The 2019 All-Golden Circle football team not only honors the best players in the Golden Circle, but it highlights a season to remember -- a season that marked a new era at Corsicana High, where Hal Wasson returned to the Golden Circle to coach the Tigers, fresh beginnings at Mildred, Blooming Grove and Frost, where Duke Dalton (Mildred), Ervin Chandler (BG) and Randy Fulton (Frost) took over the programs -- and a new day at Dawson, where coach Ronnie Striplin led the Bulldogs to their best season since 2005 and a drive to the third round of the playoffs.
In a rare decision this year's Del Thrash Award winner, which is given to the GC Player of the Year, was won by two players as Corsicana teammates Drew Denbow and Tyler Farmer were named the co-recipients of the award.
Here's a look at the top players in the Golden Circle
Del Thrash winners
Drew Denbow, Senior, Corsicana
It would be impossible to find anyone in the Golden Circle who had the kind of Swiss-Knife season Drew Denbow had in 2019.
But his talent and versatility are only a fraction of why Denbow is the perfect choice as the Co-recipient of this year's Del Thrash Award.
Simply put, Denbow embodies class and character, a big-time player who has that run-through-a-brick- wall for the team mentality, a teammate and leader who plays the game with heart and desire.
And he's been doing it for three years. He was an impact player the minute he stepped on the field as a starter at receiver as a sophomore.
Denbow didn't just do everything in 2019 for the Tigers, who had him at quarterback in the spring and then moved him to take advantage of all of his versatility for a team with too many holes to fill. Denbow filled them up in memorable fashion, playing receiver and safety and also lining up at quarterback under center and also in the Wildcat formation. as well as running the ball. He made the All-District first-team as a safety and made the All-District second-team as a receiver.
Denbow has always been a leader on and off the field, and he is that player — that one of a kind kid who is a big play waiting to happen.
Not only is Denbow a two-way starter at the 5A level, where 99 percent of the best players start one way, but he has proven throughout his career with the Tigers that he can break a game open at any moment with a highlight tape catch as a receiver or with a big hit on defense as a safety.
His one-handed catch in the season opener turned heads, and his game winning touchdown catch in the final seconds at North Forney was one of the best plays of the season — and he had to make the catch twice (the first TD was wiped out with a late flag so Denbow just lined up and made the TD catch on fourth down again).
He did the same thing in the playoffs against Braswell, catching a touchdown pass and then lining up again after a late flag wiped out the play. This time Denbow dazzled everyone when somehow he was able to stop on a dime and adjust at the last second to a pass that had been deflected, making a remarkable play look easy.
He spent three seasons being Mr. Clutch and Mr. Right for the Tigers and topped off a brilliant career with an unselfish season to remember — one to remember for all the right reasons.
Tyler Farmer, Senior, Corsicana
Coaches and defensive coordinators dream of having a linebacker like Tyler Farmer — that unique player who brings power and speed and savvy and heart to every play, every game.
If the Corsicana defense had a face, it was Farmer's — a face that defined everything the Tiger D wanted to be, a face and a force that will be missed as much anyone who has ever played and graduated from the program.
Farmer didn't just have another great season to top off a mountain of a career with the Tigers. He had three spectacular seasons, and took over as a leader when he was a sophomore — and then never slowed down.
Farmer was the Golden Circle Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore, and the GC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. It was a no-brainer to make him the 2019 Del Thrash Award winner, and made even more sense to have a rare situation of honoring co-recipients of the award as the Player of the Year in the Golden Circle.
Farmer and Drew Denbow share so much, and now they share this award. Everyone who has followed the Tigers knows why.
Farmer has been a difference-making game changer from Day 1.
The Tigers will not look like the Tigers in 2020. That's how much of a hole Farmer will leave. He left every team he played knowing his name, and by his junior season opponents were building game plans to avoid him. But if you saw Farmer play you know he was everywhere he needed to be, Friday night after Friday night, a vocal and powerful leader making game-changing plays and helping lift the Tigers to prominence.
