Mesquite, Horn and North Mesquite competed in one of the most rigorous districts in the state.
It was difficult to carve out a slice of the spotlight with defending 6A Division II state champion Longview, who was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season before getting upset by Jesuit, as well as Rockwall, who upended powerhouse Allen on its way to the Division I state semifinals.
And that is not to mention a Tyler Lee team that made the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and much-improved Rockwall-Heath.
But there were highlights for each of the three Mesquite ISD programs and that was reflected on the all-district honors, where they combined to earn 73 spots on the three teams.
Mesquite led the way in MISD this season. Just two years removed from going 1-9, the Skeeters returned to the playoffs for the second straight season and took it a step further with their first postseason victory since 2012.
Mesquite had 26 selections, including one superlative honor with sophomore defensive lineman Marlon Thompson-Leatch being voted as the 11-6A defensive newcomer of the year. North Mesquite earned 25 nods, with Horn garnering 22 spots.
MISD teams combined for eight additional spots on the first team—four each on offense and defense.
Two of those offensive honors were earned by Skeeter wide receiver Ja’Darion Smith. The senior was recognized at wide receiver, where he had a team-high 33 receptions for 633 yards and eight touchdowns while adding seven carries for 66 yards and a score, as well as at return specialist, where he turned in several strong kickoff returns, including an 81-yarder for a touchdown.
Horn offensive lineman Daimonte Williams was a first-team selection after the 6-3, 300-pound senior compiled 75 pancake blocks and graded out at 98 percent.
North Mesquite senior Kamaury Thompson also made the first-team offense. Thompson earned the spot at wide receiver, where he had 22 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns, but he did much more for the Stallion offense. He started half the season at quarterback, throwing for 750 yards and eight touchdowns, and also rushed for 368 yards and four scores.
On the defensive side, Horn senior inside linebacker Nick Garcia was named to the first team, as he recorded 105 tackles, including 61 solos, with four sacks. He was joined on the interior by Mesquite inside linebacker Jayden Brown, who ranked among the team leaders in tackles, as well as senior outside linebacker Tyler Raleigh-O’Neal, who had three blocked kick returns for touchdowns.
North Mesquite senior cornerback Torrion Smith was also named to the first team, as Smith was not only a standout on defense, but also on offense at wide receiver.
Mesquite senior quarterback Dylan Hillard-McGill is one of 11 Skeeters who were named to the second team.
Hillard-McGill threw for 1,335 yards and 12 touchdowns and also topped the 1,000-yard mark on the ground, rushing for 1,045 yards and a dozen scores.
Backfield mate LaDarius Turner joined him on the second team after rushing for 1,198 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver K.B. Frazier had 15 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for three scores and senior linemen J.D. Conley and Abel Flores also made the second team.
Mesquite’s defensive selections included senior defensive end Trav’e Fisher, senior outside linebacker Ira Carter, senior safety Dewayne Adams, senior cornerback Reggie Reese and senior punter Danny Castaneda.
Horn had four players named to the second-team offense and three more honored on the defensive side of the ball.
Senior running back Ben Wyatt had 127 carries for 833 yards and 13 touchdowns and also caught 22 passes for 285 yards and a score. Junior tight end Derik Johnson had a pair of touchdown receptions, while Cameron Jackson led the team with 26 catches for 338 yards. Senior Raymond Escobedo helped anchor the offensive line.
Junior defensive end D’Edrick Dotson recorded 81 tackles and three sacks, sophomore linebacker Marquis Edwards had 95 stops with 2.5 sacks and senior safety Keidrin Walker made 92 tackles with three interceptions.
North Mesquite’s Smith was recognized a second time for his work at wide receiver, where he had 40 catches for 465 yards and six touchdowns, while sophomore defensive tackle Davion Carter and senior safety Samuel Inyang were named to the second-team defense.
The three MISD programs combined to land 43 spots on the third team.
Mesquite’s offensive selections were sophomore running back R.J. Bonner, junior wide receiver Jacolby Thomas, sophomore wide receiver Ja’Travion Rudd, senior offensive lineman Angel Gonzalez, junior offensive lineman Seth Robinson and senior kicker Danny Castaneda.
Horn’s offensive members are senior quarterback Davazea Gabriel, senior running back Charles Crawford, junior wide receiver Sir’Elston Hill, senior wide receiver Braylon Monroe, senior wide receiver Donovan Payne, junior offensive lineman Nathan Luna and junior kicker Antonio Mercado.
North Mesquite’s third-team offense honorees were junior quarterback Liam Thornton, junior running back Dequez Henderson, sophomore running back Kobie Norman, sophomore fullback Johnny Perez, junior wide receiver Christian Perales, junior offensive lineman Rene Barrientes, junior offensive lineman Terrance Hobbs, senior offensive lineman Roman Reyna and senior kicker Heriberto Campuzano.
On the third-team defense, Mesquite was represented by senior defensive tackle Cristian Llanos, senior inside linebacker Alec Rice, senior safety Amari McGowan and senior cornerback Gary Green.
