J.R.

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS -

Hen­der­son with ev­ery­thing ex­cept a state ti­tle ring on his way out.

Even with­out the ring, Hen­der­son was able to leave his name all over the record books this sea­son.

“I never had the stats in mind. I just wanted to go out on a good note and get a state cham­pi­onship ring with all of my friends,” Hen­der­son said. “We came up short of that, but we had a great sea­son and we tried our best to get there.”

He fin­ished this year with 84 re­cep­tions for 2101 yards and 29 re­ceiv­ing touch­downs. He also had a pass­ing touch­down in the state cham­pi­onship. At the end he had the 3A ca­reer re­cep­tions record (164), 3A sin­gle-sea­son re­ceiv­ing yards record (2101), 3A ca­reer re­ceiv­ing yards record (3665), AIA sea­son re­ceiv­ing touch­down record (29) and the 3A ca­reer re­ceiv­ing touch­down record (42).

“We didn’t know any­thing about it (the records),” he said. “I re­mem­ber coach told us the day be­fore it was go­ing to be in the pa­per that I was close to five state records. He lit­er­ally told us the night be­fore. That was the first I heard about it. It was ex­cit­ing. He told us all of the great things would come if we just played as a team and tried our best.”

His 2101 re­ceiv­ing yards were good for third in the coun­try, per MaxPreps. He was also named 3A con­fer­ence player of the year. Coin­ci­den­tally, his quar­ter­back, junior Gage Reese, was named the AIA 3A of­fen­sive player of the year af­ter 64 touch­downs through the air.

Hen­der­son also made the all-re­gion team as a de­fen­sive back as he led the AIA in in­ter­cep­tions with 10.

Since he only had two games with­out touch­downs, there weren’t very many off games for him, but he did have a defin­ing game in the state ti­tle for

the Sham­rocks. The team had one of its low­est of­fen­sive out­puts of the year, but Hen­der­son made some plays to keep them in the game.

He had a punt re­turn for a touch­down, but he also threw a touch­down on a trick play late in the game and had an early re­ceiv­ing touch­down. The team ul­ti­mately fell in the game, but it was ex­cit­ing un­til the end.

“You al­ways know you have a chance on third-and­long when you have J.R. on the field,” Stall­worth said.

Hen­der­son is still weigh­ing op­tions on where he will play next sea­son in col­lege, but he does plan to play some­where.

“We’re just try­ing to process it and try­ing to get through it,” he said. “We’re try­ing to fig­ure out where I have op­por­tu­ni­ties to go. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to go from be­ing a lit­tle kid dream­ing of this to start­ing to be re­cruited and go­ing through that whole process.”

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