Search
  • Kale Steed

2019 All-Press Pass Sports Team

Updated: Jan 2



Coach of the Year


Aaron Dunnam, Dumas


Aaron Dunnam has taken the opportunity to be a head football coach... and ran with it.

In five seasons as the Dumas defensive coordinator under his brother and now Amarillo High head coach, Chad Dunnam, the two did a great job of bringing a struggling Dumas football program back to respectability.

Since taking over for Chad the past two years as Dumas’ head coach, Dunnam, and his staff have done an even better job of raising the Demons football expectations, turning the program into one of the best in the Texas Panhandle.

The 2019 season proved just that.

Dunnam earns the inaugural Press Pass Sports Coach of the Year award for his team captivating a community through a historic run to the school’s first ever 13-win season.

“It’s humbling to earn this honor and be thought of like this,” said Dunnam, who is 21-4 in two seasons as the Dumas head coach. “But as I tell anyone that ask’s me, this is a staff award. We have a really good staff with a bunch of guys working behind scenes. I couldn’t do it without them. Again, I’m humbled and appreciative, but I want our staff to be a part of this as much as anyone.”

Under Dunnam and his staff Dumas finished the regular season undefeated (10-0 overall) for the first time since 1997. The Demons, who won their third straight district championship, fed off that momentum by holding off Wichita Falls Hirschi 22-17 in a Class 4A Division I bidistrict thriller to capture the school’s first playoff win in 22 years.

“It was pure camaraderie,” Dunnam said. “This team wasn’t about any one person. We didnt have any superstars, we just had hard working players that bought in.”

Behind a community that believed and traveled to every playoff game, Dumas beat Seminole 23-15 in the area round, followed by a stunning 38-35 victory against unbeaten Decatur in the regional semifinals. That win catapulted into another milestone, playing December football for the first time.

The season ended a week later at the hands of Springtown, as the Demons magical run ended at 13-1 overall.

But in no way did it damper what Dunnam has started to build in Dumas.

“Winning in the playoffs was huge,” Dunnam said. This team had never been there. We return a lot of those pieces for next year. Those extra practices, those weeks in the playoffs helped us so much. We can now build on that for future teams.”


Player of the Year


Joseph Plunk, Tascosa, 5-foot-10, 175 pound, Sr. QB


It was hard to deny Tascosa quarterback Joseph Plunk as the inaugural Press Pass Sports Player of the Year.

Plunk will go down as arguably the best quarterback in Tascosa’s long standing football history that started in 1958.

Plunk’s reputation speaks for itself over the past two years, going 21-8 as a starting quarterback, and 7-2 in the postseason.

Plunk lead the Rebels to new heights with a run to the Class 6A Division II state semifinals in 2018, followed by a state quarterfinal run this past fall.

“I think the past two years we set bar for Amarillo ISD,” Plunk said. “We did some great things, and even though it didn’t end how we wanted we know the future is bright at Tascosa.”

Individually, the master of his father and Tascosa head coach Ken Plunk’s Flexbone offense used his knowledge and athleticism to put together an incredible 2019 season.

Plunk was one of the top rushers in the Amarillo-area with 2,345 yards to go with 33 rushing touchdowns.

The speedy Plunk also set a new school-record during the regular season finale against Frenship with 312 yards rushing on 42 carries, scoring all five of Tascosa’s touchdowns.

However, as important as those numbers are to Plunk, it’s the respect he earned from Tascosa’s past that meant the most.

“I’ll always be a Rebel,” Plunk said. “I have respect for every past or future Tascosa player. That’s what this program is about. What stood out the most to me was after the lost to Denton Guyer, I had older Tascosa guys texting me how proud they were. That meant so much and I’ll always remember that.“


Newcomer of the Year


Landyn Hack, Panhandle, 6-foot-3, 190 pound, Fr. RB-WR


The 6-foot-3 versatile freshman did a little bit of everything during his first year of varsity football. Hack had 92 carries for 1,142 yards with 19 touchdowns on top of 313 receiving yards with another three score. Defensively, Hack made 26 tackles including a pick six.