When Hal Wasson took over as the Tigers head coach in January one of the first comments he made about his team was about Farmer when in one of his early interviews, Wasson simply said: “Tyler Farmer's a special player.”
Farmer didn't just make big plays, he made everyone around him better, and when he wasn't stopping the other guys he was encouraging the Tigers — a loud and strong voice who pushed everyone around him, and pushed himself more than anyone.
He was that kind of player, that kind of leader and teammate. The only thing Farmer loved more than making a big play was winning. It was always all about the team, all about taking the next step as a program, all about putting Tiger football first.
That's the way Farmer played the game, with his motor running at full throttle all night — knocking down players and raising expectations, picking off passes and pushing for more, always lifting his team and his teammates.
Ronnie Striplin was named the GC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
He was the 2018 Co-Coach along with Corsicana's Steve Hoffman.
Striplin has turned the program upside down in just three seasons at Dawson, where he took over a program that had won three games in the previous seven years, and changed everything with a hard-nose, hard-work, discipline-first approach that helped lift the program off its feet and into the playoffs.
The Bullldogs, who had not been in the playoffs for eight years, made their second playoff appearance in a row in 2019 and marched to the third round for the first time since 2005 and only the third time since the program began in 1960.
Mildred junior Bishop Harris is the 2019 Mike Montfort Offensive Player of the Year.
Harris, who was a Newcomer of the Year last season, exploded in Duke Dalton's offense and led the Golden Circle in rushing, gaining 2,134 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns for one of the most prolific ground games in Texas.
Rice junior linebacker Brycen Clark was a terror on defense and was the 2019 GC Defensive Player of the Year.
Clark was everywhere on the field and finished the season with 96 tackles, including 62 solos. He made 12 tackles for losses and six sacks, forced five fumbles, recovered a fumble and blocked a kick. He also picked off three interceptions and had seven pass deflections.
Dawson's Bulldogs won 10 games and several Dawson players were honored on the All-Golden Circle team.
Quarterback Brendan Horner, a four-year starter who was the heart of Dawson's team and a leader on and off the field, won the GC Dick Gibbs Leadership Award for carrying the team all season and helping make every player better. Horner, who started both ways and almost never left the field, made 20 tackles in Dawson's final game of the season.
Dawson's Jakoby Moore, a four-year starter, was named the GC's Most Versatile Player after rushing for 765 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 9.8 yards per carry and leading the secondary with two interceptions and running back kicks, including three punt returns for touchdowns.
Dawson's Body Martinez, a two-way starter, who was a key blocker on offense, where the Bulldogs rushed for more than 4,000 yards, and a terror on defense, where he made 74 tackles, including eight for losses and 4 1/2 sacks was a Co-Randy Green Heart award winner, splitting the award with, a junior tailback and linebacker who was the heart for a close Rice team and went above and beyond all year.
Hubbard quarterback Logan Morris, who meant everything to the Jaguars during his career at Hubbard, topped off a brilliant run his senior season as one of the top players in the Golden Circle on both sides of the ball. Morris threw for more than 1,500 yards and ran for more than 700 yards was one of the best defensive backs in the Golden Circle and was a leader on and off the field for the Jaguars. He was the All-District and All-Golden Circle quarterback for the past two years.
Morris is the 2019 GC Iron Man, the award for the best-two-way player in the Golden Circle.
Newcomers of the year.
There were several GC Newcomers of the Year, including all three sophomore who made up Corsicana's backfield. Damarius Daniels, who rushed for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns and Anthony Young, who ran for 626 yards, including 195 in the Tigers' playoff game, and quarterback Solomon James, who threw for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns, were all Newcomers of the Year along with Corsicana senior defensive end Ricky Olvera, who had a breakout year. Blooming Grove sophomore tailback Jalen Coleman, who was the 7-3A DII Newcomer of the Year, was also a GC Newcomer of the Year. Kerens freshman DaDa Davis, who was the 9-2A DI Special Teams Player of the Year, and Kerens senior tailback C.J. Davis, who was a 9-2A DI All-District first-team player, were both GC Newcomers of the Year.