VESTABURG – Even though the Vestaburg football team finished with a 4-5 record, the Mid-State Activities Conference coaches thought enough about the Wolverines to place nine players on the all-conference team.
The first-team Wolverines were defensive end Keith Fletcher, tight end/running back Ryan Daley as an “at-large” selection, offensive tackle Tyler Pendell, running back Kyle Johnson and defensive tackle Michael Hale.
Fletcher had 71 tackles and five sacks. He was a player who other teams game-planned around, said Vestaburg coach Dan Ryckman.
“He (Fletcher) is a big, strong kid that made teams take notice,” Ryckman said. “Teams shied away from him because he controlled that end of the line.”
Daley, who carried the ball 39 times for 210 yards and caught six passes for 120 yards and three TDs, was versatile, Ryckman noted.
“He (Daley) allowed us to do a lot of things defensively,” Ryckman said. “He could play a lot. He was a pure athlete.”
Pendell was a late bloomer, Ryckman noted.
“He got hurt early on but made it back in time for the conference (games),” he said. “He’s a big, strong kid.”
Johnson carried the ball 107 times for 693 yards, which was more than eight yards per carry on average. He scored 10 times.
“Kyle was a pleasant surprise,” Ryckman said. “Before we could meld as a team he could break it at any time. Hard to bring down.”
Hale ended up with 58 tackles this season with two sacks.
“Hale is a special player,” Ryckman said. “He’s not a very big kid but he garnered double teams all year long. You talk about a motor. He’s just non-stop. He’s going to be something special in years to come.”
The four Vestaburg players who were honorable mention were running backs K.J. Keyes and Michael King and linebackers Christian Benavidez and Lucas Rondy.