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SAN ANTONIO, February 13, 2014— It’s no secret that Texas high schools produce some of the greatest college and professional football players. The 2013 season is no exception and many of the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week will go on to prestigious careers, following their predecessors.
On Saturday, February 8, Ford Motor Company recognized seven Texas high school football stars as the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Year for the 2013 season. The athletes were:
Class 5-A (tie): Kyle Murray, Jr., QB, Allen
Class 5-A (tie): Desmon White, Sr., QB, DeSoto
Class 4-A: Patrick Mahomes, Sr., QB, Whitehouse
Class 3-A: Blake Bogenschutz, Sr., QB, Carthage
Class 2-A: Travis Quintanilla, Sr., QB, Refugio
Private Schools: Foster Sawyer, QB, Fort Worth All Saints’ Episcopal
These athletes are among a long list of players recognized for outstanding efforts on and off the field. They are now among the likes of Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, a likely top five pick in this spring’s NFL draft, and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, a Baylor alumnus. Other past winners include Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers, Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead, and Johnathan Gray of UT, the only two-time Built Ford Tough Texas HS Football Player of the Year.
This is the eighth consecutive year that Ford Motor Company is recognizing six outstanding student-athletes each week during the 2013 season. The Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program honors one student-athlete in six of the state’s athletic classifications every week during the high school football regular season for his accomplishments on and off the field.
Following are capsule summaries on the Player of the Year winners:
Class 5-A (tie): Kyler Murray, Jr., Quarterback, Allen: The word of the day around Allen is ”three-peat.” And if quarterback Kyler Murray has another year like he did last year, it’s well within the realm of possibility. Murray led the Eagles to a perfect 16-0 mark and the 5-A Division 1 state title in 2013, completing 207 of 325 passes for whopping 3,669 yards and rushing 151 times for 1,274 yards. Combined with his sophomore numbers (2,004 passing yards, 1,370 rushing yards and his first state title), the 5-10, 160-pound flyer is destined to do substantial damage to the state record books. The son of former A&M QB Kevin Murray, Kyler was this year’s Gatorade Texas Player of the Year and the first-team quarterback on USA Today’s All-American team. Road crews around Allen are advised to be on special alert. Recruiters from every FBS university are already beating a path to his door, with A&M, Clemson, Florida, Oregon, and Texas Tech (alphabetically) in the lead at this time. Allen will likely be ranked #1 in the country when the 2014 polls hit the newsstands.
It’s not surprising that Kyler is attracting as much attention as he has on the recruiting front. The owner of a B+ academic average, he’s an all-district baseball player, who also participates in the Reading with the Eagles program, directed at Allen’s elementary school kids.
“What’s most amazing is the way we came out of the blocks and the way Kyler was able to maintain that consistency over 16 weeks,” raved Coach Tom Westerberg. “Kyler performed at a high level despite playing banged up and didn’t allow it to affect the way he played and practiced. He’s looking for perfection whether that’s running a better route or making a more accurate throw. Kyler is blessed with great genes but he couldn’t be more different than his father, who is outward and dynamic. Kyler is quiet and is motivated by actions; he comes from a great family, who will keep his feet on the ground.”
Class 5-A (tie): Desmon White, Sr., Quarterback, DeSoto: Desmon White is certainly the mighty mite. At only 5-6 and 140 pounds, White seemed headed for Division II when last season began. By the time it ended, in a heart-breaking 42-35 loss to eventual champion Allen in the 5-A Division 1 semi-final, Desmon had leaped into the national FBS picture, ultimately landing at TCU. Think Gary Patterson saw something special in White? You bet. In 15 games, Desmon completed 248 of 369 passes for 3,827 yards and 39 TDs (against only seven INTs). He also rushed 188 times for 1,917 yards and 19 scores. For one of the quickest players in the state, it was a second-straight trip to the semi-finals. In 2012, he passed for 3,521 yards and ran for 1,335, though RB Dontre Wilson was the main man for the Eagles. Though White may end up at a position other than quarterback in college, he leaves a legacy at DeSoto with 8,095 passing yards, 81 passing TDs, 4,071 rushing yards, and 41 rushing scores.
White’s recruitment began with a verbal to North Texas but when the TCU Horned Frogs appeared he was convinced to sign a national letter-of-intent. Though he hopes to play quarterback in college, most feel he’ll be a receiver and return specialist. He maintains a solid B+ average while running track—he runs on two sprint relay teams—in the spring. Desmon also reads to DeSoto elementary school children and is involved with his church.
