QB tops Pirate football honors
Ryan Suitt was no ordinary sophomore.
In his first varsity season, he was tabbed as the starting quarterback on a Class 4A playoff team.
In fact, he was a major reason the Granbury Pirates were a playoff team for a third consecutive season. Suitt passed for 1,687 yards with 14 touchdowns opposite 10 interceptions. Of the 217 passes he threw, 121 found their mark, 56 percent.
In all, Suitt was the ninth-rated passer in the Fort Worth area.
For this he was named the District 7-4A Offensive Newcomer of the Year by the coaches in the league.
“Ryan fit into that spot really well and was certainly worthy of that honor,” said Granbury coach Scotty Pugh of the first underclassmen to start for him at quarterback in his five seasons at the helm.
“He’s cool under pressure. He played like somebody who’s had two or three varsity seasons under him.”
Suitt is one of 25 Pirates honored by the league.
First-team selections are senior offensive lineman Juan Gutierrez, sophomore kicker Jacob Rose, senior linebacker Caleb Bendewald and junior cornerback Kevin Hennard.
Rose was perfect this season, 40-for-40 on extra points and 5-for-5 on field goals with a long kick of 44 yards. Hennard, along with his play in the defensive backfield, was also one of the more prolific kick returners in the district.
Second-team choices are senior running back Justice Love, senior wide receiver Brandon Fichter, sophomore wide receiver Nick Doughty, senior offensive lineman Austin Bradley, junior center Garrett King, junior utility player Daniel Arnett, senior defensive lineman Brandon Lane, junior defensive end Tristen Gilmore, junior inside linebacker Dakota Doucet, and senior outside linebacker Nathan Urbanovsky.
With 16 touchdowns for 96 points, Love was one of the Fort Worth area’s top scorers, and he rushed for 832 yards with 26 receptions for 296 yards. Fichter, a move-in from Grand Prairie, was most effective in the wildcat formation, accumulating 767 total yards (358 rushing, 409 receiving) and Doughty was the team’s top receiver with 31 catches for 470 yards.
Ten Pirates were also honorable mentions, sophomores Evan Sledge and Taylor Petty, juniors Alex Brown, Ian McMasters and Skylar Baskin, and seniors Kwaun Shaw, Mike Milson, Barry Beadle, Blake Wooten and Zach Scott.
Baskin hauled in 17 passes for 302 yards.
Pugh said the many honors are yet another sign that respect for the Pirate program continues to grow among coaches. Only one time in GHS history has a team made more consecutive playoff appearances (1965-68).
Before this current streak of playoff appearances, the Pirates had gone over three decades without a bidistrict appearance. The closest they came was a district zone playoff in the late 1980s, but that is not recognized by the University Interscholastic League as a postseason appearance.
“The big thing is we’re continuing to improve,” said Pugh. “It’s important for these youngsters to know the coaches respect their performances and appreciate what they did.
“I’m proud of all of them, and it’s a sign we’re doing good things out here.”
Wide receiver Robbie Rhodes of runner-up Southwest and quarterback Pate Davis of district champion Aledo shared league most valuable player honors.
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All-District 7-4A Football Team
Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Ryan Suitt, QB, soph.
OL Juan Gutierrez, sr.; K Jacob Rose, soph.
ILB Caleb Bendewald, sr.; CB Kevin Hennard, jr.
RB Justice Love, sr.; WR Brandon Fichter, sr.; WR Nick Doughty, soph.; OL Austin Bradley, sr.; C Garrett King, jr.; Util Daniel Arnett, jr.
DL Brandon Lane, sr.; DE Tristen Gilmore, jr.; ILB Dakota Doucet, jr.; OLB Nathan Urbanovsky, sr.
Evan Sledge, soph.; Taylor Petty, soph.; Alex Brown, jr.; Ian McMasters, jr.; Skylar Baskin, jr.; Kwaun Shaw, sr.; Mike Milson, sr.; Barry Beadle, sr.; Blake Wooten, sr.; Zach Scott, sr.