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NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter Celebrates Outstanding Scholar-Athletes

Apr 06, 2017 07:01AM ● By Audrey Sellers

The National Football Foundation (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter celebrated seven Texas collegiate scholar-athletes and a record 81 North Texas high school scholar-athletes during the chapter’s ninth annual awards banquet April 2. Jackson Mitchell, former captain of the Carroll Dragon football team, and Ryan Miller were named to the prestigious list.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s scholar-athletes,” said Gerald Brence, president of the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter and the athletics director for the Plano Independent School District, via press release. “In the ninth year of our chapter, we are honoring a record number of high school scholar-athletes and these athletes continue to impress, not only on the field competitively but also as scholars and young community leaders. It’s always an honor to meet these young men, showcasing the great stories in North Texas that will inspire future student-athletes to excel in the classroom and become more involved in their communities.”

Selected from a pool of candidates that covers the entire region, the seven collegiate and 81 high school players (listed below) earned NFF chapter scholar-athlete recognition in 2017 after a rigorous review. The selection committee, comprised of coaches, teachers, administrators and business leaders from North Texas, evaluated the college and high school candidates based on their athletic accomplishments, academic performance and leadership in the community. The high school honorees will enroll in the fall at a prestigious list of institutions, including Ivy League schools, state universities and the service academies. 

Congratulations to the 2017 NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Collegiate Scholar-Athletes:

Matt Boggs - TCU

Andy Flusche - North Texas

Kyle Fuller - Baylor

Branden Hunt - Austin College

Jackson Mitchell - SMU

Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy - Midwestern State

Christian Rodriguez - Texas A&M-Commerce

Congratulations to the 2017 NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas High School Scholar-Athletes:

Ramiro Aguilar Jr. - Dallas Sunset

Azeez Akande - Mesquite

Rance Albert - Dallas Woodrow Wilson

Colt Atkinson - Denton

Brandon Bascue - Flower Mound

Trey Bentley - Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis

Katrell Blakely - Mesquite Horn

Beau Blanton - Frisco Wakeland

Nicholas Bowen - Lake Highlands

John Brannon - Prosper

Isaiah Brown - Dallas Seagoville

Octavius Brown - Dallas Spruce

Grant Buckholt - Rockwall-Heath

Austin Buley - McKinney Boyd

Kizmarion Burns - Dallas Carter

Grant Buss - Frisco Liberty

Caleb Carlile - Waxahachie

Kendall Catalon - Mansfield Legacy

Eric Cato - Dallas Samuell

Marquis Clark - Dallas Molina

Dillon Davis - Aledo

Michael Dearman - Crandall

Damian English - Dallas Life School Oak Cliff

Kamron Fields - Garland Lakeview Centennial

Rocky Fraid - Carrollton Creekview

Stephen Gibbs - Dallas James Madison

Jordan Gomez - Dallas W.T. White

Tate Heitmeier - Mansfield Lake Ridge

Jonathan Hobart - McKinney

Donte Howell - North Mesquite

Noah Ingram - Mesquite Poteet

Bryce Jackson - Denton Guyer

Anthony Kantzabedian - Plano West

Hogan Keasler - Midlothian Heritage

Eric Knight - West Mesquite

Tony Krasniqi - Sachse

Zeke Kuyawa - Mansfield Timberview

Khalil Lewis - McKinney North

Eric Loop - Coppell

Brady Marek - Keller

Ian McIver - Keller Central

Caleb McKee - Arlington

Jay Mendenhall - Richardson J.J. Pearce

Ryan Miller - Southlake Carroll

Eric Mills - Keller Timber Creek

Solomon Mitchell - Dallas Kimball

Caleb Moore - Frisco Lone Star

Cody Morris - Dallas Adamson

Adin Morris-Barksdale - Dallas North Dallas

Brandon Motes - Rowlett

Michael Mulholland - Granbury

Josue Munoz - Mansfield Summit

Jacob Nordin - Carrollton Newman Smith

Dayo Odeyingbo - Carrollton Ranchview

Mario Ortiz - Colleyville Heritage

Jacob Palisch - Dallas Jesuit

Aaron Ragas Jr. - Plano Senior

Ruben Ramirez - Carrollton R.L. Turner

Eduardo Ramos - Dallas Roosevelt

Stone Ramsey - Dallas Bryan Adams

Terreon Randolph - Dallas Skyline

Brandon Reeves - Krum

Idahosa Robinson - Dallas Lincoln

Jack Rouse - Richardson Berkner

Elijah Rusche - Trophy Club Byron Nelson

Samuel Schaefer - Fort Worth Paschal

Noah Sims - Frisco Centennial

Miklo Smalls - Plano East

Iran Smith - Dallas South Oak Cliff

Anton Stewart - Dallas Hillcrest

George Stewart - Highland Park

Tyler Sutton - Fort Worth Western Hills

Travis Taylor - Garland Naaman Forest

Luis Trejo - Dallas Thomas Jefferson

Jalan Veasley - Richardson

Anthony Vogel - Lucas Lovejoy

Cailon Washington - North Crowley

Drake Wayland - Midlothian

Gregory Weather - Dallas Wilmer-Hutchins

Josh Whitlock - Mansfield

T.J. Williams - South Garland

The event also paid tribute to several outstanding individuals for their contributions to the game and the North Texas region. Previously announced honorees included NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell, who accepted the Distinguished Texan Award, the chapter’s most prestigious honor.

Other honorees included Dallas businessman and former State Fair of Texas Chairman Pete Schenkel, who received the chapter's Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award, and former Dallas Carter High School head football coach Freddie James, who received the Legends Award. The Steve Storie Official of the Year Award went to George Shoup, an official for the Big 12, Mountain West and Southland conferences, while the Media Person of the Year Award went to The Dallas Morning News’ Matt Wixon.

High school coach honorees included 6A Coach of the Year Todd Peterman (DeSoto), 5A Coach of the Year Randy Allen (Highland Park), 3A Coach of the Year Jake Fieszel (Gunter) and Assistant Coach of the Year Grayson Wells (Highland Park).