By Bill Spinks
By Bill Spinks
Sherman senior Tre’ Mask will end his high school football career tonight. But in his three seasons on varsity, Mask has put his name among some Bearcat greats in the record book.
A two-time 1,000-yard rusher, Mask ranks among the top 10 in career rushing yardage in Sherman school history and is No. 2 in career rushing touchdowns with 37, trailing only Waymon James, who is way ahead with 55 TDs.
Additionally, Mask posted the second-best scoring night ever by a Bearcat, rushing for seven touchdowns in the District 13-4A opener on Sept. 26 at McKinney North. Only Otis Franklin’s eight TDs in 1927 against Fort Worth Masonic Home was better.
Mask was forced to fill in at quarterback for Case Rolen for the last 2 1/2 games after Rolen suffered a groin strain in the Royse City game. Tonight, he should revert back to his backfield spot as Rolen returns against Greenville at Bearcat Stadium.
"He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do," Bearcats head coach Gary Kinne said. "He’s a running back by nature, and he stepped in at quarterback when we needed him. He’s played defense and special teams, and he’s done everything for us. He’s a great leader, and he’s definitely the heart and soul of our team."
Kinne added that Mask is everything one wants in a program: a good student, a good athlete, and a good citizen.
Mask has some college offers, but has not made a decision public.
"He’s got some places where he’ll be able to go," Kinne said. "Somebody’s going to be getting a good player."
After tonight, Mask will report to the gym, where he is a two-time first-team all-district basketball player.
Mask, Christian Hunt, Jason Chavez and Ja’Quay Pough were lauded by Kinne for their individual successes, even though it didn’t carry over to the whole team this year.
"They’ve had tremendous senior seasons that have gone by the wayside because we haven’t won," Kinne said. "They’re still really good football players."
Speaking of history, senior Austin Roan will probably go down in history as Sherman’s most-accurate placekicker ever.
Roan, who is a perfect 27-of-27 on point-after attempts this season, has only missed five PATs in his three-year career, all of which were blocked kicks. His most recent miss was against Texarkana Texas High in last year’s bi-district playoff game.
"He’s kicked some balls that weren’t on the tee, not necessarily this year but throughout his career," Kinne said. "I wish I had him (in 2010) when we played Highland Park. If I had the combination of Hunt snapping, (Clay) Gilbert holding and Roan kicking, we would’ve beaten Highland Park that year, no doubt about that."
On his career, Roan is 144-of 149 on PATs and has also kicked 11 field goals. He made a career-long 49-yarder against Royse City.
"I’m so glad he played football," Kinne said. "He wasn’t a football player to start out with, and … he’s a great story. He’s a guy that’s going to have a chance to play. He might even have to walk on somewhere. He may earn something, but they don’t give out a lot of scholarships for kickers. He’s a guy that’s going to be able to kick in college."
Roan has done virtually all the kicking this year for the Bearcats. In addition to his placekicking duties, he has also punted 42 times for an average of 33.6 yards.
This summer, Roan won the top award at the USA Football Camp in Colleyville, where he was 30-of-30 on kicks. Roan has received interest from Texas A&M, Alabama, Auburn and Duke.
"He’s very accurate and has become a good punter," Kinne said. "His kickoffs have gotten better this year. You can sleep well when you’ve got a good kicker, and we’ll miss him as much as anybody. He’s deadly from inside 50. He’s had a great career."
A total of 27 seniors will be making their farewell to Bearcat Stadium tonight against Greenville. But of that total, only nine or 10 were regular position starters and only a few others rotated in, meaning that plenty of underclassmen will be back in 2014.
"We’re young," Kinne said. "We’re a lot like Lovejoy; they play a lot of young kids too. The old adage is, for every sophomore you start, you’re going to lose a game. It catches up with you a little bit when you have a lot of young kids, whether they’re sophomores or juniors."
Among the top players next year who will become seniors are receiver Treyson Jones and running back/linebacker Tyson Jones, who are twin brothers. Linebacker Jakendrick Burns, who showed some flashes on offense, will return, as well as linebacker Dakota Denney and linemen Aaron Garza, Jonathan Torres, Eric Hill and Andre Marroquin.
"Basically, our whole offensive line is back," Kinne said.
Garza, who is verbally committed to Texas, is rated as the No. 8 offensive lineman in his national class by Rivals.
Behind that group is a potentially very strong rising junior class of skill players, with Chadd Perry, Dalton Felder, Cameron Pleasant, Kevin Wright and Maliq’ Owens all returning. Offensive tackle Gage Thomason, the tallest Bearcat at 6-foot-6, is also in this group, and add receiver Jordan Henry to the list if he is medically cleared to return from his neck injury.
"We’ll have a lot of returners and guys with a lot of experience," Kinne said. "A lot of them are going to be three-year starters. It should bode well."