Francis Howell, CBC, De Smet lead area all-state football team selections
By: Warren Mayes
The Missouri sportswriters and sportscasters have released their all-state team and several local athletes made Class 6 squad.
CBC, which finished 11-1, had three first-team athletes. Selected were senior wide receiver Aarion Penton, senior linebacker Zach Turnure and senior defensive back Bert Birdsall. The Cadets also placed two on the second team in junior quarterback Tyler Creath and senior running back Jonathan Parker.
De Smet, who dealt CBC its only loss and reached the semifinals to finish 9-4, placed two on the first team in junior running back Marcus Jester and junior offensive lineman Andy Bauer. The Spartans also had a second-team selection in junior defensive back Dedrick Cromartie.
Francis Howell, Class 6 runner-up had four players earn first-team recognition. They were senior running back Donte Harrell, senior defensive end Jarrett Franklin, senior linebacker Calvin Munson and senior defensive back Zac Perkins.
Lafayette had one first-team selection in senior kicker Dan Menees. The Lancers had senior defensive lineman John Voit named to the second-team defense and senior offensive lineman Gabe Kuhn named to the second team.
Eureka had a first-team selection in senior punter Dalton Zeiser.
Parkway South senior linebacker Jordan Noyes was named to the second team.
In Class 5, Parkway Central junior defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner earned first-team honors.
CBC Scott Pingel was happy to have several Cadets named.
“We had a lot of talent spread throughout the team” Pingel said. “Many of these guys were two-year guys on the team so we will be losing a bunch this year. It was a great senior class.”
He praised Penton, who has committed to play at Missouri.
“He is explosive with the ball in his hands,” Pingel said. “He can make people miss and can change direction on a dime. He is special.”
Birdsall has committed to Miami of Ohio and Turnure will be playing lacrosse at Ohio State.
“Birdsall is one of the smartest guys I have ever coached,” Pingel said. “He can cover the slot or roll down and make the tackle. He is never in the wrong spot. Turnure is a wildman on defense. He plays with such tenacity that is infectious on our defense.”
The two second-team players are just as good, Pingel said.
“Creath did a great job of running the offense and taking what the defense gave him. He throws a great ball and very coachable,” Pingel said. “Parker had a great year behind four new offensive linemen. His patience was phenomenal this year and he was a big part of our offense clicking. His speed and toughness will be hard to replace.”
Parker has committed to Tulsa.
Spartans coach Pat Mahoney also was pleased to have his players recognized.
“You have to have players to win,” Mahoney said. “You can lose with good players if they are not willing to work. They all had talent and put in the effort.”
Bauer and Jester were deserving of the first-team selection, Mahoney said.
“They are symbiotic — Andy blocks and Marcus follows his lead then adds his own talent to it,” Mahoney said.
Cromartie came up big in big games for De Smet.
“He had two interceptions for touchdowns in the CBC and Hazelwood Central games that defined the end of the season,” Mahoney said.
It will be great to have all three back next year, Mahoney said.
“We are already preparing for their senior year to be special,” Mahoney said.
Francis Howell coach Bryan Koch and his Vikings had a year to remember. The Vikings fell short in the state championship game but the players gave it their all.
“We obviously had a lot of talent on this year’s team,” Koch said. “We always have great kids that work very hard from January though November to prepare themselves for a great football season.”
The contributions made by Harrell, Franklin, Munson and Perkins helped Francis Howell enjoy such a good season.
“They all have the same characteristics of hard work, dedication, and a burning desire to improve themselves everyday,” Koch said. “They were huge. They provided a great deal of leadership. We were very young this year, and had only a handful of seniors starting. They provided some much needed leadership and guidance for our younger players.”
Unfortunately, they are seniors and will leave the program.
“I will be emotional to see them leave, but excited to see them start the next chapter in their life,” Koch said. “They will all play bigger games on bigger stages, and I am just honored to be and continue to be a part of their life.”
Franklin is the only Viking who has committed at this point and that is to the University of Buffalo.