NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR
Class 5A: QB Jerrod Heard, Denton Guyer
The task for the 6-foot-2, 180-pound sophomore was not an easy one. He had to replace J.W. Walsh, a quarterback that in 2010 guided Guyer to the Class 5A Division II state championship game while throwing for 3,518 yards and rushing for 1,642.
While Heard couldn’t match the numbers of Walsh, who headed off to Oklahoma State, he was able to lead Guyer two rounds deep into the playoffs. The Wildcats finished 8-4 and tied for second place in District 7-5A.
Heard completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 2,286 yards and 28 touchdowns. He added 650 rushing yards on 136 carries (4.8 yard average) for five touchdowns.
In Guyer’s double-overtime 41-35 bi-district victory over Hebron, Heard had one of his best performances of the season, throwing for 280 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 105 yards.
The prospect of two more seasons with Heard has to be exciting for Wildcats fans.
Class 4A: QB DeVontay Bell, Corsicana
The move of the 5-foot-10, 170-pound sophomore to quarterback in Phil Castles' offense helped the Tigers reach the Class 4A Division II state semifinals.
When defenses concentrated too much on Corsicana running back Cameron Washington, Bell made them pay. He completed 113 of 215 passes for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns. He did even more damage as a ball-carrier, with 1,495 yards and 21 touchdowns on 211 carries.
Bell helped the Tigers to a 13-2 record, the most wins for Corsicana since the 1982 state finalist team.
In Corsicana’s 52-31 regional playoff victory over Frisco Centennial, Bell rushed for 124 yards and one touchdown and threw for 156 yards and two scores.
The experience of a 15-game season should be valuable for Bell in his remaining two seasons for the Tigers.