Former Cibolo Steele star recalls 2010 state title game

Ryan Simmons (52) is a star linebacker at Oklahoma State and teammates with former Guyer standouts J.W. Walsh and Jimmy Bean after he squared off with them in his final high school game for a state championship. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

Oklahoma State linebacker Ryan Simmons is now good friends with his teammates J.W. Walsh and Jimmy Bean.

But on one Saturday afternoon in December back in 2010, he was going to toe-to-toe with them for the Class 5A Division II state championship when his Cibolo Steele team pulled off a narrow 24-21 victory over Guyer in both schools’ first year in the state’s largest classification.

“Ryan Simmons was their best player on the tape we had to watch that week,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said, “and he didn’t disappoint live.”

In that game, Simmons was named the defensive MVP after collecting eight tackles and an interception of Walsh after he’d dropped into the secondary in Steele’s Tampa Two scheme. The ball was thrown right to Simmons, as Walsh never saw his future teammate.

“Jimmy’s my roommate so he doesn’t really like me mentioning that too much,” Simmons said, with a smile. “Sometimes I might hint at it, but we’ve moved past that. It’s just a memory for me.”

This season, Simmons is moving back to his natural middle linebacker spot after he played outside last year.

Argyle-ex Wilson finished at Tech

Connor Wilson (11) will not play football at Texas Tech and will attend the school as a medical redshirt, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday at Big 12 Media Days. (DRC File Photo)

Former Argyle standout and Texas Tech signee Connor Wilson, a ball-hawk safety for Argyle as a junior and senior, is finished as a football player before his career at Tech ever began.

No details were released, but Kingsbury said the 6-2, 205-pound safety, is no longer a player in Tech’s program but that he would still attend the university and be a medical redshirt, not counting against the school’s allotted scholarships.

“He’ll be attending Texas Tech on a medical redshirt, so that’s where that’s at,” Kingsbury said. “He’s done playing, but he’ll be coming to school there.”

When asked if the redshirt was just for this upcoming season and if Wilson would return to the field after that, Kingsbury had a quick answer.

“He’s done playing,” Kingsbury said.

Guyer’s backup QB Moore goes back to Prosper

The once crowded quarterback derby at Guyer heading into the 2014 season is suddenly much clearer.

After the Guyer coaching staff moved last season’s backup to Texas freshman Jerrod Heard, David Haynes, to wide receiver full-time, the starting job under center was in the hands of sophomore transfer Shawn Robinson, who started as a freshman for Saginaw Chisholm Trail last season.

Prosper move-in David Moore was set to be Robinson’s backup and had a solid performance in Guyer’s spring game. Now, Moore is headed back to Prosper before his career at Guyer ever got started.

“It wasn’t really my decision,” said Moore, who started the regular-season finale for Prosper as a sophomore, going 8-for-9 for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns. “It was more for my mom and her personal reasons, she wanted to go back and I just said, ‘all right.’”

Guyer head coach John Walsh said the decision was made due to some family health concerns.

“David and his family are moving back to Prosper due to some family health issues,” Walsh said. “David worked hard during his time at Guyer, and we wish him well.”

Continue reading

Guyer-ex Rhame doing well on Dodgers’ farm

Jacob Rhame pitches for Guyer in a playoff game against Plano in 2011. Now, he's in the Dodgers organization and doing well. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

Jacob Rhame took a roundabout way to get to the professional baseball ranks, but not an uncommon one.

The hard-throwing righty hoped to be drafted out of high school and wasn’t. He went to Oklahoma, pitched just 10 innings as a freshman and left for Grayson College. In Denison, Rhame pitched well for Dusty Hart & Co. and earned a scholarship to Texas State. Instead of going to become a Bobcat, Rhame was drafted in last year’s draft with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ sixth-round pick.

