Eleven Blazers were recently named to the All EKL football team. Four of the 11 players that were named return next season for the Blazers.
Two Blazers received First Team honors and both played on the defensive side of the ball.
Jonas Pippitt, a 5’10”, 195 lb senior, was named as a First Team defensive end selection. Hunter Skeens, a 5’10,” 158 lb senior, took a top defensive back honor.
Pippitt recorded 82 tackles, had seven tackles for loss, four hurries, three sacks, and two caused fumbles. He closed his career with the fourth most tackles in school history (137). He was also fourth in total tackles with 260.
Skeens, a 5’8,” 158 lb senior, earned a First Team defensive back award. He recorded 46 tackles, had five pass breakups, one interception, one caused fumble and one recovered fumble. He also took a second team honor at the specialist position having a 37.7 kick return average with one touchdown and three blocked kicks.
GEHS also had two other players on the second team in juniors Jace Sprague and Tyler Henry.
Sprague, a 6’0,” 161 lb receiver, had 52 catches for 815 yards. The 815 yards places Jace fourth on the record board, only five yards behind the third place position.
Henry, a 5’9,” 192 lb linebacker, also took a second team honor despite missing the first five games with a broken collarbone.
Honorable mention offensive awards also went to senior Griffin Johns and junior running back Keegan Michael.
At 6’3,” 208 lbs, Johns threw for 1,644 yards, fourth highest for a Blazer quarterback. Michael, a 5’7,” 185 lb junior running back, had another solid season and will be one of the key returners next season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Connor Boyt, Sam Stranathan, Zach Bass, Michael Kittleson and Austin Bond earned honorable mention awards.
Boyt, a 6’0,” 188 lb senior, was honored as both a linebacker and punter. His 36.2 punting average is the best average for a Blazer punter in 10 years.
Stranathan, a 6’2,” 262 lb senior and Bass, a 6’2,” 211 lb senior were both moved to the defensive line and made a big impact on the Blazers success.
Defensive back Michael Kittleson, at 6’3,” 185 lb senior and Austin Bond, a 6’0,”181 lb junior both played safety.
Kittleson became the quarterback of the back seven secondary with great pass coverage and critical open field tackles.
Bond, a junior, led the Blazer defense with 105 tackles.
Their efforts helped GEHS to a 4-6 record. The team nearly defeated Shawnee Mission East In the State 6A playoff, dropping a heartbreaking 36-35 decision.
“The boys proved they were a team that could make a deep run into the playoffs. I was real proud of the effort,” said Coach Marvin Diener.