Six Outstanding Student Athletes Selected in Week 11 of Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week Program
- Class 6A – Matthew Baldwin, Sr., Quarterback, Lake Travis
- Class 5A – Jordan Cooper, Sr., Quarterback, New Caney
- Class 4A – Ameer King, Sr., Running Back/Safety, Freeport Brazosport
- Class 3A – Jackson Sampson, Sr., Quarterback, New Diana
- Class 2A – Jaquorion Johnson, Sr., Quarterback/Safety, Rosebud-Lott
- Private schools – Josh Williams, Jr., Running Back/Cornerback, Houston Kinkaid
PLANO, Texas, Nov. 15, 2017 – Six Texas high school football stars have been recognized in the eleventh week of the 2017 Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program.
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 11 winners
Class 6-A: Matthew Baldwin, Sr., Quarterback, Lake Travis
It was just another night and another victory last Friday at Lake Travis (a.k.a. Quarterback High). In a program where the offense revolves around a gun slinging quarterback who can break the pocket, senior Matthew Baldwin is the latest caretaker of the coveted position. In the last 12 years, the Cavaliers have sent six QBs to Power Five conferences and Matthew is looking to make it seven. Before inking a national letter-of-intent, Matthew took care of business totaling 326 yards and four touchdowns to beat Austin Vandegrift, 40-28, in the District 25-6A finale. Matthew was stellar when the Cavaliers raced to a 21-0 lead at the break and 31-13 after three quarters. He threw for 193 yards and three scores from 10, 13 and 43 yards and wound up with 113 rushing yards and a TD of 66 yards on nine carries (12.6 yards a pop!). “We all know that Matthew can throw it, but he stepped up this time and won it with his legs,” says Coach Hank Carter. The defending 6A, Division I state champion Cavaliers enter the postseason this Friday hosting San Antonio Madison. Matthew joins former teammate Charlie Brewer (now at Baylor) as the Built Ford Tough weekly winner when he took home the award last season for Week 11.
The holder of a sparkling A-average, Matthew (6-2, 210 pounds) had offers from two Ivy League schools before committing to Colorado State last spring, but recently Ohio State made an offer to the regular on the Lake Travis honor roll. Additionally, Matthew is a member of FCA and National Honor Society and reads to the Lake Travis elementary school children.
“Matthew makes throws for yardage and TDs, but man, he ran wild last weekend when we needed it,” says Coach Carter. “One of the greatest compliments that your teammates can do is vote you a team captain and that just speaks volumes for his character and leadership skills.”
Class 5-A: Jordan Cooper, Sr., Quarterback, New Caney
It was a typical Jordan Cooper performance, especially with the odds stacked against his New Caney team. Facing a road game at unbeaten Crosby, with illness forcing five of the Eagles to go both ways, Jordan stepped up to lead New Caney to a surprisingly easy 63-36 victory which produced a district championship. Even more surprising, according to the best available records, New Caney had never beaten Crosby. Cooper got the Eagles off to a 21-13 first-quarter lead, including a 65-yard TD sprint. By halftime, the margin had expanded to 42-13, enabling the tired Eagles to hang on for the victory. The 6-0, 205-pound signal-caller racked up some pretty impressive numbers along the way, completing 13 of 19 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 20 times for 207 yards and three more scores. New Caney scored on every first-half possession. For the regular season, Jordan hit on 104 of 162 through the air for 1,442 yards and 11 scores and rushed 143 times for 1,003 yards and 16 TDs. The Eagles (7-2, 7-1 in district play) meet Vidor at Galena Park Friday night, hoping to win only their second playoff game ever.
A brilliant student with a 3.45 GPA, Jordan is always there when needed. He coached in the EMC Youth Football program the last two seasons and served as a mentor in the Elite D1 sports training program for youth under age 13. But he was at his heroic best when Hurricane Harvey struck, moving families out of a home in Kingwood and assisting in the demolition of the home. He also helped unload and sort goods delivered to the high school for families in need. All three service academies in FBS are vying for his attention.
Not surprisingly, Coach Brady Pennington says that, “as good a player as Jordan is, he’s a better young man. He has a great temperament. Whether he’s just thrown an interception or a touchdown pass, nothing changes. He’s careful to build up his teammates and is quick to point out when they’ve done something well. We try to teach great character to our players and he’s the poster child for our program.”
Class 4-A: Ameer King, Sr., Running Back/Safety, Freeport Brazosport
In one of the feel-good stories along the Gulf Coast this season, Freeport Brazosport is headed to the Class 4A, Division I playoffs for the first time since 2008. Last weekend senior Ameer King made sure the Explorers would not be denied a playoff berth producing a 394-yard, six-touchdown effort in a thrilling 63-34 victory over Needville in the District 12 finale. The win upped the Explorers’ record to 7-3 and 4-2 (district), nearly doubling the win total of five wins over from the previous four seasons. “Ameer saved his best game of the season for a must-win situation,” raves Coach Mike Ferrell. The night belonged to the speedy 5-8, 150-pound running back/safety, who carried 21 times for 236 yards and five TDs and caught four passes for 158 yards and another score. And he made seven tackles on defense. Brazosport opens the postseason hosting Worthing in the 4A, Division I bi-district playoffs this Friday.