QUARTERBACK


Jared Thomas, Bushland, 5-10, 175 pound, Sr

[Photo by Tom Carver]

The senior signal caller led Bushland to one of its best seasons in school history. Behind Thomas, the son of Falcons head coach Jimmy Thomas, Bushland went 10-0 in a regular season for the first time since 2009. The District 2-3A Division I unanimous MVP threw for 2,913 yards with 43 touchdowns on the year, and was the Falcons leading rusher with 483 yards with 11 more scores.


RUNNING BACKS


Ben Crockett, McLean, 6-foot-1, 215 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Matt Smith]

Crockett capped off one of the best careers in Texas Panhandle history. Over the past two seasons, Crockett helped lead the Tigers to a 27-2 record including a 2018 state championship. Crockett ended his 2019 season rushing for a Texas Panhandle-best 2,965 yards with 63 touchdowns rushing touchdowns. He also added 113 tackles on defense.


Hesston Marshall, Wheeler, 6-foot, 165 pound, Jr.

[Photo by Tom Carver]

Marshall had a breakout year for the Mustangs during the 2019 season piling up over 2,000 yards for a Wheeler team that went 11-3, making a run to the regional semifinals. Marshall finished the season grinding out 2,532 yards on 212 carries with 30 touchdowns.


WIDE RECEIVERS


Jack McKay, Canyon, 6-foot-4, 185 pound, Jr.

[Photo by Mackenzie Teal]


The 6-foot-2, 185 pound wide out became the Eagles top receiver snagging a team-high 40 catches for 889 yards, averaging 22.2 yards a catch. McKay, a three-year starter, caught seven touchdowns, and was named as second-team selection to the Class 4A All-Atate squad.


Jake Orcutt, Bushland, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Sr.

[Photo by Tom Carver]


The sure-handed Orcutt was a go-to receiver in a arsenal of weapons for Falcons offense. Helping lead Bushland to a 12-1 year, and a run to the third round of the playoffs, the Class 3A All-State honorable mention selection snagged 57 catches for 1,094 yards with 19 touchdowns.


Joey Hill, Pampa, 6-foot, 180 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Mackenzie Teal]

Hill, a Class 4A All-State honorable mention, led the entire Texas Panhandle with 1,384 receiving yards. Hill made a total of 81 receptions, averaging 16.4 yards a catch, with 18 touchdowns in an explosive Pampa offense.



OFFENSIVE LINEMAN


Sobhan Solymani, Tascosa, 6-foot-1, 230 pound, Sr.


[Photo by John Moore]

The senior left tackle started in 29 straight games for the Rebels run-heavy attack over the past two seasons. In 2019, Solymani, a first-team District 2-6A selection, graded out at over 90 percent with 71 pancake blocks.


Gavien Gabehart, Dumas, 6-foot-2, 280 pound, Sr.

[Provided photo]

The Class 4A All-State honorable mention lineman was part of a physical front for a historic Dumas team. Playing in all 14 games, the senior graded out at 81 percent with 22 pancake blocks, and 24 cut blocks.


Brandon Gonzalez, Tascosa, 6-foot-1, 295 pound, Sr.

[Photo by John Moore]

The 2-6A first-team All-District center was the

heart and soul for Tascosa’s dominant offensive line. Gonzalez made 29 consecutive starts the past two seasons for the Rebels, grading out over 90 percent in 2019 with 74 pancake blocks.


Cameron Soto, Pampa, 6-foot-1, 295 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Mackenzie Teal]

The first-team Class 4A All-State selection graded out at 96 percent with 54 pancake blocks, allowing only two sacks for a Harvesters team that went 9-3 overall this year, advancing to the area round.

Andrew Tittle, Amarillo High, 6-foot-2, 250, Sr.

[Photo by Steve Satterwhite]

Tittle, a first-team 2-5A Division I All-District selection, was the anchor for an very improved Sandies line, grading out at 97 percent on the year with 54 knockdowns in 12 games.


UTILITY PLAYER


Avian Cruz, West Texas High, 5-foot-6, 150 pound, Jr.

[Photo by Tucker Stroud]

The lightning fast junior was the Swiss Army knife for West Texas High. During the Comanches 11-3 season, and run to the state quarterfinals, Cruz totaled 3,850 yards of offense with 50 combined touchdowns. He was also named the District 1-2A Division I MVP for a second straight year.