“You can argue that Desmon is the most electrifying player to come out of the Metroplex,” says Coach Claude Mathis. “He’s special player who you could sit back, watch, and enjoy the moment … unless you we were an opposing defensive coordinator. The bigger the game, the more Dez wanted the ball in his hands. He wanted to be a difference-maker. He isn’t a vocal leader but if a game went sour he spoke up and the kids listened. He made everyone better and his teammates always responded.”
Class 4-A: Patrick Mahomes, Sr., Quarterback, Whitehouse: If the scuttlebutt from major-league scouts means anything, Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes may have thrown in last pass. If so, he had one heckuva football career. The son of former major-league pitcher Pat Mahomes, Patrick (whose fastball has been clocked in the mid-90s) almost led the Wildcats to the promised land, falling in the third round 65-60 to Mesquite Poteet. You can imagine that the folks at Texas Tech will be watching the MLB Draft, hoping against hope that Mahomes’ name isn’t called until the second day or so! Patrick wound up his senior season completing 287 of 495 passes for a whopping 4,619 yards and 50 TDs. He also rushed 148 times for another 895 yards and nine more TDs.
A shortstop/centerfielder/pitcher on the baseball team and an outstanding basketball player, Patrick knows that college football can be part of his life, whether it’s next year or sometime in the future. His 94% academic average assures that.
“Patrick is the quintessential competitor,” says Coach Adam Cook. “He started with us as a free safety, then became the starting QB in an intense competition with one of his best friends. He’s the main reason we ended up 12-1 this year. Even in our third-round loss, he threw for more than 600 yards. We might have won that one too had his last pass not deflected off a receiver’s hands into an interception. Whether it’s football or baseball, Patrick has a brilliant future ahead of him. I can only tell you that in my first year as a head coach here, I was fortunate to have a leader like Mahomes. I know that he’s going to want to share this award with his teammates. He’s a young man who simply loves to please people.
Class 3-A: Blake Bogenschutz, Sr., Quarterback, Carthage: Carthage fans may have trouble spelling the name of their heroic quarterback, but they certainly know how to cheer for him. Blake led the Bulldogs to the Class 3-A, Division I state title in 2013, putting up huge numbers along the way. In the championship game win over favored Kilgore, 34-23, he carried 11 times for 100 yards and completed nine of 19 passes for another 198 yards including a pair of scores. And when Kilgore made one last attempt at catching Carthage, their onside kick was fielded by—you guessed it—Bogenschutz! Overall, he completed 231 of 393 passes for 4,003 yards and 57 TDs (only four INTs) and rushed 97 times for another 446 yards and seven scores. LaGrange won’t soon forget Blake’s performance in their match-up: six TDs and 395 yards in the 51-22 victory. But that sort of game was routine for the future UTSA Roadrunner. In addition to that half-dozen, Blake threw for five TDs four times and four TDs four more times. His career numbers as a three-year starter: 9,569 yards and 121 scoring tosses.
The owner of an A academic average, Blake is the class valedictorian, scored 30 on the ACT, and is an all-district baseball player at first base and pitcher. He’s also the leader of FCA, reads to Carthage elementary school children, and participated in a community outreach program with congregants from his local Methodist church.
“I told him before the state championship that he’s the best player I’ve coached in 24 years,” says Coach Scott Surratt. “We had a great run this year and our unquestioned leader was Blake; ask anyone. We’ve had a great players here at Carthage but what makes Blake really special is his football acumen. He’s a student of the game and studies it. Because the game is always changing Blake wanted to be ahead of the curve and be ready for anything the defense threw at him. One thing that gets overlooked is that Blake was true to his word and signed with UTSA even though schools like Stanford and Texas Tech came into the picture late. Nothing he accomplished or will accomplish will surprise me and now that short, athletic quarterbacks are doing well in the NFL.”
Class 2-A: Travis Quintanilla, Sr., Quarterback, Refugio: The next quarterback at Refugio is going to be like the guys who followed Vince Lombardi and Bear Bryant and Lou Gehrig. It’s awfully tough to follow a legend—which is exactly what Travis Quintanilla is at Refugio. He virtually owns the Texas high school football passing record book—displacing several legendary quarterbacks in the process. Despite a 56-36 loss to Cisco in the UIL 2-A Division 2 title game, Travis led the Bobcats to consecutive victories over Rogers (in a 73-72 overtime thriller), top-ranked East Bernard (40-34), and Waskom (69-33) in the run-up to the title tilt. In the process, Travis set new state season marks for passing yardage (5,420, surpassing former BFT Player of the Year Garrett Gilbert’s 4,854) and TDs (68, passing Graham Harrell’s 67). He also set career marks with 13,335 yards (Gilbert had 12,534) and 178 TDs (Harrell had 167). He already held the state mark for TDs in a game with 10.
