Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


July 31, 2013

GC Football: Shimonek leads North to all-star victory

FORT WORTH — The next steps he takes are in Iowa, in the Big Ten, the big time.

 But on Tuesday night Nic Shimonek took his final steps as a high school quarterback — and they led him right into the end zone.

“He’s a heck of a player, a heck of a player,’’ said Stephenville football coach Joseph Gillespie moments after Shimonek scored to nail down a 39-29 win for the North in the 79th annual Texas High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Game.

Gillespie was the head coach of the North, and moments after the game he was Shimonek’s biggest fan.

Hard not to be...

The kid from Mildred had just staged one of those hold-your-breath, game-on-the-line drives. You know the kind — Elway, Manning, Staubach drives. Those guys made last minute drives famous.

Shimonek was just saying farewell, just waving good-bye to a high school career at Mildred no one in this part of Texas will soon forget.

It was the perfect wave.

By the time it was over, Shimonek had completed 8-of-9 passes for 172 yards and had thrown for a TD (a beauty on a 69-yard pass to Whitehouse’s Dylan Cantrell that lifted the North to an 18-14 lead in the third) and he had run for a TD.

He was brilliant on the final drive — going 3-for-3 in the air for 76 yards before slipping into the end zone with a 9-yard TD run that would have made Peyton Manning proud.

It was an audible.

“It was just a read. The play was going to the running back, but I saw the end pinch in and knew that play wouldn’t work,’’ Shimonek said. “He (the running back) went left and I kept the ball and went to the right. I don’ think I scored because of my speed. It was more because of deception. I don’t think they knew I had the ball. The running back on the play asked me, ‘how did you find that hole?’ ’’

With just 2:12 left in the game, Shimonek’s missing-ball-trick sealed the win.

“You’re going to laugh when I tell you this,’’ Shimonek said afterward. “All week I was telling myself that if I scored a touchdown I was going to spike the ball, cause you can never spike the ball, but this is an all-star game. I was going to spike it.’’

But he went spikeless.

“Then when I scored, I forgot to do it,’’ Shimonek said with one of those can-you-believe-that smiles. “I guess I just got caught up in the moment.’’

It was his moment.

He took over at his own 25 with a 32-29 lead and 4:48 left in a see-saw game that had the crowd of 12,185 at Amon Carter Stadium riding right along up-and-down all night.

The South fans were up — way up after the first play from scrimmage on that last drive. Shimonek was sacked, and just-like-that, he faced a second and 20 from his own 15. It was the third time the South sacked him, and the sixth of the night for a defense that was coming fast and hard in the final minutes.

“That was a great drive,’’ Gillespie said. “And he had to start out in a hole after that sack.’’

It seemed like Shimonek was starting in the hole all night — because he was. He completed his first pass on his first play from scrimmage in the first quarter only to see it get wiped out with a block in the back penalty that happened after the catch. It left Shimonek facing a first-and-20.

On the third quarter drive that ended with the bomb to Cantrell, the first play was a pitchout to the tailback, who fumbled and took a four-yard loss. Shimonek was swarmed on the second-and-14 play, but managed to avoid the sack and pick up three yards. Then on third-and-11, he stepped out of the pressure and sent a strike to Cantrell, who and waltzed in untouched.

So when Shimonek’s last drive started with a sack, he just picked himself up and started finding a way to win. He connected with Cantrell over the middle to the 26 and then on third-and-11 he found Lufkin’s Jabryce Taylor, who made a remarkable leaping catch between two defenders. Taylor was incredible all night, setting a record for receiving yards with 226 on 10 receptions. But his high-flying circus 29-yard catch at the 45 was his only reception from Shimonek.

“He ran the wrong route on the play,’’ Shimonek said. “I told him, ‘you better learn that playbook when you get to SMU and run the right route.’ And I told him it was a great catch and told him he’s got great God-given ability to make a catch like that. He is really gifted.’’

Shimonek got hammered after he released the ball, and even the player who hit him — El Campo defensive end Cole Hunt — gained respect for the Mildred QB.

“I hit him hard, and he got back up,’’ Hunt said. “Man that guy can throw. He puts the ball right on the money. He’s a great quarterback. All their quarterbacks can throw.’’

Shimonek felt the it and was on the ground when he looked up and saw Taylor make the catch.

“He hit me hard. I thought my back popped out,’’ Shimonek said.

