Back-to-back District 12-6A champion Temple had three players garner superlative honors among the league’s awards, which were announced earlier this week.
Junior linebacker Taurean York repeated as the 12-6A defensive MVP, senior running back Samari Howard, Temple’s all-time leader in points and touchdowns, was named offensive MVP, and sophomore lineman Ayden Brown collected the defensive newcomer of the year distinction.
York averaged 11.75 tackles en route to a career-high 141 stops this season. Among his total were 17 tackles for loss, including 3½ sacks. He also caused four fumbles and recovered four, helping Temple march into the second round of the playoffs for a second straight season.
Howard, who departs Temple with a record 360 points and 57 touchdowns, accumulated 1,717 yards and 20 TDs rushing this season — both career highs — as the Wildcats went 9-3, featuring a 7-0 record in 12-6A.
Brown was stout in the middle of Temple’s defensive front and posted 49 tackles, tied for fifth most on the team in his first full season as a starter.
The offensive newcomer of the year went to quarterback Dylan Plake of Harker Heights, which also had this season’s overall MVP as voted by the league’s coaches in running back Re’Shaun Sanford, who rushed for 2,330 yards and 27 touchdowns.
In addition to the three superlatives, Temple had 12 players voted first-team honorees: Tomas Torres (DT), Jaylon Jackson (DE), Faylin Lee (ILB), Zion Moore (OLB), Naeten Mitchell (S), Reese Rumfield (QB), Mikal Harrison-Pilot (WR), Devan Williams (WR), Jose Faz (center), Endrei Sauls (OG) Danis Bajric (K) and Tr’Darius Taylor (KR).
Also, eight Wildcats received second-team accolades: Eric Shorter (DE), Kaleb Hill (S), LeMichael Thompson (DB), Landon Halverson (FB), KeAndre Smith (TE), Agustin Silva (OG), Colby Rice (OT) and Jeremiah Mungia (OT).
Belton, which finished 6-5 and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2018, had two players picked for the first team in wide receiver Seth Morgan (50 catches, 694 yards, seven TDs) and tight end Bryan Henry (36-510, six TDs).
Fifteen Tigers landed on the second team: Ty Brown (QB), Elijah Warner (RB), Mason Munz (FB), Zach Erickson (center), Jasper Werry (OT), Slade LeBlanc (utility), Gabe Kalama (DT), Braxton Haynes (DE), Taylor Evans (ILB), Wriley Madden (ILB and deep snapper), Donovan Thompson (OLB), Aaron Bain (S), Kage Carmichael (DB), Zach White (K), Will Hayes (P).
Overall MVP — Re’Shaun Sanford, jr., Harker Heights
Defensive MVP — Taurean York, jr., Temple
Offensive MVP — Samari Howard, sr., Temple
Defensive newcomer of the year — Ayden Brown, so., Temple
Offensive newcomer of the year — Dylan Plake, so., Harker Heights
Quarterback — Reese Rumfield, Temple
Running back — Jamarius Stewart, Shoemaker; Dominick Allison, Ellison
Fullback — Aimeer Washington, Harker Heights
Wide receiver — Mikal Harrison-Pilot, Temple; Devan Williams, Temple; Seth Morgan, Belton; Marcus Maple, Harker Heights; Hunter Vivaldi, Bryan
Tight end — Bryan Henry, Belton
Center — Jose Faz, Temple; Jaydon Kaaloa, Harker Heights
Guard — Endrei Sauls, temple; Etuni Ropati, Harker Heights
Tackle — Romeo Taua’a, Harker Heights; Jaydon Chatman, Harker Heights; Isac Gonzales, Bryan
Utility — Terrance Carter, Harker Heights; Cade Searcy, Killeen
Tackle — Tomas Torres, Temple; Brendan Bett, Killeen Ellison; Jaylin Morris, Bryan; Zavion Tibbs, Killeen Shoemaker
End — Jaylon Jackson, Temple; Devonte Tezino; Ellison
Inside linebacker — Faylin Lee, Temple; Nic Caraway, Bryan; Matthew Moore, Ellison
Outside linebacker — Zion Moore, Temple; Ezra Davidson, Harker Heights; Steve Albert, Ellison
Safety — Naeten Mitchell, Temple; Tyree Trammell, Harker Heights; Du’Wayne Paulhill, Bryan
Cornerback — Matthew Cooks, Bryan; Deaubry Hood, Harker Heights
First-team special teams
Kicker — Danis Bajric, Temple
Punter — Shane Richey, Copperas Cove
Deep snapper — Tanner Allen, Bryan
Returner — Tr’Darius Taylor, Temple; Khamari Terrell, Shoemaker
Quarterback — Ty Brown, Belton; Omari Evans, Shoemaker
Running back — Elijah Warner, Belton; Emory Arthur, Killeen; Malcom Roberts, Copperas Cove; Caleb Sims, Ellison
Fullback — Landon Halverson, Temple; Mason Munz, Belton; De’Van’Te Johnson, Killeen
Wide receiver — Khamari Terrell, Shoemaker; Zaire King, Ellison; Wyatt Nelson, Copperas Cove; Jacobia Thomas, Killeen; Eric Jackson, Harker Heights
Tight end — KeAndre Smith, Temple; Andrew Buban, Bryan
Center — Zach Erickson, Belton
Guard — Agustin Silva, Temple; Jamil Knight, Shoemaker; Conner Beeman, Killeen
Tackle — Jeremiah Mungia, Temple; Colby Rice, Temple; Jasper Werry, Belton; Jackson Engelke, Belton; Kevin Kopitski, Killeen
Utility — Slade LeBlanc, Belton
Tackle — Gabe Kalama, Belton; Jaymeer Larkins, Killeen; Jamorian Sanford, Harker Heights
End — Eric Shorter, Temple; Braxton Haynes; Evan Collazo, Harker Heights; Tanner Allen, Bryan; Darrion Burleson, Shoemaker; Ishmael Ealoms, Bryan
Inside linebacker — Taylor Evans, Belton; Wriley Madden, Belton; Aaron Barnwell, Killeen; Valentino Greene, Shoemaker; Kevin Pontious, Copperas Cove
Outside linebacker — Donovan Thompson, Belton; Calvin Harper, Ellison; Bra’dyn Brooks-Smith, Copperas Cove; Cameron Gee, Killeen
Safety — Kaleb Hill, Temple; Aaron Bain, Belton; Tyson Turner, Bryan; Kobe Burgess, Shoemaker; Tyrone Osberry, Ellison
Cornerback — LeMichael Thompson, Temple; Kage Carmichael, Belton; Elijah Armour, Ellison; Daniel Adams, Killeen; Darmel Hollins, Shoemaker
Second-team special teams
Kicker — Zach White, Belton; Jai’den Fletcher, Harker Heights
Punter — Will Hayes, Belton
Deep snapper — Wriley Madden, Belton; Anthony Millender, Harker Heights
Returner — Hunter Vivaldi, Bryan