Six Outstanding Student Athletes Selected in Week 7 of “Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week
- 5A - Kyler Murray, Jr., QB, Allen
- 4A - Austin Walter, Sr., RB, Crosby
- 3A - Tre’Vontae Hights, Jr., QB/DB, Yoakum
- 2A - Paten Snell, Soph., QB, Scurry-Rosser
- 1A - Hunter Lile, Jr., QB, Booker
- Private - Luke Alves, Sr., RB, Ft. Worth Nolan Catholic
PLANO, Texas, Oct. 23, 2013 – Six Texas high school football stars have been recognized during Week 7 of the “Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week” program.
In its eighth consecutive year, Ford Motor Company’s Player of the Week program is again honoring six outstanding student-athletes each week during the 2013 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 players recognized for their exceptional efforts. Previous Players of the Week include: The last two Heisman trophy winners, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Washington Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, as well as Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead, SMU starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert and University of Texas at Austin running back Johnathan Gray, the only two-time Built Ford Tough Texas HS Football Player of the Year.
Summaries of Week 7 Winners
CLASS 5-A: Kyler Murray, Jr., Quarterback, Allen:
It was just business as usual for Allen’s junior quarterback Kyler Murray last week. The 5-11, 175-pound signal-caller turned in another mesmerizing performance—which accounted for the bevy of college recruiters in the stands, firing pinpoint passes and breaking down the Plano West defense. By the final whistle, the Eagles, the state’s top-ranked 5-A team (and near the top in most national polls too) had cruised to a 77-37 victory. Kyler, who sat down after building a 49-7 halftime lead, accounted for seven TDs—four passing and three rushing—and 392 total yards. He was nearly flawless, passing for 246 yards on 13-for-17 passing and adding 146 yards on the ground (20.4 yards per carry). “He’s been like this all season,” said Coach Tom Westerberg. “As a result, our offense has been clicking on all cylinders.” With their 18th straight win, the Eagles moved to 7-0 (2-0 in District 10-5A) and took another step toward their goal of a second-straight Class 5-A Division I state title.
With a year left in his recruitment process, Kyler already has offers from UT, Tech, and A&M along with Arkansas, Ohio State, Clemson, and Arizona State. Leading Allen to the state title as a sophomore won him all-state honors as a sophomore. Holder of a B+ academic average, he’s an all-district second baseman who also participates in the Reading with the Eagles program, directed at Allen’s elementary school youngsters.
“Kyler just loves to compete,” says Coach Westerberg. “He has the poise required of any great leader and, despite his early success last year, he has continued to improve. His teammates really respect him and he’s a great vocal leader behind the scenes.”
CLASS 4-A: Austin Walter, Sr., Running Back, Crosby:
Is there anything more comforting for a running back than to know that his quarterback has his back? That’s the way it is at Crosby for star running back Austin Walter, who has been putting up huge numbers all season. Case in point, a 12-carry, 255-yard, four TD night before he was pulled with three minutes to go in the first half of a 56-14 win over Houston King last week. That gave him 1,570 yards on only 123 carries (a 12.76 yards- per-carry average) and 17 TDs. He has also caught a couple of TD passes and returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score. That’s a major reason why the Cougars are sitting at 6-1 (4-1 in District 19-4A). At 5-8 and 180 pounds, Walter is blessed with great speed and, according to scouting reports, is quick, shifty, and explosive. And that quarterback who’s watching out for him? It’s his identical twin brother Aston.
In addition to participating in track and maintaining a 3.45 GPA, he still finds time to volunteer collecting toys and food for the homeless in Houston, help clean up abandoned housing which had caused a blight in the community, coach middle school 7-on-7 teams, and join Friday Readers, in which Crosby players read to elementary school youngsters. The twins, who are extremely close, committed to going to college together and turned down Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to play together at Rice.
“Austin will do absolutely anything we ask,” says Coach Jeff Riordan. “We might say to him, ’Go play wide receiver on the scout team.’ Not a problem. Interestingly, although the twins are identical, Aston (the QB) is extremely vocal and Austin is equally quiet. But Austin’s success is the product of hard work, laser-sharp focus, and great on-field vision. Coaching the Walter twins has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”
CLASS 3-A: Tre’Vontae Hights, Jr., Quarterback/Defensive Back, Yoakum:
It didn’t take long for Yoakum to get rolling last week. On the first play from scrimmage at his own 28-yard-line, junior QB Tre’Vontae Hights called his own number and, moments later, wound up in the Cuero end zone. It was the first of three rushing TDs for Hights, who rushed for 188 yards on 29 carries and hit on 6 of 9 passes for another 108 yards and another score. Just for good measure, Tre’Vontae made nine tackles (five of them solos) on defense, helping assure the 41-20 victory. The win, earned in a heavy downpour, was the Bulldogs’ third straight (after an 0-3 start) and left them at 2-0 in District 26-3A.
Tre’Vontae is rapidly appearing on college recruiters’ radar. He took an unofficial visit to Baylor recently. He’s also a standout basketball player and track athlete, having won the state triple jump title last spring while placing in the high jump and long jump and running a leg on the 4 x 200 relay. The holder of an impressive B+ average in honors classes, he’s active in FCA and at his church and reads to Yoakum’s elementary school youngsters.
“Tre’Vontae is a great all-around kid,” says Coach Brent Kornegay. “We run an up-tempo offense and he has the unique ability to make that work. Our objective is to put the ball in his hands as often as humanly possible. He’s a high-profile kid around school and is certainly one of our team leaders.”
