Article by Garrett Ross
Photo by Rodney Ayers
The 2017 football season is sadly coming to an end, but now is the time when players and coaches are receiving awards for their accomplishments throughout the year. The Class 1A Division 1 District 1 awards were released this week and after a close observation, I came away realizing that the McLean Tigers will be loaded next season.
The McLean Tigers were under the radar all season, that is until district play rolled around and they dominated an undefeated White Deer team 58-36. McLean would go on to be the runner-up in District 1 and the Tigers stormed into the playoffs where they made it to the quarterfinals.
The Tigers lone district loss came against Happy 74-28, but the Cowboys were a veteran team with a lot of big game experience. McLean defeated Nazareth 89-49 and Knox City 75-44, before coming up short to Happy for the second time this season 86-40.
McLean had five players make First Team Offense; WR Jayden Abshire, SC Dalton Abshire, RB Ben Crockett, SB Cayden Mann and KR Kade Reichmann, of these five players only one is a senior. The Tigers had three players earn First Team Defense honors; DL Jordan Parsons, CB Bradley Hannon and LB Chisim Henderson, two of the three will be returning next season.
McLean will be returning six players with First Team All-District honors, including Chisim Henderson. Chisim Henderson is the 6’3 185lb LB with the pain tolerance of a Roman Gladiator. Henderson took a shot against Knox City http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/6017645/highlights/5a1caf17da516e0d2ca65232
that sidelined him for two plays, before coming back to break loose for a 40 yard touchdown five plays after returning. The junior played a quarter and a half of football with broken ribs, lacerated liver, and a ruptured spleen.
The Tigers will enter the 2018 season with momentum and experience, these two entities, along with the chance of a new district with realignment have McLean poised for success.