El Campo Ricebirds football collected more honors in a season that saw them make it to the second round of the playoffs.
The Texas Sports Writers Association (TSWA) gave four Ricebirds all-state honors with junior fullback Johntre Davis making the second-team.
Senior Charles Shorter was named a third-team utility player. Junior offensive tackle Kerry North and sophomore running back Rueben Owens II received honorable mentions.
New Ricebirds head coach Chad Worrell hasn’t coached a game in El Campo yet, but he has seen a lot of film.
“I’m super proud of those guys who got that recognition and super proud of those guys on the team that allowed those kids to have that recognition,” Worrell said.
Davis had the highest finish since Nery Enriquez received second-team honors in 2016.
The El Campo fullback led the Ricebirds in carries with 177 and pounded out 1,486 yards scoring 21 touchdowns. Davis, last year in his first season on varsity earned TSWA third-team honors.
“It means a lot to me with my grandma passing recently, this was all for her,” Davis said. “I feel like I’m in a good spot and I’m going to go farther (next year). You can see how the order is going.”
Year after year, he’s gotten stronger and faster, pointing out his 300-meter time dropped from 44 seconds to 41, Davis said.
Going into his senior season, he wants to add first-team all-state to his career honors. Davis has one other goal.
“I want to be a better leader,” Davis said. “I think I am a good leader, but I can be better.”
The junior fullback is a hard-hitting runner who seeks contact. In his two years, he has run the ball for 3,218 yards and scored 47 times between the 19 regular season and five playoff games.
“He’s in beast-mode,” Worrell said. “He reminds me of some of the real power runners I’ve coached and watched. Sometimes he’s like a video game. He looks for people to run over before he breaks into the open. He plays that way on offense and defense. He’s a very physical runner with a lot of God-given ability.”
Owens finished with the second-most yards in District 12 with 1,511 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging nearly 11 yards a carry (10.8).
“I see what everyone else sees. He has the vision, speed and agility to make people miss and make what should be a seven to eight-yard run into an 80-yard run,” Worrell said. “For a kid his size to go along with those characteristics is uncommon.”
North in his second year on varsity had 20 pancake blocks on an offensive line that pounded the ball for 3,848 yards and 55 touchdowns.
“That whole offensive line is very solid and most of them are coming back. They work hard in the weight room. Kerry, along with some of the other linemen, are leaders in the weight room and in the offseason they are guys other look too,” Worrell said. “Kerry is a joy to coach every day. No matter if you’re having a bad morning, a flat-tire, or whatever, when you see someone like Kerry it just brightens your day.”
Shorter is the only player who earned an all-state honor who won’t return next season graduating at the end of the year. In his senior season, Shorter gave El Campo contributions in all three phases of the game.
Shorter finished with 50 tackles, one interception returned for a touchdown, one blocked punt, 284 rushing yards and three touchdowns, six catches for 137 yards, and two touchdowns.