Horn’s selections were senior defensive tackle Matthew Robles, junior defensive end Casey Griffin, senior defensive end Maliq McDonald, senior inside linebacker Quavon Grant, freshman outside linebacker Jaden Milliner-Jones and senior cornerback Evan Williams.
For North Mesquite, the defensive third-teamers are junior defensive end Dominique Miles, junior inside linebacker Tim Cobb, senior inside linebacker Gerardo Soto, senior inside linebacker Anthony Chavez, junior outside linebacker Tommy Doan, senior outside linebacker Nwaja Grant, senior outside linebacker Jordan Colston, junior safety Jaylon Mosley, senior safety Kamaury Thompson, senior safety Zamoray Richardson and senior cornerback Dakaylon Jones.
11-6A Football All-District Team
Most Valuable Player
Jaxon Smith-Njigba* WR Sr. Rockwall
Offensive Most Valuable Player
Haynes King* QB Sr. Longview
Defensive Most Valuable Player
Tyshawn Taylor* LB Sr. Longview
Special Teams Most Valuable Player
Will Landes* DS Sr. Tyler Lee
Utility Player of the Year
Jamal Ligon TE/FB/DL Sr. Tyler Lee
Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Braedyn Locke QB So. Rockwall
Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Marlon Thompson-Leatch DL So. Mesquite
Coaching Staff of the Year
First Team Offense
Josh Hoover QB So. Rockwall-Heath
Kaden Meredith* RB Jr. Longview
Zach Henry RB Sr. Rockwall
Jamarion Miller RB So. Tyler Lee
Mark Patton FB Sr. Tyler Lee
Jaden Jones* WR SR. Rockwall-Heath
JJ Williams* WR Sr. Rockwall
Corban Cleveland WR Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Ja’Darion Smith WR Sr. Mesquite
Kamaury Thompson WR Sr. North Mesquite
Jhailon Braden TE Sr. Longview
Hunter Smith OL Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Daimonte Williams OL Sr. Horn
Parker Cox* OL Sr. Longview
Tim Polk OL Sr. Longview
Mat Joyce OL Sr. Rockwall
Dion Daniels OL Jr. Tyler Lee
Ethan Spearman* K Jr. Rockwall
Ja’Darion Smith* RS Sr. Mesquite
First Team Defense
Drew Beltran DT Sr. Longview
Sebastian Hinojosa DT Sr. Rockwall
Cris Harris DT Jr. Tyler Lee
Marcus Sowell DE Sr. Rockwall-Heath
Sawyer Goram-Welch* DE Sr. Longview
Grady Brewer ILB Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Nick Garcia ILB Sr. Horn
Jayden Brown ILB Jr. Mesquite
Joseph Schaefer ILB Sr. Rockwall
Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson* OLB Jr. Longview
Tyler Raleigh-ONeal OLB Sr. Mesquite
Devon’T Bolton OLB Sr. Tyler Lee
Tyler Ashworth S Sr. Rockwall
Elliot Davison S Sr. Tyler Lee
Dakirin Buchanan CB Sr. Longview
Torrion Smith CB Sr. North Mesquite
Mark Patton P Sr. Tyler Lee
Second Team Offense
Dylan Hillard-McGill QB Sr. Mesquite
Trent Adams QB Jr. Tyler Lee
Zach Evans RB So. Rockwall-Heath
Ben Wyatt RB Sr. Horn
LaDarius Turner RB Sr. Mesquite
Khalil Catlett RB Sr. Rockwall
Bryson Donnell RB So. Tyler Lee
Kevin Jones FB Sr. Longview
Noah Springer FB Sr. Tyler Lee
Grant Watson TE Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Derik Jackson TE Jr. Horn
Kade Klinkovsky TE Sr. Rockwall
Cameron Jackson WR Sr. Horn
Kyas Moore WR Sr. Longview
K.B. Frazier WR Jr. Mesquite
Torrion Smith WR Sr. North Mesquite
Trevor Munson WR Sr. Rockwall
Sebastian Grady WR Sr. Tyler Lee
Kenny Rion OL Sr. Rockwall-Heath
Raymond Escobedo OL Sr. Horn
Owen Kuenemann OL Sr. Longview
J.D. Conley OL Sr. Mesquite
Abel Flores OL Sr. Mesquite
Micah Nickson OL Sr. Rockwall
Liam Zalka OL Jr. Rockwall
Landon Gibson OL Sr. Rockwall
Donavan Jordan OL So. Tyler Lee
Kha’lil Montague OL Jr. Tyler Lee
Antonio Onofre K Jr. Longview
Second Team Defense
