Last year Haltom defined odds and finished 6-5, its first winning record since 2000.
The Buffalos also snapped their playoff drought and went dancing for the first time since 2009.
But with eight starters back, five on offense, and a few key players stepping up, the Buffs not only made a return trip to the playoffs, but they had their best season ever.
On Thursday, the season was capped off with six players being named to the Class 6A all-state team.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said coach Jason Tucker, who’s team went to the state quarterfinals and finished 13-1. “We were in the lunch room and got on the microphone and announced it to the student body. We’re proud of the entire program.”
Senior DB Keyon Shannon was named first team after recording 106 tackles and 6 INTs in the regular season.
Junior LB Gavon Lange was also first team. He had 122 tackles, 9 sacks and 2 INTs.
“They made big plays especially in the playoffs,” Tucker said. “Gavon with the pressure and Keyon with the interceptions. They did that all year long. It’s nice to see the guys get recognized. Keyon led our district in INTs and Gavon led in sacks. They’re two of the best I’ve been around.”
Tucker, who was Coach of the Year by the Landry Award, called senior LB Jahari Williams the emotional leader of the group. Williams was named a second-team defender.
“He led us on defense and did a good job getting the guys ready in practice. He kept them going,” Tucker said.
Senior lineman Mykel Estrello was second-team offense. Senior QB Michael Black and senior WR Decorian Mitchell were named honorable mention. Black finished the regular season with 3,000 yards total and 37 TDs.
“Mykel was our anchor on the offensive line so it’s nice to see the linemen get noticed too,” Tucker said. “Michael Black has been the face of our program the past two years. He’s handled the pressure, and Decorian has been great for us at WR and kickoff return. He made some huge plays and changed the momentum at times for us.”
Arlington Sam Houston senior DT and New Mexico signee Omar Darame was a first-team defender while Southlake Carroll seniors and SMU commits Henry Mossenberg and TJ McDaniel were voted to the second team.
Arlington Bowie and OU signee Ty DeArman was a second-team DB.
CLASS 6A All-State team
Bold- Fort Worth area teams
Linemen (tie for final spot):
— JAYDEN BORJAS, Edinburg Vela, Sr. — 98% grade, 54 pancakes
— BEAUX LIMMER, Tyler Lee, Sr. — 95% grade, no sacks allowed, 88 pancakes
— EJ NDOMA-OGAR, Allen Sr. — 91% grade, 102 pancakes
— DAWSON REYNOLDS, Odessa Permian, Sr. — 96% grade, 82 pancakes, 69 knockdowns for team that averaged 441.7 yards and 40 points per game
— MATTHEW SANDERS, Austin Vandegrift, Sr. — 96% grade, 104 knockdowns, 32 pancakes at center, played every snap
— BLAKE WEBSTER, Austin Westlake, Sr. — 99.6% grade, 48 pins, 41 knockdowns, 1 sacks allowed in 182 attempts for team that averaged 47.6 ppg
— JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA, Rockwall, Jr. — 75-1,373, 16 TDs
— PARKER WASHINGTON, Fort Bend Travis, Jr. — 70-1,397, 18 TDs
— HAYNES KING, Longview, Jr. — 123-177-2,414, 28 TDs, 1 INT
— AARON DUMAS, EP Americas, Soph. — 2,201 rushing yds, 15 TDs
— DEONDRICK GLASS, Katy, Sr. — 1,650 rushing yards, 25 TDs
— JORDAN SHELTON, Fort Bend Kempner, Sr. — 245-2,061 rushing, 27 TDs
— CADEN DAVIS, Coppell, Sr. — 31-33 PATs, 10-14 FGs, long of 57, 3 FGs longer than 50, 33 touchbacks
Offensive Player of the Year: Haynes King, Longview
— OMAR DARAME, Arlington Sam Houston, Sr. — 123 tackles, 23 TFL, 10 sacks, 4 FF, 8 PBUs
— BRANDON ESTEVES, Brownsville Hanna, Jr. — 70 tackles, 28 TFL, 13 sacks, 2 FF
— BRAEDON MOWRY, Katy Taylor, Sr. — 66 tackles, 23 TFL, 12 sacks, 3 PBUs, 2 FR
— JORDAN REVELS, Galena Park North Shore, Sr. — 9 sacks, 16 TFLs, 77 tackles
— SMITH ESSMAN, Midland, Sr. — 191 tackles, 125 solos, 20 TFL, 6 sacks
— GAVON LANGE, Haltom, Jr. — 122 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 INTs, 14 TFL, 2 FR
— LANDON ROQUE, Dickinson, Sr. — 126 tackles, 7 TFLs, 3 INTs
— BRAYLEN BROOKS, Garland Sachse, Sr. — 31 tackles, 9 INTs (4 TDs), 12 PBUs, punt return for TD
— SEVEN SANCHEZ, PSJA North, Jr. — 154 Tackles, 14 TFL, 2 INTs, 3 FF, 2 FR, 6 sacks
— KEYON SHANNON, Haltom, Sr. — 106 tackles, 6 INTs
— BRANDON WHITE, Amarillo Tascosa, Sr. — 65 Total tackles, 4 TFL, 1 FF, 9 PBU, 4 INT,1 sack
— ALAN LERMA, Sheldon King, Sr. — 26 punts, 47.8 avg., long of 52
Defensive Player of the Year: Braylen Brooks, Garland Sachse
Linemen (tie for final spot):
— John Basaldua, Converse Judson, Sr.; Brannon Brown, SA Northside O’Connor, Sr.; Mykel Estrello, Haltom, Sr.; Marcus Harry, Longview, Sr.; Henry Mossberg, Southlake Carroll, Sr.; Landon Peterson, Odessa Permian, Sr.;
— Kamden Perry, Longview, Sr.; Theo Wease, Allen, Sr.
