Johns Earns Ste. Gen Defensive MVP
By ERIC X. VICCARO
Fall sports recognition events rolled on this past Wednesday with the football team and cheerleading and dance squads recalling their seasons.
“We were very fortunate,” sid Dr. Jeff Nix about being able to have a nearly complete fall sports season even with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic persisting.
“We had two games cancelled in football,” Nix continued. “The freshman football team had the easiest schedule to work with.”
Emeralds’ dance team member Karissa Holst read the invocation, and she also said it was “amazing” to have a season under the specter of the pandemic.
Dance team coach Ashley Crider presented awards to her teams, with Holst named Miss Emerald. Kayla Locke won for best technique and Addison
Hanei for most improved and best attitude. Chloe Wolk and Abigail Gibson also were recognized.
Dancers winning special honors received medals, and all of the girls received flowers.
As for all the special awards presented at the recognition event, students voted for their peers.
Freshman football co-head coach Cody Schwent gave participation letters to his group.
Ste. Genevieve’s freshman team had a memorable season, going 7-1, outscoring opponents by a margin of 257-124. The Dragons’ lone loss was by one possession.
“It was a fun group,” Schwent said. “The highlights were beating Valle and rallying to beat Hillsboro in the final two minutes of both games. We also had a goal-line stand (to top) against Park Hills Central.”
Ste. Genevieve’s freshman team used four different quarterbacks, and 13 of 15 skill position players scored. He urged the group to hit the weight room in the off-season.
Due to numbers, there was no junior varsity squad this season.
Offensive coordinator Kellen Basler, defensive coordinator Ryan Weik and Kenny Rapp all presented awards to the football players.
Ste. Genevieve head coach Ken Weik was unable to attend the recognition event due to unforeseen circumstances.
Basler, Ryan Weik and Rapp marveled about the Dragons able to cobble together a 4-5 record — even with little depth along the offensive and defensive lines.
Players were recognized for their Mississippi Area Football Conference White Division honors — plus all-district and all-region accolades.
Seven players were named to various all-region squads: Zach Boyer (running back), Payton Matthews (wide receiver), Dale Propst (offensive and defensive line), Aiden Boyer (quarterback), Jacob Johns (linebacker), Bryant Schwent (kicker) and Bret Bieser (linebacker).
Aiden Boyer and Matthews were given special recognition for tying the Missouri State High School Activities Association record for longest TD pass — a 99-yard strike during the Class 3 District 1 semifinal loss to Kennett.
Propst earned three special honors: offensive lineman of the year, defensive lineman of the year and the hustle award.
Zach Boyer copped awards for offensive MVP and offensive skill. Jacob Johns was tabbed as defensive MVP. Bieser was awarded as the top defensive skill player. Bryant Schwent was named special teams player of the year.
“Zach had the big plays, and that’s the stuff the kids remember,” Ken Weik said in a telephone interview on Sunday evening. “I think it was a good call on defense with Jacob. He’s not flashy, but he’s consistent.”
Weik also complimented Propst: “He played and practiced hard. His hustled summed it up for him. He’s talented, but he worked hard to get there.”
Johns finished with a team-leading 69 tackle points. Propst helped pave the way for the Dragons to rack up 3,028 yards in total offense, to go with 49 tackle points. Bieser collected 53 tackle points.
Zach Boyer accumulated 781 yards rushing and receiving. Aiden Boyer passed for 1,609 yards and rushed for 466 more. Matthews was the Dragons’ leading receiver with 587 yards. Schwent was 30-of-35 on extra points and he booted home a 32-yard field goal.
All-district and all-state honors have still yet to be tabulated.
Cheerleading sponsor Shelly Dallas, and assistant Ashley Wehner, presented awards to that squad.
“This was the best season ever,” Dallas said. “All of the girls were wonderful to work with.”
Dallas recalled how Southeast Missouri State cheerleaders helped the team during the summer. Manager Ona Lightle also was publicly thanked for helping with the paper signs the football players burst through at midfield.
Girls earning special awards received either medals or plaques.
Emma Johns, who also copped Homecoming Queen during the season, was lauded as having the most spirit.
Haley Dimercurio was tabbed as the hardest worker, Hunter Nelms for best stunt performance, Soraya Zerwig for best technique, Elaina Schemel most improved and Isabella Neel for best attitude.
Cheerleading and dance will continue throughout the winter.
The Ste. Genevieve cross country teams celebrated the season with its fall sports recognition event on Tuesday evening in the high school commons.
Read the Dec. 2 edition of the Ste. Genevieve Herald for complete details.
During the program, Nix said less than half of the slots have been filled for winter concession sign-up.
Winter sports are boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ wrestling.