GUNTER — On a state championship caliber defense, Braiden Clopton continually found a way to stand out.


The sophomore cornerback proved to be a tough match-up in coverage and was more than capable of coming up and chopping down a runner trying to gain the corner all the way through Gunter capturing the Class 3A Division II state title and a 16-0 record with a 43-7 victory over Boling.


It was the seventh time the Tigers allowed seven or fewer points.


Clopton finished the season with 57 tackles, eight interceptions, 17 pass break-ups and had three touchdown returns.


He also added 41 carries for 332 yards and three touchdowns and eight catches for 80 yards on offense.


He was named the Defensive Newcomer of the Year in District 6-3A (II) and was a first-team all-state selection by the Associated Press Sports Editors.


For his immediate impact, Clopton has been named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Class 2A-3A Newcomer of the Year for the 2016 season.