The Sanchez brothers left their mark in their final high school football season as teammates. Together, the Seminole duo of Jesse Sanchez and Sammy Micco Sanchez combined for more than 1,000 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns for the Fort Gibson Tigers in Oklahoma.
“Both kids are real tough kids,” said Fort Gibson coach Greg Whiteley, whose team finished its season in November with a 4-6 record.
Jesse Sanchez, a senior tailback, saved his best season for last. He was the team’s leading rusher with 843 yards and seven touchdowns.
“A really sound and good season. I was really pleased with him,” Whiteley said. “He was our guy. He did a super job for us. A great kid; a good team player. We’ll miss him a lot.”
Jesse was just about unstoppable in a win against Stilwell in September. He rushed for 201 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns.
“That was his best game,” Whiteley said. “We told him ‘we’re just going to hand you the ball all game. He said ‘yes, sir.’”
The next week Jesse generated 119 yards in a loss against Poteau. In all, he topped the century mark in three games.
“He’s real quick and has good speed. He’s hard to hit,” Whiteley said.
Fort Gibson didn’t win its senior night, but Jesse’s final home high school game still carried plenty of significance as family members from Fort Gibson, including his mom Alicia Cabal and stepdad Frank Cabal, watched from the stands alongside other relatives from as far as Tennessee and Florida. Jesse’s brother Andrew Henry came in from Tampa. Jesse’s sister Becca Conrey, from Tennessee, made special shirts for the family in Fort Gibson’s grey and red colors that read “Sanchez Squad #3” on the back.
At times, Jesse’s lead blocks and open holes came from his brother Sammy Micco Sanchez, a junior fullback/inside linebacker who excelled on both sides of the ball as the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder continued to emerge as a force in his third year on the varsity level.
“He’s probably going to be heavily recruited to play linebacker in college. Several Division I schools are looking at him. He’s got great speed,” Whiteley said.
On defense, Sammy notched 89 tackles, including 41 solo, and three sacks. On offense, he was the go-to guy in short yardage and goal line situations. He finished with 189 yards. His six touchdowns were second only to his older brother.
“He’s big, physical and hard to tackle,” Whiteley said.
Although this season marked the final one for Jesse, Whiteley and Fort Gibson can look forward to having Sammy for one more year.