Boys Varsity Football
Senior Mitchel Collier was recognized as Most Valuable Player of the 2019 Columbus North football team at the team’s annual awards program on Thursday (Nov. 14) in the Columbus North auditorium.
In addition, junior Blake Huffman, senior Montez Mitchell, senior Landon Robbins, senior Hunter Huser, senior Luke McDonald, senior Daveed Jolley and junior Luke Bless received other special awards for a squad that finished 5-5 overall and tied for second place in Conference Indiana at 3-2.
Others cited included freshmen Will Davis and Tyler Blythe.
Collier, Huser, Robbins and senior Jackson Payne were recognized as team captains.
The 6-2, 220-pound Collier was recognized as team MVP as well as the team’s most valuable offensive lineman/tight end after excelling as a tight end and defensive end. Collier was a key blocker for the offense and led the team in receiving with 34 catches for 383 yards and one touchdown. He also threw two passes for 60 yards. Defensively, the Central Michigan commit totaled 34 tackles with five tackles for loss, one sack, four quarterback pressures and one pass broken up.
The 5-7, 175-pound Huffman was chosen the team’s most valuable offensive back/receiver after rushing for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns on 212 carries. He also added four receptions for 59 yards. Huffman’s 259-yard game against Columbus East is fifth on CN’s all-time single-game rushing chart, and he now has three-year totals of 2,243 yards and 23 TDs rushing as well as 373 yards and three scores receiving. Huffman’s career rushing total is 72 yards shy of fifth place on CN’s all-time list.
The 6-1, 215-pound Mitchell was selected the team’s most valuable defensive lineman. He totaled 50 tackles with a team-best 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, five quarterback pressures and two passes broken up. He totaled 20 TFLs for his career, moving into a tie for fifth place on the Bull Dogs’ all-time list.
The 6-0, 220-pound Robbins was honored as the team’s most valuable linebacker/defensive back. Robbins posted a team-best 116 tackles, including 73 solo tackles. He also totaled nine TFLs, three sacks and one quarterback pressure. Robbins finished with 135 career solo tackles, 15 shy of making the CN career top-five list in that category.
Huser was presented the Bull Dog Award, which honors a player who displays outstanding attitude, effort and dedication. The 5-10, 165-pound athlete started the season at quarterback, shifted to defensive back and receiver and also excelled as a kick returner. Huser finished with 23 tackles, two TFLs, one sack, one interception and four passes broken up. He averaged 23.1 yards on 13 kick returns, including a 71-yard return at Bloomington North.
McDonald, a 5-8, 240-pound defensive lineman, was winner of the Tom Orr Award, which goes to a player with a passion beyond athletics. McDonald amassed 43 tackles with three TFLs and 2.5 sacks.
Jolley, a 5-11, 170-pound defensive back and running back, was the recipient of the John R. Skobel Memorial Scholarship, an award that goes to a four-year dedicated player who also has financial need. Jolley totaled 44 tackles with two passes broken up, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick. On offense, he rushed for 151 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries.
Bless, a 5-11, 175-pound linebacker, was winner of the JV Bull Dog Award after helping the junior varsity team to a 9-0 season. He totaled three tackles in varsity games.
Davis, a 6-1, 230-pound lineman received the Bull Dog Award for a freshman team that posted a 4-5 record. Blythe was the winner of the Freshman Team Scholar-Athlete Award.
Collier, Mitchell, Robbins, Huser and junior J.J. Montgomery were recognized as first-team all-Conference Indiana selections. Huffman, Jolley, senior Jackson Davis, senior Rashan Wells, senior Nick Holt and junior Carter Ward were cited as honorable mention all-CI picks.
The 6-2, 245-pound Montgomery and the 6-2, 260-pound Davis were key linemen for an offense that netted 271.2 yards per game – 186.5 yards rushing and 84.7 yards passing. Wells, a 5-8, 225-pound defensive tackle, totaled 40 tackles with three TFLs, two sacks, three quarterback pressures, one interception and one pass broken up. Holt, a 6-0, 190-pound linebacker, amassed 54 tackles with six TFLs, three sacks, two quarterback pressures and two passes broken up. The 5-7, 160-pound Ward was honored as a punter after averaging 35.7 yards on 28 punts with six downs inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Two seniors – Robbins and Adam Behling – were recognized as Academic All-State by the Indiana Football Coaches Association. For that honor, a player must be a starter or key substitute with a 3.4 or better grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and either an 1110 or better on the SAT or a 24 or better on the ACT.
Players receiving varsity letters were Giovani Alejandro, Adam Behling, Mitchel Collier, Jackson Davis, Michael Hatton, Lucas Hayes, Nick Holt, Hunter Huser, Nash Johnson, Daveed Jolley, Dalton Kirk, Jackson Lay, Luke McDonald, Montez Mitchell, David Ocampo, Jackson Payne, Spencer Rivera, Landon Robbins, Alex Russell and Rashan Wells; juniors Nate Austerman, Luke Bless, Mason Branstetter, Reed Duncan, Avrin Holt, Blake Huffman, Jamal King, Royce Lofton, J.J. Montgomery, Eshaan Patel, Adam Schwartz, Elijah Sebastian, Carter Ward, Charlie Winick and Issac Woodruff; and sophomores Bryce Abner, Dawson Adams, Keegan Castetter, Connor Essick, Luke Hammons, Neal Likens, Dyllan Redmon and Jaxson Scruggs.
Recognized with varsity letters as managers were senior Kennedy Engelau, senior Jessica McAninch and junior Ashton Clark. Those cited as student trainers for the varsity were junior Shaelynn Scruggs and junior La’Monica Smith.
Those recognized as JV players were juniors Quincy Capps, Caleb Dooley, John Frazee, Keegan Hill, Bryan Lopez, Nolan Miller, Marquise Mixon, Gui Oehninger and Matthew Pearson; and sophomores Max Fauber, Elijah Foster, Matthew Hager, Cole Hopkins, Ben Kleinhenz, Jack Redding, Jared Slocum and Connor Thornton.
Players cited from the freshman team were Savion Banks, Tyler Blythe, Blake Burton, Ian Calvert, Alex Chapman, Gracie Compton, Brandon Cowan, Cole Cravens, Will Davis, Nathan Day, Damon Edwards, Zac Horn, Bradley Johnson, Trent Johnson, Ethan Knoef, Emilano Lopez, Jake McMullen, Alex Narvaez, Liam Phillips, Zach Rice, Darren Riley, Oscar Rubio, Caden Sapp, Walker Savage, Cody Thurnall, Travon Wade, Bradford White and Kok Koa Yee.
PHOTO: Senior Mitchel Collier (88) eludes a tackler to gain additional yards after a reception against Franklin Central. The tight end-defensive end led Columbus North with 34 receptions for 383 yards and was named MVP of the 2019 Bull Dogs.