Basehor-Linwood football lands 11 on All-Kaw Valley League squad
Caleb Johnson plays a position that is often overlooked by fans who watch a running back traipse through a hole for a touchdown or a linebacker sack a quarterback, but Johnson stood out to Kaw Valley League football coaches this season.
Johnson dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage this season for Basehor-Linwood and earned All-KVL recognition for his play as an offensive and defensive lineman.
He was the leading vote-getter among KVL coaches.
Johnson was a building block for the Bobcats as the team’s only returning starter on the offensive line.
“He was such a leader,” coach Steve Hopkins said. “We will find a fourth or fifth guy on the line next year, but we won’t replace his leadership. On the offensive line, he was the only veteran we had entering the season. We had four players learning on the fly and he took them under his wing and got them ready to play.”
On defense, Johnson forced opposing teams to commit two offensive linemen to block him, which freed up the linebackers to make tackles.
In spite of double-teams, he had 54 tackles.
Johnson was one of 11 Bobcats selected to the KVL team, which Hopkins said was a testament to the team’s record.
“Anytime you win a league title it is because you have better players,” Hopkins said. “The team that wins should have the most players. I always felt like that much was true.”
Chandler King was a first-team selection at linebacker. He led the team with 115 tackles.
Jesse Hiss was selected as a second-team running back and linebacker. Hiss rushed for 725 yards on 115 carries and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. He scored 12 touchdowns.
Colin Murphy was the first-team quarterback. He rushed the ball 68 times for 326 yards and had eight touchdowns. Passing the ball, Murphy completed 55 percent of his throws for 2,020 yards. He averaged 200 yards passing per game and tossed 21 touchdowns.
Entering the year, Hopkins said he thought Murphy would perform well, but said he was a little surprised how well he threw the ball.
“I never imagined how much of a mark he would make this year. Passing we knew what he could do, but the fact that he could run as well as he did was a pleasant surprise,” Hopkins said.
Ben Johnson was selected as a first-team tight end.
Johnson had 22 receptions for 388 yards and nine touchdowns.
Ryan Murphy was a first-team wide receiver. He battled double-teams throughout the season and finished with more than 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.
In addition, Alex Schewmon was a second-team selection on the offensive line. He missed first-team accolades by a single vote.
Steyr Stubenrauch was an honorable mention running back and defensive back.
Linebacker Dalton Mellies was an honorable mention selection.
Johnson was a second team defensive lineman. Drew Potter was an honorable mention selection on the defensive line.
Destry Bryan earned honorable mention honors as a kicker, joining the team late a game into the season. He also played soccer at BLHS.