Six Outstanding Student Athletes Selected in Week 5 of “Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week”
- 5A – Kent Myers, Sr., QB, Sachse
- 4A – Bryan Hammond, Sr, RB, The Colony
- 3A – Jesse Valladares, Sr., RB, Raymondville
- 2A – Matt Valadez, Sr., RB, Stockdale
- 1A – Riley Richardson, Sr., QB/S, Wink
- Private – John Cleveland, Sr., WR/FS/P/K, Fort Worth Trinity Valley School
PLANO , Texas, Oct. 9, 2013 – Six Texas high school football stars have been recognized during Week 5 of the “Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week” program.
In its eighth consecutive year, Ford Motor Company’s Player of the Week program is again honoring six outstanding student-athletes each week during the 2013 regular season, recognizing one player in each of the state’s six athletic classifications. The winners are chosen for athletic achievements on the field, as well as for outstanding scholarship and community involvement. These players are the embodiment of Ford’s Go Further commitment.
This week’s winning athletes join a long list of players recognized for their exceptional efforts. Previous Players of the Week include: The last two Heisman trophy winners, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Washington Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, as well as Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead, SMU starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert and University of Texas at Austin running back Johnathan Gray, the only two-time Built Ford Tough Texas HS Football Player of the Year.
CLASS 5-A: Kent Myers, Sr., Quarterback, Sachse:
Defense was something of an afterthought in Sachse’s huge District 11-5A win over Lakeview Centennial last Thursday. The Mustangs took the 71-56 shootout win, mostly on the performance of dual-threat quarterback Kent Myers. The 6-0, 185-pound senior opened the scoring early with a one-yard run and finished it with a 49-yard scoring pass with 4:25 to go. In between, Myers accounted for 390 yards and seven TDs, hitting on 19 of 28 passes for 322 yards and three TDs and rushing 12 times for 68 yards and four more scores. More importantly, it was undefeated Sachse’s sixth win (2-0 in the district). “Seeing several scoring records fall was great,” says Coach Mark “Red” Behrens. “But more important it keeps us on track for a shot at our first district title ever.”
Myers, a 3.9 GPA student, is popping up on a bunch of recruiting radar screens, from the Naval and Air Force academies to Boise State, Rice, Arizona State, Baylor, and Oklahoma. In addition, he’s a four-year starter at shortstop in baseball, where he might be selected in the 2014 MLB draft. Among many extra-curricular activities, Ken is heavily involved in a community clean-up project.
“Early in the season,” says Coach Behrens, “we limited Kent’s running. From now on, however, we need to get him the ball and do it all! He’s an athletic kid with deceptive speed, but his most important traits are modesty and hard work in the classroom and, certainly, on the field.”
CLASS 4-A: Bryan Hammond, Sr., Running Back, The Colony:
How much does Bryan Hammond mean to The Colony Cougars’ offense? In last week’s 20-14 win over Frisco, they rang up 294 yards of offense. The 5-11, 205-pound Hammond rushed for only 254 of them (on 30 crushing carries). Operating out of a power-running double-tight end pro I set, he also scored all three touchdowns for the 5-0 Cougars, the last on a 22-yard scamper with 3:30 to go to sew up the important District 9-4A victory. The #2 4-A rusher in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with 1,116 yards and 15 TDs, he has already surpassed his 2012 TD mark and is rapidly approaching his junior year total of 1,555 yards. More important, with five wins, The Colony has surpassed its four 2012 victories.
A basketball player with a solid 3.0 GPA, Hammond is heavily involved with the High School Heroes program that tutors and mentors elementary school children. He’s active in the school’s FCA program and even more involved in his church activities. No wonder a passel of BCS schools, including a pair of ACC programs, are after him.
“I’ll put it simply,” says Coach Rudy Rangel. “Bryan runs our team. “He knows every aspect of the game and helps wherever he can. He was really special a year ago and now, because he has learned to be more patient and read the blocking in front of him, he’s even better. In addition, he’s just faster and stronger than he was a year ago. Whatever it takes to win, Bryan does it!”
CLASS 3-A: Jesse Valladares, Sr., Running Back, Raymondville:
What Mariano Rivera has been to the Yankees, Jesse Valladares is to the Bearkats. He’s the ultimate closer. With Raymondville clinging to a 41-38 lead over La Feria last week, Coach Joe Gonzalez called Jesse’s number—twice. First, the 5-10, 180-pound Valladares ripped off a clutch 37-yard run to the Lions’ 12. On the next play, he raced to the end zone with 52 seconds left to sew up the 48-38 win, ending the Bearkats’ non-district schedule at 4-2. Jesse recorded a season-high 290 yards and five TDs (48, 62, 11, 81, 12) on only 16 carries. That’s 18.1 yards per pop! He’s well on his way to matching his 2012 totals of 1,700 rushing yards and 21 TDs, which should get the attention of post-season award voters.
He’s also working extremely hard to win the attention of college recruiters. Owner of a B+ academic average Jesse is an outstanding performer on Raymondville’s basketball and track teams. An active member of FCA, he’s in constant demand as a motivational speaker for elementary school students and the junior football program. He also volunteers to feed the underprivileged at Thanksgiving.
