Fairbanks’ Megan Olson, right, prepares to kick an extra point during a 2017 game. Olson is the first girl in Union County history to earn Central District football honors. She was named first team for Division VI.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Will Channell)
For the first time in Union County history, a female has been named to Central District football honors.
Fairbanks High School place-kicker Megan Olson has been named to the first team All-District for Division VI.
The honors were afforded to Olson and a number of other area gridders by a panel of sports writers from across the district.
Writers who participated in the panel represented Marysville, Marion, Lancaster, Newark, London, Columbus and Delaware.
The format for the all-star teams was a little different from past seasons.
For each division in which there were enough teams, six linemen and 12 skill position players were picked for first and second team honors. Linebackers and defensive backs were included in the skill positions
One exception was in Division VI, in which there were not enough schools within the district to select a second team.
A first team and a special/honorable mention team were selected for that division.
Also as a consensus, voters decided to shorten the special/honorable mention lists for each division.
Marysville High School is represented by a pair of first-team honorees in Division I with linebackers Tommy Rush and Mike Powers.
First-team accolades for Division IV went to Jonathan Alder’s Nolan Larison (defensive line), Preston Eisnaugle (quarterback), Jamie Dye (running back), Dalton Potts (wide receiver), Bryan Blacka (defensive back) and Drew Myers (linebacker).
Larison had the added honor of being named the defensive player of the year for Division IV.
North Union’s Colton Clark (defensive line), Mason Soviak (offensive line), Carson Smith (running back) and Anthony Padovano (punter) were named to the first team in Division V.
Joining Olson on the Division VI first team from Fairbanks were Charlie Scheiderer (linebacker), Jacob Nicol (quarterback), Tyler Beem (wide receiver), Sam Rengert (offensive line), Brian Higinbotham (defensive back) and Cole Murdock (defensive line).
Several other local players were named to the second team.
-Marysville: offensive lineman Stephen Shamhart;
-Jonathan Alder: Jacob Sullivan (offensive lineman);
-North Union: Jaxon Hughes (defensive lineman), Chris Cox-Wilson (linebacker) and Garrett Miller (running back);
Local athletes who made special/honorable mention lists were Trevor Chippas (linebacker), Beau Sloan (wide receiver-defensive back) and Dakota Key (offensive line), Fairbanks; Drake Price (defensive back), Dalton Rowland (offensive line) and Kyle Willis (defensive back), North Union; and Dylan Boysel (linebacker), Jonathan Alder.
A thumb-nail sketch for the local first-team honorees follows:
-Rush: Finished the season with 111 tackles (six for losses), one sack and one fumble recovery for the 4-6 Monarchs. As a running back, he gained 800 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
Rush, a senior, will continue his gridiron career with a full scholarship at the University of Minnesota.
-Powers: The junior led MHS with 180 tackles, including 112 solo takedowns. He came up with 13 tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and a trio of sacks.
-Olson: In her first and only season of varsity football, Olson connected on 36 extra points in 39 attempts. The senior also blasted long-range field goals of 23, 32, 33, 33 and 35 yards to finish with 51 points for the season.
-Scheiderer: The junior linebacker tallied 120 tackles (45 for losses) 15 sacks and two forced fumbles for the 5-5 Panthers.
-Nicol: Another junior, Nicol completed 195-of-359 passes for 2,246 yards during his first season as the Panthers’ starting signal-caller. He threw for 18 touchdowns and led FHS in rushing with 934 yards and 11 touchdowns.
-Beem: The junior wide receiver snared 58 passes for 853 yards and seven touchdowns.
He was also a standout on special teams and defense as he returned seven kickoffs for 88 yards and three punt returns for 36 yards.
Beem also finished with 16 tackles on the year.
-Rengert: Graded out at 78 percent blocking with 13 knockdowns and 10 pancake blocks. The sophomore used his 6-7, 290-pound size to be a dominant inside blocker.
-Higinbotham: A senior, Higinbotham finished with 33 tackles and five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He also broke up 12 additional passes and had a pair of tackles for losses.
Higinbotham averaged 26 yards on 11 kickoff returns and also caught 19 passes as a receiver.
-Murdock: The senior tallied 41 tackles, of which 18 went for losses, and four sacks as one of the Panthers’ captains.
-Clark: The junior notched 52 tackles (nine for loss), three sacks and one forced fumble as the Wildcats finished the season with a 4-6 record.
-Soviak: A senior, he finished the season with a blocking percentage of 85 or higher in each game. He recorded 12 pancake blocks.
-Smith: A sophomore, Smith rushed for 755 yards (6.5 per carry) and 14 touchdowns. He added another five TDs on 25 catches (13.8 average).
-Padovano: A junior, Padovano repeated as the first-team punter for Division V. He punted 36 times on the season for 1,491 yards (41.4 average). A total of 11 of his punts landed inside the opponents’ 20-yard-line.
-Larison: The senior finished with 70 total tackles (16 for loss) and six sacks. He was also JA’s top offensive lineman.
-Eisnaugle: A senior, Eisnaugle completed 155 passes in 251 attempts (61.7 percent) for 1,791 yards as JA finished with a record of 8-3. He tossed 15 touchdown passes. Eisnaugle also rushed for seven touchdowns.
-Dye: Another senior, Dye rushed for 1,469 yards on 267 carries (5.5 yards per carry). He carried the ball for 15 touchdowns.
-Blacka: The senior finished with nearly 30 total tackles from the secondary and intercepted two passes. As a receiver, he caught 33 passes for 428 yards and five TDs.
-Potts: A senior, Potts led JA with 42 receptions for 601 yards and five touchdowns. He also tallied 36 tackles in the secondary through 10 games.
Sketches of second-team honorees follow:
-Shamhart: The senior finished with 46 pancake blocks as the Monarchs rushed for 2,100 yards on the season.
-Hughes: A junior, Hughes tallied 62 tackles (12 for loss). He finished with three sacks, recovered one fumble and scored a defensive tackle.
-Cox-Wilson: The junior tallied 95 tackles (eight for loss) and finished with two sacks.
-Miller: A senior, Miller led NU with 847 yards on 166 carries (5.1 yards per carry). He also scored nine rushing touchdowns.
-Sloan, a senior, finished with 23 receptions for 404 yards and eight touchdowns. He scored two touchdowns during his nine kickoff returns and added a rushing TD. He also intercepted four passes;
-Chippas, also a senior, finished the year with 98 tackles (26 for loss), with seven sacks;
-Key, a sophomore, graded at 79 percent blocking with 15 knockdowns and 13 pancakes.
-Price, a senior, tallied 39 tackles and intercepted one pass;
-Rowland, a junior, was graded at more than 80 percent block for ech game and had 12 pancakes.
-Willis, a senior, notched 52 tackles and forced two fumbles.
-Boysel, a senior, tallied 86 tackles for the year.
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