The Dawson County Football program celebrated another year of successes during its annual awards program last weekend.
Coaches, friends and family honored Tiger football players on Dec. 17 at the Performing Arts Center on the Dawson County High School campus. Sixth grade up through the seniors who continued the winning tradition at Dawson County High School were on hand for the ceremony.
“We have done remarkable things in three years since we’ve been here,” said Head Coach Sid Maxwell.
This year’s varsity team went 8-4 on the season as it became region runner-up in 7-AAA and went to the Sweet 16 round of state Class AAA playoffs.
Coaches honored each team with certificates, and at the varsity level, varsity letters and pins.
Maxwell, who has brought his philosophy of establishing the program from the bottom up, beginning with efforts at the park and rec level, praised the efforts of community leaders and volunteers as well as families and staff.
The sixth and seventh grade programs were recognized. The sixth graders finished the season 6-3 while the seventh grade Tigers went 9-1 and became Mountain League Conference Champions.
Following recognitions for volunteers and coaches and managers, individual awards were given to players from eighth grade up.
Coach Chess Hamby awarded the eighth graders. Logan Berry was named most valuable defensive player and Andrew Burt was named most valuable on offense for the team that was one game shy of becoming region champs.
Conley Dyer was most improved and Jackson Grindle and Braedon Hubbard both received the Coaches award. The eighth grade top performer was Zack Holtzclaw.
Coach Kevin Grigsby awarded his ninth grade team. Kinkade Weaver was most valuable on defense and Max Moon was most valuable on offense.
The most improved awards went to Isaiah Grindle and Ridgely Erickson. The Coaches Award for ninth grade was given to Alex LeBlanc. Dakohta Sonnichsen and Caleb Bonesteel were named top performers.
Coach Andy LeBlanc and Coach Bradley Fowler handed out junior varsity awards.
Bryce Bryant was named most valuable on defense while Brody Howell won most valuable on offense. The Coaches Award went to DJ Mitchell.
Most improved offensive player for JV was Riley Herndon and most improved on defense was Daniel Brock.
Lance and Levi Walls were on hand to present the Sandy Walls Award. It is given annually to a player who gives extra effort with a will to win while displaying integrity and respect. This year’s recipient was Zack Conowal.
The Golden Helmet Award is given to a player who performs not only as a top athlete but also academically, according to Maxwell. This year’s award went to Coey Watson who not only started 44 games in his DCHS career but has maintained a nearly perfect 4.0 GPA.
The Academic Award went to starting senior offensive lineman Dawson Dominy who maintained a 4.17 GPA.
Character Coach Russell Davis handed out the Play the Man Award to Ryamond Vassak for his character and willingness to always give all he could for his teammates.
This year’s Coaches Awards went to Robbie Rarick and Wyatt Hayes.
“They just came to work and didn’t say a word. If they didn’t like the situation, you would never know,” Maxwell said about Rarick and Hayes.
Three Tiger awards were given to sophomore players who contributed at the varsity level. Those three went to Hunter Baron, TJ Wilson and Shawn Thomas.
Two awards were given to most improved at the varsity level. The most improved on offense was Matthew McCracken and on defense was Logan Brumbelow.
Two players were also recognized with the Ironwill Award for overcoming adversity or injury throughout the season. Caleb Bell was recognized for the defense and Harley Grizzle for the offense.
For the Spirit Award, Maxwell recognized someone he said needed no introduction, Blaine Thomason.
This year’s top performer on special teams went to senior kicker Peyton Allen.
The top performer on the defensive line was Taylor Swofford and the top performing linebacker was Nate Umberger who had 109 tackles on the season.
The top performing defensive back was Noah Brock who finished with three interceptions and 57 tackles for loss.
Dominy received the award for top performer on the offensive line and Ryan Glass was the top performer for offensive skill.
Ethan Cameron won the top performing athlete.
Junior running back SeVaughn Clark was named most valuable player on offense with 1,806 rushing yards on the season. Clark averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
The most valuable player award for defense went to two players: Zac Baloga and Logan Barnes. Baloga finished the year with 52 tackles, 17 for loss and 10 sacks while Barnes had 116 tackles.
The last award given was for most valuable player. Watson received the award from Maxwell who talked about his 106 touchdowns in his career in which he started 44 games.
The ceremony concluded with a highlight video from the season and closing remarks from Davis.
Davis asked the seniors to stand and face the audience while he thanked them for their efforts and impact. He then asked each senior to say their first name to the crowd.
“Every one of those names you just heard, they are now on the back end. The impact they have had during that time to me has been pretty profound,” Davis said.