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Everything posted by buckeyefandom

  1. FINAL 4 APPEARANCE on the line: What difference will 4 weeks make?
  2. China Spring has a formula that was perfect for dethroning Carthage. They play outstanding defense against the run and the pass, and they spread out the Carthage defense and ran the ball effectively. They stopped Carthage on multiple 4th downs, and exposed a weak punting game for the Dawgs. Once they got up 3 scores, they had enough gas in the tank to withstand the furious comeback attempt and shortened the game. Crazy that now WOS is a similarly bad matchup for CS. That Region down there is loaded. It just goes to show you that being a good or even great team is not enough some nights. A lot of things have to fall right! It’s survive and advance. Congrats to Carthage. It is really hard to do what they have done this long. And congrats to CS for knocking them off. The journey and the tourney continues.
  3. It is a really, really, really DIFFICULT THING to ask 15-18 year old kids to win as many games as Carthage did. Somebody was gonna beat them eventually. Just an inevitably and congrats to them on the run. But matchups sometimes just work against teams with certain styles, strengths and weaknesses. CS presented that to Carthage and I think WOS will present a similar challenge for CS. But I do think it is worth saying…. That the toughest Region in 4A D2 by far.
  4. Just like CS was a bad matchup for Carthage, WOS is a bad matchup for CS. Rough and tumble Region! Great season Carthage.
  5. Carthage special teams letdown. 2 punts for an average of 18 yards.
  6. 4th Qtr now. 3 score game. I tried to tell y’all China Spring is just a bad matchup for Carthage. They PLAY great defense, and then they spread out the Dawg defense and run it effectively. A bad combination for Carthage and a good formula for China Spring. Touch hill to climb now. Dawgs going down!?!?!
  7. The UIL needs Texas INDEPENDENT School Districts… NOT the other way around!
  8. I agree PG should win, but every year one team gets hungry enough to take the “next step” doe a program. PG has been there and done that. I think they know this isn’t going to get their year, and I am thinking QF digs deep and finds a way to win a winnable game. I’ll swim up stream on this one. Give me QF by 6 with their defense making a last minute stop to send PG to the gym.
  9. Agree 100%. But there’s a month and 8 games between now and having to worry about that.
  10. I agree 100%. Anything is possible in the playoffs. A fact that cannot be argued is this is the toughest region in 4A D2. Carthage is the champ until somebody beats them. But “if” they do win it this year again, I think it is a toss-up which of their next 4 games will be the toughest. CS, Belleville/WOS, Cuero, Celina/Gilmer. That is a gauntlet! So if Carthage rolls through that, hats off to them. Whoever they play in the other side doesn’t have a climb as steep as that.
  11. I don’t know that we have teachers who are not “very respected”…. Again. Thanks for the help.
  12. All I have to do to know what our kids are saying is wake up . But please keep thinking what you’re thinking and saying what you’re saying. We accept all useful contributions.
  13. Our kids are well coached! let’s just say Carthage has a WIN OR GO HOME scenario Friday, just like Gilmer does. We’ll stay focused on that. If Carthage gets back to another Gilmer game, they will be the most battle tested team. The Dawgs have the toughest opponent path for sure.
