Stephenville linebacker Padyn Giebler has already had a first-team all-state season.

He's been to the playoffs, winning an outright district title and reaching the area round as a sophomore before advancing to the 4A Division II state quarterfinals as a junior.

Giebler has scored a defensive touchdown, and he's had a season with more than 100 tackles.

There's only one void, the senior says, in his high school career.

"I've done just about everything," said Giebler. "The only thing missing is a state championship."

Filling that void is at the top of Giebler's goal sheet as he prepares to join teammates for the opening day of two-a-day practices next Monday.

"It's the most I've ever looked forward to a season," said Giebler, who made 138 tackles including 26 behind the line to earn first-team all-state honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association.

Giebler says he never dreamed of being an all-state player as a junior.

"I was just trying to do my part," he said. "I was surprised when I heard (about the all-state selection)."

He may not have dreamed of it before the season last year, but when the honor was announced, he knew exactly what it meant for this season.

"The expectations are definitely higher," he said. "The last couple years I've had great seniors playing around me, so I've just looked up to those guys. Now, I'm in that role, trying to be a good leader."

Giebler was a carefree sophomore just following the guidance of seniors such as fellow linebacker Michael Price two seasons ago. Last year, it was Jared Slemmons' turn to lead the linebackers. Now that responsibility belongs to Giebler.

Not that he's the only senior in the group. Holton Westbrook, a two-year starting safety, is moving to the other inside linebacker spot in the Jackets' vaunted 3-4 defensive attack. One of the outside linebacker spots is held down by Witt Westbrook, a junior who starred at receiver last year and will still see time on the offensive side of the ball this fall.

But with Holton changing positions, Witt having played solely on offense in 2010 and the fourth starter still to be determined after Tyler Floyd suffered a baseball injury over the summer, it's clear who the leader is in the linebacking core.

"I understand the position I'm in now, and I'm okay with that," he said. "I just want to do everything right and lead by example."

That's exactly what Giebler - and numerous others - have been doing this summer.

"One of the great things we have going here in Stephenville is we always have a lot of guys up here doing conditioning and just hanging out over the summer," he said. "That's big because we'll be ready to go when two-a-days start, and because our chemistry is so strong.

"That's one thing you know you're going to find in Stephenville is a bunch of guys who aren't afraid to work hard," Giebler added. "We're never the most talented, we don't have the best athletes, but we're willing to do all the little things a lot of people aren't willing to do. Hopefully that hard work will pay off."

The pay off, especially for Giebler and the seniors, would be the opportunity to once again contend for a state title, and he's determined to set the pace as the 2011 Jackets strive to achieve that goal.

"I just want to be able to look back and say I gave it everything I had - blood, sweat and tears," he said. "If all that leads to a fairytale ending, that would be great."

A fairytale ending would mean only one thing - a state championship.