IOWA PARK — Valley running back Jaxon Edwards showed exactly why he was selected for the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association Division I Football All-Star Game on Friday night.
Edwards caught five passes for 123 yards, rushed six times for 31 yards and completed a pass for 24 yards en route to being named Offensive MVP of the Game and leading the West All-Stars to a 36 win. -26 on the East at Hawk Stadium.
“It’s quite surreal. You know, you put all that work into this sport and then it’s just over. But that’s not the point; it’s the memories you make along the way and the people you meet,” Edwards said. “These people will always be brothers to me.”
Edwards’ coach at Valley, John Stanaland, said it was hard to see Edwards give up football, but stressed Edwards had done things the right way throughout his playing career.
“It’s tough on him, it’s tough on me. He’s a phenomenal player,” Stanaland said: He put blood, sweat and tears into the Valley program for four years in high school, and he did everything every coach asked him to do. He can walk off the pitch with his head held high knowing he did everything he could and left it all on the pitch.
While Edwards downplayed the significance of the MVP award, Stanaland said he wasn’t surprised Edwards won it because of his work ethic.
“I coached Jackson for three years, since he was a sophomore, and he’s been out and making plays since he was a sophomore,” Stanaland said. “He’s a phenomenal player, he’s even a better person.”
Stanaland added that Edwards’ ability to play anywhere on the court helped him do well in the game and ultimately claim the title of Offensive MVP.
“Normally at Valley he was our running back, but here tonight he played a lot of receiver, walked a lot of roads and excelled at that,” Stanaland said. “He’s one of those versatile kids who can do a lot of different things in a lot of different places.”
Edwards said with the All-Star Game and the football game behind him, the next thing he plans to do is train as a firefighter in the fall.
“I go to fire school in the fall. I just hope to be the best I can be in everything I do, so that’s my plan right now. I totally agree,” Edwards said.
Stanaland said he is confident Edwards will continue to be the best he can be.
“I think he’s going to be very successful. Just the drive and determination he’s had in everything he does, whether it’s in college or on the pitch, everything he does has was a success,” Stanaland said. “I know he’s going to be entering the fire academy soon, and there aren’t many more people I would trust my life to than this kid.”