Before we get to the Outside the Huddle All-Area Team and our end-of-year awards, Blitz wanted to take some time and take a last glance at area conferences and hand out some league-only hardware.
Next up is the Allen County Athletic Conference.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: BLAKE HEYERLY, ADAMS CENTRAL
Which Adams Central player to go with for this award – Heyerly or Alex Currie?
Asking around the ACAC, most coaches went with Heyerly, who one coach described as a “nightmare to prepare for.”
Heyerly rushed for close to 1,500 yards and 27 touchdowns on the season, including three on the ground in the 1A state championship game.
On defense? All the linebacker did was lead the Flying Jets with 133 tackles, three INTs and a pair of sacks on the season.
Heyerly cut an intimidating pose facing him on the opposite side. He ran hard, hit hard and was never one to shy away from a good scrum towards the line of scrimmage.
HONORABLE MENTION: Alex Currie, Adams Central.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: ALEX CURRIE, ADAMS CENTRAL
Since we didn’t honor Currie above, we are going with it here.
Currie was the second-leading rusher for the Flying Jets, one of its top receivers and finished with an astounding seven INTs to lead the team.
Currie was Robin to Heyerly’s Batman on offense, but the dominance on defense throughout the season was primarily fueled by Currie, who was, in Blitz’s opinion, the top defensive back in the entire league.
Without Currie, not only does AC lose one of its top offensive playmakers, it loses a player that commanded the back end of the defense.
HONORABLE MENTION: Trey Schoch, South Adams; Lukas Hunt, Bluffton.
BREAKOUT PLAYER: OWEN WANNER, SOUTH ADAMS
When Aidan Wanner went down with an injury earlier in the year, many expected the South Adams offense to be completely derailed without its all-time leading scorer.
Instead, the sophomore Owen, a distant cousin of Aidan, stepped in and completed 61 percent of his passes, tossed 20 touchdowns and led the Starfires to wins with the senior sidelined.
Any questions about who will be behind center next year for South Adams were answered by Owen in 2021.
HONROABLE MENTION: Nick Neuenschwander, Adams Central; Zac Wurm, Adams Central.
COACH OF THE YEAR: MICHAEL MOSSER, ADAMS CENTRAL
The preseason favorite in the ACAC rolled through the league and through the 1A playoffs all the way to Lucas Oil Stadium.
While the Flying Jets had an abundance of talent, it isn’t always easy to handle all of it as a coach when it comes to keeping them grounded and focused on the next game instead of dreaming about postseason glory.
Mosser handled it as well as anyone could, and guided his team to within a touchdown of a state championship.
HONORABLE MENTION: Grant Moser, South Adams
REGULAR-SEASON GAME OF THE YEAR: South Adams 42, Bluffton 32, Week 3
The opening week of league play in the ACAC also saw the most memorable showdown of the year within the conference.
With injuries the week before sidelining the likes of Aidan Wanner and Sam Plattner, senior Trey Schoch went to work to carry the Starfires, going for 179 yards and three scores on six receptions from sophomore Owen Wanner.
The game went back and forth for the better part of three quarters, with the Starfires holding a slim three-point lead entering the fourth, but Schoch, Wanner and running back Mav Summersett had a breakout game with a touchdown run and 8.5 tackles.
In what was a lopsided league with AC the clear-cut No. 1, some of the best action all year was back in the pack. This game is a prime example.
EARLY PICK FOR 2022 ACAC CHAMPION: ADAMS CENTRAL
The dominance that Adams Central handed out in 2021 may continue well into 2022, but the gap won’t be as large as we just experienced.
Expect the Flying Jets to come down to earth a bit with the loss of Currie, Heyerly and others hurts, the program will return the likes of Ryan Black, Keegan Bluhm, Gavin Cook and others in 2022.
While things may look familiar next year atop the ACAC standings, keep an eye on the rest of the league. From Woodlan to Heritage to Jay County, programs are beginning to rise that will soon challenge the Adams County schools atop the league if momentum continues.
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH