In their first season with a new name and a new coach, the North Central Texas Academy Pioneers football team yielded similar results to years past, finishing 10-2 and reaching the second round of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Six-Man Division II playoffs.
And while they were second in their district, they also happened to be one of the top teams in the state. That’s because the top team in the state (for most of the season anyway), Wichita Falls Notre Dame, also called District 2 home.
As a result, 11 players from NCTA (formerly Happy Hill) were named to the all-district team. The honors were awarded by the league’s coaches.
The first-team offense featured junior Elias Fekadu at center, sophomore Cole Rasco at receiver, senior Josh Torres at running back, senior Angel Tercero at spreadback and senior Caleb Finley at utility back.
The first-team defense includes senior Daniel Nzeakor on the line, Fekadu at linebacker, with Tercero and Rasco at defensive back.
Second-teamers are junior Cale Dodson on the offensive and defensive line, sophomore Jared Dodson on special teams and Torres at linebacker.
Receiving honorable mention were junior kicker Nahom Newland, freshman defensive lineman Matt Torres, sophomore defensive back Tyler Hoskins, Nzeakor at receiver and Jared Dodson at linebacker.
Torres was one of the top six-man rushers around with 1,421 yards and 24 touchdowns on just 102 carries (13.9 average). He also caught 25 passes for 393 yards and six touchdowns, and returned four kicks for touchdowns.
In all, Torres accounted for 2,058 all-purpose yards. He also had four interceptions on defense.
Rasco averaged over 27 yards per catch (14-385) with 13 touchdowns. He also had four interceptions on defense.
Fekadu caught 31 passes for 640 yards and 13 scores, along with 103 tackles and five sacks on defense.
Tercero led the high-powered Pioneers offense, completing 93 of 164 passes (57 percent) for 1,650 yards with 37 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for nearly 500 yards and eight touchdowns, and posted seven interceptions on defense.
Nzeakor (11 sacks) and Cale Dodson (8 sacks) led the Pioneers’ pass rush.
“I am proud of our kids and the season we had,” said Rasco, who took over the team shortly after the last school year ended.
“This (all-district) says a lot about our team and our kids.”
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TAPPS Six-Man Division II
All-District 2 Football Team
North Central Texas Academy selections
First team – C Elias Fekadu, jr.; WR Cole Rasco, soph.; RB Josh Torres, sr.; SB Angel Tercero, sr.; Util Caleb Finley, sr.
Second team – OL Cale Dodson, jr.
Honorable mention – WR Daniel Nzeakor, sr.
First team – DL Nzeakor, LB Fekadu, DB Tercero, DB Rasco.
Second team – DL C. Dodson, LB J. Torres.
Honorable mention – DL Matt Torres, fr.; LB Jared Dodson; DB Tyler Hoskins, soph.
Second team – J. Dodson.
Honorable mention – K Nahom Newland, jr.