- Class 5-A: Ervin Hill, Jr., QB, Arlington Sam Houston
- Class 4-A: Patrick Mahomes, Sr., QB, Whitehouse
- Class 3-A: Jarek Black, Sr., RB/S, Shallowater
- Class 2-A: Dalton Sturm, Sr., QB/PK/P, Goliad
- Class 1-A: Michael Gutierrez, Sr., RB/LB, Crosbyton
- Private Schools: Mason McClendon, Sr., QB, Midland Christian
PLANO , Texas, Oct. 2, 2013 – Six Texas high school football stars have been recognized during Week 4 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: Ervin Hill, Jr., Quarterback, Arlington Sam Houston:
You won’t find Ervin Hill on many of the pre-season Class of ’15 watch lists. But after his performance in Arlington Sam Houston’s 61-51 shootout win over Fort Worth Paschal last Friday, that’s about to change. The 6-2, 195-pound Hill sent the homecoming crowd home happy by accounting for eight touchdowns, five on the ground and three in the air—tying an all-time Arlington ISD record—and racking up 463 total yards. His TD runs went for 64, 9, 26, 80, and 5 yards, part of his 257-yard rushing night. And though he completed only 10 passes, they covered 206 yards and produced three more scores (55, 24, and 46 yards). It’s no wonder that Coach Anthony Criss’s phone started ringing off the hook Monday morning and the voices at the other end came from places like SMU, TCU, Baylor, Kansas State and Arkansas.
Ervin, a solid B+ student, plays basketball and runs the 200 meters and three relays for Houston’s track team. He’s an active member of the FCA, attends weekly chapel services and is a congregant at the local church where his grandfather and father are the pastors. In addition, he reads to elementary school youngsters and participates in a Feed the Hungry Drive at Thanksgiving.
“I’ve never seen a performance quite like this one,” raves Coach Criss. “I’m not exaggerating when I say Ervin could have had two more TDs—and we needed every one of them! He’s a real student of the game and is extremely coachable. Everybody at Houston likes him and I love it that he’s developed tremendous confidence.”
CLASS 4-A: Patrick Mahomes, Sr., Quarterback, Whitehouse:
Veteran major-league pitcher Pat Mahomes faced numerous save situations during his career. But none of them matched the rescue situation his son encountered last week. Unbeaten Whitehouse fell behind Carthage, the state’s top-ranked 3-A team, 15-0 early and 39-20 three minutes into the third quarter. That’s when quarterback Patrick Mahomes took over. He threw for three touchdowns in seven plays (65, 55 and 24 yards) to give the Wildcats the lead—and he kept on going. By the final whistle, Whitehouse had scored 43 unanswered points to secure an amazing 63-39 victory. Mahomes, the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week in Week 10 last year, wound up hitting 25 of 42 passes for 396 yards and seven TDs. He also rushed 12 times for 70 yards. Through five games, he has thrown for 1,962 yards and 24 scores, well on his way to surpassing his 2012 performance—3,839 yards and 46 TDs (plus six more on the ground).
The folks at Texas Tech are planning a gala welcoming party for Patrick next year. But his skills on the diamond—shortstop, centerfielder, right-handed pitcher—may overshadow that. His name could come up early in next June’s MLB draft. A stellar student with a 94 academic average, Patrick is also an outstanding basketball player.
“We are simply blessed to have Patrick on our team,” says Coach Adam Cook. “There are a lot of quarterbacks with great arms; Patrick has a great head to go with it. What really sets him apart is his leadership ability. He just gets everyone to believe. When we had that great comeback last week, he got in front of the cameras and began by praising his offensive line and his defense. That’s the kind of kid he is.”
CLASS 3-A: Jarek Black, Sr., Running Back/Safety, Shallowater:
Shallowater’s great running back, Jarek Black, doesn’t like to waste time. He loves to put the Mustangs’ opponents away early. In last Friday’s 38-14 win over Idalou, for example, Jarek took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage, turned on the afterburners, and wound up with a 57-yard did-you-see-that TD. That set the tone for the evening. Black rushed for a season-high 333 yards and four TDs (57, 13, 9 and 4 yards) on 35 carries, leading the Mustangs to a 5-0 record heading into their bye week. His rushing effort accounted for 90% of Shallowater’s offensive output (380 yards). To date, he’s accrued 1,156 yards and 16 TDs.
The 5-10, 210-pound Black, now a four-year standout in football, also plays basketball and runs track. As the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week for Weeks 0-1 last year, he’s the target of recruiters from the Air Force Academy and UTEP, among others. He maintains a 3.8 GPA on a full schedule of AP courses, earning him membership in the National Honor Society. He also participates in FCA and his church youth group.
