DALLAS (AP) — Patrick Mahomes might have to decide between his passion and his future in a few months, just as his father did some 25 years ago.
For now the three-sport star at Whitehouse High School wants to enjoy his senior year and the latest honor coming from the game he has grown to love.
Mahomes was named the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors football player of the year Friday, becoming the second straight son of a former major league pitcher to win the award.
The son of Pat Mahomes, who played for six teams in an 11-year career, was chosen by a panel of journalists who cover high school football in Texas after throwing for 3,587 yards with 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions during the regular season.
Mahomes, who led his East Texas team to the third round of the playoffs before a 65-60 loss to Mesquite Poteet, was eligible for the honor after being named the offensive player of the year on the Class 4A all-state team.
Last year, Kenny Hill of Southlake Carroll won the award. His father is Ken Hill, who like Mahomes had a stint with the Texas Rangers.
Hill faced the same question this year that will confront Mahomes next summer: What happens to his college football plans if he gets taken in baseball's first-year player draft?
It ended up not mattering for Hill, who was skipped in the draft in part due to his commitment to Texas A&M. Mahomes plans to sign a scholarship agreement with Texas Tech in February, but he's hearing the same things that Hill was about possibly being a high-round draft pick.
Mahomes is a pitcher and outfielder on a Whitehouse team that reached the state tournament in baseball last season. He also plays basketball in the winter.
"We've been talking about it here lately," the younger Mahomes said of conversations with his dad, who was a sixth-round pick by Minnesota in the summer of 1988. "He's just going to try to guide me through it."
The elder Mahomes had the option of attending Arkansas to play basketball when he decided to take the money and turn pro in baseball. His son wants to play for Kliff Kingsbury, who is going into his second year with the Red Raiders after a record-setting career as a quarterback at his alma mater.
A little more than a year ago, Mahomes figured baseball was his only option beyond high school. But a Texas Tech assistant just happened to be there when Mahomes had an impressive game in a rainstorm and took over the Whitehouse starting job in the third game of his junior season, after playing safety his sophomore year.
"On that stage on Friday night, you could really tell, he was like, 'I like this,'" Whitehouse coach Adam Cook said of Mahomes. "He and I had that conversation several times about how it's a lot different from playing safety. And he was like, 'Yeah, coach, I love this.'"
And now football is leading to decisions he didn't expect to have to make.
"Even when I started playing my junior year, I didn't expect to be a D-I quarterback," Mahomes said. "I came out just to play with my friends and ended up getting better and better as the season went along and it came with experience."
Now he might be getting ready to experience his first major life choice.