Ace Whitehead made an immediate impact.
In his varsity debut, Lampasas’ freshman quarterback produced a stellar showing, completing 65.6 percent of his passes en route to 2,247 passing yards and 19 touchdowns.
And his season did not go unnoticed.
Whitehead was named 13-4A, Division I All-District Newcomer of the Year, becoming the only freshman to earn a superlative or land on the first team. He was also named a second-team punter.
The Badgers’ young standout was not the only Lampasas player recognized, though.
Senior receiver Brandon Pierino, who posted a team-high 793 yards and 11 touchdowns, and receiver Cameron Everts, a sophomore, were placed on the second-team offense, while senior outside linebacker Seth Cockrell, sophomore safety Daunte Cuffie and sophomore utility player Kobe Allen each made second-team defense for the Badgers.
Lampasas finished the season with a 2-8 overall record with the highlight of the season coming on Nov. 3, when the Badgers beat Burnet for the first time in 11 years.
Gatesville capped off its 7-4 campaign by landing 13 players on the all-district list, including three first-team selections.
Jett Truss, a senior, was named first-team quarterback after throwing for 2,431 and 23 touchdowns and running for a team-high 648 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Joining Truss on the first team are teammates Zach Mueller (offensive utility) and Owen Sibley (defensive tackle). Sibley, a senior, was also placed on the second-team offense as a fullback.
Derrick Bayer (inside receiver), Parker Floyd (tight end), Austin Lee (tackle), Eladio Cedillo (guard), Kipp Gellach (center) earned spots on the second-team offense for the Hornets, while Will Carroll (inside linebacker), Austin Bayer (outside linebacker), Derrick Bayer (cornerback) and David Saldivar (kicker) landed on the second-team defense.
China Spring senior Tyrick James was named most valuable player, while La Vega’s Jamal Williams was honored as offensive player of the year.
Pirates junior Jared Rogers and Cougars senior Brayden Mathis split the defensive player of the year, China Spring sophomore K.J. Peoples was named defensive newcomer of the year, and La Vega’s Willie Williams received coach-of-the-year honors.
SALADO’S DEPOY named MVP
On the heels of its most successful season in recent history, Salado’s Cade DePoy earned the district’s top honor, being named 9-4A, Division II All-District Most Valuable Player.
But he was not the only Eagles player to receive a superlative after the team went 12-2 and advanced to the state quarterfinals in the postseason.
Jacob Wilk and Rustin Hale were named defensive most valuable player and defensive newcomer of the year, respectively.
Landing on the first team for the Eagles were quarterback Hayden Haire, running back Aaron Torczynski, fullback Trey Sheppard, tight end Ashten Sniggs, tackles Bryce Wales and Robert Soto, guard Bobby Cunningham, center Willy Whigham, returner Cutter Hudgens, inside linebacker Mac Miller and cornerback Quade Brown. Hudgens was also placed on the first team as a safety.
Salado’s second-team selections included tight ends Ryan Kyburz and Wade Woods, kicker Jake Walrath, defensive end Zach Adams and defensive tackle Andrew Sniggs.