Bulldogs earn all-state honors
Postseason honors keep rolling in for several Baldwin High School football players.
Last week it was All-Frontier League honors that were announced for the Bulldogs. This week it was Class 4A All-State recognition.
A total of six Bulldogs were selected for 12 different spots on the three all-state teams, which marks the most players chosen under coach Mike Berg's regime.
"I'm very proud of the players," Berg said. "It's the most we've had since I've been coach. It's a tribute to the hard work they put in during the summer and the offseason. The state has recognized how good of a team they were. It's pretty special to see how balanced we were."
The Bulldogs finished the season 10-3 after losing in the 4A state semifinal round. It was the deepest a BHS team has advanced in the playoffs since 1988.
Leading the way on the all-state teams was senior linebacker Luke Weaver. He made history for being the only player Berg has coached that was chosen first-team by all three groups.
The three teams are Wichita Eagle, Topeka Capital-Journal and the Kansas Football Coaches Association. Weaver finished his senior campaign with 146 tackles, 97 of which were solo tackles.
"We've never had a kid make all three first teams," Berg said. "That is a special honor. His 146 tackles might be the most ever by a BHS player. It was the most in 4A this year."
Also making the KFCA's first team were senior Jacob Enick and Jesse Green. Enick was chosen as the center and Green was the tight end.
"It felt really good to make the first team," Enick said. "I was surprised I made it, because I was just honorable mention on one of the papers."
Green led BHS with receptions with 17 this fall. Although his numbers were smaller than other tight ends, Berg said the coaches voted Green in because of his versatility.
"The coaches also looked at blocking when they chose a tight end," Berg said. "They look for one lined up next to the tackle, not out with the receivers. The films showed how well he blocked and that was one of the big reasons he was chosen. It's also one reason we were able to run the ball so well outside."
Making the Capitol-Journal's first team were Weaver and senior Anthony Ciambrone, an offensive lineman. Senior Jared Hall and junior Sam Beecher were chosen as honorable-mention running backs by the Capitol-Journal.
Beecher rushed the ball 225 times for 1,665 yards and 16 touchdowns. Hall totaled 195 carries and 1,229 yards on the season. Hall also never fumbled once during his 195 carries.
The final team was chosen by the Wichita Eagle. Weaver and Ciambrone were selected to their first team all-state. Making the Eagle's honorable-mention list were Enick, Hall and Green (linebacker.)
The BHS players were honored with their all-state selections at their banquet Sunday evening. Berg said the players were surprised, especially about the KFCA selections.
"They didn't have any idea and I think they were pleasantly surprised," Berg said. "Being chosen by the coaches says that they were the best at their position, which would be center, tight end and linebacker. Luke was one of the three best linebackers, but he led 4A in tackles."
Enick said the all-state honors really helped cap off the magical season.
"This helps a lot to realize how far we did go this year," Enick said. "We hadn't been that far in 19 years, so it was really special."