Six Outstanding Student-Athletes Honored as Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week
Class 5-A: Trevorris Johnson, RB, Alief Taylor
Class 4-A: Rodolfo Castillo, RB/CB, Laredo Martin
Class 3-A: Jordan Fraga, RB, Devine
Class 2-A: Jansen McCurdy, WR/CB, White Oak
Class 1-A: Riley Richardson, QB/DB, Wink
Private Schools: Ben Griffin, QB, Houston St. John’s
PLANO, Texas -- October 31, 2012 – Six Texas high school football stars are being recognized as the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week for Week 8.
These athletes join a long list of players recognized for outstanding efforts on and off the field. They are now among the likes of Heisman Trophy winner and Washington Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III and Atlanta Falcons running back Quizz Rodgers. Other past winners include Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel, Nebraska's Big 10 Player of the Year candidate Rex Burkhead, SMU's starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and the nation's most-watched freshman running back Johnathan Gray of UT, the only two-time Built Ford Tough Texas HS Football Player of the Year.
This is the seventh consecutive year that Ford Motor Company is recognizing six outstanding student-athletes each week during the 2012 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 Week 8 winners
CLASS 5-A: Trevorris Johnson, Sr., Running Back, Alief Taylor:
The Houston area, long one of the nation’s football hotbeds, has churned out hundreds of quality players. Add another one: Alief Taylor’s speedy 5-11, 208-pound running back, Trevorris Johnson. Accustomed to playing against top-flight competition every week, Trevorris certainly brought his A game last week against Aldine. He scorched the Mustangs with 342 rushing yards (on 36 carries, a 9.3 yards per carry average) and three TDs. With Taylor leading 14-7 in the third quarter, Johnson peeled off a season-long 72-yard dash that fell short of the end zone but finished off Aldine. His scoring runs of 48, 36, and 5 yards proved too much and produced a 35-7 no-doubt-about-it victory. Johnson’s legacy is turning heads. Through eight games, the future TCU Horned Frog has run for 1,257 yards (on 172 carries) and 11 TDs, bettering his junior year numbers of 635 rushing yards and six scores.
Trevorris, blessed with an uncanny burst of speed, channels those energies on the track, where he qualified for the regional meet in the 100 meters and sprint relays. A proud owner of a solid B average, he participates in his church youth group and reads to elementary school kids in the Alief district.
“Trevorris is our difference maker,” says Coach J.D. Jordan. “Whenever he rushes for 100 yards or more, we win. He’s not a rah-rah kind of guy but is a quiet leader who has earned everything he’s accomplished through hard work, on and off the field.”
CLASS 4-A: Rodolfo Castillo, Sr., Running Back/Cornerback, Laredo Martin:
The football culture is beginning to change at Laredo Martin. The catalyst for change is 5-8, 180-pound running back, Rodolfo “Rudy” Castillo, who’s great on the field and even better in the classroom. The Tigers are one win away (Saturday at Nixon) from a playoff berth. The Tigers won their third game of the season, one more than all of last year, overwhelming Corpus Christi Moody, 62-27, behind Castillo’s 28 carries for an amazing 437 yards and five touchdowns. The game was close until the fourth quarter when Rudy put it away with two TDs within five minutes. He now has 174 carries for 1,457 yards and 14 TDs for the season.
Castillo, who runs the sprint relay and the 100 meters for the Tigers’ track team, has put together a tremendous academic career, with a 3.8 GPA and 12 straight years on his schools’ honor roll. He teaches summer bible classes, is a member of the superintendent’s advisory council and the student council, and studies at the Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health & Science Magnet School, preparing for a career in pharmacy.
“Rudy is just tremendous,” raves Coach David Charles. “When I got the job at Martin a year-and-a-half ago, the first thing I saw was this ‘yes sir-no sir’ kid in the front row. I knew immediately he’d be the one. He’s involved in every organization in school; he’s a great ambassador for our program, and just a great kid—period!”
CLASS 3-A: Jordan Fraga, Sr., Running Back, Devine:
The coaching staff at Devine was more than a little concerned when district unbeaten Lytle showed up on last week’s schedule. Not necessary—not with senior running back Jordan Fraga on the case. On the opening play, Fraga broke a tackle, bounced outside, and went the distance for a 44-yard TD that set the tone for the night. “You could tell that TD on the first play deflated Lytle’s sails,” says Coach Chad Quisenberry. Fraga added three more scoring runs (20, 11, 1) in the first half and another pair (17, 10) in the second half as the Warhorses pounded Lytle, 48-6, moving to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in District 29-3A. Increasingly every week, Fraga is beginning to remind Devine fans of his predecessor, Joseph Sadler, the 2011 Built Ford Tough 3-A Player of the Year.
Jordan has overcome a few obstacles to enjoy a stellar senior season. He tore a hamstring last spring at the district track meet (sprint relays, both horizontal jumps). He was also the leadoff hitter and centerfielder for the baseball team. He worked hard at his rehab, just as he does in the classroom (3.6 GPA and a permanent place on the honor roll). He’s also very involved in the FCA and reads to elementary school youngsters.
