One of the added bonuses that come with winning championships is all the post-season accolades and recognition that comes with them.
The Altus Bulldogs were well represented on the All-District team and rightfully so.
Over the weekend some more attention was granted the team. Coach Jeremy Reed was selected as Coach of the Year. Reed, of course, is quick to disperse the award to the entire program. “This award is way bigger than me,” said coach Reed.
It would be nice if the selectors would choose a coaching staff of the year. From the top of the varsity staff down through the 7th grade coaches, this entire staff stayed true to a vision that Reed brought here two years ago.
For now, all these coaches can take pride in the state of the program and for that coach Reed should feel content to accept the award. Perhaps, we may need to consider an award for Superintendent Roger Hill and the school board for offering coach Reed the position. Job well done folks.
Taven Birdow was selected to the All-State team and chosen as the Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Year. Taven rushed for an astounding 2,472 yards and 30 touchdowns. Both of these numbers obliterated previous school records. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Birdow’s efforts this season was his ability to shine in big games. Considering that Birdow often carried the ball for big yardage even though the opposing defenses knew who was going to get the ball, is evidence of his will to compete.
Even though the All-State selection doesn’t acknowledge the help Birdow got from his teammates, I certainly will. Every individual award going to a football player is always due in large part to his fellow players. Congratulations to the offensive line and the edge blockers as well as quarterback Jayden Benway. Hopefully all of these offensive contributors can feel like they share in Birdow’s award.
Jayden Benway was chosen as a 1st team All-State selection as a defensive back. Benway’s 15 interceptions this year was five better than the previous school record and was four better than any other player in the state. Benway’s ability find the football is uncanny. As the Bulldogs season continued deep into the playoffs, Benway seemed to shine in the most high pressured situations.
Benway’s 100 yard interception not only added another score to Bulldogs side, it ended a Collinsville drive that would have evened the game. The kid just shined when his team needed him the most. I am curious if the selection committee had a tough time awarding Benway the All-State selection as a defensive back or quarterback. The choice could have went either way and been well deserved.
Congratulations Bulldogs. On Jan. 3, 2016 the second team and honorable mention All-State selections will be revealed.
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076