  14. PLEASE keep spreading that around the Carthage Field House (preferably while Coach Surratt isn’t around) .
  15. If Coach Surratt wanted to be a college coach, he would be a college coach. Especially after the success Coach Traylor has had, there are enough schools who would give him his chance. But you have to pay your dues if you want to travel that road. There is an entire world of difference between reloading at Carthage every year and being a D1 coach at all… from assistant to Coordinator to Head Coach. The only similarities are the titles and what happens between a kickoff and 0:00. Everything else is a different world. Coach Surratt knows that very well. Make no mistake, Carthage is a full on “program” already, that looks and runs a lot like a college team. They understand player development, and they do a great job molding the talent they have to what they do. That is what makes them good every year. But in college, so many other things have to go right to even have the time to build that kind of success. It’s like a really good builder going from custom brick homes to sky scrapers. They are not even the same species as far as jobs go. Coach Surratt has long since earned the right to jump to the college ranks if he wanted. So there are reasons he is still where he is. He knows those reasons, and he doesn’t owe anybody any explanations, no matter what he does in his career. I personally just appreciate that he is continually raising the bar and being who he is where he is. The truth is, iron sharpens iron. The Yankees NEED the Red Sox. The Aggies NEED the Longhorns. The Celtics NEED the Lakers. And Carthage being Carthage makes our kids better, on and off the field.
  16. I do not feel sorry for SMU at all. The Ponies have a long history of shooting themselves in the foot. They had the chance to hire Coach Traylor internally and passed. Their own players tried to tell them, but their bank balances keep short circuiting their brains. So now they’ll have their rival, TCU poach the coach they hired, while Coach Traylor told TEXAS TECH “No Thanks” out of LOYALTY. A character trait nobody “On The Hilltop” knows anything about. Some people have character. Some people value relationships over money. Some people do things the right way, or they don’t do them at all. Unfortunately, SMU can’t recognize those people, even when they walk past them in their own offices every day. It takes character to recognize character. So what does that tell you about SMU? They hired a guy who took the talent he inherited, and then leverages it up to go across town to their rival? (TCU isn’t much better for the lack of character they showed with Coach Pat!) And so now, just watch…. SMU and TCU both will let their egos make the same mistake again. They will start over with an outsider and they will both be in the same boat again by 2025. In the mean time, Coach Traylor is at UTSA with a 11-0 team on the verge of a conference title in just his second year. I hope both the Frogs and Ponies stay relevant long enough with other people’s recruits to see UTSA in bowl games the next few years. Who knows who will be coaching them? I know who will be coaching UTSA. And I’ll give you Frogs, Ponies and the points now. Character counts! And SMU and TCU both will reap what they’ve sown.
  17. Such a tough Region this year! Both of these teams deserve to be playing after this week, but this is by far the toughest 4A D2 region. I think Carthage is the real winner here in knowing these two teams have to go they each other before they get the winner. Either team will present the toughest challenge Carthage has had next week. A great defense and the ability to pound the rock, move the chains and possess the ball are a good formula if you want to knock off the Dawgs. Food lick to both teams, but I’ll take WOS in a close one here.
  18. Agree. Another “Style Matchup” quandary. Kinda like the WOS / BV matchup this week too. When teams are evenly matched in physical talent and good coaching, it comes down to each team’s formula for success and the other team’s ability to disrupt it. Historically, Celina has been on some lop-sided ends of Gilmer’s formula. But when Celina has beaten Gilmer, games have been tight. I do think Celina is the only District Champ left in their Region. They should advance to the Final 4. Carthage, Cuero, Celina and Gilmer on paper… but the south East Region has the toughest teams still standing as a group. It should be an entertaining Sweet 16 starting after Turkey Time.
  19. Would really love to see that happen, but the UIL stacked the southeast region by dropping Carthage down there. That makes life better for Gilmer, but forces a lot of good teams down there to all go though each other. Carthage and Aledo have owned the past decade in THSFB in their divisions. Argyle would have matched up well with Carthage in some of those years, but the numbers forced them up and Carthage down division wise. The UIL is making the Carthage path the most difficult, but that hasn’t even phased them. I’m not sure it will this year either, but that’s why they play the games! All I know is most OCs looking at the Carthage defense at this point in the season probably has the Athletics Secretary researching basketball tourney schedules.
