2021 Caller-Times All-South Texas Football Team: The Defense

Len Hayward
Corpus Christi Caller Times

2021 All-South Texas Football Team: Defense

CO-DEFENSIVE MVPs

Calallen 17-year-old seniors Colten Calloway, left, and William Burch are the All-South Texas Football Co-Defensive Most Valuable Players of the Year. They stand on the school's football field on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.

Colten Calloway and William Burch, srs., Calallen

The linebacker duo for the Wildcats were among the area's best at their position, it was hard to pick who was better between the two. Calloway finished the season with 111 tackles, 29 unassisted, and also had two sacks, six quarterback hurries, an interception return for a touchdown, four knocked down passes, blocked kick and six tackles for loss. Burch ended the year with 101 tackles, including 23 solo, six quarterback hurries and was second on the team in tackles for loss with 11.  

FIRST TEAM

London's Jacob Charles pose for a portrait, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, at London High School. Charles is a defensive lineman for the team.

DL — Jacob Charles, sr., London

Charles was a steady force for the Pirates in their run to the playoffs this season, while also seeing consistent double teams. He finished the year with 86 tackles, seven tackles, 15 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. 

Gregory-Portland's Khalid Gholsby, center, celebrates his block against McAllen, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, at Ray Akins Wildcat Stadium. Gregory-Portland won, 54-13.

DL — Khalid Gholsby, sr., Gregory-Portland

Gholsby helped to spearhead a resurgent Wildcats defense through 2021 with 92 tackles, 12 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and nine blocked kicks. 

Refugio defensive end Ty LaFrance counter blocks and slips through the offensive line during practice on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 at the High School.

DL — Ty LaFrance, sr., Refugio

LaFrance, who plays both ways for the Bobcats, finished the season with 131 tackles, including 53 for loss and added six quarterback sacks. 

Sinton's Logan Dewald was voted Caller-Times Athlete of the Week for Oct. 12-17, 2020.

DL — Logan Dewald, jr., Sinton

Dewald was the Defensive Lineman of the Year 16-4A Division II with 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, two caused fumbles and six quarterback hurries. 

Miller's Daejon Bisby practices during a drill, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. This is the first week of practice.

DL — Dae'Jon Bisby, sr., Miller

Bisby helped to anchor the Bucs' defense up front, recording 96 tackles, including 25 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in being named the 15-4A Division I Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Rockport-Fulton linebacker Payton McAlister

LB — Payton McAlister, sr., Rockport-Fulton

McAlister was a key part of the Pirates stout defense this season, garnering 139 tackles with three fumbles caused, 12 quarterback hurries, an interception and also scored two defensive touchdowns. And he also added two blocked punts. 

Sinton linebacker Jonathon Morin

LB — Jonathon Morin, sr., Sinton

Morin could be characterized as a tackle machine for the Pirates this season and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 16-4A Division II. He ended the year with 120 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, six sacks and caused three fumbles. He also had two recovered fumbles, broke up three passes and added an interception. 

Veterans Memorial's Romeo Lara runs with the ball during practice, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.

LB — Romeo Lara, sr., Veterans Memorial

Lara has been a key component of the Eagles' defense during his tenure at the school as he garnered 83 tackles, including two for loss in the 2021 season. Lara also added two sacks, a fumble recovery and a caused fumble. 

Flour Bluff linebacker Ben Escamilla

LB — Ben Escamilla, sr., Flour Bluff

Escamilla was an impact player for the Hornets on defense this season with 103 tackles, two sacks, seven tackles for loss, a safety, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and recovered a fumble for a touchdown. 

Alice's Ryan Salas celebrates his touchdown against Miller, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at Buc Stadium. Miller won, 48-44.

DB — Ryan Salas, sr., Alice

Salas was arguably the Coastal Bend's most versatile and dangerous player in all three phases of the game. As a defender, Salas had 55 tackles, picked off two passes, broke up eight passes and added a fumble recovery. Meanwhile, as a receiver he caught 50 passes for 915 yards and nine touchdowns. 

Odem's Marcus Martinez stands on the sideline during the scrimmage against Refugio, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, at Refugio High School.

DB — Marcus Martinez, Odem

Martinez is another multi-talented player that did just about everything for the Owls this season. The District 16-3A Division II most valuable player, Martinez garnered 72 tackles and three interceptions, including one for a touchdown on defense, and rushed for 1,057 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense. 

