Douglas, Carson finish year with all-region football honors

Tigers’ Jackson named 5A Division III MVP

Douglas High senior running back Connor Jackson celebrates one of his 31 rushing touchdowns from this past season. Jackson was named the Class 5A North Division III player of the year.

Douglas High senior running back Connor Jackson celebrates one of his 31 rushing touchdowns from this past season. Jackson was named the Class 5A North Division III player of the year.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

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After a remarkable 10-2 season, Douglas High School football dominated the Class 5A North Division III All-Region teams announced Wednesday.

At the top of the list was senior running back Connor Jackson, who was named the region’s MVP.

Jackson ran for more than 2,100 yards this season, breaking a Douglas program record. He also scored 31 touchdowns, which rewrote the record book for the Tigers, as well.

Defensively, Jackson tied for the team lead with four interceptions and also recorded nine tackles.

Fellow senior Cole Smalley earned Defensive Player of the Year.

Smalley tallied 115 tackles in 11 games recorded at MaxPreps and sacked the quarterback 8.5 times to go along with a fumble recovery.

On the offensive line, senior leader Sage Adie was honored with the region’s Lineman of the Year award and Douglas head coach Kyle Mays was named Coach of the Year.

Trace Estes and Kyle Koontz were named to the first team all-region squad at wide receiver and tight end, respectively.

Estes was credited with 700 receiving yards and nine touchdown grabs. He also hauled in a leaping 40-yard catch in the Division III title game against Galena that has not been added to his yearly totals.

Estes also was chosen for first team as a specialist for his punting and returning ability.

Koontz was the Tigers’ second-most-used target on the outside with 276 yards through the air and three touchdowns.

Koontz wasn’t just a first teamer on offense, but also a first team all-region defensive lineman, leading the Tigers with 10 sacks and five quarterback hurries.

Alongide Aide, Douglas’ Austin Pitts and Jack Ross also earned first-team nods on the offensive line.

Aaron Tekansik was selected as the first team all-region kicker and linebacker, where he recorded 67 tackles and three interceptions.

At defensive back, Austin Dekruyf and Aaron Moss were first-team worthy, as well.

Dekruyf had two interceptions this season, including a pick-six, while Moss grabbed three interceptions of his own.

(Douglas High’s Cole Smalley records a tackle against Hug earlier this season. Smalley was named the 5A-III’s top defensive player. / Ron Harpin)

Second team

Carson football had several players earn all-region honors, as well, starting on the second team.

At running back, Christian Rey had 520 yards rushing and four scores to get selected to the second-team squad.

Roman Gantt and Sam Richetta earned second-team honors on the offensive line. Gantt was also selected as an honorable mention pick at defensive line.

Drake Hardcastle picked up a second-team all-region nod at punter and honorable mention selection at kicker, too.

On defense, Dawson Herbert and Odin Riley were second-team all-region defensive lineman.

JT Heaton was selected to the second team at linebacker while Jake Weninger was a second-team defensive back and specialist.

For Douglas, Michael White was chosen as a second-team all-region player on the offensive line.

Andrew Strand was the second-team selection as an athlete, running for 319 yards and two scores in 11 games.

Zach Westbrook, who had two interceptions and 41 tackles on defense this season, was picked as a second-team linebacker.

Zach Jackson was a second-team choice at defensive back after hauling in four interceptions and 29 tackles as a sophomore.

Honorable mention

Douglas junior Jackson Ovard was named honorable mention at quarterback.

Ovard threw for nearly 1,100 yards with 11 touchdowns.

Carson’s Isaiah Hurlbert and Ethan Hendee were both honorable mention selections as wide receiver, while fellow Senator Justin Moore was an honorable mention choice at tight end.

Douglas’ Michael Cahill was selected at offensive line alongside fellow Tiger Ledger Soule.

Carson’s Zach Nichols earned the same honor for the Senators.

Douglas’ Nathan Stevens was another Tiger defensive lineman to make the all-region squad as an honorable mention.

Carson’s Kincaid Gill was an honorable mention pick at linebacker.

Rounding out the all-region squads were Brenton Weston and Owen Evans, who both got honorable mention all-region nods at defensive back.

(Carson High junior tailback Christian Rey gets loose against Calaveras earlier this fall. Rey was named as a second team all-region running back. / Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage)


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