Mansfield Legacy sophomore defensive back Jalen Catalon on Wednesday was named The Associated Press Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year in voting by AP sports editors.
“I would love to see somebody better,” Legacy coach Chris Melson said of Catalon. “I mean he’s as good as I’ve seen, and I’ve thought all year long that he’s the best defensive player around. I say he’s the best in Texas.
“Every coach I talked to all year long said the same thing: That No. 5 [Catalon’s jersey], that No. 5. Man, who’s that No. 5?”
Voting was based on regular-season performance. In 10 games, Catalon, the only 10th-grader on the first or second team, recorded 150 tackles, four interceptions, four forced fumbles, 3 tackles for loss and eight pass breakups.
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“I don’t know how you could have a better season if you’re a senior, junior or a sophomore,” Melson added. “I’m so proud of him. That is awesome. He’s an impact player, and I think this is well-deserved.”
Justin Northwest placed two players on the first team, wide receiver Gavin Holmes and linebacker Caden McDonald. Grapevine also had two first-teamers, offensive lineman Wyatt Morgan and defensive lineman Brian Andrews.
Holmes caught 72 passes for 1,403 yards and 16 touchdowns, and McDonald recorded 95 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks, four forced fumbles (two recovered), two interceptions, three pass breakups and one defensive touchdown.
Morgan allowed no sacks while recording 43 pancakes and 65 knockdowns, while Andrews recorded 33 solo tackles, 45 assists, 25 tackles for loss, four sacks and two pass breakups.
Area players on the second-team offense are linemen Chuck Filiaga (Aledo) and Dakoda Newman (Mansfield Timberview), running backs Kyran Jackson (Fort Worth South Hills) and Damon Williams (Saginaw Boswell), and kicker Josue Munoz (Mansfield Summit). South Hills defensive end Camerion Pumphrey also made the second team.
— BARTON CLEMENT, Fort Bend Marshall, Jr. — no sacks allowed, averaged 6 pancakes/game
— WYATT MORGAN, Grapevine, Sr. — No sacks allowed, 93 percent grade, 43 pancakes, 65 knockdowns
— GRANT POLLEY, Denton, Sr. — 131 knockdowns, no sacks allowed, 93 percent grade
— THOMAS SHELMIRE, Dallas Highland Park, Jr. — 90 percent grade, 99 knockdowns
— ALBERT VILLARREAL, CC King, Sr. — 98 percent grade, 52 pancakes, team averaged 300 yards rushing/game
— GAVIN HOLMES, Justin Northwest, Sr. — 72-1,403, 16 TDs receiving; 2 KO return TDs
— CEDARIAN LAMB, Richmond Foster, Sr. — 68-1,445, 22 TD
— SPENCER SANDERS, Denton Ryan, Jr. — 156-240-2,375, 32 TDs, 4 INTs passing; 14 TDs rushing
— ENO BENJAMIN, Wylie East, Sr. — 268-1,791, 22 TD rushing; 5 TDs passing
— TRE’ LYDAY, Denison, Sr. — 282-1,871, 28 TDs
— DOMINIC WILLIAMS, Frisco Independence, Sr. — 184-1,922 yards, 28 TDs
— JACOB CLICK, Frisco Lone Star, Jr. — 51-55 PATs, 10-11 FGs, long of 42
Offensive Player of the Year: Eno Benjamin, Wylie East, Sr.
— BRIAN ANDREWS, Grapevine, Sr. — 78 tackles, 33 solo, 24.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 PBUs
— DERRION CLARK, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Soph. — 95 tackles, 18 TFL, 15 sacks, 7 FF, 4 FR
— MIGUEL GARCIA, Lubbock Coronado, Jr. — 71 tackles, 18 solo, 28 TFL, 23 sacks, 2 FF, 2 FR
— TAIVIAN RUCKER, Denison, Sr. — 90 tackles, 20 TFL, 9 sacks, 2 FF, 2 FR, 2 PBUs
— CADEN McDONALD, Justin Northwest, Sr. — 95 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 FF, 2 FR, 2 INTs, 3 PBUs, 1 defensive TD
— MASON MONTOYA, Lubbock Coronado, Sr. — 141 tackles, 32 solo, 25 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 INTs (1 TD), 8 PBUs
— KEVON SMITH, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Sr. — 122 tackles, 22 TFL, 13 sacks, 3 FF
— JALEN CATALON, Mansfield Legacy, Soph. — 150 tackles, 4 INTs, 4 FF, 3 TFL, 8 PBUs
— ALLIE GREEN, Austin LBJ, Sr. — 9 INTs, 12 PBUs, 76 tackles
— CHRISTIAN HAYES, Lubbock Coronado, Sr. — 48 tackles, 23 solo, 8 INTs (2 TDs), four PBUs, 2 blocked FGs
— DELANO ROBINSON, Denton Ryan, Sr. — 62 tackles, 5 INTs
— TREVOR DENBOW, Corsicana, Sr. — 45.6 average, 14 inside 10
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Catalon, Mansfield Legacy, Soph.
— Ryan Everett, CC Calallen, Sr.; Chuck Filiaga, Aledo, Sr.; Chance McLeod, Victoria East, Sr.; Dakoda Newman, Mansfield Timberview, Sr.; Chase Travis, Georgetown, Sr.
