By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Trojans honored at postseason banquet


November 22, 2017

Jack H. Smith

Senior Braden Smith addresses the audience at the year-end football banquet.

The Whitehall/Harrison High School football team celebrated one of the best seasons in program history last week with their annual team banquet.

The yearly event took a look back at the 9-0 regular season that culminated with an outright Southern B Conference Championship and a playoff win over Shepherd.

The banquet began with the Trojan seniors addressing the crowd in the Multi Purpose Room at Whitehall High School.

Braden Smith said when he started playing football he didn't know if he would like it, but it turns out he really enjoyed it. Smith said it was an honor to play with his teammates.

Kayden Howser said the last four years were the best of his life and he would not trade it for the world.

Dawson Hoerauf said the team has come a long way from a 2-8 season when he first started playing, and he has enjoyed every moment of his high school career.

Garrison Shaw told the crowd it has been a "hoot" playing for the Trojans and thanked his coaches for all the support.

Wyatt Alexander thanked his teammates and coaches, and said it has been a good nine years so far of playing football.

Lane Buus was also a senior on the 2017-18 team.

The three members of the Trojans coaching staff also addressed those in attendance, with Ed Simon stating that while the staff is demanding, the kids never back down. Simon said they would take this experience with them for the rest of their lives.

First-year assistant Brennan Hayes said the team accepted him from day one and the 2017 season was one of the best things he has ever been a part of.

Head coach Dan Lacey said there is nothing more exciting than Friday Night Lights. Lacey told the players he loved them and was so proud of their accomplishments. He told the players who would be returning to use the quarterfinal loss to Shelby as motivation.

The banquet concluded with the awarding of letters and recognition of all-conference and all-state players. Lacey said the team was tremendously rewarded with postseason honors, but stressed the importance of how the awards would not have happened without everyone working as a team.

Seniors Alexander, Hoerauf, and Smith, and junior Max Feight were all named to the All-State team.

Hoerauf was also named to the all-conference first team as an offense and defensive linemen. Lacey said that in his four-year career, Hoerauf had 192 tackles as a defensive tackle and that is a really big deal for the position. He said Hoerauf also had 39 sacks as a Trojan. Hoerauf has been selected to play in the Class B All-Star game.

Alexander was first-team all conference at receiver and at defensive back and will also play in the Class B All-Star game. Lacey highlighted many of the accomplishments for Alexander that included a state records for receiving touchdowns with his 19 in 2017. Alexander is also second all time in the state with 35 receiving touchdowns in a career. He is second in the state for receiving yards in a game with 251, and fourth in receiving yards for a career (2,767).

Smith was first team all conference at tight end, linebacker, and punter. Lacey said Smith was the team's Swiss army knife, would always do what he was told and do it at a high level. He had 179 tackles, and 10 receiving touchdowns in his four years. He will also play in the Class B All Star game.

Feight was first team all conference at quarterback and second team at defensive back. Lacey said Feight had big shoes to fill at the quarterback position and did an amazing job for the team. Feight finished the season with 2,866 yards passing with 32 touchdowns. He also had 614 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He was just as impressive on defense with 39 tackles and six interceptions.

Junior Sawyer Keener was named first team all conference at linebacker. Lacey said in his opinion, Keener was the best linebacker in the Southern B Conference. Keener had 131 tackles and Lacey said he was the backbone of the defensive unit. Keener also had 703 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.

Senior Kayden Howser was second team all conference at center. Lacey said Howser was the heartbeat of their offense and was always a great teammate. Howser has also been selected to play in the Class B All Star game.

Senior Garrison Shaw received second team all-conference offense honors at a lineman. Lacey praised Shaw for his work and said he was one of the best he's seen at pushing a defensive end away from the play. Shaw finished his career with 66 tackles and nine sacks.

Junior Cade Briggs received second team honors at wide receiver and defensive back. Lacey said he was happy to have Briggs back from missing the entire 2016 season due to injury.



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