Rhame’s time at Grayson transformed him, physically and mentally. He changed his body, getting in better shape and ending his time there at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, and he also got a better mental approach and admitted back on draft day that he had a bit of an entitled view on baseball when he signed with the Sooners out of Guyer. At Grayson, Rhame was 7-3 with a 1.85 ERA in 14 starts (87 1/3 innings).

So far, Rhame’s career has gone well in the Dodgers’ organization.

Last year, he spent the entire season in the Rookie Pioneer League and made 20 appearances with a 4.58 ERA. He struck out 21 batters in 19 2/3 innings and walked nine — numbers with room for improvement but also showing some promise.

This season, Rhame began the year in Low-A Great Lakes (in Midland, Michigan) in the Midwest League, and he’s pitched even better at the next level.

So far for the Loons, the 21-year-old Rhame has notched three saves and a hold in 28 appearances with a 3.60 ERA. The number that sticks out most for the hard-throwing righty is his K:BB ratio of 40 strikeouts to nine walks in just 35 innings. Any time you have more strikeouts than innings pitched, you’re doing something right, especially if you see yourself as possibly being a reliever at the big-league level.

It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on Rhame, and see where he progresses. The next step up in the Dodgers’ organization would take him to High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Guyer’s Wallace commits to Iowa State

Guyer junior defensive back Jordan Wallace (11) drags down Highland Park receiver Remy Kell (9), Saturday, December 14, 2013, at Eagle Stadium in Allen. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

Guyer safety Jordan Wallace recently got his first FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) offer from Iowa State, and after a weekend visit to Ames, Iowa, with his family, Wallace decided to make it official, verbally at least.

It makes perfect sense. After all, Wallace is the second cousin of former All-World Cyclones QB Seneca Wallace, who as a Tech alum, I know all too well from his days of making his personal highlight reel against the Red Raiders.

Wallace is a rangy, lengthy safety who has all the makings of a big, ball-hawk playmaker in the back of the Cyclones’ secondary. Last season as a junior at Guyer, he was a big reason for the Wildcats’ improved secondary, and in turn, improved defense from previous seasons.

As a junior, Wallace had 86 tackles with 10 behind the line of scrimmage and 10 pass breakups.

He said playing in the Big 12 has long been a dream of his.

“It’s pretty awesome because my cousin Seneca went there,” Wallace said. “I get to follow in his footsteps. Big 12 football is what I want to play. I like that style. Growing up in Texas, that’s what you know.”

Look for more on Wallace’s commitment in Tuesday’s Denton Record-Chronicle.

Ramacher leaving football, Oklahoma State

 

Former Guyer standout Dominic Ramacher, second from left, has chosen to leave the Oklahoma State football program. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

What used to be four is down to two in terms of former Guyer football players who signed with Oklahoma State. J.W. Walsh is set to be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, and Jimmy Bean is looking to have a breakout year in his second season to start at defensive end.

But Josh Stewart left the program a year early to enter the NFL draft, later signing as a free agent with Tennessee before tearing his Achilles tendon and being released, and now Dominic Ramacher, who signed with the Cowboys the year after the aforementioned three, is leaving the program and the school to pursue other opportunities.

Ramacher was the hidden gem of the 2010 team’s potent offense as an H-back who was a punishing blocker in Guyer’s running game before moving to middle linebacker in 2011 and becoming an all-district performer. He signed with OSU as a fullback, redshirted and moved to defense last season and was a contributor on special teams.

Ramacher announced the decision on his Facebook page, saying he’s quitting football and leaving Stillwater, but still plans to go to school and get a degree in audio production.

Talking to folks at Oklahoma State, as well as Guyer coach John Walsh, it sounded like Ramacher had a shot at competing for a starting linebacker spot in 2014, but college football is a big-time commitment and it’s easy to see how it would be a huge weight on one’s shoulders.

Ramacher always came across as a kid with much more on his mind than football, and it’s always been obvious he’s a very bright kid who could be successful in a variety of arenas. You just hope, for his sake, it’s not a decision he might regret years down the road. Judging by his words, it seems like it was well thought out, though. Best of luck to him.