— Jalen Reagor, Waxahachie, Sr.; Noah Sifrit, Lubbock Coronado, Sr.
— Qua Gray, Lubbock Coronado, Jr.
— Deion Hankins, EP Parkland; Kyran Jackson, FW South Hills; Damon Williams, Saginaw Boswell.
— Josue Munoz, Mansfield Summit, Sr.
— Ken’Twuan Freeman, Victoria West, Sr.; Brandon Peterson, SA Alamo Heights, Sr.; Camerion Pumphrey, FW South Hills, Sr.; Ondario Robinson, Hutto, Sr.
— Kenny Bowen, Denton, Sr.; John Brannon, Prosper, Sr.; Jordan Diver, Cedar Park, Sr.
— Gus Hancock, Bryan, Jr.; Lawrence Mann, CC Calallen, Sr.; Chris Miller, Denton, Sr.; Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches, Sr.
— Pedro Lira, Abilene Cooper, Sr.
HONORABLE MENTION OFFENSE
LINEMEN: Victor Buenrostro, Mesquite Poteet; Travis Dafft, Prosper; Ricky Estimbo, Edcouch-Elsa; Ares Frinzenwalner, FW Arlington Heights; Danny Guajardo, Crosby; Andrew Irion, Colleyville Heritage; Jacob Kramer, Colleyville Heritage; Tanner Leser, Frisco Lone Star; Luke Matthews, Fort Bend Elkins; Elijah Sanchez, Edcouch-Elsa; Darrell Simpson, Justin Northwest; Isaac Torres, Richland; Jagger Weatherford, Gregory-Portland; Jameson White, Georgetown; Jacob Young, Richland.
RECEIVERS/ENDS: Chayce Bolli, Boerne Champion; Beau Corrales, Georgetown; Gabe Douglas, Denton Ryan; Quan Hampton, Texarkana Texas; Markiese King, Dallas South Oak Cliff; Zach Parker, Whitehouse; Tre Wolf, Victoria East.
QUARTERBACKS: Alan Bowman, Grapevine; Tre’Von Bradley, Cleburne; Kendall Catalon, Mansfield Legacy; Jacob Frazier, Magnolia; Amare Jones, Frisco Heritage; John Stephen Jones, Dallas Highland Park; Gunnar Palacios, Canyon; Jason Shelley, Frisco Lone Star; Bailey Zappe, Victoria East.
RUNNING BACKS: Matthew Collier, SA Southside; Stephen Gaines, Wichita Falls; Phillip Jones, Nacogdoches; Syrus Moore, Justin Northwest; Kameron Session, Mansfield Legacy; Titus Swen, Northwest Eaton; Adrian Walker, CC King; Nick Ward, Waco University.
HONORABLE MENTION DEFENSE
LINEMEN: David Anenih, Mansfield Timberview; Marqez Bimage, Brenham; Luke Blanton, Dallas Highland Park; Brandon Broughton, CC Calallen; Earnest Brown IV, Denton Ryan; Mason Buenger, Victoria West; Chris Casas, Laredo Nixon; Turner Coxe, Dallas Highland Park; Courtney Cravin, FW Wyatt; Danny Diaz, Laredo Cigarroa; Jacob Divel, New Caney; Seth Garcia, Edcouch-Elsa; Wes Harris, Aledo; Noah Ingram, Mesquite Poteet; De’vaunte Johnson, Nacogdoches; Michael Jordan, San Angelo Lake View; Kyrese McFarland, Saginaw Boswell; Ellis Newkirk, Amarillo; Angel Reyes, Plainview; James Williams, Aledo.
LINEBACKERS: Roger Adame III, Mercedes; Joel Cardoza, Edcouch-Elsa; Angel Chapa, Sharyland Pioneer; Tyreke Davis, Denton Ryan; Rayce Deal, CC Calallen; Derek Ditto, Dumas; Dayne Douglass, Canyon; Anthony Flores, College Station; Sir Charles Miles Frost, Lancaster; Matt Gahm, Dallas Highland Park; Garrett Grammer, Richmond Foster; John House, Dallas Highland Park; Alec Lewis, Crosby; Demarqus McGilveary, Cleburne; Francisco Muniz, San Angelo Lake View; Kenneth Orji, Fort Bend Elkins; Brendon Teague, Gregory-Portland; Heath Thomas, CC Calallen; Felipe Vasquez, Laredo Nixon; Mark Wagner, College Station; Trevor Williams, A&M Consolidated.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Rashad Adams, FW Wyatt; Breshun Berry, Saginaw Boswell; Rene Cardenas, Laredo Nixon; Deon Collins, Austin LBJ; John Gaddis, CC Calallen; Dice Griego, Plainview; Wyatt Harris, Aledo; Bryce Hughes, WF Rider; Myles Jones, Magnolia West; Jacob Mueller, Saginaw Boswell; Andre Mulinax, Crowley; Javier Neal, Whitehouse; Kolby Peel, A&M Conslidated; Tay’Lor Perry, Crosby; Tanner Savoy, Justin Northwest; Eric Sutton, Texarkana Texas.
PUNTERS: Nathan Betts, Amarillo; Trevor Denbow, Corsicana; Bryce Hughes, WF Rider; Livan Valdez, Cleburne.