  20. Context fellas. Context. By MATCHUP IN STYLES, I mean you two teams whose strength is their defense. Both will run the ball and the game will likely be over in 2 hours (and change) with only 100 or less total plays. This means that big plays on special teams and turnovers will have an even more significant impact on the game. If you read the post, that is my point. If Carthage is “vulnerable” at all this year, it will be from one or two “style matchups” 1) From an opponent with a great defense, the formula is to shorten the game, posses the ball, and then hit a Pic 6, a kick return, block a punt, or otherwise manufacture a TD or two and win a 22-21 type game. That is the type of team CS is. So it is a bad matchup for Carthage style wise. 2) A team that can score early and often and jump out to a 2-3 TD lead and then “hold serve” and win a 42-35 type game. (Not likely from anyone they’ll face until the finals, then Gilmer will try again). What Carthage has this year is a great defense, and an really good offense. They match up very well against teams whose strength is offense, but whose defense cannot get them off the field in 3rd downs. Offensive teams need the ball to jump out to a 2-3 score lead, and then they need to be able to run the ball and move the chains to hold serve. That is really, really hard against that Dawg defense on either front. But when the other team also has a great defense, then the game gets into a 3 and out tennis match. Meaning more kicking game. Meaning more opportunities for turnovers and big plays. Which was the point to my post. Nobody is saying CS is a match for Carthage. I am simply saying the style of play from CS shortens the game and amplifies mistakes in areas where Carthage is not as dominant. That is by definition a bad style matchup.
  21. Really good teams with great defenses who both play well mean that 3 basic things determine who wins: 1) Turnovers 2) Big Plays 3) Special Teams This is a bad matchup for Carthage style wise, but CS will have to be +2 in turnovers and score twice on defense or special teams to upset the Dawgs. Carthage defense is too good and well coached otherwise. If CS can’t figure a way to manufacture points… then it’s something like Carthage 21 CS 6
  22. VAN: Van has been maximizing their talents for years now, and doing a great job against the opponents on their schedule. Great coaching, kids play hard and execute what they do very well. Great town and local support, great people and Van should be extremely proud of their programs and their kids. REALITY: But let’s be real here. Van facing Gilmer is not a fair fight. From a talent perspective, the Vandals are a good 4A D2 team. But they are not on the same level as Gilmer. Records mean nothing as we all can look at the schedule and see who has played who. The honest truth is the class of 4A D2 this season is Carthage, Gilmer, Cuero and Celina (in that order). And then you have a talent drop off into the second tier teams. Van is probably somewhere between 10th and 15th state wide, which is certainly beyond respectable and a real accomplishment to be proud of. But the two heavyweights in 4A D2 both prowl the piney woods, and they will likely have their rematch again in Arlington in a few weeks. MORE REALITY: That said… Yes, it’s high school football and anything can happen on a given Friday. Especially in the playoffs. But these are Van and Gilmer teams whose DNA is #bEastTexas. They know and respect each other, and are very familiar with each other. They have seen each other come up through the ranks, and are close enough to have witnesses first hand the talent level and ability their opponents possess. And they are playing in their own neighborhood “sandlot” in Tyler. So a lot of external factors that usually pop up as outside influences in later round playoff games should not be very big issues this week. Both teams should be relaxed, comfortable and play close to the best of their abilities. And that is a problem for Van. RESPECTFUL HEADS UP: Much respect to Vandal Nation, as their team and talent level are conducive to their 12-0 record against the teams they have played. Congrats… But you have not seen anything this year in terms of physical ability as remotely close to what you will see Friday. Gilmer now is as physically deep and talented as they have been in 127 years. (Yes, I said it. And it is the truth.) GILMER…: These Buckeyes are a mature team, and it’s about time they decide this Friday how badly they want to go leave their mark in a storied history of great Gilmer squads. They are more than capable of bringing home a State Title and restoring