Tuesday, January 29, 2008
PREP FOOTBALL All-State Team for Class 4A Released
Little did Cooper Henderson know back then that the child born to the couple across the street would grow up to be one of the most intensely recruited high school athletes in state history.
Henderson and his family moved from Ruidoso to Artesia in the spring of 1989, soon after Henderson was named head coach of the Bulldogs program.
It was a homecoming for Henderson, who grew up in Artesia and played for his dad, L.G. Henderson, the man generally credited with putting Artesia High on the path to becoming the states most successful high school football program.
When the Hendersons arrived in Artesia that March, they initially rented a house on Centre Street. Among their new neighbors were Kevin and Kellye Jones.
About a month after the Hendersons arrived in Artesia, the Jones welcomed a baby boy into their family. Landry Jones was born on April 4, 1989.
In Artesia, boys grow up hoping to be a Bulldog, and by the time he was a high school junior, Landry not only had become a household name across New Mexico, he had also become a big time prospect for college coaches from coast to coast.
There are no commercial flights into the southeastern New Mexico community, but one by one coaches from big time programs found their way there. Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, Oregons Mike Bellotti and Jim Harbaugh from Stanford were among the head coaches that made a personal pitch for Jones. Coordinators from UCLA, Virginia and Wisconsin also came.
Landry eventually decided on the University of Oklahoma and is already attending classes in Norman. In recent days he was named to Parade Magazines 45th annual All-America High School team. Closer to home, Landry was named to the All-State 4A team selected through the New Mexico High School Coaches Association.
The coaches association All-State teams were selected in voting by coaches throughout the state and sponsored by James Polk Stone National Bank.
Running backs Ben Gonzales of Moriarty, Mike Hathcock of Aztec and Joe Tanner of Kirtland Central joined Jones in the first team All-State backfield.
Hathcock rushed for 1,411 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Gonzales rushed for more than 3,500 yards in his high school career, including 1,413 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Tanners numbers last season included 1,371 yards, 17 touchdowns and an average of 6 yards a carry.
Jones led the Bulldogs to back-to-back state championships, running the Bulldogs streak of state titles to 26. Over the past two seasons, Jones threw for 89 touchdowns and 7,013 yards. He completed 449 of 677 passes.
One of Jones primary targets this past season was Artesia senior wide receiver Coly Hokett. Hokett, who caught 63 passes for 1,293 yards and 21 touchdowns, also was named to the first team offense along with Aztec senior receiver Brian Lee. Lee had 57 catches for 928 yards and 10 TDs last season.
Jones was on the Artesia varsity since his sophomore season, when he stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 186 pounds. By his senior year he had grown to 6-foot-55 and 215 pounds.
"He worked hard in the weight room and was a student of the game,'' Cooper Henderson said. "He was willing to go out and work on his own. A lot of young people want to be college athletes but he really hard the last two years on his lifting and foot drills. When you get someone that is that self-motivated, theyre going to make a difference on your team.''
That work ethic has carried over to Jones arrival on the OU campus, where he now is working out with the rest of the Sooners and getting acclimated to college life.
"His typical day starts at 5 a.m. and ends at about 9 p.m.,'' said his dad in a telephone interview. "Hes always been sort of a fanatic about being early to workouts and meetings. Kevin Jones says his son made up his mind about where he would play college football when he walked onto the Oklahoma football stadium for the first time.
"He said, `this is it, "He feels this is the right place and hes extremely comfortable with his decision,'' the elder Jones said.
Its too early to tell how much of a role Landry will play in the Sooners 2008 season. Oklahoma, coming off back-to-back losses in the Fiesta Bowl, has an established quarterback in sophomore Sam Bradford.
Cooper Henderson is confident, though, Jones belongs in a big time program.
"Hes in a good program and hes going to compete,'' Henderson said. "Whatever happens, happens (but) I know in my mind he is a division one player.''
The All-State first team offense also included tight end Greg Rivera of St.Pius and linemen Reggie Young of Kirtland Central, Peyton Kirkpatrick and Brian McCaleb of Artesia, Lani Kauvaka of Aztec and Jason Watrin of Moriarty. Rivera also was named the top place-kicker.
Rivera and Kauvaka were also named to the first team defensive line along with Eric Moulton of Capital and Aaron Kilburn of Los Alamos.
The first team linebackers were Ruben Martinez of Los Alamos, Taylor Allcorn of Moriarty and Dallas Bollema of Artesia. Martinez also was named the first team punter.
