When the Northern 4A all-region awards were announced, Reed had claimed three of the top five individual awards.
Ernie Howren was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Raiders to a co-league championship and an appearance in the regional semifinals.
“It’s always frustrating because it says Coach of the Year when I feel it should be Coaching Staff of the Year,” Howren said. “It’s not just me out there. It’s everyone from top to bottom.”
Senior quarterback Brent Showalter made the most of his only year as a starting quarterback, earning the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Unlike the Raiders quarterbacks of the recent past who put up beastly passing numbers, Showalter turned himself into a formidable running threat and dealt damage at the end of his runs. He was second in rushing on Reed, gaining 976 yards on 215 carries. His 17 rushing touchdowns put him over the top. Through the air, Showalter was 117-for-211 for 1427 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was picked off seven times.
“I felt like he could do it all,” Howren said. “He just created so many mismatches for defenses. People had to change their entire defenses to go against him.”
Rounding out the big individual honors for Reed was junior Jeremy Macauley who was the Lineman of the Year.
“The kid can do it all. He was a real creator in the run game, and he’s got tremendous feet to pass block anyone in the league,” Howren said. “He’s a kid who has been starting for two years on the varsity line. Every year he’s gotten better. He’s got that drive to always get better.”
Reed’s leading rusher, John Covello, found himself on the first team as a running back after carrying the ball 195 times for 1158 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Reed’s last offensive player on the first team all-region list was kicker AJ Silva.
Collin Tuttle was a second team center.
Once again, the defense was the strongpoint and it showed in the all-region votes.
First team Defensive tackle Colton Strawn didn’t put up much in the stat column, but Howren said his presence was as dominating as any stat you can use.
A pair of linebackers racked up two more awards for the Raiders. Broc Westlake led the team with 105 total tackles, including 15 for loss and three forced fumbles for a first team nod. Donovan Inskip was second on the squad with 78 tackles with 14 for a loss. His three interceptions helped him receive second team all-region.
Defensive back Dennis Bartee finished with 16 pass breakups and six interceptions and was voted to the first team.
The rest were honorable mentions for the RHS gridders.
Beau Tittensor (wide receiver), Chad Gray (wide receiver), Tyler Carnahan (offensive guard, defensive end), Tyler Puryear (defensive back), Justin Worthley (defensive back) and David Hibler (return specialist) rounded out the Raiders’ postseason awardees.
Finishing in seventh place didn’t help Spanish Springs’ cause when it came to all-league awards. However, two Cougars did impress on the gridiron this season enough to earn first team all-region.
Wide receiver Dylan Woll was a highlight film waiting to happen this fall, becoming a first team all-region receiver and second team all-region return specialist.
“Dylan is one of those guys who has the innate ability to understand the game,” SSHS football coach Scott Hare said. “He’s one of those guys you can put in the schoolyard, and he’ll be really good. It’s just very natural for Dylan. He’s got instincts not a lot of people have, which makes him a threat whenever he’s on the field.”
Austin Rauh was a first team all-region return specialist as well as an honorable mention running back. He also played some slot and wide receiver on offense and defensive back on the other side of the ball for the Cougars.
“Austin has great speed and has a really good feel for the game when he has the ball in his hands,” Hare said. “He definitely sets things up real well and is able to make plays. He’s a do-everything type athlete.”
John Wilson was also a two-position honoree. He was second team defensive back and kicker.
The final second team all-region selection for the Purple and White was sophomore defensive end Nikk Audenreid, who led the North in sacks until he was injured for the final two weeks of the season.
Spanish Springs’ other honorable mentions were Tanner Oates (quarterback), Trent Flowers (tight end), Travis Mullins (tight end), JJ Phoenix (offensive guard), Durant Foote (offensive tackle), Nicky Van Nolde (defensive tackle), Vincent Agliolo (linebacker), Cade Rogers (linebacker) and Brett Gilmore (punter).
•In the 3A, with the addition of three teams and the fact Sparks finished 2-6 in league play, it made it hard for the Railroaders to break into the upper echelon of all-league honors.
Sparks football coach Rob Kittrell was hoping senior Doug Chinchilla would at least get second team all-league but he led a foursome of Railroaders on the honorable mention list.
“It was a little disappointing for Doug because he was our MVP and did so much for us, especially defensively,” Kittrell said. “On the defensive side of the ball, toward the last half of the season, teams just ran away from him. I think that shows a lot of respect for the way he plays the game.”
Chinchilla was named an honorable mention as both a wide receiver and outside linebacker. He led the team in receptions and tackles for loss. He even had two defensive touchdowns.
Fellow seniors Henry Banks and Vittawat Sriphong-Ngarm were named honorable mentions at running back and defensive back respectively.
Banks led the Maroon and Gold in scoring on offense and rushing yardage, while Sriphong-Ngarm led the team in interceptions and returned two for touchdowns.
The only non-senior to receive all-league honors from Sparks was junior offensive lineman Vance Bow.