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08/21/1995  Jackson's return helps put Shorthorns at top of 2A poll www.chron.com  Football


Class 2A, others

8:16 PM 8/21/1995

Jackson's return helps put Shorthorns at top of 2A poll

By BILL McMURRAY
Houston Chronicle

In case you've forgotten, Schulenburg's pass-catch combination of Steve Sartain-to-Jamie Jackson was Texas' best in 1994.

Sartain led the state in passing with 3,143 yards over a 15-1 season, while Jackson set several Class 2A records while catching 87 passes for 1,763 yards.

Even a 20-16 loss to Goldthwaite in the Class 2A title game failed to stall the Sartain-to-Jackson assault. Sartain threw for a title game-record 274 yards, with Jackson catching nine passes for 146 yards.

Graduation took Sartain off the Shorthorns' roster, but not Jackson. However, Jackson may be throwing and not catching this season. It's likely that Shorthorns coach David Husmann will move Jackson to quarterback and make Steven Adams the prime receiver.

With Jackson, Adams and running back Derrick Jackson among nine returning starters, the Shorthorns open as the No. 1 team in the Chronicle's area rankings for Class 2A and other schools.

The preseason poll also includes defending Class A state champion Thorndale plus East Texas 2A powers Alto and Groveton.

A glance at the area district races:

District 22-2A -- The Horace tradition continues at Groveton. Running backs David (1,363 rushing yards in 1994) and Joe Horace (513) return from a 13-2 semifinalist. Running back Chris Spivey, linebacker Craig Spiller and quarterback Jim Bird are other key players.

New Waverly, Buffalo and Centerville loom as leading challengers to Groveton. New Waverly has had back-to-back 10-2 seasons and returns seven offensive and seven defensive starters.

District 23-2A -- Expect another Alto-Garrison showdown, since each returns 16 starters off playoff teams.

Alto (10-2) will feature wide receiver Fred Hackney and running backs Ted Richardson, Draper Skinner and Pat Pope. Hackney, a two-time state track champion at 400 meters, caught 42 passes in 1994 for 986 yards.

Quarterback Will Shaw, running backs Chad Henderson and Mark Woodard and linebacker Stephen Hancock are key veterans for Garrison (12-2). Shaw threw for 839 yards last season. Woodard had 807 rushing yards and Henderson added 575.

District 24-2A -- Hemphill and Hull-Daisetta filled the two playoff spots in 1994 and again look like the teams to beat.

Quarterback Shachez White and running back Dexter Bluford give Hemphill a solid backfield punch. Hull-Daisetta will count on running backs John Slack and Kevin Dodd, linebacker Brandon Broom and quarterback Kory Brett.

District 27-2A -- Defending champion Schulenburg again is favored. East Bernard is the likely runner-up over Flatonia and Weimar.

East Bernard, whose two losses in a 12-2 finish both were to Schulenburg, returns running back Roddy Bluntson (1,951 rushing yards). Flatonia also has a veteran running back in Joe Williams and Weimar a quarterback holdover in Edmond Irving.

District 28-2A -- Ganado and Industrial are likely to challenge the Tidehaven-Boling playoff domination.

Ganado returns 18 starters to 13 for Tidehaven and Industrial and 12 at Boling. All four hopefuls boast prize running backs: Jeff Williams at defending champion Tidehaven, Calvin McLeod at Boling, Douglas Larson at Ganado and John Schaar at Industrial.

District 24-A -- Burkeville (13-1) lost state rushing leader Jeff Spikes, but the Mustangs still return 13 starters, topped by running backs Anthony Gatson and Adrian Watley.

Apple Springs, Colmesneil and Evadale are other likely challengers for the district title.

District 25-A -- Thorndale's defending state champions return six offensive and seven defensive starters from a 16-0 team that scored 801 points, including junior fullback Twone Simmons, who ran for 1,972 yards and scored 34 touchdowns last year.

Wide receiver Joel Simank, quarterback Clint Leschber and linemen Chad Schwarz and Rahja Roman are other Thorndale leaders.

District 26-A -- Iola is coming off a 12-1 march to the quarterfinals with a dozen lettermen, including running back James Robbins, wide receiver Mike Benson and end Danny McKnight. Calvert and Louise also have playoff hopes.