach Dickey Meeks, by the way, Henderson’s mentor for the last seven seasons, has moved on to Pittsburg, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Gilmer won’t see him again. There is some chance the Buckeyes and Pirates will meet in the Area round of the playoffs.

But that’s far in the future. The Buckeyes, having lost only one district game since 2001, are on a mission to complete another undefeated run through the District of Doom before the district meets its own doom with the radical UIL realignment coming up next February.

Phil Castles, the new Lions head coach, wants to keep the program at the high level of performance Meeks and his staff established for it.

As he told Gabe Brooks of ETSN.fm, “We’re expecting great things. The expectations are not gonna lower here. We’ve gotta keep them where they are. We’ve got high expectations regardless of the schedule and regardless of the circumstances. That’s just the way it is.”

Coach Castles has had previous head coaching stops at Elysian Fields, Chapel Hill and, most recently, Corsicana.

Castles is rebuilding a Henderson team that graduated eight offensive starters and six defensive starters.

The Lions have gotten off to a predictably slow start, going 1-4. The losses were to Plano Prestonwood, Nacogdoches, Hallsville and Chapel Hill. The win was over Jacksonville.

They didn’t play last weekend, though, so they will have had more than two weeks to prepare for the Buckeyes when they kick it off on Saturday night.

Similarly, the Buckeyes will have a week off after this game to enjoy the Yamboree.

In assessing the Lions, Coach Traylor said, “They’ve got good players. They’re just a team trying to find themselves. They’ve got a new coach. He still moving kids around.”

He added, “They played much better against Hallsville, Jacksonville and Chapel Hill. They played Hallsville close, they beat Jacksonville and they played Chapel Hill close.

Junior Zane Boles (12) is quarterback of this year’s Lions, who run a spread offense.

“He’s a big kid, 6’ 5”, 210 pounds. He’s a good athlete,” said Traylor.

“Tailback Randy Davis (1) is a really good running back.”

Some of Boles’ receivers include Tre’ Hollins (2), Zedrick Lister (5) and Vince McNew (15).

“I love Tre’ Hollins. I think he’s a fantastic player.

“Zedrick Lister can really run. Vince McNew is a great possession receiver.

“Their offensive line has some good players, too. They’re big up front. They’re well-coached up front.

“Defensively, Jordan Dickeson (31) is a great player”

Hollins and Jake Staneart (88) are also really good.

“We’re really working on the Buckeyes. We’ve got to get to playing better,” Coach Traylor emphasized.

“And we’ve had our moments. We just haven’t put four quarters together yet.”

The Lions have been scoring an average of 25 points per game while giving up nearly 37.

Most expect Henderson and Gladewater to battle it out for the new fourth playoff spot in the district.

Last Friday night Gladewater trounced Spring Hill, 41-10. In other 16-3A action, undefeated Kilgore blasted Bullard, 49-7.

Don’t be surprised if the Lions come out roaring Saturday night. They haven’t won against the Buckeyes since they moved down to 3A, but they’ve come perilously close three times.

Kickoff Saturday night is at 7 p.m.



Advance tickets ($5 adults; $3 students) on sale at Gilmer ISD Administration Building through tomorrow. All tickets at the gate will be $7.


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.




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