Grannis, Hopkins take all-state football honors

REED CITY — Two area football players, senior linebacker Eric Grannis of Reed City and senior wide receiver Jacob Hopkins of Evart, earned all-state honors in recognition announced last week by the Associated Press.

Other Reed City players with honorable mention honors are junior running back Jon Green senior quarterback Chad Samuels and senior lineman Darrien Sweet on the Division 5-6 team.

Grannis, a 6-0, 195-pound inside linebacker, had 114 tackles with two sacks, two fumble recoveries and eight tackles for loss.

“Eric really stepped it up for us defensively,” Monty Price said. “He was one of the most outstanding linebackers in the area if not in the state.”

Green, a 5-9, 175-pound running back, had 91 carries for 1,281 yards and 18 touchdowns. He averaged 14 yards per carry and was voted the league’s top running back. He had three catches for 123 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s a great running back, explosive, very fast,” said Price.

Samuels, in his third-year as a varsity starter, is a 6-1, 165-pound senior who was 39-of-63 for 950 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. He had 24 carries for 253 yards and scored five touchdowns.

“Chad’s an outstanding leader,” Price said. “He’s 30-3 as a quarterback for us. That speaks volumes about that young man.”

Sweet, a 6-1, 195-pound lineman, was a two-time first-team all-conference player who was voted the league’s top offensive lineman on an offense that totaled nearly 4,500 yards.

“He’s developed himself into an outstanding football player and he’s a tough kid,” Price said.

Larry VanBuren, of Evart, received special mention honors.

Other Evart players were included on the Division 7-8 honorable mention squad with quarterback Jacob Fortune at quarterback and Robert Burge at lineman.

Hopkins, a senior receiver, had 46 catches for 1,017 yards with 22.11 yards per catch plus 16 touchdowns.

“Hopkins is by far the most gifted and talented receiver Evart has ever seen,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “Both his yards and touchdown receptions are school records. His size and speed provided mismatches for defenses every Friday night.”

VanBuren, a senior inside linebacker, had 122 total tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries including one returned 60 yards for a TD.

“VanBuren was a three-year starter at inside linebacker for us,” Craven said. “He was solid. Week in and week out teams were all very impressed with the two middle backers from Evart.”

Burge was a senior inside linebacker who had 126 total tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

“Robert was the defensive player of the year in the Highland Conference (voted by head coaches in conference),” said Craven. “He was the best defensive player on the field in every game we played this year, including the playoff game with Carson City. Robert’s ability to quickly read and anticipate, coupled with his speed and strength, helped him to be the dominant player that he was.”

Fortune, a senior quarterback, was 95-of-167 for 57 percent with 1,684 yards, 24 touchdowns and 14

interceptions.

“Fortune did a great job for us this year,” said Craven. “He was fearless in throwing the ball this year. He continued to improve and make better reads as the year progressed.”