This was an odd season in a variety of respects due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were also unusual things happening on the field, where Sunnyvale, which had lost a total of two games in the previous two seasons, was staring at a 0-3 record less than a month into the season.
While things have not gotten back to normal in the world, the Raiders did right the ship where they could control it, turning their season around to make the playoffs for the seventh straight year and advancing to the Class 4A Division II Region 2 semifinals before falling to state runner-up Gilmer.
Those accomplishments were acknowledged on the 6-4A Division II all-district team, where Sunnyvale earned three superlative awards and 24 spots on the list.
Junior quarterback Max McAda was tabbed offensive most valuable player. McAda completed 79-of-140 passes for 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns, rushed 94 times for 540 yards and eight scores and also caught 13 passes for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns. McAda could have just as easily earned a defensive award, as he recorded 104 tackles, with eight for loss, and also served as the team’s punter.
Senior Jake Taylor was voted as the defensive most valuable player. Taylor registered 133 tackles, including 16 for loss, with a pair of interceptions and three forced fumbles. Like McAda, Taylor was a two-way standout, as he also threw for 245 yards and a pair of scores and rushed for nine touchdowns.
Senior Noah McDill was selected as the co-all-purpose player of the year. McDill was one of the top wide receivers in the state, hauling in 53 receptions for 1,032 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also a key part of the secondary, where he posted three interceptions to go along with 19 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Sunnyvale landed 11 players on the first team, with four on offense.
That group included senior running back Obi Arinze, who led the team in rushing with 99 carries for 781 yards and eight touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver Joey Bruszer was a big-play threat on the outside with 24 catches for 424 yards and four scores, while senior offensive lineman Damon Bryant and sophomore offensive lineman Ja’lon Gillaspie helped the Raiders average 352.5 yards per game.
On the other side of the ball, Sunnyvale had six first-team players on defense.
Junior defensive tackle Diyan Pun plugged up the middle with 60 tackles with three for loss, one sack and a forced fumble, while junior end Brent Winfree recorded 41 tackles, with five for loss, and a pair of sacks.
In the middle, senior inside linebacker Alex Luna made 57 stops, with three for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles and outside linebacker Hudson Smith recorded 55 tackles, including five for loss, an interception and two fumble recoveries.
Senior cornerback Brenden Gomez led the team with five interceptions and seven pass breakups and junior safety Landry Laird had 55 tackles, two for loss, and also picked off a pass.
Junior kicker Jake Pecina was also a first-team selection, as he was nearly automatic, converting 8-of-9 field goals, with a long of 48 yards, and 47-of-48 extra points.
Sunnyvale also placed 10 more players on the second team,
Three of the four second-team offensive selections were also part of the first-team defense.
Luna was a key part of the backfield, rushing 45 times for 244 yards and two touchdowns and also catching 10 passes for 145 yards and a pair of scores.
As a wide receiver, Laird had 12 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and Winfree, a tight end, and senior lineman DeWayne Levy helped the Raiders average 34.0 points per game.
Arinze is another two-time pick, also making the second team at defensive end, where he had 25 tackles, three for loss, and an interception, as was Bruszer at safety, where he had 11 tackles and a pick.
Also making the second-team defense were junior tackle Christian Key (26 tackles, 2 TFL), senior end Gage Andrews (26 tackles, 5 TFL, sack), junior inside linebacker Zac Bartis (54 tackles, 3 TFL forced fumble), and sophomore outside linebacker Jackson Ivy (33 tackles, 2 TFL, sack).
