The postseason awards keep trickling down Highway 44 and into the Hub City. Earllier this week the 2008 All-South Texas High?School Football team was announced and the Alice Coyotes were well represented.

Headlining the All-South Texas team is Player of the Year Justin Guerrero, Alice’s do-it-all senior.

On offense, Coyotes senior quarterback A.J.?Benavides leads the first team and is joined by fellow classmate Deon Hill at running back.

Defensively, Alice junior linebacker Jesus Espinoza was a first team selection, the only Coyotes defensive player named to the All-South Texas teams.

The following is the 2008 All-South Texas High School Football top awards and first team selections. Alice and surrounding players are highlighted.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justin Guerrero, Alice, Sr.

Guerrero did more on the football field then any other player in the area. That resulted in the Coyotes senior earning a much deserved Most Valuable Player award in District 31-4A. Simply put, Guerrero rushed for 126 yards on the ground and 336 yards receiving with four touchdowns. On the defensive side, Guerrero had 43 tackles and six interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns. He scored three TDs on kickoff and punt returns and averaged 38 yards a punt. He was also Alice’s kicker and connected on 56 of 57 extra point  attempts and had 13 touchbacks on 83 kickoffs.



NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Ian Smith, Three Rivers, Soph.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Tom Allen, Sinton


Quarterback: A.J. Benavides, Alice, Sr.

The Coyotes leader on offense was also the All-District 31-4A Offensive MVP. He guided the Coyotes to a perfect 10-0 season and help Alice win their first district title since 1985. Benavides threw for 2,315 yards and 26 touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns. He also gained 512 yards rushing on the ground.


•  Deon Hill, Alice, Sr.

Alice’s senior running back earned his first 1,000-yard rushing season and scored 17 touchdowns in the process. His efforts garnished him an All-District 31-4A selection after rushing for 1,249 yards. He not only was a threat out of the backfield, but also catching the ball. Hill also caught 15 passes for 69 yards.

• Joseph Maldonado, Hebbronville, Sr.

The Longhorns Maldonado was the team’s workhorse. For his efforts, he was District 32-2A’s Most Valuable Player and easily won the South Texas rushing title by rushing for 2,116 yards on 159 carries. It wasn’t all for nothing either as Maldonado scored 21 touchdowns. While averaging just more than 13 yards per carry and 211 yards rushing a game. Maldonado also caught 16 passes for 394 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.

•  Michael Gowens, Flour Bluff, Sr.


Matt Garza, Calallen, Sr.

The Wildcats made their 24th straight playoff appearance and Garza, the Offensive Most Valuable Player in District 31-4A played a big role in turning around an almost lost season. After starting 1-3, Garza and company turned things around just in time to earn a playoff berth and Garza was one of Calallen’s main threats through the air and was it showed in the stats. He caught 33 passess for 658 yards while scoring nine touchdowns. He also rushed for two more TDs on 146 yards on the ground.

• Jovan Gonzales, Ray, Sr.

• Jourdan Ortiz, Refugio, Jr.


• Sam Pesek, Odem, Jr.


• Cade Shaw, Calallen, Sr.

Calallen’s big man stood head and shoulders above the competition at 6-5 and 280 pounds.?Shaw was District 31-4A’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman and powered a front line that averaged 34 points on offense and 344 total yards a game.

• Mark Breon, Sinton, Sr.

• Francisco Brito, Flour Bluff, Soph.

• Dylan Klare, Refugio, Sr.

• Chance Vernon, Gregory-Portland, Jr.


• Shedrick Howard, West Oso, Sr.


• Eric Martinez, Refugio, Sr.




• Mike Harper, Tuloso-Midway, Jr.

The Warriors’ Harper cracked the All-District 31-4A Honorable Mention team after stepping up his game in 2008. Only a junior, Harper recorded 100 tackles, 13 sacks, and also returned an interception for a touchdown while playing a big role in Tuloso-Midway’s first playoff appearance since the 1966 season.

• Kaleb Eddleman, Gregory-Portland, Sr.

• Robby Horton, Beeville, Sr.

•  Derek Parker, Gregory-Portland, Sr.


• Jesus Espinoza, Alice, Jr.

The only Alice defensive player to make the All-South?Texas team, Espinoza was the Defensive Most Valuable Player in District 31-4A for helping the Coyotes advance to the Class 4A Division I Region?IV Quarterfinals, where Alice lost to defending and eventually state champions, Austion?Lake Travis. Espinoza was huge for the Coyotes, recording 116 tackles, two QB sacks and two fumble recoveries.

•  Jared Wyatt, Calallen, Sr.

The Calallen senior was the Co-Defensive Most Valuable Player in District 31-4A for a major reason. Wyatt racked up 61 solo tackles, had two interceptions and a fumble recovery while causing chaos wherever he roamed on the football field. After starting the season 1-3, Wyatt led the defensive resurgence and a 24th trip to the playoffs for the Wildcats.

• Bobby Arcand, Refugio, Sr.

• John Baldwin, West Oso, Jr.


• Ramon Flowers, Flour Bluff,Jr..

• Duck Lowrance, Gregory-Portland, Sr.

• J.A. Perez, Hebbronville, Sr.

• Orelando Pratt, Flour Bluff, Jr.


• William Tortorello, West Oso, Jr.


• Taylor Gunter, Flour Bluff, Sr.

- Staff Report