Refugio (Kiii Sports) - Refugio QB Travis Quintanilla and five other Texas high school football stars are being recognized as the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week for Week 0-1.
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 0-1 winners
CLASS 5-A: Cody Thomas, Sr., Quarterback, Colleyville Heritage:
In what may be a preview of the 2015 Red River Rivalry game, future Sooner Cody Thomas of Colleyville Heritage got the best of a Week 0 match-up with future Longhorn Jerrod Heard of Denton Guyer. Thomas accounted for seven touchdowns, five through the air and two on the ground. He completed 30 of 41 passes for 365 yards and rushed for 73 yards, scoring on sprints of 23 and 43. Heritage scored the game's final 26 points to pull out a 54-38 victory over the pre-season top-ranked 4-A Wildcats. If future Thomas-Heard contests are anything like this, OU and UT fans are in for a treat.
The solid 6-5, 210-pound Thomas, who committed to Oklahoma for both football and baseball, may have another decision to make. The all-state outfielder is expected to be an early selection in this spring's MLB First-Year Player Draft. In the classroom, Cody carries an A average, ranking near the top of his class. He's also active in the FCA and is a member of the Red Jackets, a prestigious club of students serving as Heritage ambassadors and hosting key school events.
Coach Mike Fuller is especially impressed with Cody's unflappable demeanor. "He simply doesn't get rattled. He never gets too high or low but maintains a cool, calm attitude throughout the game. He's extremely loyal and a great teammate."
CLASS 4-A: Kyle Poeske, Sr., Quarterback, Boerne Champion:
For some quarterbacks, 659 total yards might sound like a month's work. For Boerne Champion's Kyle Poeske, it just took opening night. The Chargers' 6-2, 185-pound signal-caller piled up 439 yards and six TDs in the first-half of their 44-34 victory over New Braunfels in Week 0. Poeske wound up hitting 40 of 60 passes for 577 yards, one of the top ten single-game performances in state history. He also rushed for another 82 yards on 16 carries. By the way, the following week he threw for another 321 yards in a win over Dripping Springs.
As good as he is on the gridiron, Kyle is even better in the classroom, where he carries a 98.5% academic average. A member of the Chargers' track team, he's active with both the FCA and his church youth group, while mentoring special-needs kids in the Boerne Buddies program.
"He's a really special kid," says Champion Coach Danny Threadgill. "Kyle is quiet and unassuming, always ready to deflect the recognition to his teammates. But he's quite capable of taking a team on his shoulders and getting the job done. He leads and his teammates are only too willing to follow."
CLASS 3-A: Jarek Black, Jr., Running Back/Safety, Shallowater:
For Shallowater running back/safety Jarek Black, 597 rushing yards and 10 TDs in two games is what you just might call a good start. Just take a look at the Mustangs' opening-night 56-40 win over always powerful Muleshoe. It was a Jarek Black show from start to finish. The junior exploded for 311 rushing yards and seven TDs (21, 37, 50, 69, 3, 5, and 2 yards) on just 18 carries. For good measure, his late-game interception sealed the deal. No one-night wonder, Black came right back in Week 1 peeling off 286 yards and three TDs (80, 48, 43) and making 12 tackles on defense in a 28-18 win over Littlefield.
The 5-10, 210-pound Black, now a three-year starter in football, also plays basketball and runs track. He maintains a straight-A classroom average, placing him high on the school honor roll. Additionally, he participates in FCA and is a member of his church youth group.
"Jarek is an even more explosive runner this season," says Coach Kyle Maxfield, "which is a sure byproduct of his maturity. He sets a high bar before the season but never lets it go to his head. He's well-grounded and knows he has a long season ahead. And when things go well, which they often do, he's the first to praise his quarterback and his O-line."
CLASS 2-A: Travis Quintanilla, Jr., Quarterback, Refugio:
Travis Quintanilla is at it again. Following a memorable sophomore season (3,954 yards and 53 TDs for Refugio's defending state champs), the 5-11, 175-pound Quintanilla opened the 2012 campaign by throwing for 502 yards (26 of 38) and five touchdowns as the Bobcats smothered Ingleside 62-27 in Week 0. The 2011 consensus state 2-A offensive player of the year as a sophomore also threw for six scores and 343 yards in the Week 1 victory over Edna, 56-0.
Nothing Travis accomplishes athletically is surprising. Pitching for Refugio's baseball team last spring, he went 9-1 with a microscopic 0.92 ERA and striking out 133 in only 68.2 innings. A solid A- student, he's also a starter for the Bobcats' hoops team and he still finds time to be extremely active with his church youth group. Why does this star quarterback wear uniform number 34? That's the number his uncle, now on the Refugio coaching staff, wore when he played for the Bobcats.
"Travis is simply the hardest working kid I know," raves Coach Jason Herring. "As talented as he is, you'd never guess he was the starting QB for one of the state's most successful programs. He's a quiet, mild-mannered kid who lets his actions speak for themselves. Honestly, he has already exceeded all of our highest expectations."
CLASS 1-A: Desmond Lacey, Sr., Quarterback/Defensive Back, Pineland West Sabine:
Admittedly, he's kind of prejudiced, but Pineland West Sabine Coach Tod Stark flatly states, "Desmond Lacey is the most popular student-athlete in East Texas." He might have a point, at least as far as the Tigers' fans are concerned. In last weekend's 72-47 shootout over 2-A rival Hemphill, two-way performer Lacey did it all—passing for 238 yards and three TDs, rushing for 214 yards and three scores, and returning an interception 87 yards for still another TD. West Sabine raced to a 52-14 halftime lead and never looked back. In the Tigers' opener, Desmond racked up 245 rushing yards and three TDs in a 60-21 rout of Beaumont Kelly.
On game day last week, Lacey announced for Northwestern State (La.) where he plans to major in business or mathematics. But should a major Big 12 or SEC power come knocking on the door, he'd have to give them serious consideration. Desmond, who plays basketball and baseball and runs track, sports a 3.4 GPA and is president of the student council. He also participates in FCA, church youth group (his dad is a minister), and serves as a mentor for the Pineland elementary school children.
"I'm telling you," says Coach Stark, "Desmond is the real deal. He's the rare combination of student, athlete, and leader. He's not the least bit reluctant to lower his shoulder and run over an opponent. And he never comes off the field, starting on offense, defense, and special teams."
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Adam Hollenbach, Sr., Running Back/Defensive Back, Shiner St. Paul:
Good thing the peanut vendor showed up at Shiner St. Paul's Week 0 opener. If not, Adam Hollenbach would have had one more thing to do. As it was, the 5-10, 160-pound two-way star did everything else in a 60-21 pasting of Pettus. He carried the ball 17 times for 260 yards (15 yards per carry), scored four touchdowns, kicked two extra points, and ran in a two-point conversion. If that wasn't enough, he also made four tackles on defense.
A four-sport star (basketball, baseball, and track too) for St. Paul, Adam still finds time to excel in the classroom with a 3.42 GPA and he's a true campus leader, working with both the FCA and in numerous fund-raising activities at church.
"Adam has been our leader for the last four years," says Coach Jake Wachsmuth. "He ran for 1700 yards as a freshman and has simply gone on from there, getting better every year. He's exactly the kind of kid you want to lead your program. Everyone knows he has mounds of talent but he won't let anyone outwork him."