Six Outstanding Student Athletes Selected in Week 4 of Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week Program
- Class 6-A: Maverick McIvor, Jr., Quarterback, San Angelo Central
- Class 5-A: Colby Suits, Sr., Quarterback, North Forney
- Class 4-A: Keaontay Ingram, Sr., Running Back, Carthage
- Class 3-A: Judd Miller, Sr., Quarterback/Linebacker, Malakoff
- Class 2-A: Daniel Marin, Sr., Quarterback/Punter, Freer
- Private Schools: Conor Kresta, Sr., Running Back/Linebacker/Punter, Shiner St. Paul
In its twelfth consecutive year, Ford Motor Company’s Player of the Week program is again honoring six outstanding student-athletes each week of the 2017 regular season, recognizing one player in each of the state’s six athletic classifications. The winners are chosen for athletic achievements on the field, as well as for outstanding scholarship and community involvement. These players are the embodiment of Ford’s Go Further commitment.
This week’s winning athletes join a long list of remarkable players recognized for their exceptional efforts.
Week 4 Winners
Class 6-A: Maverick McIvor, Jr., Quarterback, San Angelo Central:
If San Angelo Central quarterback Maverick McIvor had one of those career nights last week, he picked a good time. The Bobcats needed all of McIvor’s magic to secure a 52-42 victory over Killeen Shoemaker. The win lifted Central to 4-0, good enough to be ranked no. 20 in this week’s Campbell rankings. The 6-3, 195-pound junior showed off his great arm in the first half, then relied on his legs to carry the Bobcats over the finish line in the second. Central trailed 28-20 at halftime before McIvor rallied them to avoid the upset. Overall, he accounted for seven TDs. He completed 21 of 28 passes for 237 yards, ran 26 times for 207 yards and a score, and even scored on a pass reception at the end of a trick play. His five TD tosses tied a school record. For the season, Maverick has completed 66% of his passes for 1,246 yards and 16 TDs without an interception. With the non-district part of the season successfully behind them, the Bobcats begin District 2-6A play with a visit to Odessa after an upcoming bye-week.
McIvor also excels in the classroom, where he holds a near-perfect 3.9 GPA and is a member of the school’s honor roll. In the spring, he runs the 200 and 400 as well as a leg on the mile relay in track. He comes from excellent bloodlines; his dad, Rick, quarterbacked at the University of Texas in the early 1980s. McIvor is also involved with the local Baptist church, FCA, and a reading-to-kids program. He volunteers with West Texas Rehab, which provides financial assistance to people who are in need of artificial limbs.
“How did we beat Shoemaker? It was Maverick,” said Central Coach Brent Davis. “He just put the team on his back and got us there, and I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s just a humble young man from a great family and, though he’s a vocal leader, it’s more about his actions.”
Class 5-A: Colby Suits, Sr., Quarterback, North Forney:
Seven years ago, Randy Jackson was coaching at Mesquite Poteet. His linebacker’s fifth-grade brother seemed like such a sweet kid, Coach Jackson made him the team’s ball boy. Flash forward to 2017. Jackson is appointed the new head coach at North Forney, winners of only four games last year. Now the Falcons are 4-0 and the quarterback, Colby Suits, is that sweet ball boy from seven years ago. What a great reunion! North Forney won its fourth-straight last week, a heart-pounding, scoreboard-busting 70-65 victory over Wylie East. The 6-3, 215-pound Suits was responsible for every one of the Falcons’ 10 TDs, completing 16 of 28 passes for 400 yards and four TDs and rushing 18 times for 193 yards and five TDs. He even caught a 16-yard TD pass from his wide receiver on a gadget play that started with a lateral. Since North Forney only opened in 2009, it doesn’t have a long football history, but Jackson was moved to call the win “the biggest ever for the Falcons.” They’ll need another massive outing this week against defending state 5A Division I champs Highland Park. But the moral of the story is crystal clear: Be nice to your ball boy; you just never know!
A 4.3 GPA student (on a 5.0 scale), Suits is great with youngsters. He’s involved virtually every day as a teacher’s aide at the elementary school. He has verbally committed to Louisiana-Monroe.
“Colby has done a great job for us since Day 1,” said Coach Jackson. “He did the heavy lifting and bought into our program. I suppose our prior relationship helped. But when he bought in, the others followed and that’s what gotten us off to our great start. None of that happens without Colby’s tremendous ability and leadership.”
Class 4-A: Keaontay Ingram, Sr., Running Back, Carthage:
When the hype-masters start calling it “The Game of the Century,” it usually isn’t. But when defending state 4-A, Division I champion Carthage visited Gilmer last week, the game fully lived up to its billing. With an overflow crowd of 6,000 cheering every play. the battle of the top two 4-A schools in East Texas was as advertised. Carthage’s great running back Keaontay Ingram wound up stealing the show. The 6-0, 195-pound Ingram wound up rushing for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns (1 and 17 yards) and pulling in passes for 62 and 49 yards for two more scores. His Bulldogs, who trailed 28-13 at halftime, scored the game’s final 35 points to pick up the 48-28 victory going away. “The atmosphere was crazy,” said Carthage Head Coach Scott Surratt. “It felt a lot more like December than September.” Thanks largely to Ingram, who’s headed to Austin to play for the Longhorns next season, Carthage ended Gilmer’s 28-game home-winning streak. Heading into its bye-week, the Bulldogs are where they love to be—at the top of the rankings.
Ingram burst onto the scene last December when he was named the MVP of the 4-A Division I final at AT&T Stadium, a 31-17 Carthage win over Abilene Wylie. He is heavily involved in both FCA and at his local church. An all-state running back who is a leading candidate for the state 4-A Offensive Player of the Year honors, he is also an all-district selection in basketball and track (sprints, relays and jumps).