“Jesse is our workhorse,” raves Coach Gonzalez. “Whenever we need a first down or a big play or a TD, Jesse’s our guy. At practice, he’s the first one to arrive and the last to leave. He has a tremendous desire to play at the next level, so he works tirelessly in the weight room during the off-season and he’s totally dedicated to his teammates. He’s always motivated to make things better!”
CLASS 2-A: Matt Valadez, Sr., Running Back, Stockdale:
Talk about instant offense. When Stockdale moved out to a 20-0 halftime lead against Natalia last week, Coach Josh West decided to rest senior RB Matt Valadez. But when the Mustangs scored to narrow the gap to 20-7, Valadez went back in the game. On the first play, he went 85 yards for a score. After another Natalia TD, it took only one play and 65 yards for Valadez to break it open again, producing a 40-13 Brahmas victory. Matt wound up with 418 rushing yards on 19 carries (more than 22 yards a pop) and five TDs. At the season’s midpoint, the tough-as-nails Valadez has rushed for 1,197 yards on 137 carries and 14 TDs, rapidly approaching his 2012 totals of 1,518 yards and 16 TDs.
Valadez plays basketball and is a two-year qualifier for the state powerlifting competition. An outstanding student whose 3.875 GPA ranks him in the top quarter of his class, he’s active in both the National Honor Society and FCA, while also finding time to volunteer at a local nursing home where his mom is a nurse.
“Matt’s a unique kid,” says Coach West. “At 5-6 and 170 pounds, he’s not very big, but he’s a strong as a bull. Everyone in town admires him. Many of the young kids wear #8 jerseys in his honor and he signs them for anyone who asks. I’ve been here for eight years, the last three as athletic director. We always have votes on team captains. This year, out of 72 votes, Matt got 71 (all but his own). That speaks volumes.”
CLASS 1-A: Riley Richardson, Sr., Quarterback/Safety, Wink:
The quietest player on the field has been making the most noise for the Wink Wildcats. It happens every time senior QB Riley Richardson wraps his hands around the ball. Last week’s 42-18 victory over McCamey was a case in point. On the first play from scrimmage, the Badgers packed the box. Richardson called off the planned running play and hit Malik Harden for 77 yards and a TD, providing Wink with a quick 7-0 lead. By night’s end, the 5-11, 180-pound signal-caller had carved up the defense, hitting 11 of 16 for a season-high 312 yards and four TDs (77, 47, 34, and 43). And just to keep the defense honest, he rushed eight times for 55 yards and scores of 2 and 22 yards. He completed his homecoming night efforts by making 12 tackles on defense. It’s Richardson’s second-straight Built Ford Tough Player of the Week award; he won the honor in week 8 last year.
Riley stays busy year-round as a starting guard in basketball and as a sprinter and hurdler (two-time regional qualifier) in track. He maintains a B+ average while holding down a part-time job on weekends. He also participates in Wink’s weekly Positive Impact program, reads to elementary school children, and is active in his church youth group.
“Riley is a special kid,” says Coach Andy Hrncir, “but he goes about things in a big way. He never comes off the field and, though you wouldn’t know it, has played all season with a bad ankle. This sends a message to his teammates and shows what a high character kid he is.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: John Cleveland, Sr., Wide Receiver/Free Safety/Punter/Kicker, Fort Worth Trinity Valley School:
Fort Worth Trinity Valley QB Cameron Matthews completed 29 passes for 408 yards in last week’s 30-24 win over 3-A Aubrey. Without WR John Cleveland, things might have been different. The 6-1, 180-pounder grabbed 16—count ‘em, 16—of those passes for a whopping 279 yards and three TDs, the last on a 22-yarder that won the heart-pounding game with four seconds to go. But that was all in a night’s work for John, who punted, kicked off, and made 21 tackles (13 of them solos) on defense. It was a bust-out performance for Cleveland who now has 40 receptions for 565 yards and five scores in addition to his team-leading 80 tackles. His defensive stats also include three tackles for loss, a pair of interceptions, and a forced fumble. He simply does it all.
An outstanding baseball and basketball player, Cleveland owns a solid 3.0 GPA. He’s extremely active in the youth group at his church and serves on the Trinity Valley yearbook staff. Somehow he also finds time to own and operate a lawn service.
“John is simply a great kid,” says Coach Aaron Mattox. “He’s an aggressive, vocal leader, on and off the field. No one outworks him and no one studies more film than he does. In fact, he won an award for time spent in the film room. And he plays in pain. In the win over Aubrey, he was flat on his back for four minutes before getting back on the field and catching the game-winner. If we had 22 John Clevelands, I guarantee you we’d be undefeated.”
Nominate Your Elite Student-Athletes at PlayeroftheWeek.com
Students recognized by Ford, Texas Ford Dealers and the Built Ford Tough Media Advisory Board as Players 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
- Performance off the field, including academic success and good community citizenship
Fans may nominate athletes to join this list at PlayeroftheWeek.com, as well as catch up with weekly winners, view video clips of players in action and get the latest program details.
Additionally, fans can catch all the action on Fox Sports Southwest. The network is again teaming with Ford and the Texas Ford Dealers to keep up with award winners through their weekly television show. Each week, television crews will travel to communities across Texas shining 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 Saturday at 8:30 a.m. for 12 weeks beginning August 31.
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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. Ford is proud to recognize the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week.
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