Gilmer to “Elite” 4A status for the next decade or more. Their run last year was great, but that was a very young team, trying to find themselves and still learning to believe in their own potential. The 2020 Carthage team was in their head. And rightfully so, because they were a true juggernaut. Gilmer was embarrassed on a big stage, and it left a mental scar. But truthfully, for Gilmer last year to have beaten Carthage would have been an outlier, much like Van staying close to Gilmer this year would be. Beating Carthage in 2020 was simply out of reach, and Gilmer still has that mental mountain still to climb. … IS GILMER: But this 2021 Gilmer squad is just different. First, there is simply the raw talent level. It is deeper and better than ever, including 2006 (again…. Yes, I said it.). But like those incredibly skilled and talented group (who were 1 & Done to LE), it is simply about these young men deciding who they are and then playing up to their stratospheric ability. EXAMPLES: (and yes, spend some time on YouTube and go watch the film if you doubt me) Brandon Tennison is the most talented and polished QB to ever wear orange and black. Is he the WINNER Stump was? We don’t know yet. That 2009 Cuero game showed that Stump’s will as a champion is and was legendary. Is BT “that guy”? Is he “Superman” who simply will not allow his team or his town to bow a knee to anyone else, from anywhere else, as long as he is breathing? That is just who #10 was and is. #11? We will see soon enough… but as a runner, passer, decision maker, play maker… he is the best Buckeye QB ever. Stump, GJ, Manny, D-Mac, Tanner, Poppy, Luke, Jordan, and the list goes on and on. BT is his own person, and he will leave his own legacy, but he is the best we have ever had. That is a fact. Then there is Matt Burton. He is pound for pound the best defensive football player Gilmer has ever produced. And the Buckeyes have had some great ones. Demarco is close, but like Stump, what Demarco had in skill he had double in heart and leadership. At his age, #44 is more skilled. And bar none, he is the smartest, most explosive, most talented and tenacious defender the Black Flag has ever had. And Burton has some help up front in 56 & 54 who make that a trio of “Best Ever” talent up front. And there are some guys behind them that makes this version of the Black Flag very, very scary. “Best Ever” you say? The two juniors in Rohan Fluellen and Ashton Haynes are in the same class Gilmer as playmakers at their positions. Both are scary good. From Manny & Curtis to Kris and Blake, and from Bus and Gus to Houston, Lamar, and a long, long list of D1 and then NFL caliber guys… this skill group is more talented. I could reel off a dozen other names who are literal all state talents themselves on this roster. It is as deep and wide as it has ever been here. The hogs up front and bigger and badder than last year for sure, and likely more productive than even David and Cody’s group. So saying the depth of talent is the best Gilmer has ever produced and the best in the state, maybe through 4A D1 as well is not an exaggeration. STILL KIDS: But these are still kids, very talented kids who are learning to be men. They are still learning that they are the ones who will decide how they are remembered in the future. Like all the ones that came before them, it’s all about aligning the gray matter between the ears with the fast twitch matter below their necks. GREAT KIDS! As far as kids go, you will honestly never find a better group of quality character kids. That is true in Van as well. For both of these towns, they can walk into Rose Stadium Friday and walk out again no matter what happens in between being prouder to have produced kids like this off the field, than anything that happens on it. This time in their lives doesn’t last long, but the life lessons will. And some valuable ones await them all Friday no matter what. DECISION TIME: In Gilmer, could you take the past two seasons and point to some hard life lessons that came via the Field House? Sure. I’m sure that is true in Van too. But the time has come for the gridiron truth to reveal itself. For the 2021 Gilmer Buckeyes, it is time to decide who they are, who they want to be and how they want to be remembered. Van should hope the BUX procrastinate another week in that, but it likely won’t make much difference Friday. Gilmer is now more Gilmer than Gilmer has ever been. If they catch a mental edge, they will be the “Best Ever” on more than just paper. The 2006 Buckeyes have held the “most talented team ever” spot for a decade and a half now. We will now see how the new “Talent