Panthers put five on All-District 2-1A team

Pictured is Lincoln Prep’s Brandon Heard (far right) breaking free from the River Oaks Mustangs. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

Playing in the same district as Division IV Select School state champion Ouachita Christian along with Cedar Creek and St. Frederick, which both also reached the playoffs, made for a tough season for the Lincoln Preparatory School Panthers.

But the Panthers, who finished at 3-9 after a first-round playoff loss at Ascension Catholic, still managed to put five players on the 2022 All-District 2-1A football team.

Lincoln Prep’s lone first-team selection for athlete Brandon Heard, who played wide receiver, running back, quarterback and defensive back for the Panthers.

“I can’t help but wish we could have cloned him and had more of him,” Panthers coach Glen Hall said. “Brandon did a little bit of everything for us. He’s just a great overall athlete with solid skills and had a strong season back on the football field.”

Heard played football as a freshman before moving to basketball only for two seasons during the COVID pandemic before returning to the gridiron for his senior season.

As a receiver, Heard hauled in 40 passes for 656 receiving yards — that’s 16.4 yards per reception — and seven touchdowns.

But Heard did much more than catch.

Also seeing playing time at running back and even a little under center, Heard added 279 yards and three touchdowns on 55 carries while also returning kicks to push his all-purpose yards total to 998 yards on 96 touches.

Lincoln Prep seniors Bralyn Mayfield, Jamarion Buggs and offensive lineman Lathan Elmore all were named second-team all-district selections.

Mayfield connected on 62-of-146 of his pass attempts for 1/114 yards for 11 touchdowns while adding 148 yards and another score on 28 carries.

Buggs caught 14 passes on the season for 297 yards with three of those going for touchdowns.

Senior Chauncey Harper is the Panthers’ lone defensive player on the all-district team, earning second-team honors.

Overcoming multiple injuries, the Lincoln Prep safety totaled 19 tackles (14 solo) on the season with two interceptions returned for 55 yards along with six pass defenses, one sack and one forced fumble.