For the second straight season the Tekonsha Indians notched seven wins on the gridiron, finishing the 2022 8-man football season with a record of 7-2 overall, a record that included a 5-0 mark in the conference. With that mark Tekonsha earned their second straight divisional crown. Tekonsha also earned their fourth straight trip to the MHSAA postseason where their amazing season came to an end at the hands of the eventually 8-man D1 State Champions, the Martin Clippers.
There is much to celebrate for Tekonsha in regards to the 2022 football season, and with the end of the season now in our rearview mirror comes the announcement of All Conference football honors and Tekonsha was very well represented.
Tekonsha’s offense was downright dangerous this season, with the ability to score either through the air or on the ground. For the season Tekonsha put up 3187 yards rushing and 40 touchdowns while also adding 1268 yards passing for 17 touchdowns, totaling 4455 total yards on the year, an average of 445.5 yard per game.
Tekonsha earned a total of five first team All Conference Offensive honors and one additional honorable mention honor.
Leading the way for the Tekonsha offense was senior quarterback Wyatt Blashfield who earned All Conference First Team honors. Blashfield was the centerpiece of the Tekonsha offense, both with his legs and with his arm. Blashfield carried the ball 174 times for 1722 yards with 19 touchdowns scored, while also adding 58 of 102 passing for 1268 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Perhaps Blashfield’s best game of the season came back on Sept. 16 in a 60-6 win over previously unbeaten Litchfield. That day Blashfield rushed the ball 19 times for 379 yards and five touchdowns, his second straight 300 yard game as he also rushed for 305 yards and three touchdowns in a win over St. Phil the week before. For the season Blashfield had six 100 yard games running the ball and scored multiple touchdowns five times.
Also earning All Conference First Team honors was Blashfield’s backfield mate in junior running back Xander Kilbourn. Kilbourn had a break out season in 2022, rushing the ball 97 times for 1024 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kilbourn also added 17 catches for 303 yards and three touchdowns in his junior season as he quickly became a dangerous weapon in the wide open Tekonsha offense.
Kilbourn’s best game of the season came on Sept. 23 in a win over Bellevue when he rushed the ball nine time for 176 yards and four touchdowns. For the season Kilbourn put together six 100 yard rushing games and scored multiple touchdowns on the ground five times. Kilbourn’s best game receiving came in a Sept. 1 win over Waldron when he caught five passes for 112 yards and a score. Kilbourn will return next season to lead the Indians and stands to be the focal point of the Tekonsha offense going forward.
Senior Isaac Henry also earned All Conference First Team honors from his tight end spot, rounding out the All Conference honors for the Tekonsha skill position players. Henry led the team in reception yards, hauling in 17 catches for 427 yards and six touchdowns.
Joining their Tekonsha teammates with All Conference honors was all three members of the very physical and dominant Indians offensive line. Earning First Team All Conference honors was senior Claude Wart and junior big man Blake Griffith while junior teammate Dylan Griffith earned All Conference Honorable Mention honors from his offensive line position. Griffith squared will return next season to anchor a still very physical Tekonsha front as the Indians look for yet another trip to the MHSAA postseason.
Here is the full list of 8-man Football All Conference honorees for Offense.
First TeamQB: Wyatt Blashfield, TekonshaRB: Jordan Eckman, St. Phil; Xander Kilbourn, Tekonsha; Casey Loper, North AdamsTE: Isaac Henry, TekonshaFloater: Jacobi Gonzalez, WaldronWR: Miguel Pedroza, Litchfield; Brandon Campbell, Litchfield; Micha Reed, St. PhilOL: Claude Wart, Tekonsha; OL Owen Miller, St. Phil; OL Blake Griffith, Tekonsha; Jace Brink, North AdamsK: Maverick Stucky, Waldron
Honorable MentionQB: Colt Myers, St. Phil; Tyler Bills, Litchfield; Seth Williams, WaldronRB: Kayden Depew, WaldronTE: Alec Shampoo, Waldron; Josh Andren, St. PhilFloater: Jr Alvarez, LitchfieldOL: Anthony Perez, Waldron; Ricky McCafferty, Litchfield; AJ Wilson, Waldron; Aiden Calvert, Burr Oak; Dylan Griffith, Tekonsha
The Tekonsha defense was stout all season long and had playmakers across the board that helped the team to their second consecutive divisional championship. For the season Tekonsha averaged 27.0 points a game, a number that was skewed a little after facing off with their final two opponents in the Colon Magi and the eventually 8-man D1 State Champion team from Martin, both of whom scored over 60 points. Up until that point Tekonsha had allowed just over 17 points a game, including three games where they allowed only one score.
Tekonsha had five athletes earn All Conference honors for their work on defense, including three All Conference First Team honors and two honorable mention.
Earning First Team honors for the Indians was defensive lineman Claude Wart, defensive back Derek Booker, and linebacker Ben Mead.
Wart earned a pair of All Conference First Team honors for the second season in a row, also receiving First Team recognition as an offensive lineman. Wart was third on the team in tackles per game with 7.1, totaling 71 tackles for the season in addition to 1.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions.
Booker stepped right in to a starting role for Tekonsha in his first season, having just transferred to Tekonsha this past year. Booker instantly became the Indians best defensive back and proved it each day by lining up against the opposing teams best wideout. For the season Booker finished second on the team in tackles with 89, an average of 8.9 a game, in addition to recording 1 sack, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble.
Mead came into the season a bit undersized as a 145 pound junior middle linebacker, but for this young man it did not matter. Mead led the team in tackles with an astounding 145 stops, an average of 11.2 per game. Mead also recorded 2.5 sacks for the season, forced 2 fumbles, and recorded 4 quarterback hurries. Mead’s best game of the season came back on Oct. 7 when he recorded 25 total tackles in a win over Burr Oak. Mead will return next year to anchor a revamped Tekonsha defense as the Indians look for a third straight divisional crown.
The conference coaches also honored senior Wyatt Blashfield on the defensive line and senior Isaac Henry as a floater with Honorable Mention nods on the defensive side of the ball.
Here is the full list of 8-man Football All Conference honorees for the Defensive side of the ball.
DL: Jacob Sheets, St. Phil; Claude Wart, Tekonsha; Logan Spence, Waldron; and Braxton Smith, North Adams.Floater: Collin Williams, WaldronDefensive Back: Derek Booker, Tekonsha; Jacobi Gonzalez, Waldron; Jordan Eckman, St. Phil.Linebackers: Jace Brink, North Adams; Ben Mead, Tekonsha; Brady Lightfoot, St. Phil.Punter: Jacob Sheets, St. Phil
DL: Wyatt Blashfield Tekonsha, Ricky McCafferty, LitchfieldFloater: Isaac Henry, Tekonsha; Micah Reed, St. Phil; Logan Buehrle, LitchfieldDefensive Back: noneLinebacker: Jr Alvarez, Litchfield; Andrew Erhardt, Litchfield
Honorary All League- Sam Williams, Waldron
Congratulations to all of the student athletes who earned 8-man Southern Michigan B All Conference honors.
This article originally appeared on Coldwater Daily Reporter: Tekonsha Football earns 11 All Conference honors