Tiger fans will see stars on Friday nights

BILL MARTIN
While Rockdale possesses three players that colleges covet in LeRaven Clark, Derek David and Daniel Brooks, Tiger fans are going to get a good look at some quality players on the other side of the field as the season unfolds.

LaGrange’s Brandon Wilkerson has been called the best receiver in the state and was a first team all-state choice last season alongside University of Texas signee Jaxon Shipley.

Wilkerson (6-foot, 190-pounds) hauled in 97 passes for 1,580 yards, while scoring an astronomical 35 touchdowns in 2009 as the upstart Leopards (12-3) made a run at a state title only to be stopped in the state semifinals by evental champions Carthage.

“No one can cover him oneon one,” says one scout.

Time will tell if Wilkerson can replicate his numbers from last season, while LaGrange breaks in a new coach (Matt Kates) and a new quarterback (Logan Vinlarek).

Wilkerson Wilkerson Wilkerson helped the Leopards post 44 points a game in 2009.

Wilkerson has received medium interest from medium level schools, but his heighth and lack of blazing speed could be a hindrance in college.

District favorite Giddings possesses the top offensive weapon in the league in Eric Rimes who had rambled for 2,800 yards in his career.

The 6-foot, 205-pound bruiser already had two district most valuable player trophies on his shelf.

The Buffaloes—who averaged 35 points a game in 2009—will be guided by junior Spencer Fitzhenry, son of head coach Derek and brother of former Giddings quarterback Brock Fitzhenry who now suits up for the University of Texas.

Fitzhenry’s brother Brock was a slippery eel when he was running the veer at the Tigers five years ago and led the Buffs to three victories.

Giddings, which has just completed installing an artificial turf field, was lucky to keep Coach Fitzhenry who had grown tired of the school board bureaucracy and actually accepted a job in Pasadena before changing his mind.

In seven seasons with the Buffaloes, Fitzhenry is 67- 19, but were stunned in the first round of the playoffs by Brookeshire-Royal.

Despite the fact that Rockdale linebacker Derek David is considered one of the two best athletes in the state for the class of 2011, Navasota linebacker Kesnick Jones has managed to make a name for himself.

Jones tallied 150 tackles last season, while also dabbling at running back (600 yards).

Small for a linebacker at 5- foot-11, 180 pounds, Jones uses his 4.4 speed to make up for any lack of gerth, which means he could play defensive back in college.

Clark, David, Wilkerson and Jones have all been named pre-season first-team all-state in Class 3A.

Jones and Wilkerson were first-team selections in 2009, while Clark was honorable mention.

It remains to be seen if these stars can lead their respective teams to glory, but, that’s why they play the games—and why we watch.

The 5ive

Here is a list of the five best players in the new District 23-3A:

1. LeRaven Clark—Rockdale, OL/DL.

2. Derek David—Rockdale, LB.

3. Eric Rines—Giddings, RB.

4. Brandon Wilkerson— LaGrange, WR.

5. Kesnick Jones—Navasota, LB.


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