Sanders unanimous MVP; 14 Titans earn All-District honors
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The Memorial football team dominated the All District 9-5A Division I team with the unanimous MVP, special teams player of the year, 12 first team selections and two second team selections.
For the second year in a row, quarterback Jah’mar Sanders took home the district’s MVP award. Sanders, who was the unanimous selection, finished the season with more than 1,500 yards rushing, more than 2,000 yards passing and 39 total touchdowns (20 passing and 19 rushing).
Standout cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau earned Special Teams Player of the Year. The defensive back returned five kicks for 163 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown. Guilbeau also recorded an interception on punt coverage in the team’s playoff game against Fort Bend Hightower.
Adrian Hayward earned unanimous first team honors for the running back position, while receivers Kelby Blanchette and Ilijah Williams earned unanimous votes.
Offensive linemen Roshawn Calhoun and Diamonique Davenport were named to the first team for their respective positions.
Center Josh Marsh earned a second team spot.
On the defensive side of the ball, ends Christian Thomas and Caden Pitre were named to the first team, along with linebackers Jayden Fisher and Darrell Thornton. Defensive backs Jelani Chevalier, DeVuan Davenport and Daevon Iles also made first team. Defensive tackle Tyrese Wallace was named to the second team.
Guilbeau said the selections show how talented the team was.
“This school produces a lot,” he said. “This school has a lot of players that have come through this program and went to the league. I have been all district since sophomore year. That is a blessing and I thank God for that. I am still grinding. I am about to go to Texas in January and once I get there, it is more grinding, because I am starting over as a freshman.”
Head Coach Brian Morgan said he is happy to see his team’s hard work pay off.
“It is a testament to those kids,” he said. “We see them on a daily basis and we think highly of them, but it is good to see the coaches we play against think highly of them. To see the guys get picked unanimous, that is obvious that every other coach in the district thinks you are the best players at your position.”
Morgan said Sanders and Guilbeau have led the team since they first stepped on varsity and have meant a lot to helping build the program.
“Jah’mar really bought in and works really hard,” Morgan said. “He is gifted naturally. We see the junior and senior Jah’mar, but that is who he is now. There were a lot of people that did not think he could play quarterback. He got a lot of flack for being the quarterback his sophomore year. He struggled. He was young and couldn’t throw well. It is a testament to him doing the right thing.”
On the other side of the ball, Morgan said Guilbeau set the tone for the defense.
“I don’t think in four years I have ever seen him take a day off or go half speed,” Morgan said. “He came to practice, to the weight room, to meetings and even school. He does really well in his classes. He is getting a lot of recruiting attention but he deserves it. A lot of people say they work hard or grind, but he legitimately works.”
Morgan credits the two stars for holding the team together.
“We had some really talented guys, but when your two best players worked harder than everyone else, it didn’t allow others to not work hard,” Morgan said. “It sets the tone and forced everyone else to come to work. That is the biggest thing those two guys brought to the whole program.”