HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Andrews’ Armendariz earns Utility Player of the Year

Luke Armendariz was supposed to provide the Andrews Mustangs with stability in the defensive secondary while seeing spot duty on offense.
The senior lived up to expectations at cornerback, recording 20 solo tackles and 14 assists with four tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups and three interceptions along with a forced fumble.
On offense, Armendariz blew expectations out of the water with a breakout season, catching 71 passes for 1,509 and 20 touchdowns. Throw in his contributions on special teams and Armendariz was an easy choice for Utility Player of the Year on the All-Permian Basin football team.
“Luke came as close to what I would call an all-state performance year that I could even start to think about,” Mustangs coach Ralph Mason said. “He obviously had an outstanding year.
“He was a two-way starter for us. He started at cornerback and provided a great amount of stability at that position.
“He was also a kick returner for us. He had 11 returns for 137 yards. He also blocked a couple of kicks early in the year. He just did a little bit of everything.”
Mason said Arendariz’s offensive performance came out of nowhere.
“We had him penciled in as a backup receiver at the start of the year,” Mason said. “Due to some circumstances that presented themselves in our first game, he ended up starting and had over 100 yards receiving and three touchdowns that night. Then he came in the next week and had a pick-six and another catch for a touchdown.
“He went on to catch at least one touchdown pass in every game he played this year. He had three games (Levelland, Seminole, Big Spring) where he caught three touchdown passes and one (Fort Stockton) where he caught four.”
The best part, Mason said was the way Armendariz fit in with Markeese Lawrence to give Andrews an even more potent receiving corps.
“It was a really neat thing to see what it did for us with Markeese on the other side coming in with the reputation of being an all-state performer in past years,” Mason said. “What it did was make it very difficult for defenses to load up. They were loading up on Markeese earlier in the year and Luke made them pay for it.”
Armendariz had eight 100-yard receiving games with a season-high 232 yards against Fort Stockton. He twice had nine receptions in a game (Seminole and Fort Stockton) and caught at least six passes nine times.
“He’s not real big, but he gets to top speed within about his first three steps, which is another one of those factors that made him so good,” Mason said. “He doesn’t dance around a lot, he just catches and goes. He made some amazing plays this year.”
Defensively, Armendariz had at least one defended pass (pass breakup or interception) in eight games.
“He was just very reliable,” Mason said. “It didn’t matter who he was covering, he really loved the challenge.”
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