Veterans Memorial DB Nick Reyes

DB — Nick Reyes, sr., Veterans Memorial

Reyes was part of one of the area's most talented secondaries as he finished the season with four interceptions and also added 61 tackles this season. 

Veterans Memorial's Luke Johnson runs with the ball against Victoria East, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Cabaniss. Veterans Memorial won, 62-22.

DB — Luke Johnson, so., Veterans Memorial

The talented Johnson followed up a solid freshman campaign with an even better sophomore season. He finished second on the team in tackles with 97 and added three tackles for loss. He also added five interceptions.

Refugio's Jordan Kelley runs with the ball against Shiner, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Victoria. Shiner won, 55-14.

ATH — Jordan Kelley, sr., Refugio

About the only thing Kelley didn't do this season was kick extra points for the Bobcats, and he did most everything at a high level. On defense, Kelley garnered 71 tackles playing safety, and he also had 21 tackles for loss, recovered a fumble and broke up 13 passes. He also added five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Offensively, he caught 50 passes for 1,015 yards and 19 touchdowns, and averaged more than 20 yards at kick return. 

Gregory-Portland Gabriel Juarez

ATH — Gabriel Juarez, so., Gregory-Portland

Juarez seemed to be in the right place at the right time for the Wildcats this season. He finished the year with 111 tackles, five sacks, 10 tackles for loss, an interception, forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles and scored two defensive touchdowns. He also blocked three kicks this season to go with scoring seven touchdowns as a fullback. 

Flour Bluff punter Cade Dowd

P — Cade Dowd, sr., Flour Bluff

The Hornets penchant for top of the line special teams continued this season as a Dowd finished the year with a 39.6 yard average per punt, and also had 10 punts finish inside the 20-yard line. 

SECOND TEAM

DL — Jacob Rose, sr., Flour Bluff

DL — Patrick Garcia, sr., West Oso

DL — Jacob Amaro, jr., Three Rivers

DL — Jadon Rodriguez, sr., San Diego

LB — Jaxon Mabile, sr., Ingleside

LB — ER Dedase, sr., Veterans Memorial

LB — Logan Kovall, sr., Calallen

LB — Bryce Foster, sr., Beeville

DB — Kade Wood, sr., Calallen

DB — Josh Suarez, jr., Taft

DB — James Durham, sr., Gregory-Portland

DB — God Pyeatt, sr., Sinton

DB — Antwaan Gross, sr., Refugio

ATH — Ricky Franks, sr., Rockport-Fulton

P — Joshua Sanchez, jr., Falfurrias

THIRD TEAM

DL — Luis Aguilar, sr., Rockport-Fulton

DL — Gabe Varela, sr., Flour Bluff

DL — Ernest Hinojosa, jr., Flour Bluff

DL — Eli Pizana, sr., Odem

DL — Jacob Gomez, sr., Taft

LB — Noah Ramirez, sr., Odem

LB — Cutter Scarborough, sr., Banquete

LB — Michael Vick Barrera, sr., King

LB — Brodie Mitchell, so., Gregory-Portland

LB — Joe Moreno, sr., Rockport-Fulton

LB — Jaime Norman, sr., Alice

DB — Clarence McGill, sr., Moody

DB — Michael Soto, jr., Gregory-Portland

DB — Jacob Villarreal, sr., Falfurrias

DB — Diego Rodriguez, sr., Odem

ATH — Victor Gonzales, sr., Beeville

HONORABLE MENTION

Defensive line — Jacob Falcon, jr., Bishop; Jeremiah Molina, sr., Sinton; Dillon Davila, sr., Gregory-Portland; Xaiden Veliz, jr., Mathis; Nicolas Guerrero, Veterans Memorial; Patrick McNorton, London; Miguel Saenz, so., Alice

LB — Phillip Krupa, sr., Rockport-Fulton; Adrian Ayala, fr., Moody; Aidan Moody, so., Sinton; Tyler Ramirez, jr., Sinton; Rigoverto Sanchez, sr., Three Rivers

DB — Ryan Martinez, sr., Moody; Rayshawn Nickles, sr., West Oso; Ray Perez, jr., Sinton; Brody Rogers, sr., Calallen

Athlete — Zachary Davis, sr., Three Rivers; Leo Villarreal, Ingleside; JR Cruz, sr., Sinton; Devan Phillips, Rockport-Fulton

Len Hayward is a USA Today Sports Network Region sports director and the Caller-Times sports editor. Support more coverage like this by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe