By TONY EIERDAM
Eight Santo Wildcats earned spots on the All-District 5-A football team in a vote of league coaches.
The Wildcats had one superlative award as senior quarterback Zane Mauney shared the Offensive Most Valuable Player award with Dakota Perry of Goldthwaite.
Mauney rushed for a little more than 1,100 yards this season.
“Zane had a tremendous year from the quarterback position,” Santo head coach Randy Thornton said. “Offensively, this year we had our most productive year during my tenure, setting team records in several categories, and Zane was certainly a big part of that.
“Zane would also be the first to tell you that he could not have done anything without help from his teammates.”
Two ‘Cats – senior offensive lineman Brett Birk and senior linebacker Colton Harris – earned first-team honors.
“Brett Birk is another one I am really proud of,” Thornton said. “He was responsible for snapping the ball to Zane from the center position on each play and really had a solid year. He anchored our offensive line a did a really good job.
“Colton,” Thornton continued, “was our lone first team player on defense. We struggled defensively in district, but Colton made a lot of plays for us from the middle linebacker position. He did a good job for us.”
Earning second-team honors from Santo were a pair of sophomores, running back Grant Gilbert and fullback Keith Chalker.
“For Grant and Keith to be recognized as sophomores in this district is quite an accomplishment,” Thornton said. “Grant is a tremendous athlete with great instincts, and Keith is a blue-collar guy who got better and better as the season progressed.
“They have two more years in the program, and hopefully the sky is the limit for both of them.”
Earning an honorable mention was junior safety Garrett Nemeth.
“Garrett is a very intelligent young man who we moved around a little bit,” Thornton said. “I was glad to see him get recognized, and deservedly so. He made numerous tackles from his safety position.”
Earning spots on the all-district, all-academic team were junior Colton Edwards and sophomore Dylan Price.
“We preach all the time, that you cannot be great on the football field if you are not first great in the classroom,” Thornton said. “Both of these young men work extremely hard on and off the field and take great pride in their academic endeavors.
“They are an example for what all of our players should strive for.
“It is always nice to be recognized by others in the district, and I am proud of each of our selections.
“They have worked hard to earn these post-season honors.”