Evart football players earn all-conference honors

EVART — Evart’s football team had several players recently named to the All-Highland Conference list.

The three players that earned first-team spots were seniors Karl Clark and Jake Pattee at defensive tackle, and junior Dillon Danley at running back.

Honorable mention selections included seniors Nolan VanOrder at defensive back and Jake Hutchinson at center.

Pattee “was our best lineman on both sides of the ball,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “He rarely came out of a football game. He played hurt for most of the season and was a tough block at defensive tackle for us. I was proud of the things he was able to do on both sides of the ball for us.”

Danley was a solid offensive weapon for the Wildcats.

“I thought he was our top running back for sure and one of the best running backs in the league,” Craven said. “He’s a good, tough, fast kid and we look forward to having him back. Hopefully, we can improve some of our schemes up front so we can give him the ball a little bit more often and he can have a big season for us next year.”

Clark didn’t play last season, but Craven was happy to have him on the team this year.

“He was a big surprise for us,” Craven. “He came out, but we weren’t sure what we were going to get from him. He did a nice job. He was a good combination of strength and quickness on the defensive line. He and Jake Pattee did a nice job for us up front.”

VanOrder, “I thought showed vast improvements from his junior year,” Craven said. “He had a solid year for us covering people and also was a good run defender for us.”

Hutchinson “continued to improve as the year went along,” Craven said. “He got better and better at picking up his blocking assignments and leading the offensive line. He worked hard at his craft and had a nice season for us.”

The Wildcats finished the season at 2-7 with wins over nonleague foe White Cloud in the opener and over Highland Conference opponent Marion during the middle of the season.

The Wildcats started the season with 17 varsity players and sometimes had a couple lower than that. The coaching staff is hoping for more numbers next season

“We have a lot of work to do,” Craven said. “We have a good core of kids coming back but they’re a lot of my skilled kids and we’ll have to improve with our blocking and defensively with our guys up front so we can make some good improvements up there and be pretty strong.”

Two key players were sophomores in running back Cody Prichard and quarterback Trevin Ladd. There were four sophomores overall.

“All four of them got a tremendous amount of playing time and grew a lot this year and got a lot of great experience,” Craven said. “They worked hard so we’re excited to get them back.”