Ponder, Stephney lead All-SEKC squad
Two senior quarterbacks coming off monster seasons lead the annual All Southeastern Kentucky Conference team selected by league coaches.
Williamsburg’s Dalton Ponder is the A-2A player of the year and Bell County’s London Stephney is the 3A-4A player of the year. Ponder passed for 3,739 yards and 48 touchdowns and ran for 593 yards and 13 touchdowns last season as the Jackets finished 10-3 and won district and regional titles. Stephney passed for 1,642 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 1,244 yards and 17 touchdowns as the Bobcats finished 14-1, winning district and regional titles before falling in the 4A state finals.
Several local athletes also received top honors, including Harlan County senior running back Ben Landis, who was named offensive player of the year in 3A-4A as he rushed for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns as the Bears finished 8-4 and were the District 8 runner-up in 4A. HCHS senior tackle Bradley Wilson was named the offensive lineman of the year and junior linebacker Hunter Blevins was the linebacker of the year after leading the Bears with 81 tackles.
Harlan junior Ethan Clem was named the all-purpose player of the year in A-2A as he rushed for 740 yards while playing both running back and quarterback.
The complete All-SEKC team includes:
Player of the Year — Dalton Ponder, Williamsburg
Offensive Player of the Year — Jabari Kyle, Middlesboro
Defensive Player of the Year — Chris Howard, Williamsburg
All-Purpose Player of the Year — Ethan Clem, Harlan
Offensive Lineman of the Year — Noah Miracle, Williamsburg
Defensive Player of the Year — Timothy Gambrel, Pineville
Bell County — Johnathan Langford, Tyson Thomas, Lane Hoskins, Timothy Lawson, Brandon Baker, Caleb Lefevers.
Harlan County — Josh Turner, Elisha Smallwood, Billy Fields and Jordan Steele.
Bell County — Brant Hoskins, William Dean, Josh Helton and Dawson Widener.
Harlan County — Jacob Bailey, Noah Saylor, Jacob Wilson and Tyler Casolari.
Player of the Year — London Stephney, Bell County
Offensive Player of the Year — Ben Landis, Harlan County
Defensive Player of the Year — Hunter Bailey, Bell County
All-Purpose Player of the Year — Jason Jones, Bell County
Offensive Lineman of the Year — Bradley Wilson, Harlan County
Linebacker of the Year — Hunter Blevins, Harlan County
Middlesboro — David Kyle, Craig Brock, Zach Tong and Ethan Barton.
Pineville — Colby Frazier, Devon Morris, David Mayberry and Reece Capps.
Williamsburg — Caleb Rose, Gavon Thomas, Blane Sizemore, Devonte Powell, Bryan Creekmore-McCullah and Tyler West.
Harlan — Will Howard, Will McCarthy, Jon Eldridge and Jeremiah Mills.
Middlesboro — Eric Helton, Riley Gent, Cam Hughes and Tyler Kelly.
Pineville — Richard Beverly, Keaton Thompson, Landon Couch and Brendan King.
Williamsburg — Jeff Tye, Jason Bray, Trey Hendrix and Bronson Bates.
Harlan — Shane Lindsey, Jacob Surber, Britt Lawson and Jayden Ward.