Joining some of the greats of the past, Highland Park senior quarterback John Stephen Jones won the 8th annual Landry Award, which recognizes the top North Texas high school football player who demonstrates positive character and leadership attributes, on Monday night at the Hope Center.
“Means a lot,” Jones said. “The guys that came through here and those guys that are in this room, they’re great players and it’s just an honor to be in here with them.”
Jones, who has the Scots (13-1) in the Class 5A Division I state semifinals, has thrown for 3,828 yards and 48 TDs, and has rushed for 8 TDs.
Aledo’s Johnathan Gray won the first two awards in 2010 and 2011, followed by Jake Oliver (Jesuit), Myles Garrett (Arlington Martin), Kyler Murray (Allen), Jett Duffey (Lake Ridge) and Kennedy Brooks (Mansfield).
Catalon, the only junior among the finalists, has recorded over 2,000 yards of total offense and 26 TDs at quarterback. He also has over 90 tackles at safety
“It’s an honor just to be around this type of atmosphere and around the players, those are really great players,” Catalon said. “It’s a huge honor and I’m glad I was named a finalist for it. Not many juniors get this opportunity and hopefully I can do it again next year.”
“It speaks volumes of him and the kind of player he is and how he and his teammates work together to make great things happen,” Legacy coach Chris Melson added. “Great players in that room and he’s definitely one of them and I’m happy for him, he deserves it.”
Coppell’s Mike DeWitt won coach of the year. Other finalist included Patrick Williams (Dallas Carter), Chad Cole (Frisco Reedy), Kirk Thor (Lake Ridge) and Jason Tucker (Haltom).
Thor led the Eagles to a 12-2 record and their fourth-straight trip to the regional round, second overall state quarterfinal appearance.
“It’s really about our assistant coaches and players, it’s an honor for them to represent the program,” Thor said. “Great coaches here and those student athletes are outstanding, and what sharp young men. It’s going to be fun to see those guys in the future.”
Tucker led the Buffs to their first playoff appearance since 2009 and their first winning season since 2000.
“It’s humbling to even be named a finalist and I think it’s a product of the staff we have at Haltom and the heck of a job they’ve done,” Tucker said. “We couldn’t have had the season without the great men on our staff and the kids working their tails off. This is a nice deal for Haltom, not just me.”
Also of note, Hanspard, who had de-committed from Arkansas last month, announced that he’s committed to Baylor.