Kenai and Soldotna played for the small-schools state football title, so it's no surprise the Kardinals and the Stars took the bulk of the major small-schools awards in all-state voting announced Sunday by the Alaska Coaches Association.
Kenai, which won the small-schools title, had running back Cory Janson get small-schools offensive player of the year, TJ Hancock get utility player of the year and Jim Dawson get assistant coach of the year.
Meanwhile, the Stars had Caleb Sizemore pick up lineman of the year. SoHi coach Sarge Truesdell shared coach of the year honors with Cliff Draper.
Homer inside linebacker Adam Crum was named defensive player of the year.
The Kardinals received the most first-team selections with eight -- five coming on offense and three coming on defense.
Janson was in the thick of those selections, getting first team on offense at running back and return specialist, and getting first team on defense at defensive back.
Even though fellow first-team running back David Drake of Homer won the state rushing title, Janson still got offensive player of the year. He was the first Kardinal to be so honored since Dennis Machado in 1993.
"I think speed is just the big issue with Cory," Kenai coach Jim Beeson said. "Any time he touches the football, he can make a big play.
"This is to take nothing away from Drake. He had a great year. But choosing between those two, Cory has the added dimension of speed."
Kenai's Casey Crowder made first-team offense as a long snapper and first-team defense as an interior lineman. Other Kardinals on the first team were Micah Reynolds at kicker, Hancock at utility player and Dakota Craig at inside linebacker.
The man behind the scenes for all that Kenai greatness was Dawson, who completed his 17th season as an assistant coach on the peninsula. Dawson started out at Soldotna, and has spent the last four years at Kenai.
"He's as quality as any head coach around," Beeson said. "The success we had in the championship game was a direct result of adjustments he made."
Soldotna was just behind Kenai with first-team picks, getting four on offense and three on defense.
On offense, the whole right side of Soldotna's line made first team, with Johnny Howarth at tight end, Josh Brantley at tackle and Sizemore at guard. Other Soldotna first-team selections were Derek Martin at fullback, Zack Boll at interior line on defense, Sizemore at interior line on defense and Matt Meacham at outside linebacker.
Sizemore continues a good run of linemen for Soldotna. Billy Moiles was small-schools lineman of the year just two years ago.
"He's a great kid, a great student in the classroom and a captain for our team," Truesdell said of Sizemore. "He was our only two-way lineman. Everybody else was playing just one way."
As for the co-coach of the year award, Truesdell said it was an award for the entire staff, not just him. This was just Truesdell's first full year as a head coach.
"It's an honor to be voted co-coach of the year by my peers," Truesdell said. "Especially this year. There were a lot of great coaches out there."
Homer also locked up a lot of first-team spots, with two on offense and four on defense.
In addition to Drake earning honors at running back and punter, Marcus Kuhns made it at center, Bryan Smith made it at outside linebacker, Crum made it at inside linebacker and Jon Adams made it at defensive back.
Other peninsula players on the first team were Seward's Doug Jones at guard and Skyview's Mike Barnes at offensive tackle.
2002 Alaska All-State Football
Offensive player of the year -- Derek Laws, East.
Defensive player of the year -- Nick Fuhr, Service.
Lineman of the year -- Sloan Green, Bartlett.
Assistant coach of the year -- Jamie Mayo, Colony.
Coach of the year -- John Jessen, Bartlett.
Gatorade player of the year -- Zack Bowman, Bartlett.
First team offense
Quarterback -- Derek Laws, East.
Running backs -- Ryan Ersland, Service; Boaz Gionson, Bartlett; Jon Rogers, Eielson; Abe Salmon, Wasilla.
Fullback -- Ali Larijani, Palmer.
Wide receiver -- Casey Flair, East; Nick Varner, Lathrop.
Tight end -- Nick Fuhr, Service.
Center -- Pat McDonald, Bartlett.
Guard -- Sloan Green, Bartlett; Junior Amavae, Palmer; Ben Clooten, Lathrop.
Tackle -- Travis Anderson, Dimond; Greg Marlow, Bartlett; Greg Shearer, Service.
Kicker -- Chris James, Chugiak.
Long snapper -- Greg Marlow, Bartlett.
Kick returner -- Zack Bowman, Bartlett.
Utility player -- Zack Bowman, Bartlett.
Punter -- Auggie Manelick, Colony.
Punt returner -- Rhett Magner, Colony.
Special teams -- Jeramy Walker, Wasilla.
First team defense
Defensive ends -- Ben Clooten, Lathrop; Wayne Cushingham, Chugiak.
Defensive line -- Junior Amavae, Palmer; Stephen Martinez, Chugiak; Billy Ross, Service; Sam Widmer, Wasilla.