“We just find ways to get Jarek the ball,” says Coach Kyle Maxfield. “He’s our workhorse. And as great as he is on the field, he’s an even better person. His teammates and the younger kids in town all look up to him. Jarek is a dream player, a once in a lifetime opportunity for a coach.”
CLASS 2-A: Dalton Sturm, Sr., Quarterback/Placekicker, Goliad:
George West took an early 12-0 lead against Goliad last week. But before you could say, “here we go again,” Tiger quarterback Dalton Sturm put the team on his back—and foot. He rushed 17 times for a hefty 239 yards and four touchdowns. He also completed 11 of 22 passes for another 224 yards. And, just to be sure, he kicked three extra points and a field goal, scoring 30 of Goliad’s points in the 38-20 win. “He’s the area scoring leader and our captain,” says Coach John Mares. “We’ve won four games this year and Dalton has been instrumental in every one of them.”
In addition to his great performance on the gridiron, Dalton is a regional qualifier as a hurdler and an all-district basketball player. He maintains a lofty 3.75 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, is an ACT retreat leader, a volunteer for the fall festival at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and a coach with the Goliad County Little League team.
“You couldn’t ask for a better leader than Dalton,” says Coach Mares. “He’s an absolutely great teammate. When things get tough, like they did last Friday, he gets even tougher. His teammates really look up to him. The respect he’s earned, his leadership, and his charisma simply make the whole team better. When we went 6-4 last year, it was the best year at Goliad in a long time. Thanks to Dalton, this year may be even better.”
CLASS 1-A: Michael Gutierrez, Sr., Running Back/Linebacker, Crosbyton:
When injuries depleted the Crosbyton backfield, Michael Gutierrez became the feature back by default. Good choice. Since becoming the main option in the Chiefs’ wing-T, he has provided a much-needed spark. Take last week, for example. The compact 5-8, 195-pound senior produced a career-high 277 yards and four TDs on 25 carries, averaging 11 yards a pop, in a 49-38 win over 2-A Floydada, the Chiefs’ fourth win in five starts this year. A four-year fullback and linebacker, Gutierrez added 13 tackles on defense to his super rushing performance. For the season, he has rushed for 767 yards (and nine TDs), only 63 yards short of his 2012 total of 830 yards.
Even a summer job in the cotton fields each of Lubbock didn’t cut into Michael’s season preparation. His weight room work allowed him to squat 560 pounds to fuel his powerful legs. An honor roll student and owner of a B+ academic average, he also participates in track as a shot putter and member of the sprint relay team. He’s also an active member of FCA and his church’s youth group.
“Michael is a quiet, steady influence on our team,” raves Coach Brannon Rodgers. “He’s a captain and a tremendous leader. All the kids look to him for guidance. He’s always crediting his success to his teammates, especially the offensive line. He comes from a large family and has a tremendous support system at home—and in the stands.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Mason McClendon, Sr., Quarterback, Midland Christian:
The passing record book at Midland Christian hadn’t changed in about a decade. Because every book needs a little editing, senior quarterback Mason McClendon took charge of a total rewrite. When the 5-10, 175-pound signal-caller hit on 16 of 23 passes for 398 yards and five touchdowns last week (in little more than a half), the editing job was complete. The 61-0 shellacking of Fort Worth Southwest Christian brought the Mustangs to 5-0 for the season (1-0 in TAPPS District DII-1) and cemented their #1 ranking in the state private school poll. Mason’s performance raised his season numbers to 1,488 yards and 23 touchdowns, well on his way toward obliterating his own single-year marks (2,683 yards and 29 TDs, set last year) for the two-time defending state champs. In his four years, he has now thrown for 6,753 yards and 81 TDs, both school career records that he breaks every week!
Mason, who captains Midland Christian’s basketball team and runs track, owns a convincing 3.9 GPA at the academically-rigorous school. For the past two years, he has volunteered at Op Camp, a program for underprivileged kids, and is active in the youth department at his local church.
“I’m absolutely blown away with the job he does,” says his proud Coach (and even prouder father) Greg McClendon. “Mason is totally wrapped up in football. He’s intense out there and expects the same of his teammates. Last spring, he and his receivers were out working, sometimes under the lights, every day at 6 am. That has really paid off for everyone. Mason is a tremendously accurate passer who always seems to put the ball where his receivers can catch it and continue to run. He’s like an extra coach on the field. Mason takes great pride in doing well and his receivers know it and respond to it.”
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.