CLASS 2-A: Paten Snell, Soph., Quarterback, Scurry-Rossler:
With Scurry-Rosser trailing district opponent Blooming Grove 21-20 at halftime last week, sophomore quarterback Paten Snell asked for the ball. Great move. Scurry-Rosser scored 34 unanswered points after intermission, sewing up a comfortable 54-21 win, which moved the ‘Cats to 7-0 for the season. The victory also clinched a spot in the post-season. Snell wound up with a huge night, completing 20 of 33 passes for a whopping 450 yards and all six offensive touchdowns. He also ran 11 times for 95 yards. “The best part of Paten’s game is his maturity,” says Coach Jason Bachtel. “Who’d have thought that a sophomore would give us such consistency at QB?”
Paten is what his coaches call a full time athlete. He was a starter on the basketball team as a freshman last year, was a regional qualifier in the mile relay, will be on the baseball team this spring, and is even active with the fishing club. Yet he still finds time to put up a stellar 3.5 GPA in the classroom and be active in his church youth group.
“We had high hopes that Paten would be our QB ever since the seventh grade,” says Coach Bachtel. “He was an all-district free safety as a freshman (we won’t risk putting him out there anymore) and earned his way onto our Leadership Council as a soph. If we make some adjustments at halftime, his answer is always, ‘no problem’—and then he goes out and executes. If we need 12 yards, he makes sure he gets 13. His unique ability to find a variety of receivers really opens up our offense.”
CLASS 1-A: Hunter Lile, Jr., Quarterback, Booker:
Whenever Hunter Lile steps onto the field, every eye in the rural Panhandle town of Booker (population 1,315) focuses on the record-setting quarterback. Last week’s game against Boys Ranch provided a perfect example. After a slow start (a pair of fumbles on kickoffs produced a 6-0 Boys Ranch lead), Lile took over. The 5-9, 170-pound junior quarterback jump-started the offense to a 21-12 halftime edge en route to a 47-12 pasting of the 2-A Roughriders. It was the 5-1 Kiowas last non-district game. Operating from the spread offense, Lile torched the defense by passing for an amazing 433 yards (on 23 completions) and TDs of 21, 57, 90, and 55 yards. He also ran for 43 yards and two short scores. Now a three-year starter, Lile earned statewide notoriety as a sophomore by passing for a state 1-A record 3,995 yards, smashing the old mark of 3,836 yards by Tyler Minyard of Bosqueville in 2003. At his current pace, he’s likely to rewrite the state record book by the end of the 2014 season.
A three-sport all-district athlete—basketball and baseball, too, Hunter is a straight A student in honors classes (pleasing his mother, the teacher). He’s also an active member of FFA and FCA among other extracurricular activities. Outside school, he’s a regular participant on the youth group at the local Methodist church.
“Hunter was our starter as a freshman and was forced to mature quickly,” says Coach James Henton. “His dad’s a coach and his mom’s a teacher, so you can imagine that he’s a fine, well-grounded young man. Despite the enormous pressure placed on the quarterback, Hunter has handled it very well.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Luke Alves, Sr., Running Back, Fort Worth Nolan Catholic:
If Nolan Catholic is going to win its fifth TAPPS Division I title in the last six years, running back Luke Alves will need to produce every night. In last week’s 34-24 win over Dallas Bishop Lynch, the 5-10, 190-pound Alves kept cranking all night, winding up with 28 carries for 284 yards and three TDs. That left him just 14 yards shy of the school’s all-time single-game rushing mark, held by Horace Ivory, who starred for the NFL’s Patriots and Seahawks back in the late 1970s. Luke, who the scouts call a punishing runner, now has 977 yards and 14 touchdowns on 128 carries. That has enabled the Vikings to win five straight (after an unusual 0-2 start) coming into this week’s district showdown with 7-1 Plano Prestonwood Christian.
A soccer player for the Vikings, Alves scores in the classroom too, with a 91% academic average. He combines his two outside interests: as an Eagle Scout he led a project to build a garden at his St. Andrew’s Catholic Church. With his sights set on a degree in engineering, he is drawing attention from such stellar institutions as the Coast Guard Academy and the Colorado School of Mines.
“Luke is a quiet young man who leads by example,” says Coach Joe Prud’homme. “He’s relentless, no matter what he does—our hardest worker in practice and a punishing runner on the field. He serves as an inspirational leader of our team, so on those few occasions where he feels the need to speak up, everyone listens.”
Nominate Your Elite Student-Athletes at PlayeroftheWeek.com
Students recognized by Ford, Texas Ford Dealers and the Built Ford Tough Media Advisory Board as Players of the Week have excelled 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
Fans may nominate athletes to join this list at PlayeroftheWeek.com, as well as catch up with weekly winners, view video clips of players in action and get the latest program details.
Additionally, fans can catch all the action on Fox Sports Southwest. The network is again teaming with Ford and the Texas Ford Dealers to keep up with award winners through their weekly television show. Each week, television crews will travel to communities across Texas shining the spotlight on 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 Saturday at 8:30 a.m. for 12 weeks beginning August 31.
Ford F-Series: The Best-Selling Truck for 36 Years
Ford is the undisputed truck leader in Texas. The F-Series sets the standard for full-size pickups with best-in-class payload, towing, interior roominess, strength and reliability. Ford is proud to recognize the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Week.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information on the company and about Ford’s products, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.