Ameer is starting to land on the radar of college recruiters but does hold offers from FCS schools Lamar and Illinois State. He’s among the state leaders with 2,123 rushing yards and 26 TDs. The A/B student is a team captain in three sports (football, basketball and track and field) and is on the varsity leadership council. A member of FCA and the First United Missionary Baptist Church youth group, Ameer volunteered during Hurricane Harvey, filling sand bags, assisting the elderly, and working at both a local food pantry and the Brazosport Dream Center. Additionally, he reads to local elementary school kids.
“Ameer is a tremendous young man with high character,” says Coach Ferrell. “Last Friday’s game was just a reflection of how much Ameer cares about his teammates and the team. He’s simply a great young man!”
Class 3-A: Jackson Sampson, Sr., Quarterback, New Diana
New Diana’s bid for its first district championship in 15 years hung in the balance. Trailing 39-35 and facing fourth down and eight, Eagles quarterback Jackson Sampson was flushed from the pocket, scrambled, and finally found an open receiver to keep the drive alive. Three plays later, with a minute to play, Sampson completed a 35-yard bomb to secure the 42-39 victory over Paul Pewitt and that elusive title. It was New Diana’s first lead since the game’s opening minutes. The 5-11, 165-pound senior got the job done all night, completing 20 of 28 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns, three in the second half. “Without Jackson, we simply don’t win the game,” says Coach Robbie Coplin. That should come as no surprise. A three-year starter, Sampson has thrown for 3,630 yards and 47 touchdowns this season, both figures leading 3-A quarterbacks statewide, entering Thursday’s opening-round playoff game against Winona.
A virtual one-man athletic department at New Diana, Jackson has won all-district honors in football, basketball, and baseball and has qualified for the state tournament in golf. Though several D-III programs would love to have him, he has opted to continue his education at SMU where he’ll be a preferred walk-on in the fall. He’s extremely active in New Diana’s PALS leadership program, performing a variety of community service projects. He has also volunteered in a state special education bowling tournament.
“This young man has simply focused on becoming a star quarterback,” says Coach Coplin. “Ice-water runs in his veins. He’s always composed. His attitude never changes when something bad happens or when something good happens. He’s the guy who makes our offense go. Jackson is an absolute joy to coach.”
Class 2-A: Jaquorion Johnson, Sr., Quarterback/Safety, Rosebud-Lott
With the clock ticking down in an absolutely must-win game to qualify for the post-season, the Rosebud-Lott Cougars put their faith and the ball in the hands of Jaquorion Johnson. With the Coogs trailing 40-36, Johnson’s 13-yard scoring run with 42 seconds remaining clinched a heart-stopping 43-40 victory at Normangee, a 2-8 team that had been eliminated from the playoffs and was playing for pride. Rosebud-Lott improved to 6-4 and 2-3 in District 13-2A, Division I. Johnson finished with a game-high 244 yards on 36 carries and found the end zone four times from 1, 39, 15, and 13 yards, scoring two touchdowns in each half. With the regular season in the rearview mirror, the sights are on the bi-district playoffs with unbeaten Mason Thursday in Marble Falls.
The holder of an A/B average, Johnson (5-9, 150 pounds) is a decorated four-year member of three varsity sports (football, basketball, track and field), reaching the regional track meet in the long jump, triple jump, and 4x100 relay. He’s being courted for football by D3, NAIA, and junior college schools. Johnson is the quintessential volunteer. Whether it’s the Hurricane Harvey Relief effort, helping at the local food bank, peer mentoring with Pee Wee football, reading to elementary kids, or fundraising for the football team, Jaquorion is always front-and-center.
“Jaquorion is mature young man who has grown recently and is a gifted athlete,” says Coach Brad Ballard. “When the players voted him captain, he took ownership of that title and stepped up in every way possible.”
Private schools: Josh Williams, Jr., Running Back/Cornerback, Houston Kinkaid
If regular-season results are any indication, Bellaire Episcopal has Houston Kinkaid’s number. For the last five seasons, Episcopal has defeated Kinkaid every time. In the post-season, however, the tables turn. With last week’s SPC 4A championship game 38-21 win, the Falcons captured their third team title in five years, two of them against the Knights, their in-season tormentors. A major factor: Kinkaid Coach Nathan Larned was smart enough to call the right number, uniform #10. That belongs to junior running back/cornerback Josh Williams. The 5-10, 175-pounder toted the ball 29 times in the title tilt, picking up 252 yards and scoring three TDs. Kinkaid is liable to score anytime Josh has the ball. His 51-yard sprint late in the second quarter gave the Falcons a 14-7 lead. And when Episcopal got within 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Williams’ four-yard run padded the lead. Then, his 54-yard TD gallop with just under five minutes to go sewed it up. Normally a 60-minute player (he’s a terror at corner back), Larned kept him fresher in the championship game by sidelining him on defense.
An especially well-liked young man with a B average, Josh is an outstanding basketball player who’s now in his third year as a starter on the hoop squad. He will likely be running track this spring. Josh did major volunteer work in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, helping to gut and remove drywall from severely damaged homes. Kinkaid can expect dozens of college coaches to visit this winter with an eye on #10.
“Josh has amazing vision,” says Coach Larned. “He has extraordinary patience as a running back and tremendous knowledge of the game. Frankly, football comes easy to him. He’s got calves as huge as an NFL tackle and, as a result, he’s tough to bring down. He’s a great cutter and he’s extremely flexible. He keeps on getting faster and faster and he’s now able to run away from people. The game just slows down for him.”
Nominate your elite student-athlete at PlayeroftheWeek.com
Students recognized by Ford Motor Company, Texas Ford dealers and the Built Ford Tough 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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# # #About Ford Motor Company
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