Wildcat football players claim their fair share of Big 8 honors
Today, the Big 8 Conference post-season honors were announced. Cassville has seven players voted onto the All-Big 8 first team, five of them being a unanimous vote. Second team honors were awarded to six Wildcat players.
In addition, junior Brian Elkins was named Big 8 Offensive Player of the Year and senior Clay Craig was Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year. The Cassville coaching staff was named as Big 8 Coaches of the Year.
Wildcat players named to the All-Big 8 first team are: senior Dakota Russell at tackle; junior Nick Pianalto at guard and defensive end; junior Josh Rambo at center and defensive tackle; senior Scott Fitzpatrick at wide receiver; senior Jason Bromley at kicker; Elkins at runningback and linebacker; and senior Cody Ricklefs at defensive back.
Pianalto, Rambo, Bromley and Elkins were all unanimous selections.
On the year, Fitzpatrick had three receptions for 51 yards and one touchdown. At runningback, Elkins has 1,419 yards rushing on 177 carries. He has tallied 29 rushing touchdown. Bromley has kicked off a total of 72 times for 4,156 yards, an average of 57.7 yards. He also is 12-for-12 on extra points and five for eight on field goals.
Pianalto is credited with 52 tackles, two sacks, six tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries on the year, while Rambo has 54 tackles, five sacks and three tackles for a loss. Elkins has 42 tackles, five tackles for a loss, and one interception. Ricklefs is credited with 38 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one fumble recovery and six interceptions.
Players named to the All-Big 8 second team are: junior Tim Orrell at quarterback; junior Michael Baker at receiver; junior Jared Bouzek at runningback; senior Justin Burden at linebacker; Bromley at punter; and Craig at defensive back.
Orrell has 48 completions on 82 attempts for 1,030 yards and 16 touchdowns. On the year, Baker had 21 receptions for 457 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bouzek has 57 carries for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He is also credited with nine receptions for 197 yards and one touchdown.
Burden has tallied 44 tackles, one sack, five tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery. Craig, on the year, has been credited with 45 tackles, one tackle for a loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
When asked about the Cassville coaching staff being named Big 8 Coaches of the Year, Head Coach David Large, stated, "Well, I think that's more of a by-product of the kids than us. I think that we have one of the best coaching staffs around. They're great guys to work with and be around.
"Lance Parnell is a great defensive coach. He has the kids ready to go each week. Jay Rogers is a great line coach and has the kids really playing well, Jeremy Faubion was with me at El Dorado Springs and he just does a good job having the special teams ready each week, Coy Dalton was with me at El Dorado Springs also and has a lot of experience with the secondary and that's a lot of the reasoning our secondary is playing so well this year, and Rick Lawson just moved up from the middle school this year. He's got a lot of experience and has really been through a lot; he kind of adds all that to our staff.
"These guys all enjoy being around the kids and when you've got something like that, it's a tribute to the kids, because without them we wouldn't have this," Large added.