Jar’rion Smith DT Sr. Mesquite
Davion Carter DT So. North Mesquite
D’Edrick Dotson DE Jr. Horn
Trav’e Fisher DE Sr. Mesquite
Eduardo Gonzales DE Jr. Rockwall
Seth Leon DE Sr. Tyler Lee
Garfield Lawrence DE Jr. Tyler Lee
Cedric Smith ILB Sr. Longview
Jack Janis ILB Jr. Tyler Lee
Marquis Edwards OLB So. Horn
Malik Cannon OLB Sr. Longview
Ira Carter OLB Sr. Mesquite
Jake Edwards OLB Sr. Rockwall
Keidrin Walker S Sr. Horn
Robert Pierce S Sr. Longview
Dewayne Adams S Sr. Mesquite
Samuel Inyang S Sr. North Mesquite
Airyk Lexion CB Sr. Rockwall-Heath
Reggie Reese CB Sr. Mesquite
Jamarion Miller CB So. Tyler Lee
Danny Castaneda P Sr. Mesquite
Third Team Offense
Davazea Gabriel QB Sr. Horn
Liam Thornton QB Jr. North Mesquite
Preston Landis RB Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Charles Crawford RB Sr. Horn
R.J. Bonner RB So. Mesquite
Dequez Henderson RB Jr. North Mesquite
Kobie Norman RB So. North Mesquite
Jharious Jones FB Sr. Longview
Johnny Perez FB So. North Mesquite
Austin Pencheon TE Jr. Longview
Casey Curtain WR Sr. Rockwall-Heath
Sir’Elston Hill WR Jr. Horn
Braylon Monroe WR Sr. Horn
Donovan Payne WR Sr. Horn
Kaden Kearbey WR Sr. Longview
Jacolby Thomas WR Jr. Mesquite
Ja’Travion Rudd WR So. Mesquite
Christian Perales WR Jr. North Mesquite
Nick Bennett WR Jr. Tyler Lee
Jamar Arceneaux WR Sr. Tyler Lee
Jeremiah Turner WR Sr. Tyler Lee
Josh Peacock OL Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Sebastian Martinez OL So. Rockwall-Heath
Carson Fichtel OL So. Rockwall-Heath
Nathan Luna OL Jr. Horn
Malik Miller OL Sr. Longview
Angel Gonzalez OL Sr. Mesquite
Seth Robinson OL Jr. Mesquite
Rene Barrientes OL Jr. North Mesquite
Terrance Hobbs OL Jr. North Mesquite
Roman Reyna OL Sr. North Mesquite
Carson Haynes OL Jr. Rockwall
Willy Figueroa OL Sr. Tyler Lee
Kade Fry OL So. Tyler Lee
Antonio Mercado K Jr. Horn
Danny Castaneda K Sr. Mesquite
Heriberto Campuzano K Sr. North Mesquite
Third Team Defense
Trae Martin DT Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Matthew Robles DT Sr. Horn
Joe Jones DT Jr. Longview
Cristian Llanos DT Sr. Mesquite
Jaydien Williams DT Jr. Tyler Lee
Le’Travian Whitmill DT So. Tyler Lee
TJ Hawkins DT Sr. Tyler Lee
Tariq Woods DT Sr. Tyler Lee
Casey Griffin DE Jr. Horn
Maliq McDonald DE Sr. Horn
Dominique Miles DE Jr. North Mesquite
Caden Fleming DE Sr. Rockwall
Jack Deapen DE Jr. Rockwall
Josh Olivares ILB Jr. Tyler Lee
Quavon Grant ILB Sr. Horn
Alec Rice ILB Sr. Mesquite
Tim Cobb ILB Jr. North Mesquite
Gerardo Soto ILB Sr. North Mesquite
Anthony Chavez ILB Sr. North Mesquite
Cole McMahon ILB Sr. Rockwall
Carson Gallagher ILB Jr. Tyler Lee
Noah Wilson OLB So. Rockwall-Heath
Sam Crowell OLB Sr. Rockwall-Heath
Jaden Milliner-Jones OLB Fr. Horn
Tommy Doan OLB Jr. North Mesquite
Nwaja Grant OLB Sr. North Mesquite
Jordan Colston OLB Sr. North Mesquite
Jamicheal Turman OLB Sr. Tyler Lee
Bryson Elbert S So. Rockwall-Heath
Shannon Jackson S Jr. Longview
Tyree Hale S Jr. Longview
Amari McGowan S Sr. Mesquite
Jaylon Mosley S Jr. North Mesquite
Kamaury Thompson S Sr. North Mesquite
Zamoray Richardson S Sr. North Mesquite
Corey Kelley S Jr. Rockwall
Drew Molck S Jr. Rockwall
Cayden Starks S So. Tyler Lee
Dezmon Williams CB Jr. Rockwall-Heath
Evan Williams CB Sr. Horn
Patrick Webb CB Sr. Longview
Gary Green CB Sr. Mesquite
Dakaylon Jones CB Sr. North Mesquite
PJ Barber CB Sr. Rockwall
Jackson Gillock CB Sr. Rockwall
Cyvon Cezar CB Jr. Rockwall
Sebastian Grady CB Sr. Tyler Lee
Te’vion Massey CB Sr. Tyler Lee
Aaron Sears CB So. Tyler Lee