When the Texas Sports Writers Association’s all-state teams began rolling in earlier this week, it came as no surprise that they were littered with Denton-area players.

Ryan and Argyle each claimed state championships, with the Raiders winning the Class 5A Division I crown and the Eagles winning the Class 4A Division I title. In addition, several other schools like Guyer and Pilot Point made deep playoff runs.

The Wildcats advanced to the Class 6A Division II semifinal for the second consecutive year, while the Bearcats made their second straight appearance in the region final.

As a result, 29 Denton-area players were named to TSWA all-state teams, including Ryan coach Dave Henigan, who was named the 5A Co-Coach of the Year. Henigan shared the award with Liberty Hill’s Kent Walker.

Denton ISD had 14 players tabbed to the team — six from Ryan, six from Guyer and two from Braswell.

The Raiders’ selections included Billy Bowman Jr., Ja’Tavion Sanders, Seth Henigan, DJ Arkansas and Ty Marsh, who were all named to the 5A first team. Anthony Hill Jr. was an honorable mention selection.

Ryan's Billy Bowman Jr.

Ryan's Billy Bowman Jr. (2) carries the ball, while being defended by Mansfield Summit's Jalon Rock (4) at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 8 in Arlington.

Bowman and Sanders were the Co-MVPs of the Denton Record-Chronicle’s 2020 All-Area team and led Ryan to its third state championship in school history. Marsh was the DRC’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year, along with Guyer’s Cooper Lanz.

Lanz highlighted Guyer’s all-state selections, as the Baylor signee was named the 6A Defensive Player of the Year. Lanz was a wrecking ball on Guyer’s defensive line and racked up 100 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.

Guyer defensive end Cooper Lanz

Guyer defensive end Cooper Lanz (7) sacks Prosper’s Jackson Berry (5) at McKinney ISD Stadium on Jan. 2. Lanz, a Baylor signee, and five other Guyer players have been named to the Texas Sports Writers Association’s all-state teams.

The Wildcats’ kicker, Michael Mayfield, was named to the 6A first team. Mayfield was 14-for-17 on field goals and nailed a 56-yarder in a win over Little Elm.

UNT signee Gabe Blair and All-American Deuce Harmon were tabbed to the second team. Defensive back Marquan Pope was named to the third team, while running back BJ Phillips was named honorable mention.

Braswell offensive lineman Erick Cade and wide receiver Cam Smith were also 6A honorable mention.

Meanwhile at Argyle, the Eagles had six 4A all-state selections.

Offensive lineman Jack Tucker and Cole Kirkpatrick, both Texas Tech signees, were named to the first team along with tight end Jasper Lott, a TCU signee.

Argyle wide receiver Cole Kirkpatrick

Argyle wide receiver Cole Kirkpatrick (5) runs after catching a pass during the Eagles’ Nov. 19 game against Stephenville at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Defensive lineman Chase Bunnell and defensive back Jett Copeland were third-team selections, while quarterback CJ Rogers was honorable mention.

Aubrey had five players named to the 4A all-state team, led by offensive lineman Cody Newton, a second-team pick. Running back Braylon Colgrove, tight end Wyatt Dyer, defensive lineman Jacob Palladino and defensive back Jackson Jennings were all honorable mention.

Sanger running back Tallyn Welborn was also 4A honorable mention.

Pilot Point’s 3A all-state selections included defensive back Jay Cox, who was a first-team selection. Quarterback Max Hollar and running back Ish Harris were 3A honorable mention.

REECE WADDELL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @ReeceWaddell15.

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