FITTING REWARD: Temple's York top 12-6A defender for third time; Harrison-Pilot shares Offensive MVP
Updated: Dec 11, 2022
EXCELLENCE ON REPEAT: Temple senior linebacker Taurean York (5) was selected District 12-6A Defensive Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive season, this time in a unanimous vote. The Baylor-committed York made 120 tackles and finished his four-year varsity career with 435 stops. Also pictured are Hutto junior quarterback Will Hammond, who shared 12-6A's Offensive MVP award with Temple senior wide receiver Mikal Harrison-Pilot, and Wildcats senior defensive tackle Ka'Morion Carter (92), who was a second-team all-district selection. (File photo by Mike Lefner, Temple ISD/Special to TempleBeltonSports.com)
By GREG WILLE
Temple stars Taurean York and Mikal Harrison-Pilot punctuated their outstanding four-year varsity careers by earning individual awards on the 2022 All-District 12-6A Football Team.
Middle linebacker York was voted 12-6A’s Defensive Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive season, in unanimous fashion this time. Wide receiver Harrison-Pilot, also a part-time quarterback, shared the Offensive MVP honor with junior quarterback Will Hammond of Hutto.
The league runner-up to champion Harker Heights, Temple (7-4, 5-1) had eight other players collect a total of nine first-team all-district selections in voting by 12-6A’s seven head coaches based on regular-season performance.
Senior Naeten Mitchell was a first-team pick at safety and kick returner. First-team honorees on Temple’s offense were senior running back Deshaun Brundage, senior tight end Landon Halvorson, senior guard Agustin Silva and junior center Endrei Sauls. Joining Mitchell as first-team selections from the Wildcats’ defense were senior outside linebacker Josh Donoso, senior cornerback Steve Jackson and junior tackle Ayden Brown.
Temple’s unanimous choices along with York were Halvorson, Silva, Jackson and kick returner Mitchell. Mitchell as a safety and Sauls were first-team all-district selections for the second straight season.
Record-breaking Harker Heights senior running back Re’Shaun Sanford II won 12-6A’s overall MVP award in a unanimous vote for the second straight season. He was a dynamic driving force as he helped lead the 12-2 Knights to the Class 6A Division II Region II final.
Heights also had 12-6A’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year as sophomore linebacker Kaden Butler was a unanimous pick, and head coach Jerry Edwards and his staff earned the Coaching Staff of the Year honor.
Bryan freshman running back Jevalen Wade was voted Offensive Newcomer of the Year.
Temple players voted second-team all-district were senior tackle Jeremiah Mungia, junior quarterback Reese Rumfield and sophomore wide receiver Christian Tutson on offense, senior inside linebacker Teryon Williams-Echols, senior tackle Ka’Morion Carter and senior end Jaylon Jackson on defense and senior kicker Mateo Lopez and junior deep snapper Ethan Magana on special teams.
Harker Heights, which rallied from a 9-0 deficit to defeat defending champion Temple 13-9 on Oct. 21 at Killeen’s Leo Buckley Stadium, had 11 players selected first-team all-district to complement superlative winners Sanford and Butler.
The Knights’ first-team picks on offense were junior quarterback Dylan Plake (12-6A's Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2021), senior Aimeer Washington as a utility player, sophomore wide receiver Tyler Johnson, senior tackle Jaydon Chatman and junior center Jaden Kaaloa.
Heights defenders voted to the first team were senior inside linebacker Jeremy Jennings, senior end Christopher Robinson, senior tackle Lamarian Hatcher, senior safety Marcus Moultrie, senior cornerback Deaubry Hood and junior outside linebacker Kabriel Anderson-Dale. Anderson-Dale, Hood and Robinson were unanimous picks.
Temple linebacker York earned a 12-6A superlative award for the fourth consecutive season. He shared the Defensive Newcomer of the Year honor as a freshman in 2019, then took home the district’s Defensive MVP award in each of the next three seasons.
A first-team all-state performer last season, the Baylor-committed York paced the Wildcats with 120 tackles (68 unassisted) to lead them in stops for the fourth straight year and complete his career with 435 tackles. This season the 6-foot, 220-pound York recorded 13 tackles for loss, 5½ sacks, 11 quarterback pressures and two forced fumbles.
Also a contributor on offense as a senior, York scored all three of his touchdowns in a home district game against Hutto and his final-minute TD reception helped Temple overtake the Hippos for a 31-27 victory.
