This was one of the strangest seasons ever as football teams combated the COVID-19 pandemic and everything that came with it, and the 7-5A Division 2 slate was certainly not immune.
Lovejoy took center stage, putting together the best season in program history on its way to an undefeated 8-0 district season and the 7-5A Division 2 title.
Frisco finished second to return to the playoffs for the eighth time in the last 10 years, but in an unusual twist, they did so despite playing only five district games due to a series of cancellations.
The Raccoons were joined in the playoffs by Denison and Frisco ISD mate Liberty, who was one of the feel-good stories of the year, as after winning just one total game in the previous two seasons, was able to earn a postseason berth for the first time since 2011.
The four FISD programs were well-represented on the all-district team, as Frisco, Liberty, Lebanon Trail and Memorial combined to claim 42 spots on the squad.
Here is a look at the honorees.
Though the Raccoons played only five district games, finishing with a 4-1 record, it was far from finished, as they picked up playoff victories over Royse City and South Oak Cliff to advance to the regional semifinals as the closed with a 8-2 overall mark.
So it was little surprise that Frisco led the FISD programs with 16 selections on the all-district team, including a pair of superlative selections.
Senior Chase Lowery was voted as the utility player of the year, which should come as little surprise looking at his season.
Lowery was a huge playmaker on defense from is cornerback position, recording six interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, with 36 tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Lowery also made a big impact on the other side of the ball, where he had 23 receptions for 515 yards and four touchdowns and added 16 carries for 120 yards and a pair of scores.
Sophomore linebacker Brandon Miyazuno was tabbed as the defensive newcomer of the year. Miyazuno made an immediate impact with 45 tackles, with two for loss, three sacks and four fumble recoveries.
The Raccoons had four players named to the first team on both offense and defense.
Junior Cole Hutson, who already has offers from a plethora of top Division I programs, was a unanimous pick after putting together one of the state’s most dominant seasons for an offensive lineman, where he recorded 117 pancake blocks.
He was joined by senior center Greer Rush, who had 62 pancake blocks.
That pair helped open holes for senior running back Syone Usma-Harper, who despite playing in only six games, earned first-team honors after carrying the ball 101 times for 619 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Senior A.J. DiNota was also selected at halfback, where he had 32 carries for 384 yards and three scores.
The Frisco secondary featured a pair of honorees, as senior safety Trent Bryant made it after tallying 63 tackles, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, while senior cornerback Myles Mays had 29 tackles, three interceptions and eight pass breakups.
Senior outside linebacker Donta’ Reece recorded 51 tackles, with two for loss, one sack and an interception, while senior lineman Aidan Estabrooks had 28 tackles, five for loss, and three quarterback pressures.
The second team included six Frisco representatives.
Senior quarterback Caree’ Green (56-of-119, 1,043 yards, 6 TDs passing, 76-321, 7 TDs rushing) and senior running back Ryan Taylor (41-226, TD rushing, 5-96 receiving) made it on offense.
The defense included senior end Kenmunta’ Miller (25 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 6 QBH, 1 FF), senior inside linebacker Vincent Quintanilla (42 tackles, 3 TFL 2 QBH, 1 PBU, 1 FF), junior outside linebacker Tate Horton (39 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QBH, 1 PBU, 1 FF) and senior punter Jake Gaster, who was selected despite only playing half the season.
The Redhawks put together their best season in nearly a decade, and their accomplishments were recognized with eight selections.
One of the biggest reasons for the turnaround was the play of sophomore quarterback Keldric Luster, who was tabbed offensive newcomer of the year.
Though he played in only six games, the dual-threat Luster put up eye-popping numbers, completing 98-of-155 passes for 1,603 yards and nine touchdowns and adding 93 carries for 798 yards and seven scores on the ground.
Junior wide receiver Evan Stewart was a unanimous selection after he had 46 catches for 913 yards and nine touchdowns in only eight games. Senior tight end Connor Hulstein was also picked to the first team, as he had 39 grabs for 693 yards and a score.
The first-team defense featured a pair of Redhawks, as junior linebacker Daniel Ajayi posted a team-high 147 tackles, with three for loss and a pair of sacks, and senior defensive end Prince Ugoh had 61 tackles, with three for loss, and a sack.
The second-team offense featured one pick in senior running back Jonathan Bone (89-709, 9 TDs). Liberty landed three on the defensive side with junior lineman Nick Teta (46 tackles, 7 TFL, 1.5 sack), junior outside linebacker Sam Wenaas (66 tackles, 12 TFL, 5 sacks, INT) and senior inside linebacker Will Glatch (63 tackles, 3 TFL, sack, INT), who not only made an impact in six games on defense, but after an injury to Luster, returned to his old quarterback position where he helped complete the charge to the playoffs (47-of-85, 738 yards, 5 TDs passing, 57-340, TD rushing).
The Trail Blazers fell short of the playoffs, but put together the best season in their short, three-year history, posting a 6-4 record.
Their efforts were recognized with seven spots on the team.
Senior quarterback Drew Martin was a first-team selection after completing 122-of-216 passes for 1,547 yards and 15 touchdowns and also rushing 98 times for 806 yards and seven scores.
Lebanon Trail also had a representative on the first-team defense, as senior safety Zachary Robinson had 95 tackles, with four for loss, a team-high five interceptions, nine pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles.
The second team offense featured a pair of Trail Blazers at the skill positions with sophomore running back Gregory Hatley (114-660, 10 TDs rushing, 40-391, 3 TDs receiving) and junior wide receiver Conner Belew (18-266, 3 TDs).
Senior Ryan Lamb was one of the few players recognized on both sides of the ball, making the second team at center after paving the way for the offense, and on defense on the line (27 tackles, 5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 9 QBH, 2 blocked FGs) and he was joined on that side of the ball by senior outside linebacker Roman Knautz (110 tackles, 11 TFL, 4 sacks, 24 QBH, 3 PBU, 2 FF).
