ARLINGTON — Two members of the Midlothian Heritage football program were formally recognized as being two of the best in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Each of the last five years, the 1st Down Club of DFW has recognized outstanding offensive and defensive players, as well as coaches, who compete in the DFW Metroplex. This year, MHHS Head Coach Lee Wiginton was named a Coach of the Year finalist, while MHHS kicker, Hogan Keasler, received a nod as a top twelve offensive finalists.
“The 1st Down Club is comprised of some of the best coaches, not only in the DFW area, but in the nation," reads a press release issued before the Jan. 26 dinner and awards ceremony held at the Arlington Convention Center.
The players are selected from the area schools by a selection committee made up of area coaches, and, much like the players, the coaches are nominated by a committee of both current and retired area coaches.
“Being named as a finalist for the coach of the year finalist was very humbling for me. It is a testament to the great job all our staff has done for our kids,” Wiginton said. “Any time a district gets recognized, it’s great for the community and all of Midlothian. I am honored and humbled to help bring that recognition to our community."
Although he joined several quarterbacks and receivers, Keasler was the only kicker of the group.
“I didn’t really get into football until I was in seventh grade. Before then my primary sport was soccer. That was where I developed my kicking ability,” Keasler said.
On being named one of the top offensive players of the year, Keasler said, “It is a huge honor. It’s something signifies what I’ve done, the work that I have put in. It’s incredible, I am so thankful.”
Keasler attributed his success on the field and being recognized to "the quality program that we had everything to do with it. I could not have nearly done without my team. They were great. They put me in a position to do my job. It is wonderful. I am so thankful.”
While looking to continue his football level at the college level, Keasler is undecided where he will commit.
“I’ve got a few opportunities to go a few places. I like some schools that are interested in me. I’m just going to see how the opportunities play out,” Keasler said
Kris Gutierrez, NBC 5 News anchor and the 1st Down Club Board of Directors hoisted the annual banquet.
The guest speaker for the 5th annual 1st Down Club of DFW awards banquet was Super Bowl XXX Most Valuable Player and former Dallas Cowboy, Larry Brown. Following his opening comments telling the players to thank their parents, coaches, and anyone that was a part of their success, Gutierrez held a question-and-answer interview with Brown about his start in football and his NFL career success.