Title Holders” on Bradford Street decide to roll into their December. Their #OvO moment has arrived. PROGNOSTICATION: Enjoy the Turkey. Watch and hope the Cowboys are not “pulling a Cowboys” again this year on Thursday. Then we will all get up full and fat on Friday to see if these BUX are on a mere errand, or a Championship Mission. Best case for Van is they catch Gilmer in a tryptophan hangover and only get beat by a respectable 2-3 scores before heading to the gym. But if these incredibly deep and talented boys from Tater Town get “hungry” and lock-in, Van is the unlucky team that will be watching some of these guys from Gilmer play on Saturday (and Sunday) over the next decade, telling their buddies about that time in Tyler they shared a field with (insert names here). Just a warning. This could be ugly y'all. Don’t take anything personal and don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you are from Van, stay positive. If you haven’t watched any GILMER film, do yourself a favor and just don’t. (Especially not against PG 3 weeks ago. Yes, the PG that is good enough to still be playing after Thanksgiving, and may very well be next week too.) You have a great town and a great team. Gilmer has had our share of humble pie lately, and we know it’s not exactly tasty on a full stomach. But keep believing and supporting your kids. Your time will come too. You are on the right track. FRIENDLY REMINDER: To all (somewhat spoiled Gilmer Fans) who sense their team has had some “mental identity, focus and consistency issues” the past 3 games… your Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 194 to 59 so far with trophies on the line. So if that is what you call “unmotivated”, then whoever else is left in 4A D2 (including the Dawgs) better duck and cover if these Buckeyes decide “Their Best” is their standard. Because they boys from Tater Town are peaking at just the right time…. Here they come… SO… ARMY: (That means anybody even remotely associated with these Buckeyes). The excuses are over. If COVID was gonna be an issue outdoors, 30 minutes away, on a beautiful, sunny Friday Holiday afternoon, you’d be dead by now. So GET YOUR BUTT TO TYLER and GET YOUR DANDER UP & YOUR ARMY ON for the best version of your Buckeyes EVER! Yes…. You’re being called out! Your team on the field DESERVES your PASSIONATE SUPPORT! And off the field, you are cheating yourself if you don’t know these kids personally. They make you proud every day already. And if you don’t already know that, you are missing out. Now go show them how much you love your town and your team! If there is a Gilmer church choir or congregation that sings worth a crap Sunday morning, then you didn’t yell anywhere near loud enough Friday! And we will be listening for any and all non-hoarse voices and taking names! BTW, when we chant “Let’s Go Brandon!” we mean it both ways, as ours also wears #11 and actually delivers (first downs, touch downs and scoreboard beat downs). PREDICTION: Crystal ball says, Gilmer is going to be an elite team talent wise for the next 4-5 years. But this 2021 team is going to determine the mentality this program will adopt for the next decade. So I will predict a final score Friday somewhere in between, making an assumption that kids are kids and both teams play between “well” and “their best”: Gilmer 56 Van 24 210-CALLING-903: Let’s all pull for those Roadrunners down at UTSA Saturday too. Folks are starting to figure out nationally what we in Gilmer have known since the 1980s. Those Traylor boys never did quite know how to lose! BLESSINGS: Celebrate your blessings! Be grateful for your communities and your kids! Be blessed and be present in who you are and where you’re from! See ya Friday. #BirdsUp & #GoBuckeyes
  23. GREAT game! Celina overcame 5 turnovers and got three of their own... Most importantly, they turned two of them into 14 points on pic6 TDs. NO team should be able to spot an opponent 14 points and advance. Congrats to Celina. Proud of the Buckeyes... Much to learn and build on from this season!!!
  24. Almost time! Doing the research this week, Celina has sure put a lot of emphasis on last year's game. "Rematch, Revenge, Retaliation". Celina must protect the QB, take care of the football and stay balanced. Gilmer must pressure the QB, cover and get off the field on 3rd Down. But the matchup of the game is Celina QB vs Gilmer D. I think the question is, can Celina put up 30 against Gilmer's D and can Gilmer's offense take care of the ball enough to score 30? I predict a lower scoring game than people think... Gilmer wins 34-29.
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