Seventeen gridders earn All-TVC East honors
Eagles earn eighth straight TVC East title
The Frankenmuth varsity football program celebrated another successful season with a banquet at the Frankenmuth American Legion Post #150 Sunday evening, December 1.
Players, coaches, parents and plenty of support staff attended the banquet, as the Eagles finished their season 9-2 overall and 7-0 in the new-look Tri-Valley Conference East Division which saw Standish-Sterling, Freeland and Swan Valley join the league. The 9-2 mark was the 17th time in program history the team achieved nine or more wins in a season and they won their 24th conference championship, 16th in the TVC East.
“You are now part of the longest consecutive conference championship streak after winning our eighth straight TVC East title in a row,” FHS Head Coach Phil Martin said.
Here’s another perspective, from Martin: "Currently, there are 528 schools that play 11-man football. Out of all of those teams, our Eagle football program is 13th in winning percentage all time. If you eliminate those teams that haven’t yet played 200 games in their history, we are ninth and we are the only Class B team in that list of nine. Pretty astonishing when you look at the program this way.”
Since 1956, the Eagles are 450-160-4 (.738 winning percentage).
“We have had 10 consecutive winning seasons, third all-time, and this group helped extend our current conference winning streak to 36 consecutive victories and our consecutive seasons qualifying for the playoffs to nine straight seasons. Both are the longest streaks in Frankenmuth history,” Martin pointed out.
Martin went through a list of thank yous to everyone connected to the program before showing a video following dinner.
“This was the 64th season of Frankenmuth Football and these kids were another example of the great tradition of Frankenmuth Football. We would like to take time to honor these 34 dedicated athletes. When you look at our season, it is much more than the 11 weeks that everyone saw on the field. Just to make you aware of the effort that each of these guys put in, I have calculated it to be about 415 hours from June to November,” Martin said.
The 2019 squad had two sophomores and 19 juniors on the varsity who will return for 2020, bolstered from the junior varsity team which finished 8-1 overall. The juniors were Davin Reif, Daniel Barger, Riley Roy, Konnor Roche, Jacob Bellinger, Kyle Main, Lucas Miller, Ryan Brenner, Nick Trombley, Ben Reinert, Ethan Jacobs, Sam McKenzie, Tyler Rich, Ben Storms, Ryan Merrihew, Colten Zehnder, Zach Adkins, Kaleb Bierlein and Cameron Rolando.
“Those that return will have the opportunity to add to the Eagle Legacy – having a shot at extending our consecutive conference championship streak to nine in a row and continuing our quest for a big mitten (MHSAA state championship trophy),” Martin said.
Thirteen seniors played their final game for the red and gray in the MHSAA District title game. They included Shiloh Kotch, Jonathan Kelley, Jon Stone, Chris Mills, Corey Thompson, Nate Fisher, Derek Humpert, Seth Messing, Colton Bryce, Conner Anderson, Jackson Watts, Max Wiggins and Lee Crompton.
“This group of 13 led with determination and played with heart. Their work ethic created a strong-willed, never-say-die attitude. It created a bond that made this group tough to beat,” Martin explained. “When we had a long discussion about the team motto this season and settling on “Win The Day,” it was clear that they had something to prove and only one stat that mattered . . . and that was wins.”
Before getting to the TVC post-season honors, Martin recognized the team’s top 11 players for the Team Academic Awards. The collective GPA was 3.655 and 15 fashioned 3.0 cumulative GPAs or higher: Storms, Messing, Kotch, Thompson, Barger, Zehnder, Bierlein, Trombley, Humpert, Stone, Adkins, Bryce, Merrihew, Brenner and Main.
The All-TVC East Division first team included offensive linemen Jonathan Kelley and Jon Stone, defensive end Derek Humpert and linebacker Shiloh Kotch.
Stone landed on The Saginaw News "Dream Team” and Kelley on The Saginaw News second team All-Area.
"As a group, our offensive linemen paved the way for 345 points (15th all time), 31.4 points per game, 2,964 yards rushing (eighth all time), 5.3 yards per carry, 3,752 total yards (ninth all time), 341 yards per game and 207 first downs (third all time).
Kotch was also named to the second-team, All Area and finished with 85 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks. Humpert was honorable mention All-Area gridder with 41 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
The second team included offensive lineman Zach Adkins, running backs Daniel Barger and Seth Messing, fullback Konner Roche, kicker Ryan Brenner, linebacker Chris Mills and defensive back Corey Thompson.
Adkins was part of the offensive line stats. Barger finished with 401 yards rushing with five touchdowns and three receptions for 59 yards and two more scores. Messing ended with 295 yards rushing with a pair of TDs and 15 catches for 245 yards and four touchdowns. Roche posted 509 yards with two scores and two grabs for 43 yards. He was also named to the honorable mention All-Area list. Brenner booted 15 of 19 PATs and made three of four field goals. Mills registered 64 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception to earn honorable mention All-Area status.
Six landed on the honorable mention list, including offensive lineman Kyle Main, quarterback Davin Reif, defensive backs Cole Jankowski and Riley Roy, defensive end Ethan Jacobs and defensive lineman Colton Bryce.
Main was given credit in earlier offensive line stats. Reif was 38 for 77 passing for 788 yards and 12 TDs and rushed for 632 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was an honorable mention All-Area player. Jankowski collected 63 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. Roy rolled up 35 tackles, one tackle for a loss and six pass break ups. Jacob posted 52 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack and Bryce amassed 35 tackles, two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery.
Martin capped the night by handing out the Michael Webb Memorial Award to senior Nate Fisher. Nate’s older brother, Nick, also earned this honor as they are the first-ever brother combination to receive the award.
This memorial award is voted on by the players to recognize the teammate that best exemplifies what it means to be a Frankenmuth football player.
“Someone proud to be an Eagle, great attitude, believer of team, someone that inspired others to be great and be a role model for all athletes at every level. This person was always willing to do anything to make the team better, pound for pound, one of our toughest kids in the program,” Martin stated. “It didn’t matter if it was practice or games, he really enjoyed the experience of football but most importantly enjoyed everything about the team. I’m proud to announce that this year’s Michael Webb Memorial Award winner is Nate Fisher.”
Note: Eagle football fans can view more information by visiting the website frankenmuthathletics.com, click on the varsity football page and click on the “MORE” tab. Individual and team records, year by year history, awards and other details can be found on the that page.
We're glad you took the time to check out the abbreviated version of our paper. To read more, you can find The Frankenmuth News at local news stands or click on the "subscribe" tab.