A two-time Built Ford Tough Player of the Week, Travis also competes in basketball, baseball, and track. He’d like to play football and baseball at the next level. His 3.5 GPA makes him a sure-thing candidate. He’s active in his church youth group and often visits nursing homes to help brighten the residents’ day.
“Coaching a kid like Travis is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Coach Jason Herring. “You don’t realize how special he is until he’s gone. Sometimes we’re looking at film and we watch Travis make some crazy play and we still wonder how he did it. And the thing is that he seems to do everything so effortlessly. Quintanilla is a hard-working, humble kid who is a consummate team player. We knew the state records were in sight for him. But he understood we were trying to develop our whole offense and we were putting the records on the back burner. All I can say is that Travis has earned this award and any other accolades that may come his way!”
Class 1-A: Bo Wimberly, Sr., Quarterback/Safety/Kicker, Stamford: When Hagen Hutchinson graduated from Stamford in 2013, he left behind a huge pair of shoes. The 2012 Built Ford Tough 1-A Player of the Year and son of coach Wayne Hutchinson had led the Bulldogs to a 14-1 season and a state Division 1 title. But little did Stamford’s rivals know that patient senior Bo Wimberly was ready to fill those shoes—and then some. When the Bulldogs trailed Shiner 28-7 in third quarter of the state final at AT&T Stadium in December, Bo put his team on his back and led them to a 41-28 victory by running for three TDs (1, 53, and 12 yards) and passing for a 60-yard score to tie it with 3:42 remaining. By the final whistle, he completed the trophy trifecta—state champion and offensive and defensive MVP. The shoes he leaves behind are perhaps bigger than the ones he inherited.
Indeed, Wimberly filled the shoes of former teammate Hagen Hutchinson, who became the first player to bag both offensive and defensive MVP in the 2012 Class 1A, Division 1 final. This season he passed for 2,239 yards and 30 TDs and rushed for 1,641 yards and 30 TDs on 212 carries. At 5-11, 165 pounds, Bo is a four-sport athlete, excelling as sprinter on the 800-meter state-championship relay team and a left fielder on the baseball team in addition to football and basketball. He holds a solid B-average while has a black belt in taekwondo. He also is a member of FCA and reads to the Stamford elementary school children.
“He’s one of the most hard-nosed players on both sides of the ball I’ve ever coached,” says long-time Coach Wayne Hutchinson. “Bo had some big footsteps to fill when [my son] Hagen graduated, but he didn’t miss a lick. The most amazing thing about this season is that Bo played with a heavy heart when his dad died last April [of 2013] after a long battle with cancer. He dedicated the season to his dad, with whom he was very close; his dad was a very proud alumnus and fan of Stamford. The one thing I’ll remember about Bo is his playmaking ability; how elusive he was in the open field. I referred to him as ‘swivel hips’ because he made people miss. Mostly, though, he’s a humble person who never allowed his teammates to hang their heads even when we were down by 21 in the third quarter of the final. It speaks to the depth of his character and the respect he has for his teammates.”
Private Schools: Foster Sawyer, Sr., Quarterback, All Saints’ Episcopal School, Fort Worth: Foster Sawyer sure knows how to make a lasting impression. In leading the Saints to a second straight SPC title, the pro-sized QB (Foster’s 6-5 1/2, 225 pounds) threw only 14 times but completed 11 of them for 308 yards and five touchdowns. All Saints’ routed Houston Christian 42-7 in one of those no-doubt-about-it performances. He was just as economical in what turned out to be the semi-final over Houston St. John’s, hitting 14 of 25 for 270 yards and six touchdowns. Just another day at the office for the future TCU Horned Frog. Foster was a hockey star in his youth (it helped him develop his strength and hand-eye coordination, he says) and an outstanding shortstop and pitcher in baseball before deciding to go all-in on football. The results have been obvious.
Foster skipped basketball this season to get more involved in the nearby TCU program. With a couple of coaching changes there, the Horned Frogs’ offense will more closely match the offense at All-Saints’. His 3.5 GPA indicates that he’ll have no problem digesting the playbook. He remains extremely active in his family’s Tara Sawyer Foundation which conducts athletic events to raise money for youths in crisis to play sports as well as to assist special needs adults.
“We’ve been blessed with a 10-year run of great quarterbacks here,” says Coach Aaron Beck. “They’ve all gone on to play for major BCS schools. But Foster is a special one. If he continues to make progress and stays healthy, I can easily see him playing on Sundays in four years. For him, the sky’s the limit. The progress he has made here has exceeded even our high expectations. His leadership qualities extend far beyond the football field and onto the classroom and the community. How much do I trust him? For the first time in my three decades in coaching, I allowed the quarterback to call the plays. I’d even trust him to manage my retirement portfolio! “
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