It was another year for the books for the Lake Dallas, Little Elm and The Colony football teams, and all three schools had plenty of representation on their respective all-district teams.
The Colony underwent a schematic change on offense, as the Cougars switched from a ground-and-pound attack to the spread offense. That change greatly benefited sophomore quarterback Carson Cox, who was named the 3-5A Division I offensive newcomer of the year. Cox, in his first season as The Colony’s starting quarterback, threw for 1,730 yards with 12 touchdowns. That’s in addition to 452 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
Cox’s favorite target in the passing game was senior wide receiver Alex Elam. Elam, who was named to the all-district first team, had a team-best 43 receptions for 678 yards and four scores.
Anchoring the offensive line was senior tackle William Wallis, who was named to the first team. Senior kicker/punter Edwin Lopez was also named to the first team. Lopez made a career-long 52-yard field goal in The Colony’s Oct. 14 game at Justin Northwest, in addition to two makes from 42 yards.
Headlining the all-district second team is Cougars senior running back Kamden Wesley. Despite missing three games to injury, Wesley still rushed for 764 yards with 13 touchdowns and caught seven balls for 178 yards with two scores. He also had an interception in The Colony’s first 3-5A Div. I game at Fort Worth South Hills.
Sophomore tight end Ivan Bliznik is another big piece moving forward for the Cougars. Bliznik averaged 10.8 yards per pass reception. So is fellow all-district second-team selection, junior wide receiver Chase Glover. Glover was second on the team in receiving yardage (364 yards) and had a team-best five receiving touchdowns.
Junior center Jason Schiller also was named to the second team, as was senior defensive end Aaron Trotter, senior defensive tackle Ethan Chirinos, senior inside linebackers Andrew Kasmerski and Devin Hensley, senior outside linebacker Bryan Nicholson, senior defensive back Zion Brown and junior deep snapper Harold Gibson.
The Colony finished 4-6.
Aledo won its 11th state title in its first season in Class 5A Division I. The Bearcats, who overcame an 0-2 start before winning 14 consecutive games, had the district’s most valuable player in junior quarterback Hauss Hejny.
Little Elm also underwent significant changes, starting at the top. Former North Garland coach Joe Castillo was hired to the same position with Little Elm after former Lobos coach Kendrick Brown accepted an administrative role in the Little Elm ISD athletics department.
Little Elm went 2-8 but pulled off a thrilling comeback in the penultimate game of the season to defeat Denton Braswell for its lone 5-6A win.
The Lobos also showed they have a bright future. Junior quarterback Kellen Tasby had the job of taking over for Little Elm all-time passing leader John Mateer, but he took the role by the horns and went on to throw for 2,289 yards with 16 touchdowns and also rushed for 160 yards with five rushing touchdowns. Tasby was named to the all-district second team.
Tasby’s favorite target in the passing game was senior wide receiver Tay’lon Jackson, also a second-team all-district honoree. Jackson had 60 receptions for 857 yards with seven scores.
Junior wide receiver/safety Prince Ijioma, who was named to the all-district second team for utility and also at safety, caught 21 balls for 227 yards with three touchdowns.
Junior running back Semaj-Jordan Rector, also a second-team honoree, led the Lobos’ rushing attack with 895 yards and six touchdowns.
Junior EJ Hawthorne was a second-team selection at cornerback.
Earning all-district third-team honors for Little Elm were Franklyn Johnson, Jaydon Perine, Aiden Samuels, Kendyl Johnson, Chance Hill, Alex Inocan, Logan Ford, D’Lontay Leeks, Phil Mutune, Tristan Scott, Osahon Adonri and Paul Hayes.
Two years removed from a 1-8 record, Lake Dallas finished 7-4 and was a playoff participant for the first time since 2018.
The Falcons’ resurgence was rewarded with 20 selections on the 3-5A Div. II team.
Senior Niki Gray garnered utility player of the year after finishing with 1,428 all-purpose yards (172 rush, 836 receive, 352 punt return, 134 kickoff return) and nine total touchdowns.
Senior safety Xinjin Gomez (68 tackles, three interceptions), senior cornerback Eli Koch (28 tackles, one interception), junior quarterback Cade Bortnem (2,325 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, 38 touchdowns), senior wide receiver Evan Weinberg (698 receiving yards, eight scores), senior defensive Godgive Ugochukwu (34 tackles, three sacks), junior linebacker Riley Griffin (114 tackles, six hurries), sophomore punter Mitchell White (long of 70 yards) and senior tackle Hunter Johnson were named to the all-district first team.
Junior wide receiver Keonde Henry (626 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns), senior guard Corbin Burley, sophomore running back Dylan Brauchle (826 rushing yards, eight touchdowns), junior defensive end Tanner Moon (31 tackles, two sacks, 11 hurries) and senior kicker Luan Le (long of 41 yards) earned spots on the second team.
Earning honorable mentions for Lake Dallas were junior defensive tackle Humphrey Kakuba, senior defensives tackle Gavin Coleman and Nakeem Bovan, senior center Caleb Sams, junior running back Sam McAfee and senior tackle Jeremiah Bruner.