He left no doubt.
In just his second varsity season, Harker Heights running back Re’Shaun Sanford dominated District 12-6A, igniting the Knights’ offense for more than 490 total yards and 50 points per game while establishing a school rushing record.
And opposing coaches could do nothing but respect him.
The junior was recently named the unanimous all-district most valuable player after accounting for 2,179 rushing yards — 797 more than the closest competition — and 26 touchdowns, while also catching 16 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.
Additionally, his two kickoff returns produced 107 yards and a touchdown, making Sanford one of two players responsible for at least 85 points as he finished with 188 total points.
But Sanford was not the only Knight honored with a superlative.
Harker Heights sophomore quarterback Dylan Plake was named offensive newcomer of the year after completing 103 of 150 passes for 1,804 yards and 27 touchdowns to go with 71 yards and a score rushing.
Ten teammates landed on the all-district first team, including fullback Aimeer Washington, receiver Marcus Maple, center Jaydon Kaaloa, guard Etueni Ropati, tackles Romeo Taua’a and Jaydon Chatman and utility player Terrance Carter, who each represented the offense.
Defensively, outside linebacker Ezra Davidson, safety Tyree Trammell and cornerback Deaubry Hood were selected for the Knights.
Only district champion Temple had more nominations, with five players placed on the first-team offense and first-team defense, two landing on the first-team special teams and four superlatives.
Wildcats senior running back Samari Howard was named offensive player of the year, junior Taurean York was named defensive player of the year, sophomore Ayden Brown was named defensive newcomer of the year, and Temple’s coaches were named staff of the year.
Despite missing the playoffs, Ellison was represented by four players — tackle Benden Bett, end Devonte Tezino, inside linebacker Matthew Moore and outside linebacker Steve Albert — on the first-team defense, while running back Dominick Allison was the Eagles’ lone selection on the offensive first team.
Shoemaker emerged with three first-team members in defensive tackle Zavian Tibbs, running back Jamarius Stewart and returner Khamari Terrell, while Killeen and Copperas Cove had one apiece. Cade Searcy was represented as a utility player for the Kangaroos, and Shane Richey was selected as a punter for the Bulldawgs.
Rounding out the first-team nominations, Belton earned two spots on the offense for receiver Seth Morgan and tight end Bryan Henry, while Bryan captured four defensive selections, two offensive selections and a special-teams selection.
The Tigers occupied an additional 17 spots on the second team.
Defensive tackle Gabe Kalama, defensive end Braxton Haynes, inside linebackers Taylor Evans and Wriley Madden, who was also selected as a deep snapper, outside linebacker Donovan Thompson, safety Aaron Bain, cornerback Kage Carmichael, quarterback Ty Brown, running back Elijah Warner, fullback Mason Munz, center Zach Erickson, offensive tackles Jasper Werry and Jackson Engelke, utility player Slade LeBlanc, kicker Zach White and punter Will Hayes represented Belton.
Killeen followed with nine selections as defensive tackle Jaymeer Larkins, inside linebacker Aaron Barnwell, outside linebacker Cameron Gee, cornerback Daniel Adams, running back Emory Arthur, fullback De’Van’Te Johnson, receiver Jacobia Thomas, offensive guard Conner Beeman and offensive tackle Kevin Kopitski made the second-team list.
Temple had eight players on the second team, and Shoemaker had seven — defensive end Darrion Burleson, inside linebacker Valentino Greene, safety Kobe Burgess, cornerback Darmel Hollins, quarterback Omari Evans, receiver Terrell and offensive guard Jamil Knight — while Bryan, Ellison and Harker Heights each had five.
Defensive tackle Jamorion Sanford, defensive end Evan Collazo, receiver Eric Jackson, kicker Jai’den Fletcher and deep snapper Anthony Millender were selected for the Knights, while outside linebacker Calvin Harper, safety Tyrone Osberry, cornerback Elijah Armour, running back Caleb Sims and receiver Zaire King were selected for the Eagles.
Second-team members for Copperas Cove were inside linebacker Kevin Pontious, outside linebacker Bra’dyn Brooks-Smith, running back Malcolm Roberts and receiver Wyatt Nelson.
ALL-DISTRICT 12-6A TEAM
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
Coaching staff of the year — Temple
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, Ellison; Jaylin Morris, Bryan; Zavion Tibbs, Shoemaker
End — Jaylon Jackson, Temple; Devonte Tezino; Ellison
Inside linebacker — Faylin Lee, Temple; Nic Caraway, Bryan; Matthew Moore, 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