FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: MVP Hudson, Co-Defensive MVP Wilcox lead Lake Belton all-district awards
RISING ABOVE THE REST: Lake Belton junior wide receiver Micah Hudson (1) was voted Most Valuable Player of District 4-5A Division I after making 65 receptions for 1,198 yards and 14 touchdowns. The five-star recruit scored 17 TDs overall while helping the 8-3 Broncos of head coach Brian Cope share second place in district at 6-2 and earn a playoff berth in their first season of University Interscholastic League eligibility. Hudson was the top target of first-team all-district senior quarterback Connor Crews, who passed for 2,808 yards and 33 touchdowns and rushed for nine TDs. (File photo by Dennis Knowlton/Special to TempleBeltonSports.com)
By GREG WILLE
The 2022 high school football season was Lake Belton’s third overall as a program but its first as a member of a district in the University Interscholastic League. Therefore, no Broncos player – even those who entered this season as third-year starters – had ever experienced the honor of being voted to an all-district team, at least on the gridiron.
But in Year 3 of competition and its first in Class 5A Division I, up-and-coming Lake Belton produced a level of play that certainly proved worthy of recognition.
Explosive junior wide receiver Micah Hudson was voted Most Valuable Player and hard-hitting senior safety Javeon Wilcox shared the Defensive MVP award to highlight the Broncos’ selections on the 2022 All-District 4-5A Division I Team.
Eight other Lake Belton players earned first-team all-district status for head coach Brian Cope’s 8-3 squad that tied for second place in the district and seized a playoff berth in its inaugural season of eligibility.
On offense, the Broncos’ first-team selections were senior quarterback Connor Crews, senior wide receiver Jaydon Leza, senior tight end Christian Kunz and junior tackle Kaden Bradshaw. Lake Belton’s first-team honorees on defense were senior inside linebacker Connor Brennan, senior outside linebacker Manny Herrera, junior outside linebacker Ty Legg and junior tackle Adam Walden.
In addition, seven Broncos collected second-team all-league recognition: Legg and Wilcox at wide receiver, senior guard Challen Maileoi, senior defensive end Evan Roland, senior cornerback Bruce Onchweri, junior cornerback Selman Bridges and junior safety Peanut Brazzle.
Wilcox shared the Defensive MVP award with three other players: Killeen Ellison senior tackle Brendan Bett, Killeen Shoemaker senior end Zavian Tibbs and Midlothian senior end Kade Tompkins.
Midlothian senior quarterback Chad Ragle was voted Offensive MVP after helping lead the potent Panthers to an undefeated regular season and a 12-1 final record. Ragle passed for 1,253 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 1,064 yards and 10 TDs for Midlothian, which lost 27-21 to state finalist and perennial power Aledo in a Region I semifinal.
Shoemaker sophomore quarterback Malachi Jerome was selected Offensive Newcomer of the Year, while Ellison sophomore end Sema’j Howard collected the Defensive Newcomer of the Year award. Ellison senior defensive back and kick returner Zy’Aire King was selected Utility Player of the Year.
Midlothian head coach Matt Hutchings and his staff earned the Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Eight Shoemaker players were honored as first-team all-district performers for coach Toby Foreman’s Grey Wolves playoff squad: junior running back Jerrod Hicks, senior wide receiver Javante Carson, senior center Wilbert Martin, senior inside linebacker Valentino Greene, senior defensive tackles To’O To’O Maugaotega and Jequarrius McClendon, senior defensive end Darrion Burleson and junior safety Malik Esquerra. Also for Shoemaker, junior K’Mare Balfour was the runner-up for Utility Player of the Year.
Five Killeen players received first-team all-district honors for Kangaroos first-year head coach Josh Sadler, previously Temple's offensive coordinator: senior running back Jakobe Deloach, senior center Connor Beeman, senior defensive end Aaron Barnwell, senior inside linebacker Cameron Gee and junior cornerback Jaeshaun Peyton.
Ellison recorded six first-team all-league selections for Eagles coach Danny Servance: senior wide receiver Khamani Debrow, senior safety Tyrone Osberry, senior outside linebacker Steve Albert, senior inside linebacker Matthew Moore, junior inside linebacker Kesean Meeks and King at kick returner.
Hudson, a three-year starter, produced his most dynamic season yet for Lake Belton. The 6-foot, 190-pound junior made 65 receptions for 1,198 yards and 14 touchdowns, rushed for 243 yards and two TDs on 32 carries and averaged 30.4 yards on eight punt returns. Hudson had 13 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown in the Broncos’ 39-37 loss at state-ranked Midlothian. The five-star national recruit scored 17 TDs overall for a team-best 102 points.
