The Crawford County Players of the Year and the all-county team.
Player of the Year
Garrison Jensen, Alma
Garrison Jensen played quarterback in several offensive packages last season, but the job wasn’t his until the preparation for 2017 was underway.
Once Jensen had the nod, he took off with it.
He finished the season as a Class 5A all-state selection and the 5A West Outstanding Back as Alma’s offense garnered over 4,600 yards. The Airedales reached the second round of the Class 5A playoffs before dropping a 60-52 decision to Little Rock McClellan.
This year, Jensen broke several offensive records in his first year starting as the primary quarterback and scored touchdowns in every way possible: throwing, running, receiving, interception return and kick-off return.
He had 199 carries for 1,051 yards with 18 touchdowns. He completed 174 of 301 passes for 2,430 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
For his efforts and accomplishments this season, Jensen is the Press Argus-Courier’s Player of the Year.
“Garrison is one of the most selfless and team-oriented players I have never had the opportunity to coach,” said Alma coach Doug Loughridge. “It didn’t matter what it was, he would do whatever he could for his team.”
Jensen also played defensive tackle, defensive end and linebacker. “Whatever he could do to help his team,” Loughridge said.
Offensive Player of the Year
Like Jensen, Robert Roxin didn’t start out as the quarterback his sophomore season. Roxin was willing to go where coach Tom Harrel needed Roxin and ended up surprising his coach.
As a sophomore Roxin was a starter at cornerback and played tailback his junior season.
“For not playing quarterback but for one year he blew my expectations away,” said Harrell. “I can’t say enough good about him and what he meant to us.”
Roxin, both an all-state and a 4-2A All-Conference pick, was selected to attend the all-star game. He completed 40 of 71 passes for 897 yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception. He had 167 carries for 743 yards and 17 touchdowns.
“He is a leader. He did such a great job with running our offense,” Harrell said.
Defensive Player of the Year
Coltin Bowerman, Alma
Bowerman soared up the defensive stat charts with 135 tackles with 84 solo. He also had three interceptions with two tackles for loss. Bowerman caused one fumble and recovered another.
For his efforts, Bowerman is the Press Argus-Courier’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“Coltin may be one of most, if not the most physical safety I have ever coached,” Loughridge said. “He plays safety like a linebacker. Sometimes it can be a problem, but it never was for us this year.”
Bowerman was physical and aggressive with his role his coaches were worried about him getting beat deep.
“He was able to train his eyes to fix on runs as fast as can and not to give up the big play in the passing game,” said Loughridge. “Coltin is another player who is totally team-oriented and will do whatever he can to help his team. The best part… he is only a junior and we will have him back next season.”
Newcomer of the Year
Grayson Bailey, Alma
Sophomore, Wide Receiver
With Class 5A All-State pick Brayden Johnson being a favorite target, the Airedales needed a corp of receivers to line up to help draw away some of the heat.
Bailey hauled in 18 catches for 320 yards and added five touchdowns. For his contributions in his first year of high school football, Bailey is the Press Argus-Courier’s Newcomer of the Year.
“Grayson stepped up and really developed this year as a wide receiver, and was a big-play threat for us at any time,” said coach Loughridge. “Grayson has great hands, runs great routes and has a speed factor we saw several times this year. He will become a bigger and bigger part of our offense in years to come.”
THE PRESS ARGUS-COURIER
ALL COUNTY TEAM
• Brayden Johnson, Senior, Alma, Wide receiver
(5A West Outstanding wide receiver)
Class 5A All-State. 85 catches for 1,180 yards, 16 touchdowns
• Walter Green, Senior, Van Buren, Running Back
7A West All-Conference. Finished the season with 822 yards on the ground and caught for 276 yards. For his career at Van Buren, Green had 1,941 yards rushing and had 2,334 yards of offense total.
• Austin Taylor, Junior, Mountainburg, Tailback
4-2A All-Conference. 72 carries for 923 yards and nine touchdowns.
• Tate Larue, Junior, Cedarville, Fullback
4-3A All-Conference. 192 carries for 903 yards and seven touchdowns.
