BLANCHARD – Montabella’s record season was rewarded by fellow Mid-State Activities Conference South Division coaches.
The Mustangs had seven players make first-team all-conference from their 9-2 team, with three of them coming from each side of the ball and one special-teams player.
Punter Drew Burggren was that special teams player. The defensive players were Derek Martin, Jeramee Gilman and Travis Dunn. On offense, quarterback Charles Helmer, wideout Jemikal Papendick and lineman Jeremy Quezada were honored.
“Drew Burggren was one of those kids who is a hard worker,” Montabella coach David Clay said. “He’s very positive team member.”
Martin “is another one who is a silent leader,” Clay said. “He played through a little bit of pain for the last half of the season, but would not be the type to complain and want out.”
Gilman, who had a team-high five fumble recoveries, “is one of the voices of our team,” Clay said. “He’s one of the vocal leaders. He is one of the kids that is there to pick up the other teammates when they were down.”
Helmer, whose 62 percent completion rating led to 1,908 yards and 16 touchdowns, “was the captain of our offense, and a strong leader during the season,” Clay said. “He was able to recognize things and help the coaches so we can make adjustments.”
Papendick, who caught 51 balls for 1,180 yards and 16 touchdowns, “was our offensive leader,” Clay said. “He’s a kid when we have to put the ball in somebody’s hands, we want Jemikal to have the ball in his hands, and he wanted the ball.”
Quezada “was to everything all summer and winter,” Clay said. “He not only wrestled, he attended every morning workout this winter. He’s one of those kids who is a workhorse.”
Dunn, who led the team in tackles with 112, has “always been a good player and a hard worker, but he came out of nowhere to become a very solid inside linebacker for us,” Clay said. “He really was a key part of the inside of our defense.”
Montabella’s honorable mentions were Drew Nemeth, Tyler House and Travis Saban.