“Jordan is a game-changer,” says Coach Quisenberry. “Everyone in the building knows he’s getting the ball but they still can’t stop him. The great thing about Jordan is that none of this goes to his head. He’s humble and often deflects praise to his teammates.”
CLASS 2-A: Jansen McCurdy, Jr., Wide Receiver/Cornerback, White Oak:
In his first year as a wide receiver, White Oak’s Jansen McCurdy is, in his coach’s words, “a work in progress.” Just wait until he gets the hang of this thing. In the Roughnecks’ huge 38-28 win over highly-ranked and unbeaten Troup last week, McCurdy, a junior, grabbed seven passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns. The scoring plays went for 72, 60, 44, and 42 yards, the last giving White Oak the cushion it needed for the victory. Then, as a cornerback on defense (he plays there on about 70% of the snaps), he knocked down a pass in the end zone, clinching the win. It’s no wonder that Roughneck QB Dylan Gale looks for McCurdy on most passing plays.
An all-district honoree in both football and basketball as a sophomore, Jansen owns a sparkling 3.87 GPA, is active in the FCA and his church youth group, and serves as a peer mentor for elementary school children.
Some of McCurdy’s talent comes from his gene pool. His brother, Jackson, was all-state in baseball and all-area in football. “Jansen has tremendous natural ability,” says Coach
Gerry Stanford, “and he’s working so hard to learn the techniques of the position. Whether it’s summer 7-on-7 drills or staying late after practice, he’s totally focused on getting better every day. And our game plan is simple: Get the ball to Jansen!”
CLASS 1-A: Riley Richardson, Jr., Quarterback/Defensive Back, Wink:
There’s new excitement in the west Texas town of Wink, where the oil industry rules and Roy Orbison heads the list of famous residents. It begins every time Riley Richardson, the Wildcats’ junior quarterback wraps his hands around the pigskin. Take last week, for example. Wink trailed district-rival Iraan 15-7 in the third quarter when Riley decided enough was enough. He busted a 45-yard run, then finished the drive with a 14-yard passing score. After a key defensive stand, the 5-10, 160-pound signal-caller tossed the game-winning nine-yard TD pass to Cory Funderburg as Wink, a 19-15 winner, stayed tied with this week’s opponent, McCamey, atop the district standings. Richardson wound up the night with 23 carries for 149 yards and a TD and nine completions for 88 yards and two scores. He also made nine tackles on defense.
Riley stays busy year-round as a starting guard in basketball and as a sprinter and hurler in track (regional qualifier last spring). In the classroom he maintains a B+ average and holds down a part-time job on weekends. He also attends his church youth group and regularly reads to Wink’s elementary school children.
“We’ll go as far as Riley can take us,” admits Coach Andy Hrncir. “He has a nose for the ball on offense, defense, and special teams. He never comes off the field and his tough-minded play is contagious, sending a positive message to his teammates.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Ben Griffin, Sr., Quarterback, Houston St. John’s:
You couldn’t blame Houston St. John’s’ option quarterback Ben Griffin if he wanted to play all of his games at Rice Stadium. With a huge crowd on hand to witness the battle between a pair of once-beaten teams, St. John’s edged its arch-rival Houston Kinkaid, 27-21, earning a berth in this Saturday’s SPC semi-finals against Irving Cistercian. The 6-0, 180-pound Griffin was the ultimate option QB, rushing 37 times for 221 yards and a pair of TDs in a game that wasn’t decided until the final minute. The Mavericks finished the regular season at 8-1 and 5-1 in the SPC South Division.
A solid B student, Griffin may be even better on the lacrosse field. In fact, he coaches middle school youngsters at TREX lacrosse camp. Ben has also taken a summer mission trip to Jamaica to build homes for the poor and interned for a member of the Houston City Council.
“Ben is our main man,” says Coach Steve Gleaves, “our quarterback, our captain, our leader. Forget ‘Everyone Loves Raymond.’ At St. John’s, everyone loves Ben. The way he handles himself is remarkable for such a young man. He’s not real outgoing, but he’s totally genuine and sincere. He’s very talented and wants to be the best he can be. He’s going to make some college coach very happy.”
Nominate Your Elite Student-Athletes at PlayeroftheWeek.com
Students recognized by Ford, the Texas Ford dealers and the Built Ford Tough Media Advisory Board as the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week have excelled in three categories:
- Individual performance on the field, including significant game statistics.
- Contribution to the team’s success through individual leadership abilities and
- Performance off the field, including academic success and good community citizenship.
Texas high school football coaches, athletic directors and fans are invited to nominate players each week. To nominate student-athletes for this award or for additional information on the nomination process, visit PlayeroftheWeek.com.
Additionally, fans can keep up with award winners through a weekly television show. Ford and Texas Ford Dealers are teaming up with Fox Sports Southwest to send television crews into communities across the state to shine the spotlight on players who excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The half-hour Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.
Ford F-Series: The Truck of Texas
Ford is the undisputed truck leader in Texas. The F-Series sets the standard for full-size pickups with best-in-class payload, towing, interior roominess, strength and reliability. The Texas Association of Auto Writers named the F-150 the 2012 Truck of Texas. No truck is tougher, and Ford is proud to recognize the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week.
Ford Motor Company.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.