BHS lands 12 on all-league team
It was recognition time for the Baldwin High School football team, which was rewarded for its great season as 12 players made the All-Frontier League teams.
"I truly believe that individual accomplishments are recognized through the team's success," coach Mike Berg said. "I believe we have all of those individual awards because of how well our team did this year."
The Bulldogs had four players make the First-Team All-Frontier League on offense and defense.
Berg believes the other coaches in the league recognized how talented the Bulldogs' players were and voted them onto the all-league teams.
"The coaches in our league respect our players and know that our players are all-league caliber, so I wasn't surprised when we had a lot of all-league players." Berg said.
The four Bulldogs that were named First-Team All-Frontier League are seniors Klay Garrison, Aaron Hannon, Eli Mitchell and Jeremy Wright.
Garrison was named as first-team running back and linebacker. He racked up 919 yards rushing and scored 12 touchdowns, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Garrison also totaled 108 tackles, which led the team for the second straight year.
Hannon was first-team wide receiver and defensive back. Hannon caught 30 passes for 703 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also made 41 tackles on defense and picked off one interception.
It was the second straight year for Hannon to be a first-team all-league selection.
"It's a pretty good honor to have all league honors on both sides of the ball this year," Hannon said. "It shows how hard we have worked as a team."
Mitchell was first-team offensive guard and defensive lineman. He totaled 41 tackles and three sacks on the season. This was Mitchell's second year on the all-league defensive team.
Wright was first-team quarterback and defensive back. On offense, Wright rushed 80 times for 761 yards and eight touchdowns. He also threw for 934 yards and 14 touchdowns.
It was also Wright's second straight year to be a first-team selection.
"It's a big honor," Wright said. "We wouldn't get all of these team accolades, if it wasn't for the entire team competing. That's what it is all about. "It just shows how good of a team we were overall."
Berg was really proud of Wright and Hannon for being selected to the first-team for two straight years.
"I think it shows that they had two good years back-to-back," Berg said. "Sometimes players will have a great junior season and then they will fade off their senior season. These guys got better. Their stats were improved from their junior year. They worked hard and they both deserved it."
The offensive second-team all-league team included seniors John Brown, Josiah Mason, Jared Chalender and Braxton Nottingham.
Brown and Mason were selected as running backs. Brown rushed for 757 yards and 10 touchdowns, while catching 11 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Mason carried the ball 79 times for 448 yards and five touchdowns. Mason also caught six passes for 92 yards.
Chalender and Nottingham were selected as offensive lineman.
Berg was really pleased his offensive linemen could be rewarded, since Baldwin did lead the league in offensive production.
"Our offense led the league with 406 yards per game," Berg said. "You have to put some offensive linemen on there from Baldwin. That's where it happens up front. I am happy that three of them got on the all-league team."
The Bulldogs had six players be selected to the second-team all-league defensive team. Those chosen were Mason, Nottingham, junior Adam Deere, junior Michael Kohn, junior Aaron Mills and junior Blake Wieden.
Mason was selected as strong safety, where he racked up 62 tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Nottingham totaled 72 tackles, three fumble recoveries and four sacks.
Deere was chosen as defensive end, where he got 49 tackles, seven sacks and one fumble recovery. Deere's seven sacks led the league.
"He's really proud of that and we are proud of it too," Berg said of Deere's sack total. "We are glad he is coming back, because he just stepped it up on defense. I was really happy for him and we were pushing for him to be on the first team."
Kohn totaled 45 tackles as a defensive lineman. Mills recorded the second-highest number of tackles on the team with 89, while also grabbing one interception.
Wieden was voted on as punter, as he averaged 34.6 yards per attempt.
Baldwin's season ended Nov. 5 with a 13-7 loss to Chanute in overtime during the Class 4A state playoffs. They finished second in the league to Paola with an 8-1 record.