Belton quarterback Peyton Mansell (2) evades Waco Midway’s David Benton at Belton High School on Oct. 14.

Michael Miller | FME

Peyton Mansell had an illustrious career at Belton, and his play during the 2016 football season – especially in District 8-6A play – was indicative of such.

The senior quarterback completed 97 of 140 passes against league competition for 1,511 yards, 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions, and he also rushed 88 times for 607 yards and eight touchdowns while leading the Tigers to a 4-2 tally to clinch a postseason berth as a No. 1 seed in Class 6A, Division I.

For his efforts, Mansell was recently named the 8-6A MVP.

Other area gridders receiving district superlatives were Ellison sophomore running back Ty Hill and Killeen sophomore linebacker Chris Ingram. Hill was named offensive newcomer of the year, and Ingram was awarded co-defensive newcomer of the year.

Hill, who played on the Ellison junior varsity team for the majority of the season, was moved up to varsity in the middle of league play and made an immediate impact.

He had four carries for 19 yards and a touchdown in a 35-33 win over Harker Heights on Oct. 14, and he rushed two times for 39 yards and a score while completing one pass for 75 yards and a TD in a 26-25 loss to Killeen on Oct. 21.

“We’re real excited about Ty receiving that award,” Eagles head coach Trent Gregory said. “He’s a hard worker and has great speed and quickness. He’s a real coachable kid, and he also played baseball, so he’s an athletic kid who offers a lot for us at the running back position.”

Killeen lost junior outside linebacker Vrashon Walker to a season-ending injury during nondistrict play. Walker’s injury prompted the Kangaroos to replace him by sliding senior inside linebacker Jamaal King outside, and Ingram stepped into the starting role on the inside.

Ingram registered 46 total tackles – two for a loss – two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions in league play.

“Coming in as a sophomore, Chris stepped up really big,” Killeen head coach Neil Searcy said. “He surpassed all of our expectations. We knew when we saw him as a freshman last year that we had a pretty good football player.

“Not only did we know we had a good football player, but all the coaches in the district recognized that, as well.”

Others receiving superlatives were junior quarterback Tanner Mordecai, junior defensive tackle Jaxon Player and sophomore cornerback Xavier Abalos, each of Waco Midway. Mordecai was named offensive player of the year, Player was the defensive player of the year and Abalos was co-defensive newcomer of the year.

The following is the complete list of 8-6A All-District honorees:


QB: Carl Robinson III, Sr., Ellison.

RB: James Fullbright, Soph., Midway; Davion Peoples, Sr., Belton; Isaac Tolbert, Sr., Killeen; Madu Eneli, Sr., Harker Heights.

FB: Markel Reo, Jr., Harker Heights; Greg Brewer, Sr., Killeen.

WR: Weston Lucas, Sr., Belton; Montego Muckelvaney, Jr., Killeen; Jyaire Shorter, Jr., Ellison; D’unte Brown, Sr., Midway; X’zavier Green, Sr., Ellison; Ta’von Gwynn, Jr., Ellison.

TE: Remington Lutz, Sr., Belton.

C: Travis Simpson, Sr., Harker Heights.

OG: Elijae Scott, Sr., Harker Heights; Daizion Carroll, Jr., Midway; Javon Chambers, Sr., Belton.

OT: Hakeem White, Jr., Midway; Khalil Corbett-Canada, Sr., Harker Heights.

Utility: Ger’Markee Satterwhite, Sr., Midway.

Exceptional Performance: Tannor Yearwood, Sr., Belton.


DT: David Fisher, Sr., Belton; Nathalohn Nanai, Jr., Shoemaker; Michael Nitti, Sr., Harker Heights.

DE: CJ Jones, Sr., Belton; CJ Parker, Sr., Harker Heights; Shakim Wright, Sr., Killeen.

ILB: John Harvey, Sr., Belton; Matt Barnhill, Jr., Midway; Jared Kaltenbaugh, Sr., Harker Heights.

OLB: Jamaal King, Sr., Killeen; Grant Graves, Jr., Midway.

CB: Floyd Connell, Jr., Copperas Cove; Kipshawn Washington, Jr., Ellison; Grant Parnell, Jr., Midway; William Hooper, Jr., Shoemaker.

S: Leondrae Robinson, Sr., Midway; Garrison Vaughn, Jr., Belton.


K: Nyle Tabat, Jr., Belton.

P: Peyton Mansell, Sr., Belton.

DS: Sean Adams, Sr., Copperas Cove.

RET: Garrison Vaughn, Jr., Belton.


QB: Marcellus Johnson, Jr., Killeen.

RB: Bryce Julian, Jr., Belton; Jameel Hodges, Jr., Harker Heights.

FB: Marshall Fish, Jr., Belton; Rejon Pelham, Sr., Shoemaker.

WR: Jayden Smith, Sr., Ellison; Robert Noble, Sr., Killeen; Logan Collins, Sr., Belton; CJ Williams, Jr., Midway; Kendall Small, Sr., Copperas Cove.

TE: David Priebe, Jr., Midway.

C: Aaron Krueger, Jr., Belton; Maceo Branch, Sr., Shoemaker; Chaydon Panapa, Sr., Killeen.

OG: Taunty Motu, Jr., Harker Heights; Alyzcha Ulafale-Hentz, Jr., Killeen; Drew Hughlett, Sr., Midway.

OT: Kaitori Leveston, Jr., Midway; Tyler Kanaly, Sr., Killeen.

Utility: Jaquan Tillis, Jr., Harker Heights.


DT: Jacob Chastain, Sr., Belton; Brian Holiday, Sr., Midway; Juan Jimenez, Jr., Copperas Cove.

DE: Logan Hall, Jr., Belton; Albert McGowen, Sr., Midway; Rylan Hunter, Sr., Copperas Cove; Tiryek West, Sr., Ellison; Te’Ayveon Hill, Sr., Shoemaker.

ILB: Jalil Bethel, Sr., Killeen; Tyson Curry, Sr., Copperas Cove.

OLB: Tristen Smith, Sr., Midway; Alex Aaron, Sr., Belton; Madu Eneli, Sr., Harker Heights; Darrell Crowder, Jr., Shoemaker.

CB: Tavion Hawthorne, Sr., Shoemaker; Carlos Wilson, Sr., Killeen.

S: Hunter Garrett, Sr., Belton; Tevin Dawson, Sr., Ellison; Hunter Williamson, Sr., Midway; James Parker, Jr., Shoemaker.


K: Hector Velazquez, Sr., Killeen.

P: Morgan Button, Jr., Ellison.

DS: Justin Buuck, Jr., Belton.

RET: Floyd Connell, Jr., Copperas Cove; Trey Dickerson, Sr., Midway.

Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Previously spent time as sports editor at both the Hereford Brand and the Gatesville Messenger. Graduate of West Texas A&M University.

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