The Aledo Bearcat football team became the first UIL 11-man squad and just the second UIL team to clinch a ninth state title with the team’s win against Missouri City Fort Bend Marshall last month.
Aledo Head Coach Tim Buchanan, who returned to the helm of Bearcat football after being the school’s athletic director for five years, said his players consistently put in the work and gave the needed effort to be successful, something which paid off during the game.
“For this group to win the ninth state football championship for this school is special,” Buchanan said. “Again, they worked their tails off.”
Aledo is also being recognized for its play in District 5-5A, D-II, which the team finished with a perfect 8-0 record in, with 25 all-district selections, including four superlatives, 12 first-team selections and nine second-team selections.
Senior quarterback Jake Bishop led the way for the Bearcats, taking home MVP honors after a campaign which eventually ended with a comprehensive stat line of 225-of-316 for 3,881 yards and 42 TDs to three interceptions, in addition to another 496 rushing yards and six TDs on 87 carries.
Bishop showed great rapport with another superlative winner, teammate and junior wideout JoJo Earle, who earned Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Earle was equally dangerous in the receiving game as well as the ground game, putting up 2,030 total yards from scrimmage, good for 429 rushing yards (and 11 TDs) as well as 1,601 receiving yards (and another 15 scores).
Aledo was also well-represented in the district’s superlative category by its defense, with junior defensive back Demarco Roberts earning Utility Player of the Year while sophomore safety Bryan Allen Jr. was recognized with Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
The Bearcats took home six offensive and defensive first-team selections apiece.
Aledo previous state titles came in 1998, 2009-2011, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
— Madelyn Edwards