CLASS 5-A: Mickey Scott, Sr., Quarterback, San Angelo Central
As quarterback Mickey Scott goes, so goes San Angelo Central. The 6-1, 190-pound senior has found a comfort zone operating the Bobcats’ spread offense. In last Friday’s 54-21 pasting of Odessa, for example, Scott completed 19 of 23 passes (an outrageous 83%) for 350 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for three more scores. It was never close. A pair of TD passes (16 and 29 yards) highlighted the first quarter which ended with a 21-7 Central lead. His legs dominated the second period, as he scored from 1 and 14 yards, producing a 41-14 halftime edge. Two more TDs, one on the ground and one in the air, in the third quarter closed the door, giving Central its fourth victory in four starts. For the season, Scott has completed 74% of his passes for 1,202 yards and 13 TDs and rushed for 471 yards and nine scores.
As good as he is on the gridiron, Mickey is even better on the diamond. He has verbally committed to play shortstop for Texas State next year. He’s also at the top of his game in the classroom, maintaining an A average on a schedule packed with AP courses. At the local Baptist church, he participates in Young Life, a youth ministry group, and is active in FCA, among a host of extra-curricular activities.
“Mickey is like a coach on the field,” says Coach Brent Davis. “He has that ‘it’ factor; he does things you just can’t coach and he has the moxie it takes to be a winner. He does it all—on the field, in the classroom, and in the community!”
CLASS 4-A: La’Quarrian Peoples, Sr., Quarterback/Safety, Fort Worth Dunbar:
A 44-43 deficit, less than a minute to play, an entire field to traverse, and the possible end of Fort Worth Dunbar’s unbeaten start? No problem for Dunbar’s quarterback, La’Quarrian Peoples. The 5-9, 165-pound speedster led the Wildcats right down the field and hit a 30-yard TD pass with the clock at 0:04 to earn Dunbar a 49-44 win over Birdville. That maintained Dunbar’s unblemished 4-0 (2-0 in District 6-4A), which may surprise some folks who know the school as a basketball power. Peoples completed only eight passes all night (on 15 attempts) but they went for 318 yards (an eyelash under 40 yards per completion) and a hugely-efficient five TDs. An all-district safety in 2012 (he still plays there), La’Quarrian slid easily into the QB role this year, running the Wildcats’ multiple offense (both spread and pro sets).
A solid B student, People also plays soccer for Dunbar and he finds time to read to elementary school youngsters.
“If I had to pick a single word to describe La’Quarrian on the field, it’s tenacity,” says Coach Todd Lawson. “We tinkered with him at quarterback last year, knowing that he was a great free safety. But coming into 2013, we knew he had to be the man—and he is! He never gets rattled and is one of the most even-tempered players I’ve ever had. He’s also got amazing field vision so it’s like having an extra coach on the field. He’s always there to pick up his teammates.”
CLASS 3-A: Kevrin Justice, Jr., Running Back/Linebacker, Kilgore:
About the only way to beat pass-happy Mount Pleasant and its all-everything wide receiver, Baylor-bound Kadarrius Cannon, is to keep the offense off the field. That was the task facing Kilgore’s running back Kevrin Justice last week. His job: chew up the yardage and shorten the game—which is exactly what he did. Despite a heavy downpour, Justice churned out a career-best 257 yards on 16 carries and scored a pair of TDs as the Bulldogs stopped the 4-A Tigers, 48-20, on homecoming night. The 5-11, 190-pound junior found the end zone from 25 and 21 yards out as 3-0 Kilgore pulled away in in the second half. In the past two weeks, Justice has 423 rushing yards and five TDs.
Thanks to Kevrin’s solid start, the junior is already beginning to pop up on the radar of college recruiters. In addition to football, he’s making a name for himself in track (sprinter, regional qualifier in the long and triple jumps). He’s a solid 3.25 GPA student who’s active in FCA, mentors Kilgore’s elementary school children, and participates in the PASS program that supports special needs kids.
“Kevrin is a very humble, appreciative kid,” says Coach Mike Wood. “He just wants to get on the field and then does whatever it takes. He’s a great teammate. He’s beginning to get some accolades, but he always gives credit to others.”
