High School: Best of the rest

The little stories that arose during the 2011 high school football season are what made it so memorable. Here are some of the ESPNDallas.com high school team's picks for "Best of the Rest" awards commemorating those stories.

Best 2-way player: Sabian Holmes. Holmes was Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill's No. 1 option in the Dragon's pass game throughout the season and tallied 138 yards on 11 catches and a touchdown in the 5A Division I state championship. He also was a reliable defensive back and made a touchdown-saving, diving swat late in the title game that became one of the key plays that allowed Carroll to win its eighth state football championship.

Best individual performance: Robbie Rhodes. The Fort Worth Southwest receiver tied a national record and set a state record when he scored eight touchdowns in a 66-21 win over Fort Worth Arlington Heights. He had 10 catches for a state-record 390 yards.

Dec. 27: Coaches of the year
Dec. 28: Games of the year
Dec. 29: Newcomers of the year
Dec. 30: Best of the rest
Jan. 2: Defensive POYs
Jan. 3: Offensive POYs
Jan. 4: MVPs
Honorable mention: Wesley Harris. The Southwest quarterback also broke the state record for touchdown passes with nine in the same game.

Best matchup on paper: Johnathan Gray vs. Cameron Washington. Two 3,000-yard rushers met for the first time in the playoffs when Gray and Aledo faced off against Washington and Corsicana in the 4A Division II state semifinal. The game turned out to be not nearly as great as it was billed because of the effort of Aledo’s defense to hold Washington to just 91 yards. Gray tallied 218 yards and claimed his 204th career touchdown, tying the national record.

Best milestone: 300 wins. Highland Park coach Randy Allen earned win No. 300 when his Scots beat Richardson J.J. Pearce 41-27 at Highlander Stadium. The win tied Allen for 10th all-time in the state with Gregory-Portland’s Ray Akins.

Best school districts: Arlington, Mansfield and Frisco ISDs had a lot of work still left to do long after the regular season ended as each sent two schools into the third round of the playoffs. Two Keller ISD schools made the playoffs in the always-tough District 7-5A. Mesquite ISD sent three teams into the playoffs and not many would have expected the Mesquite Skeeters to be the only team left alive in the 5A Division I region semifinals.

Best revenge wins: Skyline and Arlington Martin. It took five tries, but Arlington Martin finally ended Euless Trinity’s season early for once, beating the Trojans 19-7 at Trinity’s home stadium, Pennington Field. Skyline and DeSoto met for the fourth straight time in the playoffs and Skyline avenged it’s 38-0 loss to the Eagles last season with a 41-31 win in 2011.

Best under the radar star: Jake Oliver. Oliver of Jesuit had 108 catches for 1,637 yards and 23 touchdowns and was key in Jesuit’s district run after starting quarterback Jack Brezette was lost for the season with a knee injury. Oliver was a finalist for the Tom Landry award.

Best of the Rest: 2010 memorable moments

December, 31, 2010
The little stories that arose during the 2010 high school football season are what made it so memorable. Here are some of the ESPNDallas.com high school team's picks for "Best of the Rest" awards commemorating those stories.

ESPNDallas.com recognizes the top Class 4A and 5A performances from the 2010 football season:

  • Two-Way Players of the Year »
  • Coaches of the Year »
  • Games of the Year »
  • Newcomers of the Year »
  • Best of the Rest »
  • Defensive Players of the Year »
  • Offensive Players of the Year »
  • Most Valuable Players »
  • Best football performance by a school district: Denton. Class 5A Guyer and 4A Ryan each reached the state finals.
    Honorable mention: Mesquite, after deep playoff runs by Horn, Poteet and West Mesquite.

    Most exciting player: Brandon Carter, Euless Trinity. Every time the ball was in the hands of the Oklahoma commit, opposing defenses cringed. When a team can create an reverse pass package around Carter and run it with ease several times throughout a season, it knows it has something special.

    Best playoff format change: State finals venue. By having a single venue for the state championship games, many more fans were able to either attend or watch on television.

    Feistiest team: Wylie Pirates. Seeemingly outweighed and outmanned, the Pirates came within a couple of yards of advancing to the Class 4A Division I state title game. QB Nico Ramirez epitomized the trait, leading his team on a deep playoff run after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the last week of the regular season.

    Toughest playoff road: Euless Trinity. In its final four Class 5A Division I playoff games, Trinity faced opponents' winning streaks, when combined, of 52 games. The Trojans last three opponents -- Coppell, Round Rock Stony Point and Pearland -- were undefeated.

    Best passer: Paul Millard, Flower Mound. The senior put up video game-like numbers, throwing for 4,472 yards and 47 touchdowns, sparking upsets of Plano and Flower Mound Marcus along the way.

    Most improved player: Joe Minden, Coppell. With little in the way of previous varsity experience, the senior threw for more than 3,400 yards and 30 touchdowns for the 13-1 Cowboys. By season's end, Coppell shifted from a one-dimensional running offense to a balanced offense that put up 392 yards through the air on Euless Trinity in the Cowboys' final game of the season.