NEW LOTHROP — Avery Moore led New Lothrop to the Division 7 state football championship in 2018.
While the Hornets fell short of a repeat, Moore still had a spectacular 2019, passing for 1,508 yards and 25 TDs against just one interception, and has been named The Argus-Press All-Area Football Player of the Year for the second straight season.
“I’m honored to get it,” Moore said. “I’m excited that (New Lothrop cross country runner) Carson Hersch got it in his sport. And I think it’s pretty crazy that two people from NL got it.”
Moore was a two-way threat on offense. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior led the Hornets in rushing with 844 yards and 15 touchdowns.
New Lothrop’s dreams of a second straight state championship were ended by Pewamo-Westphalia in the Division 7 regional championship game. The Pirates edged the Hornets, 36-35, in a classic battle of unbeatens played at New Lothrop High School.
P-W went on to blank Jackson Lumen Christi 14-0 to win its third Division 7 title in four seasons. The only outlier in that run? New Lothrop’s 2018 title, which featured a win over the Pirates in regionals.
“I thought for our season as a whole, the team played really well,” Moore said. “We just ended coming up short against P-W, which is a very solid team. And I’m proud of the way the guys played this entire year.”
Moore will play quarterback for Grand Valley State University next fall. He said playing quarterback involves much more than stats, but how a quarterback leads the team during the course of a game and season.
“I like to pride myself on leadership — especially at the quarterback role and all that,” Moore said. “Throwing one interception the entire season, I thought it was amazing. I mean the goal, obviously, was to throw none. But I think I’m just going to have to be happy with what I did and how I performed this year and just accept it.”
Hornets coach Clint Galvas said even the one interception, which came against P-W, wasn’t a bad pass.
“It was almost like a punt and when the guy caught it, he almost wished he would have knocked it down,” Galvas said.
Galvas said Moore, who also doubled as a starting defender at either safety, linebacker or defensive end, improved the most this fall as a leader on and off the field.
“He’s a three-year varsity starter and in that time you’ve seen a ton of growth,” Galvas said. “He’s always been a great athlete, but where he’s really grown is in his leadership role. He became the ultimate team captain and the ultimate team leader for us — this year, his senior year, and even towards the end of last year.”
2019 ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM
Player of the Year
Avery Moore, QB, New Lothrop
Moore delivered nearly a flawless season when it came to passing and running. He passed for 1,508 yards and 25 TDs and threw just one interception in the final game of the year. Moore also rushed for 844 yards and 15 TDs while averaging 9 yards per carry. He led the Hornets to a Mid-Michigan Activities Conference title and an 11-1 season. He was a first-team AP All-State selection for the second straight year.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Jack Selon, Byron
Selon rushed for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 9.1 yards per carry. The senior captain also passed for 589 yards and nine TDs with four interceptions.
Tyler Purdy, Durand
Purdy rushed for 1,108 yards on 110 carries for the Railroaders. He ran for 10 TDs and was a second-team all-MMAC player.
Jared Warfle, Perry
Warfle, a junior running back, rushed for 1,128 yards and 14 TDs for the Ramblers in 2019. He had 176 carries and added 18 catches for 221 yards and three TDs. A unanimous first-teamer in the Greater Lansing Athletic Conference and a Division 5-6 All-State pick, Warfle rushed for 311 yards with five TDs in Week 8. He is the first player from Perry to rush for more than 1,000 yards since 2006, when both Brock Morse (1,209) and Drew Crawford (1,014) did it.
Colton Blaha, Owosso
The senior running back finished the season with 1,002 yards and 15 touchdowns on 162 carries. Blaha averaged 6.2 yards per carry and also had eight receptions for 160 yards and two scores.
Josh Green, Byron
The senior hauled in 37 catches for 465 yards and six TDs. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch, his longest going for 45 yards.
Zach Hawes, Laingsburg
Hawes captured first-team all-Central Michigan Athletic Conference honors, snaring 29 passes for 497 yards and six TDs.
Jake Graves, New Lothrop
Graves finished with 25 catches for 386 yards and two scores. He averaged 15.4 yards per catch. Coach Clint Galvas said he had the best hands on the team.
