Edna quarterback earns Class 2A state award
Oct. 14, 2010 at 5:14 a.m.
Manny Freeland didn't play football as a sophomore or a junior at Jarrell.
But after returning to Edna for his senior year, Freeland was persuaded to give the sport another try.
"All my friends on the team talked me into it," Freeland said.
Freeland's return has been an impressive one for the Cowboys, who have a 6-0 record and are ranked No. 8 in the Class 2A state poll.
He became the starting quarterback and has completed 58 of 90 passes for 807 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
"I've just been working really hard," Freeland said. "I'm trying to improve every week."
The 6-foot, 160-pound Freeland took a major leap in last Friday's night's 43-0 District 14-2A, Division I win over Hitchcock.
Freeland completed 11 of 14 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns.
His touchdown passes went 28, 20, 17 and 42 yards and led to his selection as the Built Ford Tough Class 2A Texas High School Player of the Week.
"They put so many in the box to stop our running game," Freeland said. "I have some great receivers, but I have to give all of the credit to our offensive line for giving me time to throw."
Edna coach Mike Pierce was worried about finding a replacement for Kam Jones, who is playing at Texas-San Antonio, but has been impressed by Freeland's leadership skills.
"Manny is a reliable young man," Pierce said. "He does everything you ask him to do. He's a pleasure to coach and he's extremely personable. The other kids learned to respect him immediately and they play hard for him."
Freeland played baseball at Jarrell and will pitch and play infield for Edna in the spring.
But Freeland's concentration is on Friday night's battle for the district lead against Jackson County rival Industrial in Vanderbilt.
"I'll be playing against a lot of my friends," Freeland said. "I really want to win this game."