HERE COMES THE BOOM: Lake Belton senior safety Javeon "Boom" Wilcox (5) made a team-leading 125 tackles and three interceptions en route to sharing the District 4-5A Division I Defensive MVP award with three other players, including senior linemen Brendan Bett of Killeen Ellison and Zavian Tibbs of Killeen Shoemaker. Wilcox, a Texas Christian commitment, also was a second-team all-league selection at wide receiver after making 14 catches for 336 yards and eight touchdowns for the 8-3 Broncos. (File photo by Dennis Knowlton/Special to TempleBeltonSports.com)
The sure-tackling Wilcox was the ringleader of Lake Belton’s defense for the third consecutive season. The Texas Christian-committed senior safety nicknamed "Boom" made a team-high 125 tackles (86 unassisted) and a team-best three interceptions along with forcing a fumble and recovering one. The 6-foot, 185-pound Wilcox also was an effective weapon on offense, racking up 336 yards and eight touchdowns on 14 catches.
Fellow three-year starter Crews had another highly productive season directing the offense of coordinator Matt Uzzell. The 6-1, 220-pound Crews completed 172 of 283 passes (60.8 percent) for 2,808 yards and 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He also rushed for 280 yards and nine TDs on 59 carries.
Leza was Lake Belton’s second-leading receiver as a senior, grabbing 35 catches for 518 yards and five TDs. Tight end Kunz and linemen Bradshaw and Ma’lleoi were key blockers for a Broncos offense that churned out 422.3 yards per game.
Ranking second to Wilcox in tackles for Lake Belton was inside linebacker Brennan, who made 83 tackles (55 solo, nine for losses) and five sacks along with eight quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries for defensive coordinator Randy Hooton.
Outside linebacker Legg recorded 80 tackles (38 solo), two sacks and a fumble recovery at outside linebacker, and on the other side of the ball the versatile junior made 20 receptions for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
Herrera contributed 47 tackles (21 solo), two sacks and a fumble recovery from his outside linebacker post, while 6-3, 360-pound junior tackle Walden was a forceful presence with 32 tackles (five for losses) and seven QB hurries.
Onchweri made 63 tackles, broke up six passes and grabbed one interception, while fellow cornerback Bridges recorded 46 tackles, had six pass breakups and returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdowns. Senior end Roland was productive, compiling 32 tackles (five for loss) and nine quarterback hurries in nine games, and safety Brazzle made 30 tackles (21 solo) in eight games.
Co-Defensive MVPs Bett of Ellison and Tibbs of Shoemaker were highly disruptive forces on the line. The Baylor-committed Bett (6-4, 295) made 63 tackles (47 solo), including 20 for losses and four sacks. He had 16 quarterback hurries and made an interception. The 6-2, 245-pound Tibbs compiled 25½ tackles for loss and 12½ sacks among his 68 total stops. He added 12 QB hurries and three forced fumbles.
Shoemaker sophomore Jerome passed for 2,243 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 433 yards as he quarterbacked the 8-3 Grey Wolves to a comeback win at Lake Belton and a share of second place with the Broncos and Red Oak.
Five Lake Belton players earned all-district honorable mentions: senior running backs Tristan Robin (498 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) and D’Arius Wilkerson (519 yards, seven TDs), senior offensive lineman Dominic Simpson, senior defensive tackle Keuntaye Williams (30 tackles) and sophomore receiver Cash Robin (15 catches, 228 yards, one TD).
2022 ALL-DISTRICT 4-5A
DIVISION I FOOTBALL TEAM
Selected in voting by
the league's head coaches
Most Valuable Player – Micah Hudson, Lake Belton, wide receiver, junior
Offensive MVP – Chad Ragle, Midlothian, quarterback, senior
Co-Defensive MVPs – Javeon Wilcox, Lake Belton, safety, senior; Brendan Bett, Killeen Ellison, lineman, senior; Zavian Tibbs, Killeen Shoemaker, end, senior; Kade Tompkins, Midlothian, end, senior
Offensive Newcomer of the Year – Malachi Jerome, Shoemaker, quarterback, sophomore
Defensive Newcomer of the Year – Sema’j Howard, Ellison, end, sophomore
Utility Player of the Year – Zy’Aire King, Ellison, senior (second team: K’Mare Balfour, Shoemaker, junior)