6-4A Division II Football All-District Team
Most Valuable Player
Tyler Townley Sr. Caddo Mills
Offensive Most Valuable Player
Max McAda Jr. Sunnyvale
Defensive Most Valuable Player
Jake Taylor Sr. Sunnyvale
Lineman Most Valuable Player
Jacob Hall Jr. Caddo Mills
Co-Newcomers of the Year
Ja’Donavan Williams Jr. Quinlan Ford
Hunter Carter Jr. Caddo Mills
Co-All Purpose Players of the Year
Noah McDill Sr. Sunnyvale
Cayden Davis Sr. Caddo Mills
Coaching Staff of the Year
First Team Offense
Paul Testa Sr. QB Nevada Community
Eli Chambers Sr. QB Quinlan Ford
Rowdy Rowan Jr. RB Quinlan Ford
Obi Arinze Sr. RB Sunnyvale
Konner Pounds Sr. RB Caddo Mills
Kaiden Roden Jr. HB Quinlan Ford
Ty Simpkins Sr. WR Nevada Community
Joey Bruszer Jr. WR Sunnyvale
Seth Resnick Sr. WR Wills Point
Gavyn Beane Sr. WR Caddo Mills
Colt Cooper Sr. TE Quinlan Ford
Braden Wilson Sr. OL Wills Point
Dylan Sides Sr. OL Caddo Mills
Stevie Hopper So. OL Nevada Community
Adrian Alaniz Sr. OL Quinlan Ford
Damon Bryant Sr. OL Sunnyvale
Eber Padilla Jr. OL Farmersville
Noe Rodriguez Sr. OL Nevada Community
Ja’lon Gillaspie So. OL Sunnyvale
First Team Defense
Jackson Younger So. DT Nevada Community
Gerson Flores Sr. DT Nevada Community
Diyan Pun Jr. DT Sunnyvale
Isaiah Santos So. DT Wills Point
Sean Newark Sr. DT Caddo Mills
Brent Winfree Jr. DE Sunnyvale
Bryan Jones Sr. DE Caddo Mills
Samuel Bustillos Sr. DE Caddo Mills
Sean Outlaw Sr. DE Nevada Community
Aaron Hardman Sr. ILB Wills Point
Hayden Reiff Jr. ILB Caddo Mills
Colt Cooper Sr. ILB Quinlan Ford
Alex Luna Sr. ILB Sunnyvale
Jace Daniel Jr. OLB Wills Point
Angus Aldridge Sr. OLB Caddo Mills
Kaiden Roden Jr. OLB Quinlan Ford
Hudson Smith Sr. OLB Sunnyvale
Brenden Gomez Sr. CB Sunnyvale
Jason Thomason Jr. CB Caddo Mills
Jonathan Norris Jr. CB Nevada Community
John Howie Sr. CB Caddo Mills
Landry Laird Jr. S Sunnyvale
Quinton Hall So. S Nevada Community
Oscar Flores Jr. S Farmersville
Brandol Hernandez So. S Nevada Community
First Team Special Teams
Paul Testa Sr. P Nevada Community
Jonah Rupe Jr. K Caddo Mills
Jake Pecina Jr. K Sunnyvale
Second Team Offense
E.J. Chairez Jr. QB Farmersville
Jonathan Norris Jr. RB Nevada Community
Braden Lair Sr. RB Farmersville
Alex Luna Sr. RB Sunnyvale
Morgan Leibacher Sr. RB Nevada Community
Travis Zingaro Sr. HB Farmersville
Aidan Gray Jr. WR Farmersville
Landry Laird Jr. WR Sunnyvale
Andrew Patterson Sr. WR Wills Point
Timothy Carroll So. WR Wills Point
Jett Saldivar Jr. WR Caddo Mills
Jake Tumey Sr. WR Caddo Mills
Sean Outlaw Sr. TE Nevada Community
Brent Winfree Jr. TE Sunnyvale
T.J. Holland Sr. OL Wills Point
Jackson Jacobs Sr. OL Caddo Mills
Noah Hammonds Sr. OL Caddo Mills
Josh Queneau Jr. OL Nevada Community
Gerson Flores Sr. OL Nevada Community
Brandon James Jr. OL Quinlan Ford
DeWayne Levy Sr. OL Sunnyvale
Cogan Grabowski Sr. OL Farmersville
Second Team Defense
Cyrus Adair Jr. DT Quinlan Ford
Christian Key Jr. DT Sunnyvale
Adrian Resendez Jr. DT Caddo Mills
Noe Rodriguez Sr. DT Nevada Community
Obi Arinze Sr. DE Sunnyvale
Yahir Amaro Sr. DE Wills Point
Gage Andrews Sr. DE Sunnyvale
Manny Bustillos Sr. DE Caddo Mills
Colton Westbrook Sr. ILB Nevada Community
Kolton Purkins Sr. ILB Nevada Community
Zac Bartis Jr. ILB Sunnyvale
Braydon Brewer Sr. ILB Caddo Mills
Noah Allen So. OLB Nevada Community
Hayden Tanner So. OLB Nevada Community
Randy Johnson Sr. OLB Farmersville
Jackson Ivy So. OLB Sunnyvale
Anthony Friedrichs Sr. CB Quinlan Ford
Savion Neal Sr. CB Caddo Mills
Scotty Aaron Sr. CB Nevada Community
Tre Brewer Jr. CB Farmersville
Donovan Edwards Sr. S Wills Point
Konner Pounds Sr. S Caddo Mills
Rowdy Rowan Jr. S Quinlan Ford
Joey Bruszer Jr. S Sunnyvale
Second Team Special Teams
Lalo Arteaga Sr. P Farmersville
Jack Winford Jr. K Nevada Community