The defensive backfield has Bobby Smith of Kirtland Central, Matt Zocco of Los Alamos, Trevor Hammergren of Aztec, Lewis OMary of Del Norte and Derrick Christian of Moriarty.
All-State football team list for Class 4A
The 2007 New Mexico High School Coaches Association Class 4A All-State teams. The teams were selected in voting by 4A coaches throughout New Mexico and sponsored by James Polk Stone National Bank. Votes and teams were complied by the association.
Wide Receivers Brian Lee, Aztec, Sr.; Coly Hokett, Artesia, Sr.
Tight End Greg Rivera, St. Pius, Sr.
Linemen Reggie Young, Kirtland Central, Sr.; Peyton Kirkpatrick, Artesia, Sr.; Brian McCaleb, Artesia, Sr.; Lani Kauvaka, Aztec, Sr.; Jason Watrin, Moriarty, Sr.
Quarterback Landry Jones, Artesia, Sr.
Running Backs Ben Gonzales, Moriarty, Sr.; Mike Hathcock, Aztec, Jr.; Joe Tanner, Kirtland Central, Sr.
Place-kicker Greg Rivera, St. Pius, Sr.
Ends Marc Moulton, Capital, Sr.; Greg Rivera, St. Pius, Sr.
Linemen Lani Kauvaka, Aztec, Sr.; Aaron Kilburn, Los Alamos, Sr.
Linebackers Ruben Martinez, Los Alamos, Sr.; Taylor Allcorn, Moriarty, Jr.; Dallas Bollema, Artesia, Jr.
Defensive Backs Bobby Smith, Kirtland Central, Sr.; Matt Zocco, Los Alamos, Sr.; Trevor Hammergren, Aztec, Jr.; (tie) Lewis OMary, Del Norte, Sr. and Derrick Christian, Moriarty, Sr. PunterRuben Martinez, Los Alamos, Sr.
Wide Receivers Brennon Shay, Piedra Vista, Jr.; Dominic Medrano, Capital, Sr.
Tight End Derrick Williamson, Aztec, Jr.
Linemen Michael Hyland, St. Pius, Sr.; Destry Braswell, Artesia, Sr.; Wes Woods, Aztec, Sr.; Erik Carlson, Los Alamos, Sr.; Adrian Maes, Española Valley, Sr.
Quarterback Ken Bohannon, Aztec, Sr.
Running Backs Ruben Coronado, Goddard, Sr.; Ruben Martinez, Los Alamos, Sr.; Raul Rodriguez, Los Alamos, Jr.
Place-kicker Emmanuel Lares, Artesia, Jr.
Ends Gary Dixon, Aztec, Sr.; Jacob Jaramillo, Belen, Sr.
Linemen Trevon Williams, Belen, Sr.; (tie) Marcus Natera, Silver, Sr. and Martin Chavez, Moriarty, Sr.
Linebackers Colin McEntee, St. Pius, Sr.; Dominic Medrano, Capital, Sr.; Nic Fierro, Aztec, Sr.
Defensive Backs Ray Herrera, Moriarty, Jr.; David Fierro, Santa Teresa, Sr.; Ramiro Flores, Artesia, Sr.; Hayden Collins, St. Pius, Sr.
Punter Jermaine Geter, Aztec, Jr.
Wide Receivers Trevor Hammergren, Aztec, Jr.; Alejo Cortez, Artesia, Sr.; David Fierro, Santa Teresa, Sr.
Tight End Joe Valdez, Del Norte, Sr.; Al Padilla, Bernalillo, Sr.
Linemen Nate Crayton, Del Norte, Jr.; Chris Abbo, St. Pius, Sr.; Aaron Kilburn, Los Alamos, Sr.; Matt Padilla, Kirtland Central, Jr.
Running Backs Lewis OMary, Del Norte, Sr.; Derrick Montoya, Artesia, Jr.; Justin Barba, Belen, Sr.
Ends Nate Crayton, Del Norte, Jr.; Alex Montano, Goddard, Jr.; Jeff Belin, Kirtland Central, Jr.
Linemen Nate Garcia, Capital, Jr.; Reginald Young, Kirtland Central, Sr.
Linebackers Clint Harris, Kirtland Central, Sr.; Kyle Henke, Piedra Vista, Sr.; Jason Watrin, Moriarty, Jr.; Chris Archuleta, Del Norte, Sr.
Defensive Backs Zach Mang, Los Alamos, Jr.; Ruben Coronado, Goddard, Sr.; Matt Morales, Aztec, Sr.
Punter Greg Rivera, St. Pius, Sr.
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