Six Outstanding Student-Athletes Honored as Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Year

Published: Jan. 18, 2020 at 9:00 PM CST
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• Class 6-A: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Sr., Wide Receiver, Rockwall

• Class 5-A: Braden Hargrove, Sr., Defensive End/Defensive Tackle, Georgetown

• Class 4-A: Ashton Stredick, Sr., Running Back, Needville

• Class 3-A: La-Jathan Allen, Sr., Running Back/Free Safety/Defensive Back, Paul Pewitt

• Class 2-A: JT Anthony, Sr., Running Back, Bremond

• Private Schools: Bryce Steel, Sr., Quarterback, Brazos Christian School

Throughout the 2019 season, they proved their toughness on the field week after week. Now, six Texas high school football stars have been recognized as Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Year. For fourteen years, Ford Motor Company has recognized the best players of each high school football season. Without fail, many of those players go on to prestigious collegiate and professional careers.

On Saturday, January 18, Ford Motor Company hosted most of the players recognized during the season at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters. There, the six Built Ford Tough Texas high school football players of the year were also awarded their trophies. These athletes are among an impressive list of players recognized for outstanding efforts on and off the field.

Following are the Player of the Year winners and why they’ve been recognized:

Class 6-A: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Senior, Wide Receiver, Rockwall

Opponent: Arlington Martin

In Week 4, Rockwall wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught ten passes for 201 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 45-38 win over Arlington Martin. Smith-Njigba is an Ohio State commitment.

Class 5-A: Braden Hargrove, Senior, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle, Georgetown

Opponent: Manor

Georgetown’s Braden Hargrove put on a defensive show in Week 9 against the Manor High Mustangs, resulting in a 28-14 victory for the Eagles. Some of Hargrove’s game highlights included: one solo tackle, three assisted tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, one interception return for a touchdown, three blocked punts, and three pancake blocks on special offensive plays.

Class 4-A: Ashton Stredick, Senior, Running Back, Needville

Opponent: West Columbia

Needville running back Ashton Stredick put on a show in Week 7 as he ran 24-307 with four touchdowns. Stredick, a Princeton commit, had a 99-yarder in a 34-17 win over a previously unbeaten West Columbia.

Class 3-A: La-Jathan Allen, Senior, Running Back/DB, Paul Pewitt

Opponent: New Diana

In a 47-21 win during Week 7, running back La-Jathan Allen carried 29 times for 235 yards and three touchdowns, completing his performance with one catch for three yards for the Paul Pewitt High School Brahmas. Defensively, Allen also recorded twelve tackles, a sack, a TFL, a pass break-up and a forced fumble.

Class 2-A: JT Anthony, Senior, Running Back, Bremond

Opponent: Chilton

As running back for Bremond, JT Anthony had an outstanding performance in Week 9 with 41 carries for 373 yards and six touchdowns. Anthony was 3/5 in passing for 71 yards against Chilton. He also had 10 tackles and two for a loss. Punting out of endurance, the senior punted one for 70 yards to flip the field. The quarterback is on the list with some big names in Bremond’s football history of all-time single game rushing leaders.

Private: Bryce Steel, Senior, Quarterback, Brazos Christian

Opponent: Northside Homeschool

Brazos Christian quarterback Bryce Steel had an outstanding performance against Northside Homeschool in Week 5, going 24-26, throwing for 411 yards. Throwing for seven touchdowns, Bryce led his offense in scoring on every possession in a 69-7 homecoming win over the Falcons.