School Spotlight: Gilmer High School (Gilmer, TX)

Gilmer High School is a public 4A classification by the University Interscholastic League. The school is located in a town just north of Longview called Gilmer, Texas. The Buckeyes have built themselves into one of the best football programs in East Texas. Talent, with the combination of great coaching, has made Gilmer a state contender every year. The team has seen recent state championships in 2004, 2009, and most recently in 2014. After being state championship finalist in 2020 and 2021, the Buckeyes are looking to make it back to the title game this December. “That’s the expectation year in and year out”- Coach Metzel. Gilmer and it’s athletes have expectations every year to win a state championship.

The head coach for the Buckeyes is Coach Alan Metzel. He is going into his third year as the head coach, previously the offensive coordinator beforehand. Metzel made stops around the East Texas area at schools like Harmony, Pleasant Grove, and Pine Tree before landing back at Gilmer for his second term for the program. The Buckeyes contain one of the best coaching staffs in the state. The defensive coordinator is Coach Tommy Edwards, who has state championships at Gilmer. He has been on the coaching staff for the Buckeyes since 2004. The offensive minds for the team are coaches Kerry Lane and Brody Lipsey. One of the newer coaches on staff is offensive line Coach Weston Griffis. He was the Head Coach for Spring Hill High School last year. They helped lead one of the best offenses this past season for the Buckeyes.

Gilmer Football Team (Photo courtesy of The Gilmer Mirror)

Here are some of the returners for Gilmer this upcoming season.

Will Henderson is a 5’9 170 speedster that plays running back for Gilmer. Henderson, the multisport athlete, is coming off a 1,000 yard season in his first year on varsity. Holds offers from Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Texas State, and others.

Ta’Erik Tate is one of the returning senior receivers for the team. Another multisport athlete, 6’1 180, has great speed and ability to go up and catch the football. The receiver’s release is great which benefits him in making 1v1 plays happen. Holds offers from UTSA, Texas State, and others.

Aron Bell is a returning senior linebacker and fullback for the Buckeyes this fall. A great 6’0 245 built linebacker that can get to the quarterback and also drop back in coverage. Bell is very physical player on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. He will be a very important piece for the Buckeyes in their run for a state championship.

Lucas Cano is a big piece of the offensive line that is returning. A very explosive kid that helped lead 2 of his running backs to 1,000 yard seasons this past season. Cano is a 6’3 285 class of 2025 lineman that has started since his freshman year. Holds offers from SMU, Incarnate Word, and others.

Cadon Tennison is coming off his first year starting at quarterback for the Buckeyes. Tennison is a 5’9 175 class of 2025 kid that can throw the ball all over the field very well. As an opposing defense, you don’t want Cadon to get out of the pocket or he will exploit the defense all night. First team all-district as a sophomore. His brother Brandon, former Buckeye, currently plays at UTSA. Holds offers from SMU, UTSA, and others.