GILMER, TX - The Gilmer High School football team has finished No. 66 nationally for the 2009 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 16,000 high school varsity football teams.
Gilmer completed a perfect 15-0 season by handing Wylie of Abilene a 43-26 defeat to claim the Texas Class 3A Division I state championship. The school's other state football championship came in the 2003 season. Gilmer is one of 50 schools being honored on the fifth annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the National Guard.
"The National Guard's long-term commitment to high school sports has enabled the MaxPreps Tour of Champions to create and sustain the most prestigious national honor given to high school teams in America." said MaxPreps President Andy Beal.
"It's a tremendous honor for a school our size to be recognized by someone who appreciates how good football is in the state of Texas," said Gilmer head football coach Jeff Traylor, who completed his 10th season.
Senior quarterback Stump Godfrey operated Gilmer's explosive no-huddle spread offense to perfection. The Buckeyes scored a whopping 782 points (more than 52 per game) to become the highest scoring Texas 3A school in history. Godfrey passed for 3,581 yards and 42 touchdowns and ran for another 848 yards and 22 TDs. Tristan Holt was his primary passing target. Holt made 39 receptions for 806 yards and 11 scores.
Linebacker Mikey Wilson led the Gilmer defense with 93 tackles and 74 asasists. Safety Braylon Webb, who will play at the University of Missouri next season, had 76 tackles and two pass interceptions while nose guard Louis Castro (86 tackles and seven quarterback sacks) and cornerback Ben Griffith (four interceptions) were standouts.
Texas Sergeant First Class Matthew Rifley presented Coach Traylor and the team with the National Guard national ranking trophy during a parade Thursday evening.
"The National Guard is proud to present the 2009/2010 MaxPreps Tour of Champions honor to Gilmer High School," said Major Bart Wagner, National Guard Advertising and Marketing Branch Chief. "It takes individual strength of character to be able to work with others towards a common goal. Solid individuals make up a solid team. The National Guard is proud to recognize these teams of young people who have contributed personal strength to creating a winning organization. Gilmer has worked and strived to rise to the top and place themselves among the nation's best. Our sincere congratulations to the team and coaches on their accomplishments this season."
MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program, known as the Freeman Rankings, to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighed 2.1 times a regular season game.