Two plays later, he got hammered again, but managed to throw a perfect strike to Cantrell over the middle for a 36-yard gain to the 9-yard-line. Then Slick-Nic gave the South the slip — into the end zone.

“Did you see those hits he took? He took two big hits on that drive,’’ Gillespie said. “But he got back up. He got roughed up and kept going. That drive was huge.’’

Shimonek got hit even harder after the game.

Mix in a little history, a little ground-breaking stuff. It packs a wallop.

Shimonek is the first player from Mildred to play in this game, this 79-year-old classic that brings some of the best in Texas together every July.

“I didn’t know that,’’ said Shimonek.

Then he went silent. He wasn’t staggered, just hit hard with the news. He picked himself and threw a completion to Mildred.

“It goes a long way...It’s an honor, such a honor to be here,’’ Shimonek said. “But what it really says, is it says volumes about Mildred, volumes about our program and how far we’ve come. We won our first playoff game in 2A as sophomores, and as juniors we went to the state semifinals, and then this year we got to the state title game. It just speaks volumes about the program.’’

It hit him hard.

Consider Shimonek’s feat: Corsicana has sent 20 to the THSCA All-Star Game, including Otha Langston and Paul Harshaw, who played in the first one back in 1935, and Jon Bauer, who was the Tigers’ last player in this game in 2005.

 But Shimonek is by himself, the lone Eagle.

 And that made every snap he took, every handoff and every pass he threw mean so much more. It’s always like that when history mingles with sports.

He smiled and said he wouldn’t be the last Eagle to play in this game. He meant it.

That’s part of his legacy.

With one foot pointed toward Iowa and his future, Shimonek wanted to talk more about Mildred than what he had done Tuesday night.

Sure, there’s all the awards, district MVPs, back-to-back all-state honors, and the Daily Sun’s Del Thrash Player of the Year Award as the Golden Circle’s best football player. There are numbers stacked as high as Big Tex — 8,215 career passing yards, 99 TDs and a senior season (35 TDs and 2,718 yards and a trip to Cowboys Stadium) no one will forget. But Shimonek’s love for the program and what it meant to him — and will always mean to him — to be an Eagle is the best part of that final drive, that last wave good-bye.

That’s his real legacy.




Text Only
  • 4-16-14NVSBMoerbe slides.jpg Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris

    Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
    She had no idea.
    And she didn't care.
    Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CallieDevinFCA.jpg GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games

    Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-115-14CHSBBMinniear.jpg CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win

    Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
    The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
    They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
    Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • I4-15-14Kellysigns.jpg GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College

    She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
    That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
    The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
    “I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region

    Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a  strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.

    April 15, 2014

  • GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)

    Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.

    April 15, 2014

  • Navarro Softball: Bulldogs sweep Bossier on Sophomore Day

         From a one-sided laugher to a hold-your-breath finish, Navarro’s softball team celebrated Sophomore Day on Saturday in front of its largest crowd of the season.
        The Bulldogs ripped Bossier 14-1 in a five-inning romp and then had to fight for their lives in the second game, finally winning 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with a squeeze bunt that brought home Caitlin Moerbe, who ended the day with a dust-filled slide at the plate.

    April 12, 2014

  • GC Softball: Hubbard, Curtis shut out Axtell 3-0

       For Hubbard’s Olivia Curtis the magic number was 15 -- as in 15 wins and 15 strikeouts.
        But don’t stop counting now. There’s plenty left for Curtis and her Hubbard teammates who have made the most of their stretch run in the district race, and capped off a huge week with a 3-0 win over Axtell on Friday.

    April 11, 2014

  • GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Kerens' Anderson pitches perfect game (ADDS Dawson baseball)

    Brett Anderson threw a five-inning perfect game Friday at home to lead Kerens over Neches 11-0 in a key district game that leaves the Bobcats in first place with a two-game lead.

    April 11, 2014

  • CHS Baseball: Tigers lose to Nacogdoches 4-1

    In a battle for first place in the District16-4A race, Nacogdoches and pitcher Brigham Hill stopped Corsicana’s Tigers 4-1 Friday to take over the lead in the district with a 6-1 record. The Tigers are now 5-2 and face Lindale, which is also 5-2, at Price Field on Tuesday night to try to gain ground in a tough district race.

    April 11, 2014

House Ads
AP Video
Twitter Updates