Kenai's Dakota Craig was named the state's top small schools offensive football player for 2003, while teammate T.J. Hancock took home Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors at voting by small schools coaches Sunday in Anchorage.
The 2003 state small schools champion Kardinals were the class of the division this season, so it should come as little surprise that Kenai led the state with 10 first team All-State selections.
Craig, who ran for a school record 1,712 yards on 255 carries, was one of five players to be named to the first team on both offense and defense. In addition to being named the first team running back, Craig was also selected as a first team inside linebacker.
Joining Craig as a two-way first teamer was teammate Michael Scheffert, who was named to the team at outside linebacker on defense and center on offense.
Also named to the first team offense for Kenai were quarterback Cole Chappell, tight end Josh Bennett, tackle Kenny Dormady and long snapper Danny Autry.
Kenai's coaching staff also fared well in all-state voting. Kenai head coach Jim Beeson was named Coach of the Year, while Kenai assistant Jim Dawson was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
The Soldotna Stars were rewarded for their second place finish in the Northern Lights Conference with six places on the first team. Dan Ghormley led Soldotna, as he was named as both a fullback and outside linebacker.
Ghormley was joined on the first team offense by SoHi guard Dan Spindler and tackle Jon Verhelst. Interior lineman Clay Burman and defensive back Neil Gardner were named to the first team defense.
Nikiski's John Schwenke was named the state's top lineman, earning first team honors at both the offensive guard and defensive line positions. Running back Billy Anderson and return specialist Jeremiah Taylor also took home first team honors for the Great Land Conference runner-up Bulldogs.
Eielson linebacker Jamie Hurlburt joined Hancock as co-Defensive Player of the Year. The state runner-up Ravens grabbed three spots on the team, as Chad Odom was selected as both a wide receiver and defensive back.
Also named to the first team defense were Homer punter Josh Blanchard and Kodiak interior lineman Angelo Luna.
Anchorage Christian kicker Chet Dyson was named first team kicker, the lone ACS representative on the first team.
2003 Alaska small schools All-State Team
Offensive Player of the Year/ Dakota Craig, Kenai.
Defensive Players of the Year TJ Hancock, Kenai and Jamie Hurlburt, Eielson.
Lineman of the Year John Schwenke, Nikiski.
Coach of the Year Jim Beeson, Kenai.
Assistant Coach of the Year Jim Dawson, Kenai.
Quarterback: Cole Chappell, sr., Kenai.
Running back: Dakota Craig, jr., Kenai; Billy Anderson, Sr., Nikiski.
Fullback:Daniel Ghormley, sr., Soldotna.
Tight end: Josh Bennett, jr., Kenai.
Wide receiver: Chad Odom, Eielson.
Center: Michael Scheffert, jr., Kenai.
Guard: Daniel Spindler, jr., Soldotna; John Schwenke, jr., Nikiski.
Tackle: Kenny Dormady, sr., Kenai; Jon Verhelst, sr., Soldotna.
Kicker: Chet Dyson, ACS.
Return specialist: Jeremiah Taylor, sr., Nikiski.
Long snapper: Danny Autrey, sr., Kenai.
Quarterback: Evan Skinner, Eielson
Running back: Bobby Dunbar, sr., ACS; Garrett Gardner, jr., Soldotna.
Fullback: Chris Tidwell, Eielson.
Tight end: Carl Arts, Valdez.
Wide receiver: Nate Schmidt, sr., Skyview.
Center: Travis Swing, Eielson.
Guard: Zach Demello, jr., Kenai; William Winkler, Eielson.
Kicker: Jose Araya, sr., Kenai.
Return specialist: Dan Ghormley, sr., Soldotna.
Inside linebacker: Dakota Craig, jr., Kenai; Jamie Hurlburt, Eielson.
Outside linebacker: Michael Scheffert, jr., Kenai; Daniel Ghormley, sr., Soldotna.
vDefensive back: TJ Hancock, sr., Kenai; Neil Gardner, sr., Soldotna; Chad Odom, Eielson.
Interior lineman: Justin Lee, sr., Kenai; Angelo Luna, sr., Kodiak; Clay Burman, sr., Soldotna; John Schwenke, jr., Nikiski.
Punter: Josh Blanchard, jr., Homer.
Inside linebacker: Geordan Main, sr., Kenai; Jacob Howarth, soph, Soldotna; Bobby Dunbar, sr., ACS.
Outside linebacker: Chris Tidwell, Eielson; Travis McGahan, jr., Nikiski.
Defensive back:v Taylor Richey, Houston; Justin Smith, soph., Homer; Jeremiah Taylor, sr., Nikiski.
Interior lineman: Josh Boye, sr., Nikiski; Ray Ledet, Seward; William Winkler, Eielson; Cam Hagen, soph., Homer.
Punter: Chet Dyson, ACS.
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