Gibson, Bryan named Players of the Year

Thursday, December 1, 2011
South Putnam's Rob Gibson

After a successful 2011 football season that saw an upset in the sectional final, one program do a complete 180 and another rededicate itself, representatives from each school and the Banner Graphic have selected their All-Putnam County football team.

Of the 32 players selected, Greencastle and North Putnam led the way with 10 members, with South Putnam adding nine and Cloverdale adding three.

South Putnam senior Rob Gibson was named the Banner Graphic Offensive Player of the Year, while North Putnam senior Nate Bryan was named the Banner Graphic Defensive Player of the Year.

North Putnam's Nate Bryan

Gibson, also the 2011 Banner Graphic Baseball Player of the Year, was a monster on the field this season. While he did most of his damage on the ground, the senior also was a threat receiving as well as throwing the occasional pass.

He helped lead the Eagles to their first-ever IHSAA Class 2A sectional title and a record of 10-3.

On the ground, Gibson rushed for a school-record 2,092 yards on 277 carries for an impressive 7.55 per carry average. He also recorded 30 touchdowns and averaged 160 yards per game. He set an IHSAA Class 2A Sectional single game record in the sectional final against North Putnam by recording 269 rushing yards.

Of his four pass completions on the year, three went for touchdowns. As a receiver, he gained 576 yards to lead the team and collected seven touchdowns along the way.

In total, Gibson accounted for 40 touchdowns this season for the Eagles.

North Putnam's Bryan had another impressive year for the Cougars. He led the team with 57 solo tackles, 27 assisted tackles and added two sacks. He also had three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Bryan was named the Player of the Year last season as well.

Bryan anchored a Cougar defense that allowed just 13 points per game en route to a West Central Conference title and a record of 11-1.

Joining Bryan on the All-County team from North Putnam were center Ben Bundy, tackle Hunter Logan, defensive linemen Jake Worth and Eric Davis, linebacker Hank Spencer, defensive back Allain St. Victor-Duncan, offensive at-large Kolten Everts, running back Tyler Shorter and receiver Jake Smerage.

On the offensive side of the ball, Everts was the All-County at-large selection due to his efforts passing, rushing and punting for the Cougars. Everts had a nice season under center, passing for 1,489 yards with 20 touchdowns and a 124 yards per game average. He also rushed for 570 yards on 68 carries and nine touchdowns. As a punter, he averaged 31.3 yards per punt this season.

Smerage was North Putnam's leading receiver with 739 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Shorter was second on the team in rushing with 643 yards and nine touchdowns.

Defensively, Spencer was second on the team in solo tackles with 52 and in assisted tackles with 28. He recorded one interception and one fumble recovery.

Lineman Worth was second on the team with eight sacks, along with 34 solo tackles and 21 assisted tackles. Fellow lineman Davis had 28 solo stops, with six sacks and one fumble recovery.

St. Victor-Duncan had 41 tackles from his defensive back position and one interception.

Greencastle's offense this season was a two-headed monster. They were able to go after people both through the air as well as on the ground.

Quarterback Nick Gilliam, running back Derrick Lenihan, receiver Ryan Battin, guard T.J. Bollman, defensive linemen Levi App and Ryan Pettit, linebackers Renegade Vandiver and Ben Hesler and defensive backs Mac Shuee and Hayden Stuckwisch represent the Tiger Cubs

Junior quarterback Gilliam led the team with 1,964 passing yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He averaged 196 passing yards per game.

GHS rusher Lenihan was second in the county in rushing with 1,392 yards on 174 carries and in touchdowns with 22.

Battin led the GHS squad in receiving with 606 receiving yards on 25 catches and four touchdowns. Vandiver led GHS with 40 solo tackles and 40 assisted tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. App chipped in 23 solo tackles and 36 assisted tackles.

Hesler had 21 solo tackles and 29 assisted tackles. Pettit had 14 solo tackles for the season and 26 assisted tackles for the Tiger Cubs in 2011.

Stuckwisch led the team with seven interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had 25 tackles and 19 assisted tackles and two fumble recoveries. Shuee chipped in one interception and 27 solo stops.

In addition to Gibson, South Putnam's All-County selections are guard Jacob Williams, tackle Ryan Chestnut, tight end Cody Heller, punter Sam Gould, linebacker Wade Custis, defensive back Justin Bumgardner, defensive at-large Tanner Thompson and special teams player Zach Smith.

At tight end, Heller caught 13 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns for South Putnam. Gould led the county in punting, averaging 38 yards per punt after collecting 1,417 punting yards.

Custis recorded 45 solo tackles and 55 assisted tackles on the year, with two interceptions, while Thompson had 23 solo stops and 20 assisted tackles and seven tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries.

Bumgardner tied for second in the state in interceptions with eight. He added 38 solo tackles and 21 assisted tackles at the defensive back spot. Smith led the Eagles in return yardage, collecting 213 kick return yards, with a long return of 49.

Cloverdale is represented by running back Jordan Brinkman, receiver Ethan Atwood and kicker Brian Dale. No stats were provided for Cloverdale.

With so many players putting together impressive years, it was a difficult task for the selection committee to dwindle it down to 32 members.

The class breakdown for this year's squad is 23 seniors, eight juniors and one sophomore.

2011 All-Putnam County Team


Offensive Player of the Year

Rob Gibson, South Putnam

Center -- Ben Bundy (NP)

Guard -- T.J. Bollman (GHS), Jacob Williams (SP)

Tackle -- Ryan Chestnut (SP), Hunter Logan (NP)

Wide Receiver -- Jake Smerage (NP), Ryan Battin (GHS), Ethan Atwood (CHS)

Tight End -- Cody Heller (SP)

Running Back -- Derrick Lenihan (GHS), Tyler Shorter (NP), Jordan Brinkman (CHS)

Quaterback -- Nick Gilliam (GHS)

At-Large -- Kolten Everts (NP)

Punter -- Sam Gould (SP)


Defensive Player of the Year

Nate Bryan, North Putnam

Linemen -- Levi App (GHS), Jake Worth (NP), Eric Davis (NP), Ryan Pettit (GHS)

Linebacker -- Ben Hesler (GHS), Hank Spencer (NP), Wade Custis (SP), Renegade Vandiver (GHS)

Defensive Back -- Justin Bumgardner (SP), Hayden Stuckwisch (GHS), Mac Shuee (GHS), Allain St. Victor-Duncan (NP)

At-Large -- Tanner Thompson (SP)

Kicker -- Brian Dale (CHS)

Special Teams -- Zach Smith (SP)