“Keaontay is the total package, on and off the field,” said Coach Surratt. “What a pleasure he is to coach. You never have to worry about him. He simply has that ‘it’ factor.”
Class 3-A: Judd Miller, Sr., Quarterback/Linebacker, Malakoff:
Malakoff quarterback Judd Miller is putting up passing numbers that only an accountant could figure out. Anytime the Tigers put the ball in the senior’s hands, they have a chance. That’s why last year’s state semi-finalists (14-1) are off to a 3-0 start in 2017, hoping to take that next step. In last week’s pulse-pounding 49-47 win over Tyler Grace Community, Miller had a typical Miller evening, completing a highly-efficient 16 of 20 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns, and rushing 16 times for 154 yards and three more scores. With nine new starters on defense, Malakoff has had to outscore its opponents to keep winning and Miller is seeing to it. In addition, he had six tackles and a fumble recovery playing about half the game at outside linebacker. After throwing for a shade under 6,000 yards and 74 scores in his first two years as the Tigers’ starter, Miller is off to another great start with 612 yards and six passing TDs to date. He also has run for six more scores. The 3-0 Tigers are ranked fourth in the current Dave Campbell’s Texas Football 3-A, Division I poll.
Miller does just as well off the gridiron, running track and playing baseball in the spring. He also sports a nifty 3.8 GPA. The youngsters in Malakoff love him, so he spends time visiting elementary schools and mentoring the students.
“He has this amazing calming effect on our team,” said Coach Jamie Driskell of his two-time Built Ford Tough Texas HS Football Player of the Week. “He’s just a cool customer, never too high or too low. When the game is on the line, he delivers. Everybody looks up to him. He’s an amazingly hard worker who is totally dedicated to our program. When he speaks, everyone listens. He’s just a born leader!”
Class 2-A: Daniel Marin, Sr., Quarterback/Punter, Freer:
It was one of those situations that make coaches a little older and a little grayer. Freer had just scored in the second overtime to bring the Buckaroos within one point of rival Banquete. The choice: kick for a tie or go for two to win. Freer coach Gerry Carpentier didn’t hesitate. “It’s easy when you have Daniel Marin on your side,” the coach recalls. The 5-7, 160-pound Marin had been the hot guy all night. He stayed hot. To win it, Marin had to hurdle two Bulldogs but when he landed in the end zone. The Buckaroos had an amazing 51-50 win, their third of the season. Marin wound up with 208 yards and four TDs (7, 54, 2 and 25 yards) on the ground and 175 passing yards that included a rally-starting (they had trailed 25-21) fourth-quarter TD. And, of course, there was that game-winning two-pointer. The win boosted Freer to a 3-1 start with Premont coming to town for homecoming this week.
The holder of a sparkling 3.65 GPA, Marin is an honor-roll student who is taking college courses. Though he loves football, he’ll likely opt to play baseball at the next level after earning 2-A District 1 defensive player of the year honors as a shortstop last spring. In addition, he’s a greeter at the local elementary school and spends time reading to the youngsters.
“Daniel had a heckuva game,” said Coach Carpentier. “Our opponents generally gear their defenses to try to stop him. But that doesn’t deter him; he refuses to be denied. He’s a terrific leader, on and off the field, and he’s absolutely wonderful to coach.”
Private Schools: Conor Kresta, Sr., Running Back/Linebacker/Punter, Shiner St. Paul:
In first three years as a do-everything starter at Shiner St. Paul, Conor Kresta already owns two TAPPS state titles. And with the Cardinals off to a 3-0 start in 2017, St. Paul may well be in the hunt for another. Playing up a division last week against Austin Hyde Park, St. Paul racked up a 42-26 win with Kresta turning in another typical all-around performance. The 5-10, 185-pounder rushed 22 times for 303 yards and four touchdowns (1, 60, 1 and 39 yards). He also had a 49-yard pass reception. Equally impressive on defense, the middle linebacker made all of the defensive calls and was also in on nine tackles, most of the solo variety. And, as usual, he punted and snapped the ball on placekicks. That’s doing it all. In last year’s title game, Kresta made a game-saving tackle to wrap up the crown. In a tiny school where 30 of the 40 boys play football, Kresta’s versatility is vital to the team’s success. The Cardinals’ pursuit of another state crown moves to Austin this Friday when they take on Brentwood Christian.
Kresta is versatile off the football field as well. In addition to playing baseball and running track in the spring, he manages to maintain a 3.15 GPA. He’s heavily involved in church activities and, in the summer, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Kresta helped Shiner welcome evacuees to a local nursing home, performing whatever services were required.
“Of the kids I’ve had, I can’t think of any who were more highly competitive than Conor,” said Head Coach Jake Wachsmuth. “He gives us everything he’s got every day in practice and games. On every play he runs, he takes the ball 50 yards downfield. He’s just fun to coach. He’s a vocal leader but that doesn’t mean much if you don’t lead by example. Conor certainly does!”
Nominate your elite student-athlete at PlayeroftheWeek.com
Students recognized by Ford Motor Company, Texas Ford dealers and the Built FordTough media advisory board as Players of the Week excel in three categories:
- Individual performance on the field, including significant game statistics
- Contribution to the team’s success through individual leadership abilities
- Performance off the field, including academic success and good community citizenship
Additionally, fans can catch all the action on Fox Sports Southwest. The network is again teaming with Ford and Texas Ford dealers to keep up with award winners through its weekly television show. Each week, television crews will travel to communities across Texas, spotlighting these players who excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The half-hour Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. for 12 weeks.
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