• Jesse Quick, Junior, Mountainburg, Slotback
4-2A All-Conference. 50 carries for 593 yards and six touchdowns. 4 catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns.
• Tyler Alexander, Senior, Alma, Wide Receiver
5A-West All-Conference. 74 carries for 540 yards and five touchdowns, 18 catches for 224 yards and three TDs.
• Aiden Walker, Senior, Alma, Kicker
5A-West All-Conference. 51 of 54 PATs, made one FG, 23 yards
Honorable Mention: Logan Humphreys, junior, Van Buren (all-conference); Caleb Jorgenson, junior, Mountainburg (all-conference); Malachi West, sophomore, Mountainburg (all-conference honorable mention).
• Zach Henson, Junior, Alma, Class 5A All-State
• Nathan Westbrook, Senior, Van Buren, 7A-West All-Conference
• Jackson Cowan, Senior, Mountainburg, 4-2A All-Conference
• Derek King, Senior, Van Buren, 7A-West All-Conference honorable mention
• Darian Crawford, Junior, Alma, 5A-West All-Conference
• Levi Prestidge, Junior, Alma, 5A-West All-Conference
• Eli Alec, Junior, Alma, 5A-West All-Conference
• Nathan Alexander, Junior, Alma, 5A-West All-Conference
Notes: Van Buren’s offense finished with 2,959 yards of offense with 1,503 on the ground.
Mountainburg had 933 yards passing and 3,154 yards rushing with 92 TDs. Thirteen different players carried the ball.
Alma’s offense averaged 6.6 yards per play and finished with 4,608 yards with 2,072 on the ground.
Honorable Mention: Gauge Jorgenson, senior, Mountainburg (all-conference honorable mention); Cory Reeves, senior, Mountainburg (all-conference honorable mention); Dalen Cagle, junior, Mountainburg (all-conference honorable mention).
• Dylan Murray, Junior, Cedarville, Linebacker.
4-2A All-Conference. Led the Pirates with 87 tackles.
• Zach Oliver, Senior, Alma, Defensive End.
Class 5A All-State, 55 tackles (39 solo), six tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery.
• Jayden Mendez, Senior, Van Buren, Defensive line.
7A-West All-Conference. 38 tackles (10 solo), two sacks, seven tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.
• Logan Osman, Senior, Van Buren, Linebacker.
7A-West All-Conference honorable mention, 77 tackles (49 solo), two tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles.
• Ethan Harris, Senior, Van Buren, Defensive Back.
5A-West All-Conference honorable mention, 36 tackles (22 solo), 2 tackles for loss, three passes broken up.
• Keegan Rosebeary, Junior, Alma, Linebacker.
5A-West All-Conference, 125 tackles (75 solo), 13 tackles for a loss (-61 yards), 3.5 sacks, two caused fumbles, two interceptions, one fumble recovery, and on touchdown.
• Kaleb Pike, Senior, Alma, Linebacker.
5A-West All-Conference honorable mention, 98 tackles (62 solo), nine tackles of r a loss (-24 yards), on cause fumble.
• Austin Fraley, Junior, Alma, Defensive Back.
5A-West All-Conference, 71 tackles (47 solo), two interceptions, one caused fumble.
• Billy Mongold, Junior, Cedarville, Middle Linebacker.
4-3A All-Conference, 84 tackles
• Connor Rogers, Senior, Mountainburg, Defensive End.
Class 2A All-State, 4-2A All-Conference, 79 tackles (52 solo), two interceptions, two pass deflections, a sack, one caused fumble
• Dillon Jones, Senior, Mountainburg, Safety.
4-2A All-Conference, 57 tackles (40 solo), three interceptions, 13 pass deflections, a fumble recovery.
• Kendall Seratt, Senior, Mountainburg, Strong Safety.
4-2A All-Conference honorable mention, 83 tackles, 56 solo, a sack, fumble recovery.
• Donald Quick, Senior, Mountainburg, Safety.
4-2A All-Conference, 25 tackles, six pass deflections, two interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 1 caused fumble.