— Mike Welch, Dickinson, Jr.
— Jaylin Hastings, SA Jay, Sr.; T.J. McDaniel, Southlake Carroll, Sr.; Campbell Speights, McAllen Memorial, Jr.
— Gino Garcia, Richardson Pearce, Sr.
— Aaron Alvarez, PSJA North, Jr.; De’Braylon Carroll, Duncanville, Sr.; DeMarvin Leal, Converse Judson, Sr.; Edgerrin Williams, Round Rock Cedar Ridge, Sr.
— Uzochukwu Ebinama, North Garland, Sr.; Jax McCauley, Austin Vandegrift, Jr.; Jahari Williams, Haltom, Sr.
— Ty DeArman, Arlington Bowie, Sr.; Jamal Morris, Fort Bend Bush, Sr.; Cameron Oliver, Fort Bend Travis, Soph.; Karl Taylor, Midland Lee, Jr.
— Carson Roberts, Odessa Permian, Jr.
HONORABLE MENTION OFFENSE
LINEMEN: Cole Birmingham, Katy; Eric Cisneros, Midland; Andrew Coker, Katy Taylor; Daniel Domian, McAllen Memorial; Alexis Gil, Weslaco East; James Jarmon, Round Rock Westwood; May Joyce, Rockwall; Logan Parr, SA Northside O’Connor; Juan Quezada, Austin High; Thalen Robinson, Arlington Bowie.
RECEIVERS/ENDS: Jaelen Anderson, Plano East; Trejan Bridges, Lewisville Hebron; Anthony Brown, Belton; Miguel Flores, PSJA; Loic Fouonji, Midland Lee; Justin Hammond, Odessa Permian; Tyler Hudson, Klein Oak; Decorian Mitchell, Haltom.
QUARTERBACKS: Michael Black, Haltom; Hudson Card, Lake Travis; Jacob Clark, Rockwall; Velton Gardner, Dallas Skyline; Trey Guajardo, PSJA; Brandon Mallory, Plano East;
RUNNING BACKS: Jaelin Benefield, Pearland; James Fullbright, Waco Midway; Tripp Graham, Austin Westlake; Justin Rodriguez, SA Johnson; Josh Traylor, Midland Lee; Eddie Villarreal, La Joya; Isaiah Spiller, Klein Collins; R.J. Smith, Katy Tompkins; Jacquarion Turner, South Garland; Ed Williams, Odessa Permian.
KICKERS: Richard Garcia, Mesquite Horn; Jefflin Leslie, SA Northside O’Connor; John Villalobos, Galena Park North Shore.
HONORABLE MENTION DEFENSE
LINEMEN: Jaylon Allen, Longview; Jacob Banda, Weslaco East; Jamie Ferguson, SA Madison; Avelino Garcia Jr., San Benito; Antonio Greer, Arlington Bowie; Pryson Greer, SA Northside O’Connor; Kadren Johnson, Lewisville; Alex Kingston, Southlake Carroll; Matt Jones, Odessa Permian; DeVere Levelston, DeSoto; Romeo Martinez, Midland Lee; Cristian Ramos, Laredo LBJ; Xavier Ross, Cedar Hill; Javarious Sullivan, Bryan; Khristian Versey, Lewisville; Jacob Wolfe, Haslet Northwest Eaton.
LINEBACKERS: Freddy Cardenas, Weslaco East; Jake Ehlinger, Austin Westlake; Corey Flagg, Galena Park North Shore; David Gbenda, Katy Cinco Ranch; Charlie Gonzales, Midland Lee; Daemian Gray, Amarillo Tascosa; Chris Ingram, Killeen; Spencer Jones, Austin Vandegrift; Jephaniah Lister, Longview; Michael Morales, McAllen Memorial; Carter Norrie, Lewisville Hebron; David Parks, Bryan; Walker Polk, Coppell; Kayden Steen, Keller; Josh White, Cypress Creek; Anziah Williams, SA Northside Brennan; Zach Zimos, Fort Bend Travis.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Larry Cooper, Mesquite Horn; Alcee Flores, Brownsville Hanna; Braden Hay, Katy Taylor; Alex Hogan, Houston Lamar; Jonathan McGill, Coppell; RJ Mickens, Southlake Carroll; Anfernee Orji, Rockwall; Jacob Plunk, Amarillo Tascosa; Ainias Smith, Fort Bend Dulles; Darius Snow, Lewisville Hebron; Andres Sustaeta, Brownsville Hanna; Christian Tschauner, Odessa Permian; Diego Villarreal, McAllen Memorial; Reese Watson, Austin Vandegrift; Frank Wilson IV, SA Northside Brandeis; Khambrail Winters, Alief Taylor; Rashad Wisdom, Converse Judson; Erick Young, Fort Bend Bush.
PUNTERS: Logan Claborne, Rockwall; Richard Garcia, Mesquite Horn; Isaac Ochoa, La Joya.