Nine Bulldogs receive all-conference honors

Nine Lovell Bulldog football players were honored with post-season recognition following voting by coaches last week in Casper.

Senior Jaret Collins repeated as a Class 2A All-State selection and was also once again named the co-lineman of the year for the 2A West Conference, sharing the honor this year with Elias Ewen of Greybull.

Joining Collins on the 2A West All-Conference Team are Reece May, Trace Murphey, Riley Abraham and Kaleb Mayes – all seniors.

Earning second-team all-conference recognition were Brandon and Tyler Teter, Kade Gifford and Porter Nichols. Nichols is a junior, the rest seniors.

Coach Doug Hazen called Collins a powerful player who got that way through a lot of work in the weight room, adding that Collins is “a very coachable kid” who was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs.

Collins was a force as an offensive (right) guard, Hazen said.

“We pulled a lot with him,” Hazen said. “One of his strengths was his kickout blocks. We would run underneath that. Jaret was exceptional out there.”

As a defensive tackle Collins was “unblockable” much of the time, Hazen said, adding, “He was quick and explosive, and a lot of times either the kid opposite him wasn’t strong enough to block him or Jaret would just shoot right through there.”

Collins finished third on the team in defensive points with 103, recording 49 assisted and seven solo tackles with eight tackles for a loss and two sacks.

All-conference

May won a quarterback battle during pre-season workouts against Brandon Teter to earn the starting nod behind center, then had an outstanding season, completing 52 of 96 passes (54 percent) for 814 yards and seven touchdowns. He also carried the ball 80 times for 494 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry. As an end, May was fourth on the team in defensive points with 92, recording 40 assisted tackles and 10 solo tackles with eight tackles for a loss and a sack.

“Reece made a huge difference at quarterback,” Hazen said. “As a coaching staff we were extremely impressed with him for stepping in after a two-year absence (due to injuries). He’s as good a quarterback as we’ve had here, and I wish we had more time with him.

“He did an excellent job this year. He was a team leader, a vocal leader. He was a positive presence all the time. He was very, very coachable and did whatever we asked of him. He improved every game, which is why I say I wish we had another year with him. On defense he helped solidify the line for us.”

Murphey was a force at offensive tackle and defensive end for the Bulldogs at 6-5, 250 pounds.

Lovell High School all-conference football players for 2016 are (l-r) Trace Murphey, Porter Nichols, Kaleb Mayes, Brandon Teter, Riley Abraham, Kade Gifford, Jaret Collins, Reece May and Tyler Teter. David Peck photo
Lovell High School all-conference football players for 2016 are (l-r) Trace Murphey, Porter Nichols, Kaleb Mayes, Brandon Teter, Riley Abraham, Kade Gifford, Jaret Collins, Reece May and Tyler Teter.
David Peck photo

“He was our best pure offensive lineman,” Hazen said. “He’s a really athletic kid for his size and has great feet. He probably improved the most at defensive end. He played really well this year and was very fundamentally sound. He did everything quite well.”

Murphey tied for fifth on the team in defensive points with 88.

Abraham was a hard-nosed fullback and linebacker for the Bulldogs who could block, run with the ball and catch out of the backfield. He carried the ball 47 times for 303 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He also caught 21 passes for 229 yards, a 10.9-yard average per reception.

He was second on the team in defensive points with 113 including 39 assisted tackles, 10 solo tackles, six tackles for a loss and two sacks.

“Riley was another really positive presence,” Hazen said. “He enjoyed the game and was another team leader. He was a versatile kid who could kick off, kick extra points and block, and he as a really good runner and receiver out of the backfield. He was a hard hitter and good tackler (on defense). He did a lot for our team.”

Mayes led the Bulldogs in receiving yards, catching 16 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 18.4 yards per reception. He also recorded 64 defensive points as a cornerback, with two interceptions.

“Kaleb really developed into a big-time receiver for us,” Hazen said. “He made some phenomenal catches, and some teams would double-cover him. With his size he was a matchup problem for everybody…We felt we couldn’t get him the ball enough.

“As a cornerback he was long and it was hard to get the ball over him. He’s a rangy kid and a long-strider.”

Second-teamers

Brandon Teter was an athletic, big play receiver and cornerback for the Bulldogs. He caught 14 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 18.3 yards per catch. He also completed 12 of 22 passes for 68 yards. He tied with Murphey for fourth place in defensive points with 88, leading the team with 19 solo tackles and three interceptions.

“Brandon handled himself with class when he wasn’t to be the quarterback,” Hazen said. “He was a great team player and a class act. He and Kaleb were a one-two punch at receiver. If they took away one, the other would step up. Brandon has good speed and good athleticism. I felt both of our corners matched up with the other team’s wide receivers, no matter who they were.”

Twin brother Tyler Teter led the Bulldogs in rushing as the starting halfback, carrying the ball 102 times for 520 yards, a 5.1-yard average. He scored nine touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 18 yards.

“We called him 10-yard Ty,” Hazen said. “He was a tough runner who could get you tough yards. He’s a powerful kid and on both sides of the ball was one of our more physical players. He’s one of the kids you think of when you think of a tough football player.”

Ty Teter earned 87 defensive points on the season, recording 46 assisted tackles and 13 solo stops.

Gifford “really blossomed this year” with more playing time, starting at left guard and defensive tackle.

“He was our other defensive tackle, the yin to Jaret’s yang,” Hazen said. “He was a big body, and our big line made it difficult to run against us. Kade is a coachable, positive kid. He worked hard in the off-season to get stronger.”

Nichols led the Bulldogs in defensive points with 120 as an outside linebacker. He was also the starting tight end and backup fullback on offense. Nichols finished the season with 43 assisted tackles, 12 solo tackles, seven tackles for a loss, six pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. On offense he caught five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.

“Porter really improved throughout the season and will be a key player for us next year,” Hazen said. “He could play anywhere from tailback to fullback or tight end. He will be a key piece of our offense and defense next year.”

Hazen announced three individual team awards: May as offensive most valuable player, Abraham as defensive MVP and Collins as team MVP.

By David Peck