All-Area Football: Who’s the MVP?

Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard scores a game-sealing touchdown during the Class 4A Division I state championship game against Georgetown at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Dec. 22.

Argyle's Ian Sadler (5) stiff-arms a Melissa defender during a playoff game at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton on Nov. 23.

Well, folks. It’s coming up on that time of year where we start releasing our all-area teams. Volleyball will be out this weekend, and then it’s the granddaddy of them all, the All-Area football team, as presented by yours truly at the Denton Record-Chronicle. Over recent years, this team has become basically an all-state team as we’ve had some of the top players in recent years come from our little coverage area. This year is no different.

So, it has me thinking: Who is our All-Area football MVP? We had a lot of great players in the area this year, but as far as I’m concerned, the conversation starts and ends with two players: Jerrod Heard and Ian Sadler.

So let’s take a look at each players’ credentials and get your input as to who should come away the big winner. Unfortunately, there’s no “fan vote” but your thoughts could sway our voting. Just sayin’.

Jerrod Heard, QB, Guyer, Jr.

Heard played what every high school player wants to play — 16 games. And most importantly, he won his last one. There might not have been a more impressive singular performance on Championship Saturday at Cowboys Stadium than that of the junior signal-caller, who is committed to Texas. Heard led his team to 14 straight wins after dropping the first two games of the season and saved his best two games of the year for the state semifinal win over Tyler John Tyler (topped 300 yards rushing) and the 48-37 state title win over Georgetown. In that game, Heard scored three third-quarter rushing touchdowns and finished with five on the ground and two through the air in a come-from-behind win. It was really incredible, and a transcendent performance for a kid that might be one of the top players in the country next season.

157-for-252, 2,115 yards, 18 touchdowns, 7 interceptions; 246 carries for 2,164 yards and 35 touchdowns with just two lost fumbles

Ian Sadler, WR, Argyle, Jr.

Until the playoffs, Sadler was basically a slam dunk for this award. You have to realize, Heard wasn’t putting up fantastic stats because he was being pulled at halftime in blowouts throughout district play. And quite frankly, Sadler was doing things we’ve never seen around here. He scored rushing touchdowns as a Wildcat quarterback and on jet sweeps. He caught touchdown passes. He returned punts for touchdowns, and took kickoffs back to the house, too. He literally did everything for Argyle. After tearing his ACL in the 2011 state championship game, Sadler was back and ready to roll from the time summer workouts started at Argyle, a big testament to his determination and work ethic. But he’s also super talented. Thanks to the fiasco that all-state voting can be, Sadler was nothing more than an honorable mention pick on the 3A all-state team. Let the record show, I voted Sadler is my 3A Offensive Player of the Year (same with Heard in 4A, another honorable mention pick).

51 carries for 404 yards, 15 TDs, 1 fumble lost; 50 catches for 1,050 yards and 12 TDs; 3-for-5 for 100 yards and 1 TD passing; 9 kickoff returns, 35.6 yards per return, 2 TDs; 15 punt returns, 31.1 yards per return, 4 TDs; 40.4 yards per punt with eight inside the opponents’ 20-yard line

So there you have it, folks. Two great, worthy MVP candidates but only one award to give out. Which way do you go? The unstoppable quarterback who put his team on his back en route to a state title, or the multi-talented wide receiver, who literally did just about everything for an 11-2 football team. Let’s hear it.

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