K.J. Long, senior quarterback for the Wylie Bulldogs, is the Bigcountryhomepage.com Sports 2022 Player of the Year.

Clay Martin named K.J. Long the starting quarterback for the Wylie Bulldogs at the start of the season. Long who is a senior, led the Bulldogs to their best season in class 5A, a district championship and an appearance in the fourth round of the playoffs.

Clay Martin said, “Yeah I mean KJ is that guy. He’s certainly a guy that finds a way to get things done.”

KJ Long said, “Being the quarterback can obviously be the most fun position I think and this year was definitely awesome. I don’t think I would’ve wanted it any other way. We came up short but at the end of the day we accomplished so much and what we wanted to do. We set out and chased goals and did that and yeah just thankful for this year and the team that we had and fan base we had and just how much support we got and was just really fun.”

KJ threw for over 3200 yards with 37 passing and 8 rushing touchdowns. He’s a 5’7 quarterback. How did he do it? Did he use his height to his advantage?

Long added, “I don’t know many advantages that would come with it, besides slipping out of some things. It was something I knew I could do and what I was good and what I wasn’t good at it and so I try to do the best that I can and work with what I have. Being smaller, obviously can make a different in ways I didn’t really wanna let it affect me. I didn’t want it to, I kind of played through it, there are definitely some things I wouldn’t be good at because of my height. My arm wasn’t necessarily the strongest, I just used my strength as best I could and just had a lot of good teammates to help.”

To bring in the old saying, ‘Big things come in small packages.’

Martin said, “Yeah you know KJ is a great leader, plays with great poise. A very smart football player, a guy that understands the game and very self aware of what his abilities are. He’s the guy I wouldn’t want anyone else with the ball in his hands and just a guy that just found a way to get it done.”

Long is a multi sport athlete and reflects on his time with the Bulldog athletics program in his last year in the purple and gold.

Long added, “Yeah, I’ve got two more sports to go. Basketball right now, and baseball after this where we’re gonna try to get some good runs in that too. This program has meant everything, I mean it’s what I’ve done for the past five years. Since 7th grade, it just been the best time I feel like in my life. For three years, we had Coach Sandifer and the last three have been Coach Martin and I just feel like both of them have been great mentors, not only football but definitely in life. I’ve learned so much and couldn’t of asked for it to end any other way. Just thankful for these years that I’ve had and I just hope this program can keep succeeding and growing.”

Honorable mention for the BCH Sports Player of the Year goes to Brownwood running back Konlyn Anderson, Cisco quarterback Hunter Long, Hawley running back Austin Cumpton, and Westbrook running back Cedric Ware.