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Stallard: East Texas has loads of talent ... and unique names

By Jack Stallard
Aug. 10, 2013 at 10 p.m.


Notes, quotes and idle thoughts on a busy week in the world of sports – along with the unveiling of the 25th semi-annual All-Name Team.

Some upcoming dates to remember for football fans:

The ETvarsity.com/News-Journal preseason high school football magazine – The Zone – will publish on Sunday, Aug. 25 in the News-Journal and Marshall News Messenger.

The Zone is all you need to get you ready for the upcoming season, including a composite schedule, previews for 13 East Texas districts (86 total teams), polls, predictions, history and a cover story that's downright beastly (you'll have to pick up The Zone to see what I'm talking about).

We'll follow the preseason Zone with the first of 11 weekly editions of The Zone, beginning on Aug. 30 and running each Friday through Nov. 8.

Also, keep checking ETvarsity.com for a weekly pick-em contest that'll give readers a chance to pick 20 high school football games. Prizes will be announced later.

<strong>ALL-NAME TEAM</strong>

When the Kilgore News Herald hired your trusty scribbler as its sports editor back in 1987, I was told one of my duties was to write a weekly column.

I was 21, still in college and accustomed to putting things off until the last possible minute and that's exactly what I did when it came to my first week on the job. As the seconds ticked away and the deadline approached for my first column, I did a bit of scrambling that would have made Fran Tarkenton (or, for you younger readers, RGIII) proud.

I scanned the media guides and football questionnaires returned by area coaches, selected the most unusual and colorful names and created the first All-Name Team.

The tradition continued for the next 18 seasons at newspapers in Kilgore, Lufkin in Longview. I took two years off when I moved across the newsroom for the 2005 and 2006 seasons to become city editor here at the Longview News-Journal, but the team returned in 2007.

This is not a list to make fun of names, and I think most readers – and those included on the list – understand that. In the previous 24 years, I've had only one person on the list object to being there. Once I explained that I was celebrating his parents' decision to give him a name no one would forget, he embraced the idea.

Over the years, the team has produced such classic names as Kokain Mothershed, Thor Long, Mister Carroll, Hickory Van Winkle, Hercules Tarver, Hunter Hunter and brothers Hunter and Trapper Kessinger.

I've also included players from other sports in the past since it's my list and I can do that. A few of the more memorable ones were basketball players Diamond Jackson, Sparkle Smith, Miracle Fingers and Dixie Land and volleyball player Chevy White.

This year's squad includes high school players <em>Coronado Tolbert</em> of Nacogoches, <em>Douglas Goodnight</em> of Liberty-Eylau, <em>D.Q. Steeles</em> of Liberty-Eylau, <em>KamRon Parks</em> of Center, <em>Ridge Smith</em> of Eustace, <em>Neo Hudson</em> of Redwater, <em>Croix Parrott</em> of Rivercrest, <em>Roper Hunt</em> of Teague, <em>Ranger Wilcoxson</em> of Wills Point, <em>Garrett Lawyer</em> of Athens, <em>Tuff Shores</em> of Whitewright, <em>Soloman Titus</em> of Leonard, <em>Cannon Dean</em> of Alba-Golden, <em>JuneBug Johnson</em> of Waskom, <em>Bricky Reed</em> of Paris, Hitachi Lydia of Troup. Blayze Kowalski of Shelbyville, Mark Blood of Sabine pass, <em>O'Shean (pronounced Ocean) Jagot</em> of Sabine, <em>Hoss Jones</em> of Palestine Westwood, <em>Swaide Houston</em> of Brownsboro and <em>SirCharles Perkins</em> of Pittsburg

College players making the squad are Carson Earp, Money Peterson and <em>Chop Johnson</em> of Navarro, <em>Boston Lewis</em> of Northeastern Oklahoma, <em>Jimbo Bentley</em> of Cisco, <em>Othello Gibson, Jerico Worrell</em> and <em>Goldie Jones</em> of Blinn and <em>Solomon McGinty</em> and <em>Wawa Leota</em> of Tyler.

This year's non-football player on the roster: <em>Indiana Jones</em>, who plays golf at Tatum High School.

<em>(Email: jstallard@news-journal.com; Twitter: @lnjsports).</em>

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