Knights earn awards in football for 2019 season

Chad Smith

The Kingsland Knights’ football team handed out postseason awards at its season-ending banquet. The Knights handed out three team awards, including Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams MVPs. Three Kingsland football players won all-district honors and two more took home Academic All-State Awards.

“We had a nice night at the Five Wynds Event Center,” said Kingsland coach Brent Stinson. “We’re grateful for them letting us have our banquet there. Howard Brothers Barbecue did the catering for the event.

“We had a lot on the program schedule that night, starting with a welcome to the veterans attending the event,” he added. “We allowed them to eat first, which they should. After the meal, the junior high coaches came up to talk about their season. Our B squad coaches were up next to talk about their season. Assistant coach Nick Atwood talked about the varsity defense and the upcoming weight program.

“I closed out the program and talked about the legacy the seniors left for the program,” he finished. “In four years, they went from playing as true freshmen in a program that some thought at that time shouldn’t exist, to winning a game for three-straight seasons. They’re good, high-character kids.”

Team awards

Offensive MVP: Lucas Howard

“He’s a dynamic football player either rushing the ball between the tackles or catching it out of the backfield,” Stinson said. “He improved this year in how he finished his runs. Lucas got a lot stronger and made improvements in the physical aspects of his game. When we needed yardage, he was the guy who carried the rock for us.

“He took it personally when we needed to get some tough yardage,” Stinson added with a chuckle.  

Co-Defensive MVPs: Ashton Kohn and Lucas Howard

“Lucas played linebacker on defense and improved a lot as the year went on,” Stinson said. “He started to identify the running lanes in the line of scrimmage and really filled them well. He, Ashton Kohn, and Caden Rath solidified our linebacker core.

“Ashton is quite a story. He missed quite a bit of the season as well as most of the offseason last year. Ashton hurt his shoulder quite badly during the game with Winona Cotter last season and didn’t get cleared until just before this past season.

“He’s another one of our guys who stepped up where they were needed,” he recalled. “He was undersized at the linebacker position, but he stepped up and filled hard in the oppositions’ running lanes. Talk about perseverance and what you learn from the game of football. He’s a kid that could have just skipped his senior season after a serious injury the previous season.

Special Teams MVP: James Howard

Often an overlooked part of football, the sophomore made a significant impact on the field through his work on special teams. “He had two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season,” Stinson recalled. “He was only a sophomore but any time he touched the ball in space, we knew something special could happen.

“He’s a tremendous athlete who always showed up to work hard. James unselfishly transitioned to defensive end this year and made an impact late in the season for us. He had very little experience at that position but played it very well. We can’t wait to get James back for his junior season next year.”

All-District First Team: Lucas Howard

All-District Honorable Mention: Ashton Kohn and Noah Watson

“Noah is one of the hardest workers I've had at Kingsland in nine years,” Stinson said. “Noah was the lead blocker on offense for several 150 yards-plus backs and played defensive tackle on the other side of the ball. He set the right example with his high character and leadership.”

Academic All-State Award: Lucas Howard and Noah Watson.

Student athletes with a 3.5 grade point average or higher during the season and are letter winners earn this award.

“It means everything as a coach to have student-athletes like Lucas and Noah, who are winning academic awards,” Stinson said. “Football demands a lot from the kids, but so does life. Academics is what will takes kids a long way in life.  Learning to balance academics and athletics is an incredibly valuable lesson for kids to learn.”

Varsity letter winners: Devin Carr, Mason Kolling, Nick Ramaker, Lucas Howard, Reed Merkel, Kaden Rath, Ashton Kohn, Matthew Schwanke, William Jahn, James Howard, Noah Watson, Thomas Warren, Hunter Lee, Reed Jeno and Patrick Junge.