Another season is in the books, including one more trip through the meat grinder known as District 26-6A.
Smithson Valley, New Braunfels and Canyon all battled valiantly against some of the top teams in the state, and as a reward, each team received word that several players had earned accolades from the league.
The Rangers had the most success of the three local teams, going 6-5 overall and 4-3 in 26-6A to snag a playoff berth. Head coach Larry Hill’s team also saw a grand total of 23 performers garner some form of on-field honors.
The list was headlined by all-district first team selections Nathan Moczygemba, Trey Belyeu-Witcher, Tom Zeug, Mason Livingston and Joaquin Rodriguez.
Moczygemba, a senior offensive lineman, helped the Rangers rush for 2,413 yards and pass for another 1,452 this season and was the lone Smithson Valley player named to the 26-6A first team offense.
The same can’t be said for the defensive side of the ball, which featured four first-teamers.
Belyeu-Witcher, a senior defensive lineman, Zeug, a senior linebacker, and Livingston, a senior safety, were part of a smothering defense that held six different opponents to 15 points or less this past year. Rodriguez, the team’s placekicker, proved to be reliable on both extra points and field goal tries.
Smithson Valley placed another six performers — Greg Eggleston, Austin Howell, Devin Smith, Garrett Brooks, Trey Moore and Carson Padilla — on the district’s second team.
Eggleston, a senior running back, led the team in total yardage (1,695) and touchdowns (13), while Howell, also a senior, provided excellent blocking from his fullback/H-back position. Smith, a senior offensive lineman, helped a reshuffled front flourish for the Rangers.
Brooks, a junior punter, successfully flipped field position, and Moore, a junior defensive end, kept opposing quarterbacks on the run. Padilla, a senior linebacker, stepped up to provide toughness against both the run and the pass.
Smithson Valley had an additional 12 players earn honorable mention — senior quarterback Luke Gombert, senior running back Jacob Forton, senior tight end Chandler Cole, junior wide receiver Cooper Douglass, senior offensive lineman Donny Bell, junior offensive lineman Ryan Benca, senior center Taylor Brooks, junior defensive lineman Luke Seminaro, senior defensive end Connor Hambrick, senior safety Jackson Sennie, senior cornerback Cullen Betsey and junior cornerback Jalen Nutt.
The Unicorns were represented by nine players on the all-district teams after going 5-5 overall and 2-5 in league play under head coach Glenn Mangold.
New Braunfels seniors Geo Jo Marsh and Myles Miller both landed on the first team.
Marsh, an offensive lineman, made the switch from defensive tackle to guard this season and helped the Unicorns’ offense rack up 2,168 passing yards and another 1,622 on the ground. Miller, a punter, averaged 39.3 yards per boot this season and dropped four kicks inside the opposition’s 20-yard line. Miller’s longest punt of 2019 measured 64 yards.
The trio of Bryson Dyer, Cody Coronado and Kendrick Thompson all claimed spots on the 26-6A second team for New Braunfels.
Dyer, a senior wide receiver, had 16 catches for 307 yards this year, while Coronado, a junior defensive lineman, made 19 tackles. Thompson, a junior safety, notched 113 total stops this past season.
The Unicorns’ list of acclaim was rounded out by four honorable mention choices — junior quarterback Peyton Driggers, sophomore running back Ryker Purdy, senior wide receiver Lucas Dorrow and senior linebacker James Windrow.
The Cougars went winless in 2019, but Canyon received word following the season that they had placed 11 players on the all-district teams, including second team pick Will McCune.
McCune, a senior offensive lineman, provided stellar blocking all year for his teammates, which led to the Cougars’ 3,244 total yards. Canyon rushed for 2,114 yards on 401 carries and also passed for 1,130.
Head coach Joe Lepsis’ squad included 10 honorable mention picks as well — senior wide receiver Jacob Garcia, junior H-back Michael Bassett, junior linebacker Caden Holt, junior defensive end Joey Drastata, senior wide receiver Callon Farr, junior running back Micah Williford, senior offensive lineman Tony Cooper, senior offensive lineman Ryan Johnson, senior defensive end Cade Stephens and junior punter/kicker Cameron Welch.