DYNAMIC PLAYMAKER: Temple wide receiver Mikal Harrison-Pilot earned first-team all-district honors in 2020 and 2021, then as a senior he shared District 12-6A's Offensive MVP award after making 48 catches for 978 yards and nine touchdowns along with contributing at quarterback in part-time duty. The four-star national recruit scored 36 touchdowns in his four-year varsity career, helping the Wildcats capture at least a share of three district championships. He shared the 12-6A Offensive MVP award with Hutto junior quarterback Will Hammond. (File photo by Mike Lefner, Temple ISD/Special to TempleBeltonSports.com)
York and fellow four-year starter Harrison-Pilot helped the Wildcats of head coach Scott Stewart compile a 26-2 district record and at least a share of three 12-6A championships as Temple extended its playoff streak to 10 seasons.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Harrison-Pilot was a second-team all-district pick at safety as a freshman and a first-team all-league wide receiver as a sophomore and junior. Harrison-Pilot finally nabbed a 12-6A superlative award after a stellar senior season in which he made 48 receptions for 978 yards and nine touchdowns. He followed in the footsteps of former teammate Samari Howard, last season’s 12-6A Offensive MVP.
A highly versatile player who also often lined up in Temple’s backfield and at safety, Harrison-Pilot rushed for 227 yards and five touchdowns on 39 carries and was 4-of-6 passing for 65 yards and two TDs. His career featured 22 touchdown receptions and 14 TD runs. The four-star national recruit is considering offers from Texas, Texas Christian, Houston, Oklahoma and California.
As a junior at Harker Heights, workhorse back Sanford rushed for 2,330 yards and 27 touchdowns and scored 32 TDs overall in 11 games en route to winning 12-6A’s MVP award. The 5-9, 170-pound Houston commitment delivered an impressive encore this season as he rushed for 2,666 yards and 25 touchdowns on 332 carries along with catching 18 passes for 302 yards and three TDs in 14 games.
Sanford recorded five games with 200-plus rushing yards as a senior and totaled 782 yards and eight TDs on the ground in four playoff games during the Knights’ march to the regional final, a 60-24 loss to DeSoto last Friday. Sanford completed his decorated varsity career with Heights program records of 6,467 rushing yards, 59 rushing touchdowns and 68 overall TDs.
Brundage rushed for 1,039 yards and four touchdowns on 162 carries as a first-year varsity starter. Halvorson, Sauls, Silva and Mungia were among the key blockers for coordinator Robby Case’s Wildcats offense that averaged 370.3 yards per game.
Second-year starter Rumfield passed for 2,235 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for four TDs, while fleet-footed sophomore Tutson made 26 catches for 610 yards and eight touchdowns and scored 10 TDs overall.
Playing mostly safety and some at cornerback, New Mexico State commitment Mitchell was a force for defensive coordinator Dexter Knox as he made 54 tackles and a team-best five interceptions. Mitchell blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown against Pflugerville Weiss and made an 18-yard TD catch in Temple’s 30-21 home loss to Waxahachie in a 6A Division I bi-district playoff.
After earning 12-6A’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year award as a sophomore, Brown again was a force in the middle of Temple’s line. He made 41 tackles (23 solo, seven for losses), forced a fumble, recovered one and had seven quarterback pressures.
After transferring in from Troy, Steve Jackson turned in a stellar senior season at cornerback for the Wildcats. He made 42 tackles (30 solo), broke up 10 passes, forced a fumble and recovered one. He also rushed for two touchdowns.
Undersized senior linebackers Williams-Echols and Donoso were effective performers for the Wildcats’ defense. Williams-Echols made 67 tackles (34 solo) to rank second behind York and collected 3½ sacks. Fellow first-year starter Donoso posted 30 tackles, two interceptions, a sack and a caused fumble.
Carter at tackle and Jaylon Jackson at end earned second-team all-district honors with strong senior seasons. Carter, a first-year starter, racked up 44 tackles (28 solo), including nine for losses and a team-leading six sacks along with a caused fumble and a recovered fumble. Jackson, a first-team all-district pick as a junior, recorded 31 tackles (16 solo) and 2½ sacks and blocked four field goals during district play.
Two seniors from Temple’s defense received honorable mentions: cornerback Kaiden Anderson and end Kevin Stockton.
Although Hutto went 2-4 in district play and missed the playoffs, dual-threat quarterback Hammond delivered an outstanding season. He passed for 2,763 yards and 30 touchdowns against five interceptions and rushed for a team-high 728 yards and nine TDs.
