Aledo lineman, Birdville star make 4A first-team all-state

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As Aledo coach Tim Buchanan tells it, when Ernie McQuade found out his family was moving to the Fort Worth area this year, he wasn’t certain he was going to be in the family caravan from Georgia to Texas.

After all, McQuade was entering his senior season as the starting center at North Cobb, Ga. High School and wasn’t in the mood to start all over this late in his career.

Saturday, when McQuade leads his Bearcats teammates onto the AT&T Stadium field for the Class 4A state title game, he’ll do so as a 2013 Associated Press all-state selection.

McQuade joins Birdville’s Xavier Turner as first-team selections to The Associated Press Sports Editors 2013 Class 4A All-State team. Aledo also landed seven other players on the second team or the honorable mention list.

“He had to sacrifice a lot of things to make that move,” Buchanan said. “He didn’t get the jersey number he’s had for his high school career, he got moved to left tackle, and there were some tough decisions he had to make.”

For Aledo, adding McQuade gave the Bearcats a new dynamic. It allowed Cory Stitle to go from the offensive line to defensive end. Stitle made that adjustment with ease, earning a spot on the AP second team.

For Buchanan, he said he knew what kind of player McQuade could be almost right from the start.

“He’s always smiling and always having a good time,” Buchanan said. “I knew he had the chance to really be a special player when, in one of the first couple of games, he made a secondary block on a busted play. It just showed how smart of a football player he was.”

As a student, McQuade scored 1,900 on the SAT and has a 100 grade average.

Turner’s inclusion wasn’t a surprise to Birdville coach Jim Skinner.

The senior rushed for 2,113 yards and 41 touchdowns this season as the Hawks reached the Class 4A Region I final.

“There was one play this season where Saginaw swarmed almost every defensive player to the ball and rather than go down for a 5-yard carry, Xavier carried the pile about 10 more yards,” Skinner said. “He’s a leader and not just on the football field. He’s a leader within the school and is a young man with great character.”

Fort Worth Dunbar defensive back Stepfawn Hughes leads three other area players on the second team.

“When you put in the kind of hard work he has, it’s something that he really deserves,” Dunbar coach Todd Lawson said. “He’s really a throwback kind of player, a real football player. Most games we really only played 28 kids, and if we needed him to play safety or corner or on the kickoff team, he was the kind of player that went down and made plays.”

Ten other area players made honorable mention.

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