Linebackers -- Javier Brown, Bartlett; Jessee Spillman, Bartlett; Chad Adams, Dimond; Ward Dobbs, West Valley; Nick Fuhr, Service; Auggie Manelick, Colony; Tommy McNeil, Chugiak.
Defensive backs -- Zack Bowman, Bartlett; Michael John, Chugiak; Brad Lorenzo, Chugiak; Preston Pickett, Colony.
Second team offense
Quarterback -- Brock Graziadei, Lathrop.
Running backs -- Ward Dobbs, West Valley; Jared Solberg, West; Henry Hellrung; Bartlett.
Fullback -- Jake Staser, Service.
Wide receiver -- Zack Bowman, Bartlett; Ronnie Moody, West Valley.
Tight end -- George Skinner, Eielson.
Center -- Dononic Bellotte, Colony.
Guard -- Jon Faletoi, West; Matt Mazany, Bartlett.
Tackle -- Mike Hollett, North Pole; Justin Skinner, Lathrop.
Kicker -- Gabe Nicholson, Lathrop.
Long snapper -- Cody Burkes, Eielson.
Kick returner -- Kyle Allison, West Valley.
Utility player -- Jason Dahlke, North Pole.
Punter -- Josh Kimpton, Dimond.
Second team defense
Defensive ends -- Jake DeBuck, Colony; Brian Jones, Service.
Defensive line -- Jon Faletoi, West; Mike Hollett, North Pole; Jameson Rickard, Dimond; Shane Tufford, West Valley.
Linebackers -- David Craig, Colony; Ryan Fritz, Lathrop; Jared Solberg, West.
Defensive backs -- Kyle Allison, West Valley; Paul DevosConCellos, Service; Jake Hughes, Lathrop; Jon Rogers, Eielson.
Offensive player of the year -- Cory Janson, Kenai.
Defensive player of the year -- Adam Crum, Homer.
Lineman of the year -- Caleb Sizemore, Soldotna.
Utility player of the year -- TJ Hancock, Kenai.
Assistant coach of the year -- Jim Dawson, Kenai.
Co-coaches of the year -- Cliff Draper, Seward; Sarge Truesdell, Soldotna.
First team offense
Quarterback -- Peter Clemens, Houston.
Fullback -- Derek Martin, Soldotna.
Running back -- Cory Janson, Kenai; David Drake, Homer.
Tight end -- DJ Sandidge, Houston; Johnny Howarth, Soldotna.
Wide receiver -- Taylor Richey, Houston.
Center -- Marcus Kuhns, Homer.
Guard -- Doug Jones, Seward; Caleb Sizemore, Soldotna.
Tackle -- Josh Brantley, Soldotna; Mike Barnes, Skyview.
Long snapper -- Casey Crowder, Kenai.
Return specialist -- Cory Janson, Kenai; Taylor Richey, Houston.
Kicker -- Micah Reynolds, Kenai.
Utility player -- TJ Hancock, Kenai.
First team defense
Interior linemen -- Mike Loucks, Sitka; Casey Crowder, Kenai; Zack Boll, Soldotna; Caleb Sizemore, Soldotna.
Outside linebacker -- Bryan Smith, Homer; Matt Meacham, Soldotna.
Inside linebacker -- Adam Crum, Homer; Dakota Craig, Kenai.
Defensive back -- Cory Janson, Kenai; Jon Adams, Homer; Peter Clemens, Houston.
Punter -- David Drake, Homer.
Second team offense
Quarterback -- Eric Simpson, Soldotna.
Fullback -- Bobby Dunbar, ACS.
Running back -- Josh Winters, Nikiski; Jonah Swiderski, Seward.
Wide receiver -- Ricky Simpson, Soldotna.
Center -- JD Welch, Houston.
Guard -- Josh Homan, ACS; Ryan Staab, Skyview.
Tackle -- Ray Ledet, Seward; Chris Parrish, Nikiski.
Long snapper -- Charles Logan, Seward.
Kicker -- Josh Homan, ACS.
Utility player -- Cody Redford, Houston.
Second team defense
Interior linemen -- Alex Hawkins, ACS; Chris Parrish, Nikiski; Doug Jones, Seward; Mike Barnes, Skyview.
Outside linebacker -- Kenny Lemieux, ACS; Cody Redford, Houston.
Inside linebacker -- Trevor Tompkins, Skyview; Jed Martinson, Houston; Bobby Dunbar, ACS.
Defensive back -- Lukas Fellman, Skyview; Taylor Rickey, Houston; Jonah Swiderski, Seward.
Punter -- Kevin Gerke, Nikiski.
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