Coaching Staff of the Year – Midlothian head coach Matt Hutchings and staff
Quarterback – Connor Crews, Lake Belton, senior; Jaylon Robinson, Red Oak, senior
Running back – Jakobe Deloach, Killeen, senior; Jerrod Hicks, Shoemaker, junior; Jadon Rogers, Granbury, junior
Wide receiver – Jaydon Leza, Lake Belton, senior; Khamani Debrow, Ellison, senior; Javante Carson, Shoemaker, senior; Malachi Cunningham, Cleburne, freshman; De’ago Benson, Midlothian, senior; Bryant Wesco, Midlothian, junior; Brayden Robinson, Red Oak, freshman; Montaz Williams, Red Oak, sophomore; Reggie Lewis, Waco, junior
Fullback – Michael Garber, Midlothian, junior
Tight end – Christian Kunz, Lake Belton, senior
Center – Connor Beeman, Killeen, senior; Wilbert Martin, Shoemaker, senior
Guard – Cole Quigley, Midlothian, senior
Tackle – Kaden Bradshaw, Lake Belton, junior; Austin Taylor, Granbury, senior; Zion Ward, Midlothian, senior
Inside linebacker – Connor Brennan, Lake Belton, senior; Cameron Gee, Killeen, senior; Kesean Meeks, Ellison, junior; Matthew Moore, Ellison, senior; Valentino Greene, Shoemaker, senior; Christopher Maher, Cleburne, senior; Cole Martin, Midlothian, senior; Camron Devones, Red Oak, senior; Lazavier Amos, Waco, junior
Outside linebacker – Manny Herrera, Lake Belton, senior; Ty Legg, Lake Belton, junior; Steve Albert, Ellison, senior
Tackle – Adam Walden, Lake Belton, junior; To’O To’O Maugaotega, Shoemaker, senior; Jequarrius McClendon, Shoemaker, senior; Bryce Starlin, Midlothian, senior
End – Aaron Barnwell, Killeen, senior; Darrion Burleson, Shoemaker, senior; Xavier Ruffin, Midlothian, senior; Tanner Thompson, Red Oak, junior
Safety – Tyrone Osberry, Ellison, senior; Malik Esquerra, Shoemaker, junior; Carsen Bates, Midlothian, senior
Cornerback – Jaeshaun Peyton, Killeen, junior; James Byrd, Granbury, senior; Kemondre Yancy, Red Oak, senior
Kick returner – Zy’Aire King, Ellison, senior; Warren Roberson, Red Oak, senior
Kicker – Drew Henderson, Granbury, senior
Punter – Chris Martinez, Red Oak, junior
Quarterback – Landry Shields, Cleburne, senior
Running back – Jamarius Stewart, Shoemaker, senior; Moses Martindale, Red Oak, senior
Wide receiver – Ty Legg, Lake Belton, junior; Javeon Wilcox, Lake Belton, senior; Tekoree Landours, Killeen, junior; Bobby Williams, Ellison, senior; Johnathan Lahmann, Shoemaker, junior; Logan Schroyer, Cleburne, junior; Jordon Richburg, Midlothian, senior; Jairrus Nicholson, Red Oak, senior
Tight end – Isaiah Butler-Tanner, Shoemaker, sophomore; Carter Riley, Granbury, sophomore; Kole Tompkins, Midlothian, junior
Center – Jordan Bass, Ellison, senior; Chris Ramos, Red Oak, junior
Guard – Challen Maileoi, Lake Belton, senior; Kareem Edmon, Shoemaker, junior
Tackle – Kevin Kopitskie, Killeen, senior; Ta’Von Harris, Shoemaker, senior; Reid Wyss, Granbury, junior; Corbin Griffin, Midlothian, senior
Inside linebacker – Ethan Hernandez, Granbury, sophomore; Ny’tori Burnett, Midlothian, junior; Jordan Fleming, Red Oak, senior; Zach Smith, Red Oak, junior
Outside linebacker – Galayum Taylor, Killeen, junior; Ronnie Collins, Shoemaker, senior; Tim Standifer, Waco, senior
Tackle – Jevon Custis, Ellison, senior; Braydon Olthoff, Granbury, senior; Kaiden Bates, Red Oak, junior
End – Evan Roland, Lake Belton, senior; Xavier Aguilar, Cleburne, junior; Bradyn Smith, Midlothian, junior; Sevin Butler, Red Oak, senior; Darren Bible, Waco, senior; Javon Bryant, Waco, junior
Safety – Peanut Brazzle, Lake Belton, junior; Lamarrion Cotton, Killeen, senior; Isaiah Hagan, Ellison, senior; Cameron Bates, Midlothian, senior; Austin Henderson-Lowe, Midlothian, senior
Cornerback – Selman Bridges, Lake Belton, junior; Bruce Onchweri, Lake Belton, senior; De’Andre Reed, Ellison, senior; Eule Ford, Shoemaker, senior; James Reynolds, Cleburne, senior; Creed Lynch, Granbury, senior; Xavier Lejeune, Midlothian, senior; Zechariah Washington, Midlothian, sophomore; Amayas Ervin, Waco, junior
Kick returner – Maurice Starr, Shoemaker, sophomore
Kicker – Joshua Jimenez, Red Oak, junior
Punter – Brack Peacock, Granbury, senior
Lake Belton selections – Tristan Robin, running back, senior; Dominic Simpson, offensive line, senior; D’Arius Wilkerson, running back, senior; Keuntaye Williams, defensive line, senior; Cash Robin, wide receiver, sophomore
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