DEFENSIVE LINEMAN


John Michael Holcomb, Wellington, 6-foot-5, 215 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Tom Carver]

Despite being avoided for the majority of the season the Texas Tech signee made the most of his rare opportunities. The District 5-2A Division II unanimous MVP ended the season with 86 tackles, 12 for a loss, with seven sacks and a blocked punt.


Jaden Massey, Dalhart, 6-foot-2, 335 pounds, Sr.

[Photo by Bill Kelly]

Taking on double and triple teams all season, the extremely strong tackle was still able to be the Golden Wolves durable run stopper. The first-team District 2-4A Division II pick had 45 tackles, nine for a loss with 42 quarterback hurries.

Rhet Pennington, Canadian, 6-foot, 195 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Michael Kerrigan]


Pennington was part of a very talented defensive line for a Canadian team that made its sixth straight state semifinal appearance. The 3-3A Division II first-team All-District selection made 130 tackles and 12 sacks.

L.B. Moore, Tascosa, 6-foot-4, 230 pound, Sr.

[Photo by John Moore]

The Texas Tech University signee was an unstoppable force off the edge for the Rebels. The durable, speedy, Moore ended the year making a total of 115 tackles with 11 sacks and a forced fumble.


LINEBACKERS


Dallan Dill, Dumas, 5-foot-11, 205 pound, Jr.

[Photo by Tom Carver]

The District 3-4A Division I Defensive MVP was part of a sensasational Dumas defense that helped make 2019 a historic season. Dill was able to finish his junior season with 104 tackles, 17 for a loss, five sacks, and a forced fumble.

Noah Laurent, Bushland, 6-foot-3, 190 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Mackenzie Taylor]

Laurent was one of the Texas Panhandle’s best linebackers over the last two years. The District 2-3A Division I Defensive MVP wrapped up his senior season totaling 138 tackles with 14 tackles for a loss and two sacks.


Bo Christie, 6-foot, 240 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Roy Wheeler]

The anchor of the Eagles defense led the team with 160 tackles. The 3-4A Division I first-team All-District selection made 73 solo tackles with 87 assisted, adding six tackles for a loss and 10 quarterback hurries.


DEFENSIVE BACKS


Jake Maynard, Amarillo High, 5-foot-10, 180 pound, Jr.

[Photo by John Moore]

The 2-5A Division I first-team All-District selection was a menace in the Sandies secondary. On the season, Maynard racked up 110 tackles, had four pass breakups with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Jack Koetting, Canadian, 6-foot, 155 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Michael Kerrigan]

The hard-hitting coach’s son wrapped up a stellar career making a total of 145 tackles this season with 21 of those coming for a loss. In three years on varsity Koetting played in three Class 3A Division II state semifinals, including a state championship game in 2018.


Iuden Romero, Stratford, 5-foot-6, 160 pound, Sr.

[Photo by David Erickson]

Romero was a ball hawk in the secondary for the Elks snagging a team-high eight interceptions, that included a pick-six. The do-it-all standout on both sides of the ball for Stratford added 64 tackles, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

Jalin Conyers, 6-foot-5, 228 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Tom Carver]

The University of Oklahoma signee was all over the field for the Greyhounds despite playing the final six weeks with a broken hand. Conyers made 73 tackles, 14 for a loss with eight and a half sacks, adding six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

SPECIAL TEAMS


PUNTER


Peyton Conner, Amarillo High, 6-foot, 160 pound, Sr.

[Provided photo]

Conner served as one of the top punters in the Texas Panhandle, and was extremely valuable to the Sandies all year. Conner averaged 38.7 yards per punt, landing nine inside the 20-yard line, and had an impressive long punt of 57 yards.


KICKER


Ah Lee Yart, Dumas, 5-foot-6, 140 pound, Jr.

[Photo by Ben Jenkins]


The right-footed Yart was automatic on extra-points for the Demons, making 62-of-63 attempts on the year. Yart’s was 10-of-18 on field goals, including his season-long of 45 yards.

RETURNER

Jaykob Hernandez, West Texas High, 5-foot-8, 175 pound, Sr.

[Photo by Tucker Stroud]


No one was more dangerous with the ball on a punt or kickoff than the lightning fast Hernandez was for the Comanches. Helping lead WT High to an 11-3 mark and a run to the state quarterfinals, Hernandez chewed up 487 return yards with six touchdowns.

3,223 views

Created by JYD Productions 

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon