County football teams battled through a lot this fall
It wasn't the kind of football season everyone dreams of in Barry County in 2019.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis concerns had schools avoiding mosquitoes, forcing many early Friday and even Saturday kick-offs throughout the season. Homecoming kings and queens were crowned in broad daylight. Rain and thunderstorms frustrated players and spectators alike.
None of Barry County's five varsity football teams made the state playoffs this season, and Maple Valley didn't even have the chance after making the move to eight-player football due to dwindling numbers in the football program.
None of those things changed the effort the guys, and girls, gave on the field this fall. Thornapple Kellogg, Hastings and Delton Kellogg all came up just short of playoff dreams, winning five games apiece. Lakewood and Maple Valley both won eight games this season, with Maple Valley doing that in just eight games.
The Lions took on some of the toughest eight-player teams in the state in their first season in that competition – including the Division 1 8-player champions from Colon.
There are a few familiar foes still playing in the state tournament. Grand Rapids Catholic Central, who will join the Thornapple Kellogg program in the OK Gold Conference next fall, is playing Detroit Country Day for the Division 4 State Championship Friday at Ford Field in Detroit. The Saxons' Interstate-8 Athletic Conference foes from Jackson Lumen Christi will make what seems to be their annual appearance at Ford Field, facing Pewamo-Westphalia in the Division 7 State Final Saturday morning in Detroit.
Here are the 2019 All-Barry County Football First and Second Teams.
2019 All-Barry County
Football First Team Offense
Jacob Elenbaas, Lakewood: Injuries slowed the Vikings' senior quarterback a bit, but he still completed 19 passes for 381 yards and rushed 85 times for 395 yards and three touchdowns this year. He threw for six touchdowns.
Despite missing some time to injury this fall, Elenbaas was named second team all-conference in the GLAC after earning first team honors in the conference a year ago.
Hugheston Heckathorn, Maple Valley: Heckathorn was the workhorse of the Maple Valley offense, rushing the ball 166 times for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. He also scored seven two-point conversions. On defense, Heckathorn led the Lions in tackles with 42 solo tackles, five tackles for a loss, a sack, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
“Hugheston had to contend with teams gearing to stop him, but he was still able to rush for over 1,00 yards in just eight games against some of the best 8-man teams in the state and in Ohio.” Lion coach Marty Martin said.
Brendan Hood, Thornapple Kellogg: A senior, Hood managed 535 yards on the ground in seven games for the Trojans. He averaged over seven yards per carry this season.
Hood had a season highlighted by 18 rushes for 190 yards against Wayland and 18 carries for 157 yards and three touchdowns against Ottawa Hills.
Elijah Smith, Hastings: A senior, Smith was the Saxons' leading rusher despite missing three games with an injury. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry and finished the season with 665 yards.
Smith scored ten touchdowns this season on the ground. Defensively, Smith tallied 17 tackles and two interceptions as well as one sack.
Sawyer Stoepker, Lakewood: Stoepker was one of the top receiving threats in the county, tallying 21 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
Stoepker also added 23 rushes for 196 yards and another score, and chipped in 16 tackles from his spot in the Vikings' defensive backfield as a junior this season.
Brent Sweet, Lakewood: Another versatile Viking, he was an offensive weapon receiving and rushing the football this year. He finished his junior campaign with 11 receptions for 231 yards and rushed the ball 39 times for 409 yards.
He was named all-conference in the GLAC on defense, where he had 48.5 tackles from his spot in the Vikings' secondary. He had 8.5 tackles for a loss, forced two fumbles, batted away two passes and had one interception.
Kaleb Post, Delton Kellogg: A solid blocker and pass catcher for the Panthers this fall as a senior.
He closed out the season with his biggest receiving game, pulling in five passes for 35 yards. Post was also one of the Panthers' leading tacklers from his linebacker spot, finishing with more than 40 tackles and picking off a pass.
Ben Curtis, Hastings: Curtis was a key part of the Saxons' front during his senior season, helping the team rush for 3,200 yards and pass for more than 350 yards.
Cutis had a 97 percent blocking efficiency on the season. He saw some time on defense as well, recording half a sack in his team's loss to the Division 7 state finalists from Jackson Lumen Christi.
Brady Haas, Delton Kellogg: The big, 6-3, 265-pound, senior tackle was a force up front for the Panthers' Wing-T offense that controlled the clock and moved the ball all season long.
Haas was able to play with both speed and power on the line. He had a handful of tackles playing on the Panthers' defensive line as well.
Evan Murphy, Hastings: A powerful force up front for the Saxon offensive line that helped its offense accumulate 3,200 rushing yards this season. He had a 99 percent blocking efficiency and went out to catch two passes for 20 yards from a tight end spot.
Murphy, a senior, also had 24 tackles including 5.5 for a loss and one sack from his defensive end spot this season.
Noah Kriekaard, Thornapple Kellogg: The Trojans' junior right guard helped power the offense.
He was the lone returning starter up front for his team this fall.
Cole Pape, Delton Kellogg: A 6-6, 320 pound offensive tackle who helped power the Panthers' offensive front this season.
Pape was a force on the Panthers' defensive line too, managing close to 30 tackles as well as a number in opponents' backfields.
Mitchell Middleton, Thornapple Kellogg: The county's top kicker this season, as well as a key contributor on offense and defense for the Trojans. Middleton hit a 52-yard field goal this season and was 24-of-26 on extra-point attempts.
Middleton averaged 5.7 yards per carry rushing the football for TK on offense this season, scoring two touchdowns, and also had 28.5 tackles on defense including eight for a loss.
2019 All-Barry County
Football First Team Defense
Evan Eastman, Hastings: Eastman had a big season up front for the Saxon defense, recording 50 tackles and adding 11 tackles for a loss.
Eastman had five sacks on the season as well.
Tyler Kaiser, Hastings: Kaiser had 28 tackles on the defensive front for the Saxons.
Kaiser managed three tackles for a loss this season.
Colton VanLoozenoord, Thornapple Kellogg: Splitting time between linebacker and fullback as a senior this fall, VanLoozenord had 14.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks on defense this season.
Offensively, VanLoozenoord rushed the ball 64 times for 420 yards and three touchdowns.
Cam Winter, Lakewood: Winter was named first team all-conference in the GLAC from his spot on the Vikings' defensive line as a senior after earning an honorable mention all-conference nod as a junior.
Winter had 16 tackles, two sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss this year.
Adam Bush, Thornapple Kellogg: Bush was one of the leaders on both sides of the ball for TK as a senior this season. He had 55.5 tackles for the Trojans this season, including 45 solo tackles. He also had 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Offensively, Bush rushed the ball 32 times for 225 yards and four touchdowns, including three TDs in a homecoming victory over Wyoming. Bush also had a pair of touchdown receptions, including a 54-yarder in his team's victory over Wayland.
Ben Ferrell, Hastings: Ferrell was one of the Saxons' top tacklers this season, recording 56.5 tackles.
Ferrell had 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble this season. He blocked a punt too.
John Hewitt, Lakewood: A senior linebacker, Hewitt was named all-conference in the GLAC for the second fall in a row.
A Viking team captain, Hewitt finished the year with 64 tackles, two sacks, 4.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and one pass break-up.
Ryan Holmes, Thornapple Kellogg: Another tackling machine for the Trojans as a junior this season. Holmes had 54 tackles including 42 solo tackles.
He finished the year with 5.5 tackles in the backfield.
Alex Bonnema, Thornapple Kellogg: A junior in the Trojan secondary, Bonnema had 44 solo tackles and 47.5 tackles overall. He had 5.5 tackles for a loss and intercepted a pas this season.
Bonnema returned kicks and punts for TK this season. On offense, Bonnema had 36 rushes for 192 yards and caught three passes.
Bradley Bunch, Delton Kellogg: One of the Panthers' main offensive weapons, Bunch rushed for over 800 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.
A junior, was his team's top receiving threat as well – pulling in three touchdown passes. He was also one of his team's top tacklers this season too with more than 40 tackles and an interception.
Logan Kimbrue, Thornapple Kellogg: A senior safety, Kimbure found the football time and again this season, picking off four passes.
He had 19 tackles on the season defensively and turned into a solid receiving threat late in the season for the Trojans as well.
Gabe Trick, Hastings: Trick was one of the Saxons' top tacklers this season, recording 58.5 tackles from his spot in the defensive backfield. He had five pass break-ups, five interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Trick also added 53 rushes for 306 yards and five touchdowns offensively while adding three receptions for 57 yards and two more touchdowns.
Jordan Rench, Delton Kellogg: Rench did a little bit of everything for the Panthers over the course of his varsity career, including punting. The Panthers' quarterback as a junior he transitioned to running back on the offensive side of the ball this season.
Rench rushed for more than 800 yards this season, and was one of his team's top touchdown scorers, receivers and also had at least five interceptions from his spot in the Panthers' defensive backfield.
2019 All-Barry County
Football Second Team Offense
Carter Cappon, Hastings: The Saxons' senior quarterback rushes for 385 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry and also threw for 315 yards. He rushes for four touchdowns and passed for another four.
Cappon threw for more than 100 yards in his team's September match-up with Marshall and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in his team's October victory over Jackson Northwest.
Hunter Allerding, Hastings: The Saxons' senior running back rushes for 601 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Allerding topped the 100-yard mark twice, rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns against Marshall in September and exploding for 174 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries in the Saxons' win over Pennfield last month.
Austin Bleam, Hastings: A junior running back, Bleam rushed 63 times for 480 yards – an average of 7.6 yards per carry this season. He scored five touchdowns and had ten receptions for 115 yards as well.
Bleam overwhelmed Jackson Northwest in the final game of the season, carrying the ball 12 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Garrett Stank, Lakewood: A key member of the Lakewood offensive attack, Stank finished the season with 88 rushes for 574 yards and caught five passes for another 37 yards.
He had four total touchdowns in his junior season this fall.
Hunter Bassett, Maple Valley: Bassett had four receptions for 129 yards this season, while doing a tremendous job blocking too. Defensively he had 38 solo tackles and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
“On defense, Hunter was our starting slot linebacker, meaning he had to guard the other team's slot receiver and when there was no slot, he had to align inside over an offensive lineman. His versatility makes him a very valuable player in 8-man football.”
John Behrenwald, Lakewood: On e of the leaders in the trenches for the Viking varsity football team. A senior, Behrenwald played his third varsity season for the Vikings this fall.
Coach Markwart called his right tackles a “a solid offensive lineman.”
Blake Monroe, Thornapple Kellogg: Monroe took over a starting spot on the Trojan offensive line for the first time as a junior this wall and was key to the option attack form his left guard spot.
Jaydon Rodriguez, Lakewood: Rodriguez was named second team all-conference in the GLAC in his second season on the Viking varsity.
A junior, coach Markwart called Rodriguez a “great offensive lineman. Any team would be happy to have him.”
German Villalobos: Villalobos was a strong contributor at right tackle for the Trojan offensive front this season.
Villalobos also saw a bit of time at defensive tackle this fall as a junior.
Owen Winegar, Hastings: Winegar helped power the Saxon offense that rushed for over 3,000 yards this season, finishing the year with a 93 percent blocking efficiency.
Winegar was one of just two sophomores on the Saxon varsity roster this fall.
2019 All-Barry County
Football Second Team Defense
Caden Ferris, Delton Kellogg: A sophomore all-state wrestler who showed off his versatility in the trenches for the DK varsity this fall, spending time at end and in the middle of the Panthers' defensive line.
Offensively, Ferris was key to the DK attack as the team's center this year.
Jayce Hansen, Lakewood: Hanson had six tackles, a sack and one tackle for a loss this season.
He was named all-conference in the GLAC from his defensive end spot for the Vikings. He also provided a spark on offense, rushing for 110 yards and two touchdowns in his team's match-up with Stockbridge in October while filling in at quarterback for an injured Elenbaas.
David Hosack-Frizzell, Maple Valley: A junior in his second varsity season, Hosack-Frizzell had 38 solo tackles and a sack from his defensive tackle position. On offense, he was a pulling guard 80 percent of the time in the Lions' Wing-T offense.
“David has transformed himself … into a two-way, every-down player. His work ethic, attention to detail and tremendous attitude have made himself and our football team better. He was voted co-MVP on the team,” coach Martin said.
Kyler Madden, Hastings: Madden had a solid junior season on the Saxons' defensive line, finishing the year with nine tackles.
He made 1.5 tackles in opponents backfields.
Hunter Belew, Delton Kellogg: Belew was a big contributor on both sides of the ball for Delton Kellogg as a junior this fall. He was one of his team's top tacklers from his linebacker spot, routinely making plays in opponents' backfields.
Belew was also a key part of the DK offensive line from his spot at guard.
AJ Raymond, Maple Valley: Raymond was the Lions' rush linebacker this season, recording 28 solo tackles, including three for a loss and three sacks. He had one forced fumble, blocked a punt as well and recovered an on-side kick. A senior leader for the Lions, offensively Raymond had 40 rushes for 192 yards at fullback, and five receptions for 46 yards, when he wasn't playing guard.
“AJ played his heart out. He missed a game because of strep and finished the year by having an amazing game against Bellevue. In the game, his effort and intensity were amazing. He blocked a punt, recovered an on-side kick and recorded eight tackles and chased a Bellevue player 30 yard down field to tackle him after he caused a fumble 15 yards deep in the Bellevue backfield. His positive display of intensity, focus and effort are what we are looking for from everyone of our football players on Friday nights.”
Corbin Ulrich, Hastings: A junior linebacker, Ulrich had 48 tackles including 4.5 for a loss this season.
Ulrich also sparked the Saxons with an interception and a fumble recovery.
Zeb Carey, Hastings: A key part of the Saxons' defensive backfield as a junior, Carey had 2.5. tackles including two for a loss.
Carey broke up six pass attempts and had two interceptions. He also forced a fumble.
Nick Helt, Lakewood: A junior, Helt was named second team all-conference in the GLAC this season. He made 22 tackles, had a sack and another tackle for a loss.
Helt had a nose for the football too, finishing the year with three interceptions, four pass break-ups and a forced fumble.
Blaze Sensiba, Maple Valley: Sensiba split time between quarterback and the Lions' defensive backfield. He completed 24 passes for 316 yards and added 265 yards rushing as well. On defense, Sensiba had 19 solo tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Sensiba, a junior in his second varsity season had never played quarterback before. “His steadying influence and calm demeanor allowed our offense to grow and become more efficient as the year went on. He was voted co-MVP on the team,” coach Martin said.
Cole Pape (72) and Jordan Rench (26)