By JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend quarterback Jacob Murray earned first team offensive honors to lead seven first-team Western Athletic Conference football selections for the Panthers.
Great Bend (10-2, 3-1 WAC) lost to Goddard High 50-21 in the Class 5A state football semifinals. The Panthers defeated Topeka West 70-31, Andover High 16-7 and Valley Center 28-24 in the 5A playoffs. Garden City beat the Panthers 21-14 for the WAC football title.
Murray threw for 2,281 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. Murray rushed for 1,322 yards and 26 touchdowns and averaged 300 yards per game. Murray passed for 3,984 yards and 37 TDs and rushed for 2,208 yards and 44 TDs the past three seasons.
“I was very happy with how well we were represented on the first-team All-WAC football team,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. “Offensively, it was a direct reflection of how much success we had during the regular season. Each one of these kids was very well deserving.”
Record-holder Bryce Lytle (75 catches, 1,035 yards, 11 TDs) broke school records for most catches in a season and career. Lytle finished with 157 career catches for 2,483 yards and 22 TDs. RB Cal Marshall (1,088 yards, 13 TDs) gave the Panthers a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. WR Brayden Smith (33 catches, 692 yards, 9 TDs) earned first-team honors.
Left tackle Aaron Clark (6-7, 300) helped the Panthers average 419 yards per game.
School-record holder Payton Mauler (153 tackles) earned first-team honors at linebacker. Kicker Dani Franco converted 55 extra points and two field goals.
Second-team honors were earned by WR Koy Brack (42 catches, 471 yards, 3 TDs) and tackle Noah Presson and guard Payton Doll in the offensive line.
The defense was represented by defensive linemen Dominque Rideaux (79 tackles) and Pablo Martinez (48 tackles), linebacker Jensen Randall (114 tackles) and safety Dalton Miller (111 tackles, 2 interceptions).
“Any time you’re able to land 14 players on the first two teams, that tells you a lot about the type of season we had,” Beck said. “I was very proud of all these young men’s accomplishments.”
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB—Jacob Murray, Great Bend, sr.
QB—Jesse Nunez, Garden City, sr.
RB—Peyton Hill, Garden City, sr.
RB—Cal Marshall, Great Bend, sr.
WR—Bryce Lytle, Great Bend, sr.
WR—Brayden Smith, Great Bend, sr.
OL—Aaron Clark, Great Bend, jr.
OL—Thomas Sanchez, Dodge City, sr.
OL—Justin Schowengerdt, Dodge City, sr.
OL—Mario Chairez, Garden City, sr.
OL—Lorenzo Ruiz-Hernandez, Garden City, sr.
PK—Dani Franco, Great Bend, sr.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL—Marcos Fisher, Dodge City, so.
DL—Evan Darville, Dodge City, so.
DL—DeMarcus Elliott, Garden City, jr.
DL—Juan Ponce, Garden City, sr.
DL—Elwin Trejo, Liberal, jr.
LB—Zeke Herrera, Garden City, sr.
LB—Payton Mauler, Great Bend, sr.
LB—Jose Aguilera, Liberal, so.
DB—Quinton LaPointe, Garden City, jr.
DB—Garrett Doll, Garden City, jr.
DB—David Arteaga, Garden City, jr.
PLAYER OF YEAR—Zeke Herrera, Garden City
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB—Dawson Williams, Dodge City, jr.
RB—Tylor Garcia, Dodge City, sr.; Zach Mansell, Liberal, sr.; Shane Berens, Hays, sr.
WR—Koy Brack, Great Bend, so.; Jason Yi, Garden City, sr.
OL—Noah Presson, Great Bend, sr.; Payton Doll, Great Bend, so.; DeMarcus Elliott, Garden City, jr.; Alex Nguyen, Liberal, sr.; Huriberto Real, Dodge City, jr.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL—Dom Rideaux, Great Bend, sr.; Pablo Martinez, Great Bend, so.; Jasper Partin, Garden City, jr.; Daniel Wehling, Liberal, jr.; Derrtck Symons, Liberal, sr.
LB—Jensen Randall, Great Bend, sr.; Clay Carpenter, Dodge City, sr.; Rico Cherico, Garden City, sr.
DB—Dalton Miller, Great Bend, fr.; Keaton Markley, Hays, so.; Sam Unruh, Dodge City, sr.