Guyer-ex Rhame dazzled to close season

Seen here in a Guyer game in 2011, Jacob Rhame is now a hard-throwing reliever in the Los Angeles Dodgers' system. (DRC File Photo)

While making one of my weekly visits up to Guyer on Monday afternoon, I saw a familiar face walking up to the baseball field on my way to the car.

It was former pitcher Jacob Rhame, who graduated from Guyer in 2011 and led the Wildcats to the playoffs in their first season at the state’s largest classification, coming within a sole mistake of a huge one-game playoff win over Plano. He signed with Oklahoma and was later let go from the program before heading to Grayson College and pitching for Tim Tadlock.

It was after he was cut loose from the Sooners, when he weighed 240 pounds, that he decided he had to make some changes or get out of baseball. Now, he’s down to 190 pounds and after being selected in the sixth round of the MLB draft in 2013, Rhame is doing quite well in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

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What you need to know: Ennis

 

Ennis senior defensive end/linebacker James Lockhart (9) during the first half of a high school football game against Mansfield Timberview at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield, Friday, August 29, 2014. Mansfield Timberview won 34-21. (Brandon Wade/The Dallas Morning News contributor)

There was a time a few years ago when it looked as if Guyer and Ennis would be on a crash course to play in the Class 4A state semifinal, but instead, the Wildcats had to deal with Longview for two straight seasons before finally getting the best of the Lobos in 2010 in Class 5A.

Now, we’re finally going to see that matchup. Since those days, Guyer has established itself as one of the top programs in the state, while Ennis took a few really bad years before bouncing back to a state championship contender this year at the newly named Class 5A (formerly Class 4A).

So follow the jump, and learn everything you to know about Friday’s game between two of the best 0-1 teams in the state, the loser of which will most likely be the best 0-2 team in the state.

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Guyer corner Owens no longer on team

Former Guyer cornerback DeMarcus Owens (4) tackles San Antonio Brennan quarterback Da'Shawn Key (17) in the Class 4A Division I State Championship game in December at Arlington's AT&T Stadium. Owens moved to Oklahoma this week and will be a big loss to the Wildcats. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

After Guyer’s 55-41 loss to No. 1 Allen on Friday night, something came to my attention.

Despite him still being listed on Guyer’s roster and being listed on the videoboard at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium as a starting cornerback, DeMarcus Owens was nowhere near Apogee Stadium on Friday night.

The senior cornerback, who was one of four returning starters in Guyer’s secondary — arguably the strength of the defense — moved to Oklahoma this week after his mom got a job that took her out of the area.

“DeMarcus will be missed on the field with his play, and will be missed off the field for his likable personality,” said Guyer head coach John Walsh, who did a good job of keeping the move a secret to hopefully throw Allen a wrench.

Last season, Owens had 39 tackles at cornerback to go with eight pass breakups and two interceptions as a junior in his first year as a starter for the entire season after working his way into the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2012. Owens, who has an offer from North Texas, is a big loss to the Wildcats’ secondary, if for nothing else because of his vast experience. He will be replaced by Victor Hubbard, a 6-1, 175-pound athletic player, but not a natural corner, who wore Owens’ No. 4 jersey on Friday.

What you need to know: Allen

 

Allen head coach Tom Westerberg, left, high-fives quarterback Kyler Murray after a second-half touchdown against Pearland in the Class 5A Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium in December. Allen won its second straight 5A Division I state title. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

Since Guyer’s quick rise to Texas high school football elite, the Wildcats and head coach John Walsh have never shied away from playing top competition in nondistrict play. But this one takes the cake.

The Wildcats open the 2014 season in a rare battle of defending state champions. To make it more rare, it’s a battle of two-time defending state champs, as Guyer will play Allen in the Tom Landry Classic at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium.

In case you have a short memory, Allen is the two-time defending Class 5A Division I state champion. Guyer is the two-time defending Class 4A Division I state champion. Now, both are Class 6A teams. Allen has more boys in its school than Guyer has students, as the Eagles have the biggest pool in the state to choose from and despite losing 10 defensive starters, it’s hard to ever called an Allen team a rebuilding one.

No. 7 Guyer vs. No. 1 Allen, Apogee Stadium, 7:30 p.m. (Rankings are from preseason Class 6A Associated Press poll)

 

Series record: This is the first meeting between the teams.