The Warriors were only able to squeeze in eight games, posting a 3-5 record, but still nabbed 10 spots on the squad, including a pair of first-teamers.
Junior wide receiver Zion Steptoe earned first-team offense honors after catching 37 passes for 790 yards and eight touchdowns.
Junior Ethan Lollar to the first team at punter, but could also have been recognized for his work at quarterback, where he completed 126-of-208 for 1,621 yards and 15 scores.
Memorial placed four players on the second-team offense with senior wide receivers Jeremy Law (38-485 4 TDs) and J’Kolbe Bullock (24-375, 5 TDs) and senior linemen Jalen Alexander (16 pancake blocks) and Robert Keller (13 pancake blocks).
The Warriors also landed a quartet on the second-team defense with senior end Gavin Yates (30 tackles, 7 TFL, 8 sacks), senior linebacker Diego Diaz (85 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks), senior safety Jake Herzog (117 tackles, 2 PBU, 3 INTs) and junior cornerback R.J. DeMadet (45 tackles, 14 PBU).
District champion Lovejoy was rewarded with four major awards as senior quarterback R.W. Rucker was named most valuable player, senior wide receiver Reid Westervelt was tabbed offensive most valuable player, sophomore Jaxson Lavender claimed special teams most valuable player and Todd Ford and the assistants were recognized as the coaching staff of the year, while Denison senior safety Keebler Wagoner earned defensive most valuable player honors.
7-5A Division 2 All-District Football Team
Most Valuable Player
R.W. Rucker* Lovejoy
All-Purpose Most Valuable Player
Chase Lowery* Frisco
Offensive Most Valuable Player
Reid Westervelt* Lovejoy
Defensive Most Valuable Player
Keebler Wagoner* Denison
Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Keldric Luster Liberty
Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Brandon Miyazono Frisco
Special Teams Most Valuable Player
Jaxson Lavender Lovejoy
Coaching Staff of the Year
First Team Offense
Drew Martin Sr. QB Lebanon Trail
Jadarian Price* Jr. RB Denison
Syone Usma-Harper Sr. RB Frisco
Connor Hulstein Sr. TE Liberty
Asa Osbourn Sr. FB Denison
A.J. DiNota Sr. HB Frisco
Keleon Vaughn Sr. WR Denison
Luke Mayfield Sr. WR Lovejoy
Zion Steptoe Jr. WR Memorial
Evan Stewart* Jr. WR Liberty
Greer Rush Sr. C Frisco
Cole Hutson* Jr. OG Frisco
Parker Braithwaite* Sr. OG Lovejoy
Damien Smallwood Jr. OT Denison
Trent Robinson Sr. OT Lovejoy
Reece Strange Sr. K Denison
First Team Defense
Prince Ugoh Sr. DE Liberty
Jaklen Fields Jr. DE Denison
Brian Kotecki Jr. DL Lovejoy
Aidan Estabrooks Sr. DL Frisco
Blake Slaughter Sr. ILB Lovejoy
Philip Joest Jr. ILB Lovejoy
Daniel Ajayi Jr.ILB Liberty
Dillon Magee Jr. OLB Lovejoy
Shawn Robertson Sr. OLB Lovejoy
Donta’ Reece Sr. OLB Frisco
Landon Ellis Sr. OLB Denison
Trent Rucker Jr. S Lovejoy
Trent Bryant Sr. S Frisco
Zachary Robinson Sr. S Lebanon Trail
Keleon Vaughn Sr. CB Denison
Myles Mays Sr. CB Frisco
Ethan Lollar Jr. P Memorial
Reece Strange Sr. P Denison
Second Team Offense
Brenner Cox Jr. QB Rock Hill
Caree’ Green Sr. QB Frisco
Caleb Heavner Jr. QB Denison
Ryan Taylor Sr. RB Frisco
Gregory Hatley So. RB Lebanon Trail
Jonathan Bone Sr. RB Liberty
Will Branum Jr. TE Lovejoy
Matthew Mainord Fr. FB Lovejoy
Jaren Hendricks Jr. HB Denison
Conner Belew Jr. WR Lebanon Trail
Bo Allen Sr. WR Lovejoy
Aiden Houston Sr. WR Rock Hill
Jeremy Lau Sr. WR Memorial
Devin Peoples Sr. WR Princeton
Evan Weinberg So. WR Lake Dallas
J’Kolbe Bullock Sr. WR Memorial
Ryan Lamb Sr. C Lebanon Trail
Dylan Breaux Jr. OG Lovejoy
Jalen Alexander Sr. OG Memorial
Robert Keller Sr. OT Memorial
Drew Summers Sr. OT Lovejoy
Trent Rucker Sr. K Lovejoy
Second Team Defense
Gavin Yates Sr. DE Memorial
Kenmunta’ Miller Sr. DE Frisco
Ryan Lamb Sr. DL Lebanon Trail
Nick Teta Jr. DL Liberty
Diego Diaz Sr. ILB Memorial
Vincent Quintanilla Sr. ILB Frisco
William Wallis Jr. ILB Denison
Will Glatch Sr. ILB Liberty
Tate Horton Jr. OLB Frisco
Sam Wenaas Jr. OLB Liberty
Roman Knautz Sr. OLB Lebanon Trail
De’Tearean Johnson Jr. OLB Denison
Chief Collins Sr. S Lovejoy
Jake Herzog Sr. S Memorial
Joseph McGinnis Jr. S Rock Hill
Adam Eschler Jr. CB Lovejoy
R.J. De Madet Jr. CB Memorial
Jalik Lewis Jr. CB Denison
Jake Gaster Sr. P Frisco