2022 ALL-DISTRICT 12-6A FOOTBALL TEAM
Selected by the league’s head coaches;
*denotes unanimous selection
Most Valuable Player – *Re’Shaun Sanford II, Harker Heights, senior, running back
Co-Offensive MVPs – Mikal Harrison-Pilot, Temple, senior, wide receiver; Will Hammond, Hutto, junior, quarterback
Defensive MVP – *Taurean York, Temple, senior, linebacker
Offensive Newcomer of the Year – Jevalen Wade, Bryan, freshman, running back
Defensive Newcomer of the Year – Kaden Butler, Harker Heights, sophomore, linebacker
Coaching Staff of the Year – Head coach Jerry Edwards and Harker Heights
Quarterback – Dylan Plake, Harker Heights, junior; Malcom Gooden, Bryan, senior
Running back – Deshaun Brundage, Temple, senior; Dom Hill, Waco Midway, senior; Daelen Alexander, Pflugerville Weiss, senior
Wide receiver – Tyler Johnson, Harker Heights, sophomore; *Tyson Turner, Bryan, senior; *Micah Gifford, Weiss, senior; Alex Green, Hutto, junior
Fullback – Andrew Walker, Bryan, senior
Tight end – *Landon Halvorson, Temple, senior
Center – Endrei Sauls, Temple, junior; Jaden Kaaloa, Harker Heights, junior
Guard – *Agustin Silva, Temple, senior; *Isac Gonzales, Bryan, senior
Tackle – Jaydon Chatman, Harker Heights, senior; Chris Maxey, Bryan, senior
Utility – Aimeer Washington, Harker Heights, senior; Tory Simmons Jr., Weiss, senior
Inside linebacker – Jeremy Jennings, Harker Heights, senior; Tate Allen, Bryan, junior; Sam Miller, Weiss, senior
Outside linebacker – Josh Donoso, Temple, senior; *Kabriel Anderson-Dale, Harker Heights, junior; Lorenzo Diggs, Weiss, senior
Tackle – Ayden Brown, Temple, junior; Lamarian Hatcher, Harker Heights, senior; Chad Otutu, Weiss, junior
End – *Christopher Robinson, Harker Heights, senior; Jaylen Parkinson, Hutto, senior
Safety – Naeten Mitchell, Temple, senior; Marcus Moultrie, Harker Heights, senior
Cornerback – *Steve Jackson, Temple, senior; *Deaubry Hood, Harker Heights, senior
Kick returner – *Naeten Mitchell, Temple, senior
Kicker – Timothy Hollenbeck, Hutto, senior; Oscar Jaramillo, Weiss, senior
Punter – Demetrius Pearce, Copperas Cove, junior; Derek Ramsey, Bryan, junior
Deep snapper – Tristan Compton, Hutto, junior
Quarterback – Reese Rumfield, Temple, junior
Running back – Tate Schneringer, Bryan, senior; Jaylon Banks, Hutto, senior; Negale Harmon, Weiss, senior
Wide receiver – Christian Tutson, Temple, sophomore; Trishstin Glass, Copperas Cove, sophomore; Alexander Bailey, Harker Heights, senior; Terrence Lewis, Bryan, sophomore; Gary Choice, Hutto, senior; Carson Forrest, Hutto, senior; Adrian Wilson, Weiss, sophomore
Fullback – Ezekiel Kaleopa-Lynn, Copperas Cove, senior
Tight end – Jerin Brown, Weiss, senior
Center – Marc Rodetis, Copperas Cove, senior; Brayden Morris, Weiss, senior
Guard – Dom Wyche, Copperas Cove, junior; Aaron Gomez, Harker Heights, junior
Tackle – Jeremiah Mungia, Temple, senior; Michael Uini, Copperas Cove, junior; Etueni Ropati, Harker Heights, senior; Isaiah Mworia, Weiss, senior
Utility – Tate Allen, Bryan, junior
Inside linebacker – Teryon Williams-Echols, Temple, senior; Kevin Pontious, Copperas Cove, senior; Brody Bujnoch, Hutto, senior
Outside linebacker – Coffa Tulensru, Copperas Cove, senior; Matthew Cooks, Bryan, senior; Theodore Anderson, Hutto, senior
Tackle – Ka’Morion Carter, Temple, senior; Jamorion Stanford, Harker Heights, senior; Jace White, Midway, junior
End – Jaylon Jackson, Temple, senior; Evan Collazo, Harker Heights, senior
Safety – Kenny Settles, Hutto, senior; Adrian Melvin, Midway, senior; Micah Gifford, Weiss, senior; Peyton Morgan, Weiss, junior
Cornerback – King White, Harker Heights, senior; Jacob Gomez, Hutto, senior; Titus Massaquoi, Weiss, senior
Kick returner – Malik Cuthbert, Copperas Cove, sophomore
Kicker – Mateo Lopez, Temple, senior; James Satterfield, Midway, junior
Deep snapper – Ethan Magana, Temple, junior
Temple selections – Kaiden Anderson, cornerback, senior; Kevin Stockton, defensive end, senior
Harker Heights selections – Rocky Crooks, wide receiver, sophomore; Jai’den Fletcher, kicker, junior; Evan Kime, defensive end, senior; Christian Robinson, cornerback, junior; Fernando Rodriguez, offensive guard, sophomore
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