What happened last year: Allen went undefeated, never really being tested by anyone outside of DeSoto. As a junior, standout quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 3,669 yards and 46 touchdowns to go with just nine interceptions. He rushed for 1,274 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Allen to a second straight title. The Eagles also had a loaded defense, and they still might, but it’s yet to be determined with the 10 new starters.

Guyer dropped its season opener to eventual 5A Division II state champion Cedar Hill before reeling off 15 straight wins. They finished with an official record of 14-2 after a forfeit to Colleyville Heritage in nondistrict play for using an ineligible player. The Wildcats steamrolled opponents up until the state semifinal, when they needed a thrilling comeback from 10-0 down in the fourth quarter to get past Highland Park before thumping a previously unscathed San Antonio Brennan team for their second straight title.

What to expect: It’s hard to pick against Allen until someone beats them. But that’s the thing, eventually someone will beat the Eagles again. And this seems like a pretty prime position for Guyer. The Wildcats aren’t officially playing a home game, but they might as well be. They return eight defensive starters, several skill players on offense and get to see the debut of sophomore phenom Shawn Robinson, who is replacing Texas freshman Jerrod Heard under center. There is no talk about “playing with Allen” around Guyer or using the game as a measuring stick, so yes, that Guyer swagger is still alive and well, to no one’s surprise. Expect a high-scoring affair between two very strong offenses, and in the most cliche statement ever, look for a big play on special teams and the turnover ratio to decide this thing.

Allen player to watch: QB Kyler Murray (shocker, I know)

Guyer player to watch: DT Carl Thompson

Guyer WR set to explode on to scene

Guyer wide receiver Alex Honey runs with the ball against Cedar Hill in his first varsity start last season at Longhorn Stadium in Cedar Hill. He will be a key figure in the Wildcats' passing game in 2014. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

In recent years, Guyer has made a habit of spitting out tall, lanky and at times just awkward wide receivers and overnight watching them blossom into standouts with big-time college potential.

Two that come to mind immediately are Conner Crane, who was a three-year starter and progressed from strictly a deep-threat wide receiver into a do-it-all, well-rounded receiver who earned a scholarship to Stanford. After Crane, there was Ellis Jefferson, who began to emerge as a junior but really stood out as a senior and is set to play for Arizona State as a redshirt freshman this season.

In a couple of years, could we be talking about Alex Honey in the same breath?

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Dillman officially staying at Guyer

Kevin Dillman will remain at Guyer despite being ruled ineligible for varsity competition by the UIL. The Nebraska pledge will play quarterback for Guyer's junior varsity. (Denton Record-Chronicle)

In pretty unsurprising news, considering the regular season begins in a week and he’d yet to enroll at Liberty Christian, Guyer senior quarterback Kevin Dillman has decided he will stay at Guyer and play junior varsity football after being ruled ineligible on Aug. 11 by the UIL.

Dillman, a three-star recruit according to 247Sports, committed to Nebraska in April, just two months after moving to Lantana from La Mirada, California. Then, two weeks ago, he was ruled ineligible by the UIL meaning he’d either have to play JV as a senior or transfer to a TAPPS school with hopes of being ruled eligible by that governing body, which likely would’ve happened.

Dillman, a Sweden native, who by all accounts is already a team leader for Guyer despite just having arrived in February, said he made the decision on his own, and without advisement from the coaching staff at Nebraska. He said he considered both Plano Prestonwood and Liberty Christian, but the decision ultimately came down to Guyer and Liberty Christian.

“Oh yeah, it was definitely a hard decision,” said Dillman, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder with a rocket arm. “I’ve yet to hear from Nebraska what they want me to do, so it’s a decision I based on myself. Pretty much, it’s the people I was around here. They had a more competitive edge in football and their attitude [at Guyer]. That’s why I felt I fit in more here.”

For more on the Dillman decision, which leaves Guyer with probably the best JV quarterback in the free world, see Tuesday’s edition of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

 

 

Guyer’s John Walsh did the ALS challenge … and so did I

As you can plainly see, Guyer head football coach John Walsh stepped up to the plate on Wednesday morning, along with his entire staff, and participated in the latest craze, the ALS ice bucket challenge to help raise money for ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) awareness.

It’s an awful, awful disease for which there is no cure. And while I’ve had my opinions on the recent viral phenomenon, it’s hard to argue with the facts, that it’s raised millions and millions of dollars for ALS research. And that’s obviously a good thing.

