NAVASOTA, TX -- The Navasota High School football team has finished No. 28 nationally for the 2012 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 16,000 high school varsity football teams.
Navasota completed a perfect 16-0 season with a 39-3 trouncing of Gilmer of Dec. 21 to win its first 3A-Division II state championship since the school started fielding a football team back in 1909. Navasota is one of 50 schools being honored on the eighth annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.
"For nearly a decade, MaxPreps and the Army National Guard have honored America's finest high school football teams with the prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said MaxPreps President and Founder Andy Beal. "Coach Fedora and the Navasota Rattlers have proven on the field that they are among the nation's truly elite high school football teams."
"With all of the different media groups out there, MaxPreps is the one place I go every week to prepare for our next opponent. Their information is great and it's an honor to win this award," said Navasota head football coach Lee Fedora, who completed his eighth season.
It was a banner year for the Rattlers, whose average margin of victory was nearly 38 points per game. Senior quarterback Kadarius Baker sparked the team's spread no-huddle offense by passing for 4,411 yards and 55 touchdowns and he ran for five more scores. Senior Xavier Creeks was the team's leading ground-gainer with 1,017 yards and eight TDs while Baker's top receivers were seniors Austin Collins (91 receptions for 1,774 yards and 27 TDs) and Solomon McGinty (87-1,710, 20 TDs).
Opposing offenses were snake-bitten by a host of defensive playmakers including senior linebackers Dustin Savensky and Jaylyin Minor. Savensky led the unit 187 tackles, including 54 for losses and had a pair of pass interceptions. Minor was a major contributor to the defense that allowed only 110 points the entire season (6.8 per game) and shut out five opponents, including four straight. He made 171 stops (52 TFL), had nine quarterback sacks and forced seven fumbles.
Junior tackle Jordan Wells led the team with 15 sacks, had 164 tackles (67 TFL) and caused eight fumbles while senior end Jake Baker pitched in with 133 tackles (33 TFL) and nine sacks.
Texas Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major Mark Weedon presented Coach Fedora and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a school assembly on Thursday morning. The team also received a banner for their accomplishment.
"For eight years the Army National Guard has recognized nationally ranked football teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said LTC Christian J. Johnson of the Army National Guard. "We take great pride in doing so because it symbolizes the indomitable spirit common to high school athletes and the U.S. Soldier. It is our honor to share this symbol with the team, coaches, parents, and school. It is an award for the entire community and is much deserved."
MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program, known as the Freeman Rankings, to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.