KELLOGG — In the wake of the their historic season coming to an end, the Kellogg Wildcats football team had 14 players named to Intermountain League all-league first and second teams.
Wildcats Justin Lehto, Cade Finlay, Chase Jerome, Ryan Morgan, Wolfgang Beier, Jacob Hammerberg, Ethan Keele, Trent Haston, Owen Seatz, Brandon Miller, Tyler Gibbons, Weston Stevenson, Brett Milholland and Chris Jennings received All League recognition.
14 players who took up 18 of the 52 spots and brought home 21 total awards.
Jerome was selected Offensive Player of the Year, Lehto was selected Defensive Player of the Year, and Morgan was selected as the league’s Most Valuable Player.
The players were announced on Monday night during a team ceremony at Noah’s Loft in Kellogg.
Jerome, Morgan, and Lehto were very humble despite their honors, but humility has been hallmarks for these athletes for quite some time.
“I think that knowing the top two vote getters for both defensive player and offensive player came from Kellogg shows how great this entire team was,” Jerome said. “If Hammer (jake Hammerberg) had gotten defensive player and Wolfgang (Beier) gotten offensive player no one would have been upset or surprised. We had that kind of skill across the board.”
Lehto, a sophomore, was really trying to find his niche earlier in the season, but some forceful motivation from team leader Morgan really jumpstarted Lehto’s rise to DPOY.
“During our game with Orofino, Lehto wasn’t flying to the ball the way he needed to be, none of us really were and so I had to get on him about it and every game after that Lehto was a beast for us,” Morgan said. “He is so good, the way he can read plays and get after the ball is amazing.”
Lehto himself isn’t one to really speak and would rather let his play do the talking, but he believes that his success was directly tied to the guys he played with.
“I was fortunate enough to have guys like Chase and Ryan and everyone on our defense around me to make plays,” Lehto said. “They really propped me up to be able to make plays.”
Morgan, the clear cut leader of the team and MVP, still couldn’t wrap his mind around the award and gave all of the credit to his teammates.
“If it weren’t for the other guys on the team there is no way I could have won this,” Morgan said. “Each one of them deserves part of this award. This year was just so special for us. To go from 1-7 last year to 6-3 this year and making the playoffs is just really special and it was a team effort all the way around.”
In addition to the numerous awards won by the Wildcats this year, first year head coach Dan Lucier was named IML coach of the year.