CLASS 2-A: Ryan Cottingame, Sr., Quarterback, Sunnyvale:
Too bad they haven’t created passer efficiency ratings for high school quarterbacks. Sunnyvale’s Ryan Cottingame would be right near the top. In last week’s 44-21 victory over Maypearl, he was on target 16 times in only 19 attempts for 297 yards and three TDs. And his night ended at the close of the third quarter. For the season, the rangy 6-5, 215-pounder has completed 69 of 96 passes, an amazing 72%. (NFL QBs, please take note.) He has thrown for 1,175 yards (296 yards per game) and 17 scores. All of which has kept the Raiders’ record unblemished at 4-0.
An all-district baseball player, Ryan also plays basketball. But perhaps his star shines brightest in the classroom. His 99.23 academic average places him near the top of his class at academically-challenging Sunnyvale. He’s also heavily involved in Do Hard Things (DHT), a community service group designed to help others. In the past year, DHT has assisted the Moore, OK, community after the tornado, raised $5,000 to build a water well in Africa, and raised additional dollars to help World War II veterans attend a conference in Washington, DC.
“Ryan is absolutely the poster boy for kids who work their tails off and get the payoff,” says Coach John Settle. “He worked incredibly hard to become a great quarterback and he gets the credit for everything he’s achieved. He wants to play on Saturdays and with his size, running ability, and intelligence, I think he can make it at the D-I level.”
CLASS 1-A: Michael Bishop, Sr., Quarterback/Safety, Electra:
By the second play from scrimmage last Friday night, everyone in the stadium, including the Haskell defense, knew exactly what to expect. That’s when Electra quarterback Michael Bishop raced 73 yards for the opening touchdown, setting the tone for the Tigers’ exciting 45-34 victory over Haskell. By the time the dust cleared, Bishop, Electra’s dual-threat QB, scored from 57, 38, 55, 16, and 42 yards (the last three in the final quarter) and rushed for a career-best 400 yards, averaging 17.4 yards per carry. “He’s a highlight film in the making,” raves Coach Mark Young. And just to complete his career-night, Michael also recorded eight tackles and deflected a pass on defense. In the last two games, Bishop has rushed for 658 yards and 10 TDs.
The 6-2, 190-pounder is a successful four-sport athlete who is gaining attention from FCS schools like Northern Arizona and Texas Southern. He’s a point guard in basketball, the centerfielder in baseball, and a regional qualifier in the 300 hurdles in track. He’s a solid B student and a member of the youth group at the local Baptist church.
“Michael is a dynamic player and, whether he likes it or not, his teammates really look up to him,” says Coach Young. “I always say that Michael is just one block away from a touchdown.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Braxton Berry, Sr., Quarterback/Kicker, Garland Christian
When Garland Christian Coach Joel Berry needed to replace star quarterback Hayden Burnett, a Built Ford Tough Player of the Week in 2011, he had to look no further than his own dinner table. His son Braxton took the reins and has produced eye-popping numbers that even his dad didn’t foresee. In last week’s 71-12 pasting of Kennedale Fellowship Academy, the Swordsmen’s first of the season, Braxton completed 20 of 33 passes for 464 yards and eight TDs. He also ran for 128 yards and another score and, for good measure, kicked nine extra points. Just another night at the office for the 6-0, 170-pound Berry who raised his season passing totals to 104 completions (184 attempts) for a state-leading 1,889 yards (a 472-yards per game average) and 22 TD tosses.
A basketball star, Braxton owns a nifty 3.3 GPA and was elected vice-president of the senior class. He also works with the Beautiful Feed ministry that feeds the homeless in Fort Worth.
“Obviously I’m proud of my son’s accomplishments,” says Coach Berry. “But he has earned the praise. He’s the first one on and the last one off the field every day. Braxton is a quiet kid, almost shy when you meet him. But between the lines, everything changes. He’s the ultimate competitor. His teammates know that he’s always totally prepared and they respond to that. Perhaps it’s because of his background, but he really knows the game. He knows everyone’s responsibility on every play. We could put him at left guard tomorrow and he’d be ready to go. Braxton is exactly how I wanted him to turn out, both as a father and a coach.”