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DAINGERFIELD, Texas - Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Lone Star State, Daingerfield, Texas has a long, proud tradition of gridiron greatness.
The powerful 2A program counts first ever Thorpe Award winner Thomas Everett among its alums, and the 1983 Tiger squad is considered by many to be the best high school team in Texas history. NFL players have walked the halls and even a Parade All-American.
On Monday morning Daingerfield added another honor as linebacker Steve Edmond was named a 2011 U.S. Army All-American.
"It's a huge honor. It's a huge honor for this school, it's a huge honor for my coaching staff and obviously it's a huge honor for Steve," Daingerfield head coach Barry Bowman said. "There are not many times in your coaching career that you get the opportunity to coach a kid who is No. 1, the caliber of kid he is first to go along with the caliber of player he is. It is truly an honor."
It is a big honor and Edmond admits it took him a little while longer to get to sleep than normal on Sunday night.
"Yeah I was probably thinking about it until two or one in the morning and I finally went to sleep," Edmond said. "Then I woke up around 6 and just singing to myself in the shower."
As the first Daingerfield Tiger to be named an Army All-American, Edmond is excited about the opportunity to continue carry the banner for the Tiger program to San Antonio.
"It means a lot. I'm really trying to make the town proud and show everyone what I really have," he said. "It means more since I'm the first person from my town to ever do this, so I really have to make my town proud."
There is little doubt Edmond will do make the hometown proud, just as he has done both on and off the field over the years.
On the field Edmond has been a key member of back-to-back state championship squads, and has helped lead the Tigers to a 9-1 record in 2010 as they prepare for the playoffs. As a junior he amassed 182 tackles and 34 TFLs, and is well on his way to a repeat performance as a senior.
As much of a man among boys as he seems on the field, Edmond has no problem staying humble and grounded off the field.
"Steve is just a kid that's the thing," Bowman said. "He loves to fish. He's just a kid. He loves being with his friends and his buddies, and it just so happens he's a pretty awesome football player as well."
He is ranked No. 20 in the latest Rivals100 and the No. 3 outside linebacker in the country. He committed to the Texas Longhorns in February and when he arrives in San Antonio will join fellow Texas commitments Jaxon Shipley, Malcolm Brown, and Kendall Thompson, who have each been announced as members of the West squad.
"I'm ready to play with them so I can see what they have and see what we have when we get to Texas," he said.
Edmond joins an Army All-American list which includes standout linebacker such as Derrick Johnson, Keith Rivers, and Brandon Spikes, and he is ready to show what he can do in the Alamodome at noon on Saturday, January 8, 2011 live on NBC.
"I'm proud to call myself [an Army All-American], so I'm really just going to try and play well when I get there," Edmond said.