The only thing better than heading a team full of All-District athletes is knowing most of them will be back next season
Several Big Spring football players who received District 4-3A honors are underclassmen expected to return to action. That is a good sign for Steer football, according to Head Coach Phillip Ritchey.
“We have quite a few juniors recognized by the district coaches,” Ritchey said. “More so than any other class. That's certainly a good thing for next year.”
Headlining the underclassmen are Junior Devin Roberson — who was chosen as first team wide receiver, defensive back and punter — as well as sophomore quarterback Tobyn Tannehill, who picked up the Newcomer of the Year nod.
“It's a tribute to the season he had as a young player,” Ritchey said of Tannehill. “He definitely got more comfortable with the offense and the speed of the game as the season went along. By the third or fourth game it wasn't a new thing for him anymore. He executed well and confidence grew in himself. If he didn't get hurt that seventh game, he would have had an even better year, especially running the ball.”
Roberson was a playmaker on both sides of the ball Ritchey is also excited to welcome back in 2013.
“(Roberson) is probably the best all-around player in the district,” Ritchey said. “It was obvious to the coaches in the district he was one of the best.”
Other selections from the junior class included Tate Kennedy, second team WR; Tyler Wigington, second team LB; Drake Worthan, second team DB; Aric Rutledge (OL), Honorable Mention offense; Ronnie Bell (OLB), Honorable Mention defense, Shaiem Menefield (CB), Honorable Mention defense and Brett Brorman (S), Honorable Mention defense.
The Steers will be losing some valuable senior talent, however.
Chris Nunez was selected for first team offensive line and first team defensive line and Max Pappajohn was picked on first team defense for his work as a linebacker.
“This is real good for (Nunez) and real good for us,” Ritchey said. He was a great lineman. It's real good for Max, too. They were both leaders out there for us.”
Isaac Garza was picked for second team defensive end and Michael Oliva — the hard-charging running back — received an offensive honorable mention.
The Steers' season didn't end quite like Ritchey had hoped. Five straight district losses must have been tough to swallow after starting 5-0 on the heels of a winless season the year prior. But with the talent Ritchey has to manage, the improvement from .000 to .500 in the last year may be a precursor to an even better season ahead.
“We have a lot of good players coming back,” Ritchey added. “Being in a tough district, we certainly have things to work on offensively, but we have some great kids coming back to work with.”