Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top GBC football awards go to Wood River

Stilling, Lindbloom are picked, others, too


Wood River senior running back Greg Lindbloom (right) rushes past Canyon Ridge’s Eddie Marin during the 42-9 Wolverine win Oct. 21 in Twin Falls. Photo by David N. Seelig

Great Basin Conference football coaches thought so highly of the job that coach Kevin Stilling did with the Wood River High School varsity football team this fall that they've named Stilling as GBC "Coach of the Year."

Third-year Wolverine head coach Stilling (12-14) shared the GBC coaching honor with Minico coach Tim Perrigot last year, but Stilling was the outright winner this fall after the Wolverines (6-4) posted their best football record in 36 years.

Wood River placed third in the six-team Great Basin and qualified for State 4A playoffs. The Wolverines became the highest-scoring team in 45 seasons of Hailey football with 281 points (28.1 scoring average).

In addition, record-setting Wood River senior Greg Lindbloom shared the status of Great Basin "Co-Offensive Player of the Year," in 2011.

Lindbloom, a fullback on offense and linebacker on defense, was simply outstanding for Wood River. He had six 100-yard rushing games and a school-record 193 rushes for 1,426 yards (7.4 yards per carry, 142.6 rushing yards a game).

Weighing in at a compact 5-8 and 160 pounds, Lindbloom accounted for nearly half of Wood River's school-record 2,989 rushing yards. He set a new school scoring record with 21 touchdowns for 128 points, and the new career rushing mark of 283 carries for 1,863 yards (6.6 yards per carry).

Other Wolverines also made the Great Basin All-Conference team and were saluted by coach Stilling during the team's season-ending banquet Nov. 16.

They were:

First team—Senior Kevin Cooley (offensive line), junior Ben Williams (outside linebacker) and junior Drew Barsch (inside linebacker).

Second team—Senior Connor Braatz (tight end), Ben Williams (offensive line), junior KJ Savaria (outside linebacker), seniors Colton Larkin and Chance Larkin (defensive backs), senior Trace Tupper (punter) and junior Ian Keys (return specialist).

Honorable mention—Seniors Braxton Parish, Jake Vegwert and Austin Hafer.

Handing out team awards during Wednesday's banquet were Stilling and his assistant coaches Jason Fry, Pete Naumes, Ken Bennett, J.C. Nemecek, Jeff Loomis, Boomer Gibson, Baba Street, Kainoa Lopez and Shannon Flavin.

Winning "Best Defensive Player" and leading Wood River in tackles for the second year in a row was 5-8, 160-pound linebacker Drew Barsch.

"Lineman of the Year" was Kevin Cooley.

"Best Special Teams Player" was Trace Tupper.

"Toughest Wolverine" was Ben Williams.

"Most Improved Player" was Chance Larkin.

"Bob Shay Most Inspirational" winner was Braxton Parish.

Earning the "Cross the Line Award" for a second straight year was Greg Lindbloom. It goes to a player best exemplifying the ideal of Wood River's program—playing his hardest regardless of the outcome of the football game.




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