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30 players receive SJO varsity football letters

Nineteen seniors earned varsity football letters this fall. Six juniors, four sophomores and one freshmen player were also recognized for their contributions during the 2019 season.

Brayden Weaver received this year's Most-Valuable-Player award.

Weaver appeared in varsity games during his football career with the Spartans. During that time he carried the ball 94 times for 540 yards. His longest run was a 52 yard jaunt in SJO's 38-14 win over Unity.

Brayden Weaver carries the football in the Spartans' home game against Central Catholic
Brayden carries the ball for the Spartans during their home game against Bloomington Central Catholic. This year's MVP, the senior ran for 104 yards against the Saints. On defense he was credited with three tackles in the 18-7 conference win. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Suffering a season-ending injury in the eight game of the season, his offensive stats boast 266 yards on 49 carries and four touchdowns.

A two-way player, Weaver was credited with 76 tackles, 49 of which were solo, at middle linebacker this season. He was also awarded the program's Defensive Award.

Drew Coursey and Jordan Kelly shared the team's Most-Improved-Player award.

Wearing #2 this season, Kelly, a 5-foot-10 wide receiver and strong safety, finished his only season of varsity football with 18 tackles and one interception.

Jordan Kelly
Jordan Kelly, one of this year's two Most-Improved-Players, runs a pass route against visiting St. Thomas More. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Coursey, who earned his stripes in his first season of varsity football this year, led SJO in sacks with three. The outside linebacker had 26 stops, including four solo tackles and seven total in the Spartans' 33-13 road loss to the Hawks of Prairie Central.

The Special Teams Award went to senior Payton Cain. Like Coursey and Kelly, this was his first and only varsity football season. The senior returned 16 kickoffs. Averaging 31.1 yards per return, he amassed 498 yards this season.

In SJO's home game against Pontiac on September 27, he ran one of his two punt returns back 66 yards - a career best - and another one for 19 yards.

Towering 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Blake Dable bagged the SJO Lineman Award.

In the five games he played on defense, Dable was credited with 15 tackles and two sacks, one against Unity and the other against Rantoul in week 2. On offense, Dable was key to opening up holes for the backfield and a solid wall protecting quarterback Crayton Burnett this season.

Sophomore Hayden Brazelton received the Scout Team Award.

Senior varsity lettermen: Ross Booker, Payton Cain, Trevon Carr, Max Chatterton, Brendan Cooperider, Drew Coursey, Blake Dable, Tristan Fuqua, Conner Hodge, Chance Izard, Jordan Kelly, Chayce Livingston, Jaden Miller, Blake Primmer, Luke Renfrew, Jarrett Stevenson, Brodie Sullivan, Brayden Weaver, and Sam Wesley.

Junior varsity lettermen: Crayton Burnett, Brady Buss, John Michael Ehmen, Zach Martinie, Xander Rieches and Max Shonkwiler.

Sophomore varsity lettermen: Coby Miller, Jett Morris, Keaton Nolan, and Ethan Vanliew.

Freshman varsity lettermen: Ty Pence

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