9 Lions lauded for football performance
Becker, Terron, Smith honored for ‘O’, ‘D’
As a team, the Lansing High football squad compiled an 8-2 record, league championship and fourth straight state playoff appearance.
Now the individual honors are rolling in, and it starts with the recognition of nine Lions as All-Kaw Valley League performers. Seniors Brendan Becker, Zach Robinson, Brad Terron, Bobby Hauver, Chris Hill, Justin Smith, Kevin Johnson and David Dickson and junior Brenton Smith earned All-KVL status for their contributions to Lansing's success this year.
For LHS coach Bill Pekarek, the honors were met with mixed feelings.
"We're obviously happy that some of our guys got recognized," he said. "We've had a lot of good players play for us in the last five, six, seven years, and we wish a lot of our players could get on All-League, and it isn't possible to get everybody on there.
"You always think that there's some guys that ought to get on there. I was disappointed that Mycol Bowen and Stephen Didde didn't get on there somewhere. And I thought (Dickson) deserved an honorable mention or second team as a linebacker."
Still, Pekarek said there was plenty to celebrate.
"I thought it was better this year than it's been in other years," he said.
He was happy to see three of his seniors - Becker, Terron and Justin Smith - recognized on both sides of the ball. Becker nabbed first-team honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman. He was one of the top blockers for one of the most high-power offenses in the league, and he also was second in the league in sacks with seven.
"Brendan really did a great job as a defensive end," Pekarek said. "That's pretty good in a high school season to have seven sacks. The league leader had eight."
Terron also earned two first-team honors, as a linebacker with a team-high 98 tackles and as a fullback with 622 yards rushing and a 7.7-yard average per carry.
Justin Smith earned first-team honors as a strong safety thanks to a dominating all-around effort. He was third on the team with 85 tackles (including a team-high 33 unassisted stops), and he led the Lions with two fumble recoveries, two interceptions three defensive touchdowns and a blocked punt. In addition, he caught 13 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns to earn honorable mention status as a wide receiver.
"He had an outstanding year his senior year," Pekarek said.
Robinson, a two-year starter at center, made the second team on the offensive line, and Hauver earned second-team status at quarterback after completing 66 of 135 passes for 1,164 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed for an additional 470 yards and nine touchdowns on 88 carries.
Four other Lions earned honorable mention status at various positions. Hill was recognized at running back after posting a team-high 810 yards and nine touchdowns. Johnson was recognized as a wide receiver after catching a team-high 22 passes for 371 yards and six touchdowns. Dickson was honored for his work as a punter after posting a 33.3-yard average on 16 kicks, and Brenton Smith was honored for his play at nose guard after making a mid-season position change.
"He really hadn't played much nose guard, and he got down there and got after it and had a motor that wouldn't stop," Pekarek said of Smith, who was fourth in the league with four sacks.