Hester named area coach of year
Harry Hester has changed coffee mugs of McLouth faithful from half-empty to just about ready to overflow.
When Hester became McLouth's football coach in summer 2003, he inherited a team that hadn't posted a winning season since 1998 and was in the midst of a long losing skid.
That changed in September.
In the first week of this season, Hester's squad snapped a 20-game skid and at one point was 4-2. The squad finished the season 4-5, but the team returns nearly its entire team for next fall.
For his turnaround year, Hester was named the Lawrence Journal-World's all-area coach of the year.
Last year, McLouth was outscored 489-22, but Hester's second year showed how far the Bulldogs have progressed.
MHS junior Kevin Stewart was named to the all-area first team. Stewart finished the year with nearly 1,200 rushing yards.
Other McLouth players receiving honors were junior lineman Jason McGhee as a second-team selection, and junior lineman Jonah Wise as an honorable mention selection.
Tonganoxie landed six players on the all-area roster.
Senior quarterback/defensive back Ross Starcher made the first team, as did senior linebacker/running back Kaleb Lawrence. Starcher rushed for 1,200 yards and threw for 300 more, while Lawrence tallied 130 tackles, 10 of which were for losses.
Second team selections were senior lineman Daniel Workman and senior running back/defensive back Zach Ditty.
Honorable mention selections were junior lineman Kent Fleming and senior running back/defensive back Sam Mitchell.