By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The 2017 football season came to an end for the Grapeland Sandies on Friday, Dec. 1, but what a season it was!

While the Sandies finished third in District 11-AA DII, Grapeland managed to upend the Evadale

Rick Frauenberger

Rebels (runners-up in District 12-AA DII) in the Bi-District round of the playoffs.

The next week, the Sandies thumped the Cumby Trojans (District 9-AA DII chaps) by a final score of 49-34 to capture the Area Championship.

Grapeland’s playoff run came to an end Friday, Dec. 1 with a loss to the Timpson Bears. Even though the loss was hard to take, the Sandies finished their season with a record of 8-5.

Along the way, the Sandies earned the Dave Campbell Texas Football Army Values Team of the Week after their last minute win over Evadale and had their best season since 2008.

BJ Howard

The team was led by junior QB Rick Frauenberger who finished the year with 170 completions on 280 attempts for 2,904 yds. Frauenberger also threw 29 touchdowns to only nine interceptions.     

Frauenberger’s favorite target was freshman WR B.J. Howard. While Howard missed several games because of injury, he finished the season with 44 receptions for 1,032 yards and eight touchdowns.

Another key component in the Grapeland offensive attack was senior running back Brannon Bedre. Bedre led the Sandies ground game with 133 carries for 1,091 yards and 17 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Josh “Bear” Ackley was a stopper for Grapeland. Ackley led the team with 174 tackles, which included 17 tackles for a loss. He also had two interceptions, one

Grapeland Defense

sack and one fumble recovery.    

Joining Ackley in the linebacking corps was Aaron Davis who finished the year 114 tackles, including 12 tackles for a loss. Davis also had three sacks and three forced fumbles. 

In the trenches, senior nose guard Tanner Keith recorded 91 tackles and seven sacks. He also had 12 tackles for a loss and forced five fumbles.

Ashton Henry, a senior defensive end, joined Keith to form a potent one-two punch for the Grapeland defense. Henry finished the year with 93 tackles, including nine tackles for a loss. He also recorded five sacks.

Congratulations to all these players and the rest of their teammates and coaching staff for a great season!

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at