Metro Christian's Andrew Hearon is honored as All-Metro Football Player of the Year
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Saturday, December 24, 2011
12/24/11 at 5:50 AM
Time management is a strength for Metro Christian quarterback Andrew Hearon.
That enables Hearon to be a starter in three sports - football, basketball and baseball.
"He has a maturity that comes with managing your time and being excellent at everything you do," Metro football coach Jared McCoy said. "Three-sport athletes are a dying breed, even in small schools. There are a lot of two-sport guys, but not a lot of three-sport guys. We've encouraged him to do it and he's excelled."
Hearon also maintains a 4.59 weighted grade point average, performs church volunteer work that has included mission trips as well as helping build homes through Habitat for Humanity, coaches youth sports in the summer, and has attained the rank of Eagle Scout. And he enjoys playing his favorite classic rock songs on his guitar.
So how does he manage to do it all?
"I don't spend a lot of time om Facebook," said Hearon, who limits his time to a maximum of 30 minutes per day on Facebook and Twitter.
Hearon also excels in time management on the football field and that was the key in leading the Patriots to the school's best-ever record, 12-1. In all three games that were decided by seven points or less, Hearon led the Patriots on a late drive to win the game.
"He has such confidence and we have confidence in him," Metro receiver Drew Hillenburg said. "We know in these late-game situations that when we have the ball, we're going to score."
Hearon's late game successes, combined with eye-popping stats, have resulted in his selection as the Tulsa World's staff choice as Metro Football Player of the Year.
Many wondered what Hearon would do for an encore as a senior after setting a state record with 49 touchdown passes last year. Although he didn't quite match that total, he had a better overall year, according to McCoy. Hearon completed 241-of-365 passes for 3,719 yards and 42 TDs.
"It's great to be a receiver in this system and we've been fortunate to have Andrew as a quarterback," said Hillenburg, who had 135 catches and 30 TDs in the past two years. "I've played with him since first grade. He makes it easy for us receivers. We just run the routes, run them hard and sharp, and Andrew puts it in there perfectly. He is a great in-game player and has a great instinct for the game."
Hearon's improved completion percentage and reduction in interceptions along with late-game heroics were big factors in the Patriots improving on last year's 10-4 record.
"He did everything we asked him to do," McCoy said. "He took care of the football. He had no fumbles. His interceptions dropped to five from 13. Andrew was more efficient in our system, going from 61 to 66 percent completions. If not for drops, he would have been well into the 75-to-80 percentile."
Hearon's favorite game this season was a 31-28 win at Tahlequah Sequoyah. That was the last of the three regular-season losses that the Patriots avenged from last year.
He passed for 327 yards, rushed for 100 and accounted for four TDs. After Sequoyah tied the game with 3:44 left, Hearon led the winning drive that was ignited by his 29-yard scramble and was capped by Ben LaCourse's field goal with two seconds remaining.
In the regular-season finale, Hearon suffered a minor right (throwing) shoulder separation in the fourth quarter. Despite the pain, Hearon led a nine-play, 85-yard winning drive that he capped with an 8-yard TD pass to Luke Preaus with 18 seconds left for a 28-21 victory at Claremore Sequoyah.
"It hurt but once I got some adrenaline going, I could play with it," Hearon said.
Hearon continued his practice this year of texting inspirational messages to teammates the night before games. This year he added quotes from historical sports figures such as Vince Lombardi and Muhammad Ali.
McCoy's favorite memory of Hearon came after the Tahlequah Sequoyah game.
"I remember watching him console the Tahlequah Sequoyah kids," McCoy said "There's that part of Andrew that knows winning and losing is important, but to see him go encourage the opposing team is special to me, and means a lot that he puts people above the game.
"He's a tremendous leader and player. He uses his skill set real well and does a lot with what God has gifted him. He's a winner."
Hearon at a glance
School: Metro Christian
Fast Fact: A three-sport starter, who has a weighted 4.59 GPA
Touchdown passes: 42
RECENT AWARD HISTORY
Player of the Year
2010: Christian Hood, Union (staff and readers' choice)
2009: Jake Alexander, Jenks; DeWitt Jennings III, Bixby (readers' choice)
2008: Tracy Moore, Union; Johnny Deaton, Sand Springs (readers' choice)
2007: Chris Adkins, Jenks, and Beau Bentley, Bixby
2006: Michael Harris, Booker T. Washington
2005: Michael Barnett, East Central
Coach of the Year
2010: Aaron Meier, Catoosa
2009: J.J. Tappana, Bishop Kelley
2008: Kirk Fridrich, Union
2007: Steve Edwards, Glenpool
2006: Kenny Jackson, Rogers
2005: Pat McGrew, Bixby
Original Print Headline: All-around success
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393
Metro Christian quarterback Andrew Hearon guided the Patriots to a 12-1 record this past season. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World