For The Tribune
From the first to final play, Seymour football’s Chris Knight was always on the gridiron.
Sunday night, Knight was named Mr. Seymour during the Owls’ awards program conducted in the school cafeteria.
Knight was a three-year varsity starter for the Owls, and coach Josh Shattuck said Knight played varsity his sophomore year out of necessity and then was named most improved last season.
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“He’s the one who best exemplifies what our program is all about,” Shattuck said. “He was our captain this year, he came along during his career. We had him do more difficult things each year. We will miss this kid.”
Knight topped the Owls in tackles this fall for the second straight season as he had 73 tackles and 39 assists for 112 total tackles, and he had five interceptions and recovered three fumbles.
“He was the centerpiece of our defense,” Shattuck said. “He blew my expectations out of the water.”
Knight was voted to the All-Hoosier Hills first team.
“He missed being unanimous all-conference by one vote,” Shattuck said. “His nomination was for defense, but he was also valuable to us on offense.”
Knight caught 39 passes for 495 yards for an average of 12.7 yards per catch and caught five TD passes.
He also scored seven 2-point conversions for a total of 44 points.
Nick Richert received the Toughest Owl award, while Dalton Miller earned the most improved award.
“He showed physical and mental toughness,” Shattuck said of Richert. “By the end of the year he was one of our three two-way starters. It was hard to keep him off the field.
“(Miller) did not play a down of varsity a year ago, he played JV. In February he started working hard, and he turned into a pretty good football player.”
Kody Engleking and Austin Alcorn were named the scout team players of the year.
“That is a very thankless job,” Shattuck said. “The scout teams run opponents’ offenses and defenses. Both of them stood out and were very selfless. I look for both of them to improve from scout team to varsity.”
Jackson Morris and Cailen Shepherd were named HHC honorable mention.
Shepherd was named as an offensive lineman, and Shattuck said only seven offensive linemen were honored, five first team and two honorable mention.
Morris was selected as a wide receiver.
This season, he broke the school record for receptions with 72.
Shattuck praised the seniors, Knight, Evan Frische, Luke Dover, Nikson Cribs, Austin Engelking, Jonathan Fields, Jordan Henry and Andrew Castro, for their hard work and dedication to the program.
“The seniors fit every side of the spectrum when it came to situations,” Shattuck said. “It was a joy to see their faces after wins and the joy of preparing for a sectional championship.”
Freshman coach Cody Zaring introduced members of the freshman team, and Shattuck introduced the sophomore and juniors who played junior varsity games.
Shattuck also thanked the assistant coaches for their hard work
“We got better at the same time the players got better,” Shattuck said.
The Owls improved from a winless season in 2013, to winning two games last year, to a 5-7 record this fall. This season’s campaign included a four-game winning streak and advancement to the sectional championship where they lost to East Central.
The Trojans are playing for the Class 5A state championship this weekend in Indianapolis.
“In-season we (coaches) have a seven-day work week,” Shattuck said. “Senior Night was special, beating Brownstown was special, and my favorite win was beating Silver Creek in the sectional after they beat us the first game of the season.”