Evan Egan, Sr., Durand
A four-year starter, the 6-foot-7, 280-pound offensive tackle helped the Railroaders rush for more than 3,000 yards in 2019. He was named to the MMAC first team and will continue his football career at Eastern Michigan.
Colby Hemgesberg, New Lothrop
A two-year starter at center, the senior was named first-team all-MMAC.
Richie Hilts, Perry
The 6-1, 260-pound senior left guard was a unanimous first-teamer in the GLAC. A physical blocker, Hilts delivered 14 pancake blocks and Perry permitted just two sacks all season. He was the Ramblers’ best lineman coach Jeff Bott said.
Jacob Lloyd, Corunna
Lloyd, a junior center, was honored as a first-teamer in the Flint Metro Stars Division. The 6-2, 225-pounder was the Cavalier player who improved the most this season, noted Corunna coach Kyle Robinson.
Jacob Hummel, Laingsburg
The senior tackle was named to the CMAC first team and was a key blocker for the Wolfpack in passing and running situations.
Noah Jafri, Owosso
Jafri made good on 14 of 17 extra points and converted on all three of his field goal attempts, including a game-winning 25-yard field goal against Clio with six seconds left. Owosso won the game, 41-38.
Fisher Morris, Corunna
The first-team all-Flint Metro League Stars Division punter averaged 35 yards per punt and excelled at hang time. His longest punt went for 51 yards and pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line twice.
Coach of the Year
Kendall Crockett, Morrice
A year after Morrice captured the Eight-Man Division 1 state football title, the Orioles made it back to the semifinals despite losing 15 of their 16 starters. Morrice finished 10-2.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Nick Steinacker, Corunna
Steinacker, a Flint Metro Stars Division All-Star, has been offered to play Division I football at Michigan. The 6-foot-7, 215 pounder — a three-year starter — was often double-teamed but still recorded 69 tackles, including 11 1/2 for losses, and two sacks. He was a Division 3-4 All-State honorable mention.
Justin Moore, Ovid-Elsie
Moore was a first-teamer in the MMAC. The defensive end had 52 tackles, including six sacks and 11 tackles for losses. He had one pass break-up.
Kyle Winslow, Durand
A four-year starter, Winslow racked up 65 tackles with eight tackles for losses and five sacks. He was named first-team all-MMAC.
Hunter Sanderson, Perry
Sanderson was a unanimous first-team GLAC defensive end. The senior had 33 solo tackles along with 14 assists and recorded six pass break ups. He also had a game-saving pass break up against Leslie in the closing seconds.
Colton Blaha, Owosso
Blaha made a school-record 101 tackles, primarily playing outside linebacker before moving to inside linebacker later in the season. Blaha was named to the Flint Metro League Stars Division first team.
Porter Zeeman, Corunna
Zeeman, a junior linebacker who was named Corunna’s MVP on defense, had 84 tackles with 5 1/2 going for losses, two sacks and two interceptions. He also had two fumble recoveries and forced another fumble. He was a second-team all-Flint Metro Stars Division player — but head coach Kyle Robinson said strongly “he was shortchanged.”
Parker Gregg, Laingsburg
The senior middle linebacker racked up 82 tackles to lead the Wolfpack in that category.
Alec Mangino, New Lothrop
Mangino filled the middle linebacker spot, totaling 86 tackles and 9 1/2 for losses.
Jake Graves, New Lothrop
Graves, a senior, was a fundamentally-sound cornerback who came up with four interceptions and 41 tackles.
Josh Green, Byron
Green, a senior, had five interceptions, 11 pass break-ups and two forced fumbles for the Eagles defensively. He also racked up 33 tackles.
Shane Cole, Morrice
Cole registered three interceptions at cornerback and became the Morrice record holder for most career interceptions. He had 30 tackles. Cole has started at corner for the past three seasons.
Zach Hawes, Laingsburg
Hawes was a first-team all-CMAC defensive back. He had 32 tackles, eight pass break-ups and one interception.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Doug Matthews, Laingsburg
A Perry transfer, Matthews completed 71 of 120 passes for 1,167 yards and 14 touchdowns before being injured in Week 8. Matthews was intercepted just four times and also rushed for three TDs.
