By ERIC X. VICCARO
KANSAS CITY — The Missouri Football Coaches Association in December released its list of award winners.
Four Valle Catholic High School players received the distinction of Class 3 all-state, with wide receiver Aiden Heberlie attaining first-team status.
Austin Burnett was selected as a second-team linebacker while Chase Fallert was named third-team quarterback and Kolten Naeger third-team kicker.
“Making all-state is hard to do,” said Valle Catholic head coach Judd Naeger. “Making it in Class 3 is even harder. All of these young men are truly deserving.”
While Ste. Genevieve didn’t produce any all-state players this year, the Dragons were still represented on other honor teams.
Valle Catholic finished the season with a record of 9-1. The Warriors’ only loss was in the second round of the district playoffs to St. Mary’s, a private school based in St. Louis.
Ste. Genevieve put together a record of 4-5 in what turned out to be Ken Weik’s final season as head coach.
Valle Catholic was the lone school to defeat Class 3 state champion Blair Oaks, 35-28, at Father John Dempsey Field in late September.
Blair Oaks’ Dylan Hair was named offensive player of the year while Lutheran North’s Travion Ford earned defensive player of the year. Falcons’ skipper Ted Lepage was chosen as coach of the year.
Heberlie became one of the most impressive playmakers in the state during the 2020 season.
“Aiden making first team in both the coaches and media all-state-teams in Class 3 is a tremendous honor,” Naeger explained. “He is our first athlete to make first-team all-state in Class 3. He has worked very hard to transform his body.”
Heberlie already has announced his verbal intention to play baseball for Ste. Genevieve native Steve Bieser at the University of Missouri.
Several Valle Catholic and Ste. Genevieve players also were lauded for their academic success.
Warrior wide receiver Sam Drury and hybrid player Jayden Gegg joined Fallert as an academic all-state selection.
Linebacker Jacob Johns and defensive back Kaden Buatte were both named academic all state from Ste. Genevieve.
According to specifics provided by coach Naeger, for a player to be nominated academic all-state, he must be nominated by his head coach, be a starter on offense or defense or be a punter/
kicker in 70 percent of his games and be a sophomore, junior or senior in class standing.
Nominations for academic all-state honors must also meet two of the next three criteria: A score of 25 or higher on the ACT or 1,200 SAT, a 3.5 grade-point average or higher (non-weighted) and must rank in the top 20 percent of his class.
The MFCA also made selections for Class 3, District 1 all-district honors, which certainly wasn’t an easy team to make this year with St. Mary’s, Kennett and Dexter among the schools in the mix.
Valle Catholic finished with seven all-district picks, and Ste. Genevieve had six — including Dale Propst as both an offensive lineman and defensive end.
Other Valle Catholic selections were running back Cory Stoll and defensive lineman Joe Williams.
Ste. Genevieve linebacker Bret Bieser and skill position player Zach Boyer were named to the first team, with wide receiver Payton Matthews and kicker Bryant Schwent joining Johns and Propst.