Stewart, Hester earn all-area accolades
A two-page color spread in Saturday's Lawrence Journal-World had plenty of red and purple.
The newspaper announced its fall all-area football team -- complete with Tonganoxie red and McLouth purple.
McLouth running back Kevin Stewart was named player of the year, while McLouth coach Harry Hester was named coach of the year after leading the Bulldogs to a 10-1 record this fall. McLouth fell in the second round of the state playoffs to Silver Lake, which reached the state title game in Class 3A before losing in the championship.
In his senior year this fall at McLouth, Stewart accumulated roughly 2,500 all-purpose yards. He had 1,868 yards on the ground with an average of 8.0 yards per carry rushing. He had 28 touchdowns and averaged 32.2 yards per kickoff return --ne of which was a 95-yard touchdown run. He tallied another 117 yards on punt returns. In addition, Stewart was named third team all-state and all-Class 3A on offense by the Topeka Capital-Journal.
As for Hester being named coach of the year, he earned the distinction after guiding the Bulldogs to their first undefeated regular season in roughly 50 years. In addition, he quickly turned around a program that had just a handful of wins in the past few years. In Hester's first season at MHS in 2003, the Bulldogs went 0-9. Last season, the Bulldogs improved to 4-5 before this year's breakthrough season.
The Journal-World's area squad was called the Super 25 Area Football Team.
Joining Stewart on the list were teammates Joel Gill, a fellow senior who played at tight end and linebacker, and Jason MGhee, another senior at offensive and defensive line. McGhee also made all-Class 3A defense for the Capital-Journal.
Gill caught 25 passes for 700 yards this fall. Those numbers helped him to be named all-Class 3A honorable mention as a tight end.
He also made 39 tackles and two interceptions on defense. Tonganoxie players also had three players on the Journal-World list. THS players included senior lineman/linebacker Aaron Adcox, senior lineman Kent Fleming and junior quarterback/defensive back/kicker Jeff Hughes. As a team, the Chieftains finished the season with a 9-2 record for the second consecutive season.
Adcox led the Chieftains on defense with 118 tackles and forced three fumbles. Fleming had 65 tackles, 16 of which were for losses. He also recovered two fumbles this fall. Hughes, meanwhile, accumulated 1,056 yards of offense with four interceptions as a defensive back. He also averaged 40.2 yards per punt.
Fleming was named all-Class 4A defense by the Capital-Journal, while Adcox was all-Class 4A honorable mention.
McLouth's Tyler Wise was named all-Class 3A honorable mention by the Capital-Journal.
Alex Nowasell, Josh Nowasell, Derek O'Brien and David Hassinger were named first-team selections for the Journal-World's all-area squad. Alex Nowasell and Josh Nowasell also were all-Class 4-3-2-1A selections for the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Alex Nowasell scored two goals and added five assists for the Chieftains in the fall, while Josh Nowasell had eight assists. O'Brien, meanwhile, scored eight goals and had six assists. As a goalie, Hassinger had 64 saves and ended the season with a goal-per-game ratio of 2.79.
O'Brien and Hassinger are seniors, while Alex Nowasell is a junior and Josh Nowasell a sophomore. All four players also were named all-region team members, according to an area coaches association.
Christy Weller and Matt Brock were the lone Tonganoxie members on the all-area squad. Weller was named honorable mention for the girls, while Matt Brock was honorable mention for the boys.
Ali Pistora was named one of six players on the Journal-World's all-area volleyball squad.
Pistora, a junior for the Chieftains as an outside hitter, had 215 kills, 140 assists and 32 aces for Tonganoxie in the fall.
Sami Frainuk, a sophomore for Tonganoxie, received an honorable mention.