Brock Holek, Durand
Holek ran for 875 yards and nine touchdowns on 80 carries for the Railroaders. He was named to the MMAC first team.
Cooper Beard, Ovid-Elsie
Beard rushed for 832 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry.
Will Muron, New Lothrop
Muron, a true two-way threat, rushed for 562 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per carry. He added 24 catches for 494 yards and eight scores. Muron averaged 20.6 yards per catch. He was an honorable mention All-State pick.
Adam Kulhanek, Chesaning
The senior wideout had 21 catches for 337 yards and three TDs. He did not fumble all season while adding 135 yards on 16 carries for three more TDs.
Austin Randall, Laingsburg
Randall, a senior, had 25 catches for 425 yards and three TDs at wideout. He was a second-team selection in the CMAC.
Shane Cole, Morrice
Cole had 15 catches for 378 yards and seven TDs for Morrice. The 6-1, 170-pounder averaged 25.2 yards per catch.
Max Jackson, Morrice
The Orioles’ 5-10, 240-pound senior manned the starting center spot. He anchored the line for the Orioles, according to head coach Kendall Crockett.
Hunter Spaulding, Durand
The junior right guard was named to the MMAC second team.
Carter Montgomery, Byron
The 6-foot-2, 210 pounder anchored Byron’s offensive line as a pulling guard. Coach Byron Schartzer called Montgomery “aggressive, high-motored and disciplined.” He was named to the all-MMAC second team.
Zach Savage, New Lothrop
Savage, a 6-3, 285-pound left tackle, was a key blocker in New Lothrop’s passing offense out of the shotgun.
Garrett Quackenbush, Chesaning
Quackenbush, a 6-0, 230-pound guard, was named to the all-MMAC second team.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Nick Albert, New Lothrop
Albert, a 6-2, 230-pound defensive tackle, was named to the all-MMAC first team. He finished the season with 57 tackles.
Jacob Huhn, Byron
Huhn, a 6-1, 200 pound defensive end, had 38 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Brody Kassa, Perry
Kassa, a senior defensive end, had 42 tackles, five sacks and six tackles for losses.
Brenden Quackenbush, Chesaning
A second-team all-MMAC player at defensive line, the sophomore had 44 tackles with two sacks.
Jacob Lockhart, Durand
The linebacker registered 75 tackles with four going for losses. He added one interception and was named to the MMAC second team.
Colton Sutliff, Ovid-Elsie
Sutliff registered 56 tackles — including six for losses and two sacks. The first-team all-MMAC selection added two interceptions and one pass break-up.
Scout Jones, Corunna
The junior totaled 74 tackles with 5 1/2 going for losses. He also had two interceptions.
Matt Pellman, Byron
The 5-10, 175-pound senior had 78 tackles with three sacks, four tackles for losses and two fumble recoveries.
Austin Barnette, New Lothrop
Barnette, a senior strong safety, was voted first-team all-MMAC. He had 45 tackles, including four for losses.
Shayne Loynes, Ovid-Elsie
Loynes, a senior strong safety, supplied 54 tackles, including seven for losses. He added two pass break-ups.
Noah Crites, Owosso
Crites, named to the all-Flint Metro League Stars Division second team, delivered 47 tackles from the free safety position.
Trent Devereaux, Chesaning
Devereaux, a two-year starter in the secondary, had 22 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery from his free safety post. He was named to the all-MMAC second team.
Jonathan Carpenter, Morrice, QB; Peyton Smith, Morrice, MLB; Nick Yarmuth, Corunna, RB; Fisher Morris, Corunna, WR; Nick Fowler, Chesaning, RB; Brodie Crim, Perry, QB; Peyton Norton, Corunna, QB; Trent Devereaux, Chesaning, QB; Hunter Blaha, Owosso, QB; Julius Garza, New Lothrop, RB.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Hersch, who took third at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula cross country finals, will be featured when the rest of the All-Area Boys Cross Country team is revealed in a later story.