Mishap proves a tease for former Argyle standout

Jay Gonzales (6) is greeted at home plate after hitting a grand slam in a playoff win over Lovejoy in this 2010 file photo. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

There are several area players who could be drafted in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, which began on Thursday night with Rounds 1 and 2 and continued on Friday with Round 3-10. So far, none of them have been selected.

One player who wasn’t up for selection was former Argyle standout Jay Gonzales. You remember Gonzales as one of the area’s most feared hitters who graduated in 2012 along with current Yankees prospect Austin Aune. Gonzales has spent the year battling a shoulder injury as a DH for Midland College, which has had a great season in the Junior College ranks.

But for a second on Friday afternoon, Gonzales thought he might be joining Aune in the pro baseball ranks when it appeared the Baltimore Orioles had selected him.

Continue reading

MLB draft begins tonight

Oklahoma starting pitcher Adam Choplick, a former Ryan standout, throws against TCU last month in Fort Worth. (Associated Press)

The MLB First-Year Player Draft begins tonight at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, and with 40 rounds the list of potential draft picks is a long one.

There are a few local players who could be chosen this year — former area players who have gone on to successful college careers, as well as a current high school player who is set to pitch for Argyle tonight in the Class 3A state title game in Austin.

A look at the local potential picks, in order of probability of being drafted:

Adam Choplick, LHP, Oklahoma (Ryan HS) — The folks at prospectdigest.com suggest Choplick will be a third- or fourth-round selection after a season in which he became the Sooners’ ace in a down year for the program, although one analyst ranks him No. 40 among all the prospects in the draft and as a second-round selection. The thing with Choplick is his potential and ceiling. Who wouldn’t want to take a chance on a 6-8, hard-throwing lefty? Choplick is exactly that, as he averaged 9.46 K/9 innings this year after a second Tommy John surgery as a freshman from which he seems to be fully recovered. He was originally drafted in the 17th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school, but opted to go to college. Guess here is that if he’s not chosen by the eighth or ninth round, he’ll head back to OU for his senior season and give it another run next year. If he falls past the 10th round, don’t expect to see him drafted at all.

Continue reading

What to Watch for: Guyer spring game

 

Guyer running back Anthony Taylor scores a touchdown in Guyer's state semifinal win over Highland Park on Dec. 14, at Allen Eagle Stadium. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

The annual tease known as spring football comes to an end tonight, as the two-time defending Class 4A Division I state champion Guyer Wildcats will play their annual spring game at 6 p.m.

While the coaches have already done all of their evaluating over the past few weeks in spring practice and don’t really care too much for tonight’s game, it’s most for the fans, so here’s a little guide of what to watch for if you’re heading out to Guyer tonight.

Continue reading

Guyer, Allen set for Apogee date

One of the most hyped nondistrict matchups in the state will now be played in Denton on the opening weekend of the high school football season.

Guyer, the two-time defending Class 4A Division I state champion, will face two-time defending Class 5A Division I champion Allen on Friday, Aug. 29 at UNT’s Apogee Stadium as part of the Tom Landry Classic, Guyer head coach John Walsh said Tuesday.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at Allen’s Eagle Stadium, but construction and concrete issues at the $60 million stadium has forced the game to be moved from the soon-to-be two-year-old stadium. It was announced Tuesday that Allen will play all of its home games in 2014 in Plano.

Guyer played at Apogee, which opened in 2011, for the first time during its 2013 playoff run when it defeated Birdville. Allen has never played at the stadium.

The game will feature a matchup of highly-ranked quarterbacks in Allen’s Kyler Murray, the No. 1 dual-threat QB in the country according to 247Sports. Guyer has a host of highly-rated quarterbacks battling for the top spot, highlighted by super-sophomore-to-be Shawn Robinson and David Moore, not to mention the still-rehabbing Kevin Dillman, who’s committed to Nebraska.