By ERIC VICCARO
These players are solid gold.
Both the Valle Catholic and Ste. Genevieve High School football teams received plenty of postseason honors from the Missouri Football Coaches Association and Southeast Missouri Area Football Coaches Association.
The city produced three first-team, all-state players, two more on the second team and one third-team selection — plus a heap of academic all-state and all-region picks.
Valle Catholic running back Bryce Giesler and wide receiver Aiden Heberlie were both Class 3 first-team selections.
Giesler finished with 1,999 all-purpose yards rushing and receiving while Heberlie totaled 689 yards in catches (17.7 yards per reception).
“They (Bryce and Aiden) thrived off of how opposing teams were trying to defend us,” said Valle Catholic head coach Judd Naeger in an email to the Ste. Genevieve Herald on Nov. 22.
Dale Propst attained first-team, all-state status as an offensive lineman.
“Dale was a very good lineman for us this year,” Ste. Genevieve head coach Jay Pope said. “His improvements were the tangible things he provided the team this year. He was a tremendous leader and role model for the younger linemen.”
Propst helped the Dragons finish with 4,052 total yards, including 1,939 yards passing.
Dale helped classmate Zach Boyer turn in a decorated season as a second-team all-state wide receiver, with 1,523 all-purpose yards and a 1,000-yard plus season in receptions.
Valle Catholic’s Noah Elbert also turned in an outstanding season, and he was named a second-team all-state selection.
The Warriors accumulated 4,858 yards in total offense this season, including a whopping 3,649 yards on the ground.
Ste. Genevieve defensive back Klayton Squires punched his ticket onto the all-state third team with two defensive TD, six interceptions with 97 return yards, two fumble recoveries and 44 solo tackles.
Squires made the all-state team, in part, because opposing teams avoided linebacker Thomas O’Brien’s side of the defensive alignment, Pope said.
O’Brien was one of 10 Dragon selections on the all-region team released by the Southeast Missouri Area Football Coaches Association.
Five Dragons and One Warrior earned academic all-state accolades, with Kaden Buatte, Jacob Johns, Dalton McBride, Mason Nix, Bryant Schwent and Grant Fallert all reaching this book smart status.
The process for joining the academic all-state team certainly isn’t easy.
Football players must be nominated by their current head coach, who must be a current member of the MFCA. He must be a starter on offense or defense, or be a punter or kicker in 70 percent of the games, and be a sophomore, junior or senior in terms of academic status.
Players must possess a 3.5 grade-point average or higher and must rank in the top 20 percent of his class — with GPA and rank determined at the start of this academic year.
Another criteria is a score of 25 or higher on the ACT or 1,200 on the SAT.
In addition to all the Ste. Genevieve selections, 17 Valle Catholic players earned all-region distinction — including the entire Warrior offensive line consisting of Jackson Fowler, Collin Vaeth, Charlie Friedman, Jacob Calbreath and Elbert.
“Our offensive line played very well this year, and coach Joe Roth did an amazing job with these guys,” Naeger said.
Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players on either the all-state or all-region teams.
Class 3 All-State
Bryce Giesler, running back, Valle Catholic
Aiden Heberlie, wide receiver, Valle Catholic
Dale Propst, offensive line, Ste. Genevieve
Zach Boyer, wide receiver, Ste. Genevieve
Noah Elbert, offensive line, Valle Catholic
Klayton Squires, defensive back, Ste. Genevieve
Kaden Buatte, linebacker; Jacob Johns, linebacker; Dalton McBride, offensive line; Mason Nix, defensive back; and Bryant Schwent, kicker
Grant Fallert, quarterback
Note: The Missouri Football Coaches Association puts together the all-state honors.
Grant Fallert, quarterback; Bryce Gieser, running back; Aiden Heberlie, wide receiver; Jackson Fowler, offensive line; Collin Vaeth, offensive line; Jacob Calbreath, offensive line; Noah Elbert, offensive line; Charlie Friedman, offensive line; Chase Fallert, athlete; Isaac Basler, kicker; Michael Okenfuss, defensive end; Isaac Viox, defensive line; Tim Okenfuss, defensive line; Carson Tucker, linebacker; Josh Bieser, linebacker; Luke McClure, defensive back; Isaac Roth, defensive back
Aiden Boyer, quarterback; Zach Boyer, wide receiver; Kaden Flye, wide receiver; Austin McBride, running back; Dalton McBride, offensive line; Will Vaughn, defensive line; Tanner Weiler, linebacker, Thomas O’Brien, linebacker; Jacob Johns, linebacker; Klayton Squires, defensive back
Note: All-region honors are determined by the Southeast Missouri Football Coaches Association.
(Editor’s Note: For the complete story and statistics, subscribe to either the print or electronic editions of the Ste. Genevieve Herald. Subscribe: 1-573-883-2222.)