By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Record-setting senior tailback Seth “Popeye” Handley was one of eight Plainsmen named to the 2012 All-District 6A-1 football team, it was announced at the annual Enid High School football awards banquet Wednesday night.
Joining Handley on the first team All-District squad are senior linebacker Jake Scott, offensive linemen Colton Herrell and Rob Frantz and defensive tackle Logan Miller.
Scott and Francisco Cuellar shared the team’s Gridiron Impact Player of the Year award.
Handley, who also was named the recipient of the team’s Rex Martin award Wednesday night, which is presented annually to a player in recognition of outstanding citizenship and scholarship, is fourth all-time on the Plainsmen career rushing list with over 2,200 yards. He rushed for 1,240 yards this season (fifth all-time), averaging 7.1 yards per carry and scored 10 touchdowns. He also was the team’s leading receiver with 31 catches for 427 yards and two touchdowns.
Handley owns four of the Top 10 single-game rushing marks in Plainsmen history, including the top two marks of 377 yards rushing (last season versus Bixby) and 336 yards against Stillwater this season in a 49-21 Plainsmen victory. Handley’s other Top 10 marks came in Enid’s season-opening 41-12 win over Choctaw, when the speedy senior rushed for 243 yards and a 213-yard rushing performance against Guthrie.
Handley said earning all-district and receiving the Rex Martin award was “absolutely awesome.” He added while he has enjoyed the experience, he is sad to see it come to an end. He indicated that he continues to receive interest from East Central University.
Jake Scott led all seniors this past season in tackles, after making the transition this season primarily from offensive lineman to linebacker, where he flourished in Enid’s 4-2-5 system. He also topped the team in tackles for loss as well.
Scott, who has already been accepted academically at Tulsa and carries a 4.1 GPA, is also receiving some interest from Division III Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey for his football acumen. He is hoping though to join big brother Colby, another former Enid standout and current Golden Hurricane.
Scott said he was surprised to receive a share of the Impact award and earning all-district at linbeacker.
“I definitely didn’t think I was going to make all-district at linebacker because it was a new position for me,” he said. “I just do what is expected of me.”
Cuellar, who was second on the team with three tackles for loss and had 37 tackles on the season, was equally suprised.
“This means a lot” he said. “I really didn’t expect any of this. I just love my teammates, they’ve been an important part of my life and I didn’t want to see it come to an end.”
Among those paving the way for Handley’s record-setting rushing numbers were senior linemen Colton Herrell and Rob Frantz.
Frantz, like Scott, also made the transition to linebacker, doing double-duty at linebacker while also starting every game at left tackle.
Frantz also received the Tim Kirby award Wednesday night, named after the former Plainsmen killed in a 1969 car crash and presented to the player demonstrating outstanding effort in the classroom and on the field.
He deflected most of the credit toward his teammates and his coaches.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without them,” Frantz said. “The coaches brought out the best in me. I definitely didn’t expect to make all-district, at only 200 pounds and playing tackle. Football has been in my life since the second grade. I’m going to miss this.”
Herrell, and fellow senior lineman Wanya Hall, were recoginized for their development this past season, sharing the “most improved” award.
Defensive tackle Logan Miller, in addition to first-team All-District honors, was named recipient of the Irv Honigsberg Scholarship.
Miller was among the defensive leaders, recording 59 tackles and led the team with two quarterback sacks.
Earning second team all-district honors were quarterback Chance Pryor, two-way threat Johnny Lawrence and Cuellar.
Enid head coach Steve Chard said the team awards represented more than just gridiron accomplishments.
“These were guys who were leaders on and off the field, throughout the season,” Chard said. “As a staff we talked long and hard about who got these awards. It was as important what they did off the field as what they did on the field. They’re all good players and we had many worthy candidates.”
“This banquet was a celebration of the seniors,” the first-year Enid head coach added. “They will always be special to me as they are my first group of seniors. I just wish I could spend another year with them.”