So, if you watch the video, you’ll figure out that Walsh and the two-time defending state champions challenged one pretty well-known figure around these parts in Allen head coach Tom Westerburg, or as Walsh accidently called him “Westerburger,” the coach he’ll be looking across the Apogee Stadium field at on Aug. 29. Then, he challenged some scrub known around these parts by the name of Adam Boedeker. Yep, yours truly.

I couldn’t not accept the challenge. Instead of taking the easy way out and having people dump ice water on me in 100-degree heat, I waited until 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday when it was a blustery 91 degrees and dumped the water on myself. So enjoy my video, and my nervous stammering of things like “Guyer Football Wildcats” and “Ice Busket Challenge.”

I challenge Lake Dallas head football coach Michael Young, Guyer head baseball coach Johnny Kinzy, my good buddy Nathan Cross and former Denton Record-Chronicle UNT beat writer Tim MacMahon, now of ESPN Dallas.

I hope all of you do what I did and donate some cash (or skrilla, as the kids might say) to a wonderful cause. Remember, this isn’t about dousing yourself in ice water. Now, it’s time to go warm up. Adios.

Guyer ranked No. 11 in national computer poll

Guyer head coach John Walsh hoists the Wildcats' second consecutive 4A state title trophy back in December. Now, Guyer moves up to Class 6A and one computer poll has the Wildcats ranked No. 11 in the nation. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

Computer polls are always kind of silly, that much has been established in college football and the BCS and all of that madness.

Recently, there’s been an advent of computer polls broaching the high school football world, including one of the more nationally known ones put out by the fine folks at MaxPreps.

In their latest computer poll, the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings, there are a few notable DFW area powerhouses being well-represented, including two-time defending Class 4A Division I state champions Guyer, who are moving up to the state’s largest classification this year after a two-year hiatus.

Guyer is ranked No. 11 in the poll and is the third-ranked Texas team behind Allen (No. 1) and Cedar Hill (No. 4). Guyer and Allen, of course, open the season on Aug. 29 at UNT’s Apogee Stadium in a game that will have several eyes on it from across the state, and apparently, the country.

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Don’t be shocked if Dillman stays

The speculation immediately began on Monday when Guyer senior quarterback Kevin Dillman was ruled ineligible to play his senior year by the University Interscholastic League — where would Dillman go next?

The Sweden native, who moved to Lantana with a longtime family friend and guardian back in February, had quickly made himself a part of Guyer’s football family despite trying to rehab from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered during his junior year at La Mirada HS in California. In April, he committed to Nebraska, choosing the Huskers over 15 other FBS offers at the time.

Now, he can’t play for Guyer, where he was overtaken in the spring by sophomore phenom Shawn Robinson, albeit the fact that Dillman could never fully compete because he wasn’t given full medical clearance.

So surely he’s going to head off to Liberty Christian, right? It’d make sense considering the UIL ruled him ineligible and Liberty Christian is a member of TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools), which also has residency rules but nothing as strict as the UIL’s. It would give Dillman a chance to play as a senior assuming he could beat out the two QB options the Warriors have. He’s at full health now and watching him it’s easy to see why he was so heavily recruited.

But it might not make as much sense as you’d think. A big reason for Dillman to go somewhere and play is the fact that he’s still relatively unseasoned as a quarterback and is just gifted with super athletic talent. Remember, he grew up in Sweden before coming to California as a foreign exchange student, so he hasn’t been around top football coaching for much of his life. There’s a lot of thought that Dillman could lose his offer from Nebraska if he doesn’t play varsity football this fall, and that’s not a far-fetched thought.

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BREAKING: Guyer’s Dillman denied eligibility

Guyer quarterback Kevin Dillman, who came to Guyer in January from La Mirada, California, was denied a waiver request for UIL eligibility on Monday morning in Austin.

Dillman’s story is an interesting one, as the Sweden native came to the States as a freshman foreign exchange student, gained U.S. citizenship and has stayed throughout high school while his parents have remained in Sweden. He lives with a longtime family friend in Lantana, which is Guyer’s attendance zone.

He tore his Achilles tendon as a junior in California and wasn’t fully cleared to participate in spring drills at Guyer, limited to throwing. Sophomore Shawn Robinson moved in with his coaching parents after Dillman and won the starting job.

Dillman committed to Nebraska back in April, choosing the Huskers over 15 other Football Bowl Subdivision offers, at the time.

More to come on this later, but again, Dillman will not be able to play his senior season at Guyer.