2017 Journal-World All-Area football team

The 2017 Journal-World All-Area football team, from left, Jax Dineen, Free State; Gage Foster, Free State; David Johnson, Free State; Trey Huslig, Veritas Christian; Ekow Boye-Doe, Lawrence; Player of the Year Dante Jackson, Lawrence; Coach of the Year Al Troyer, Tonganoxie; LeeRoi Johnson, Tonganoxie; Dalton Bock, Tonganoxie; Dalton Kellum, Perry-Lecompton; Luke Laskowski, Baldwin; and Carter Neis, Eudora.

Player of the Year: Dante Jackson, Lawrence

A dynamic dual-threat quarterback, Jackson was named the Sunflower League’s co-Most Valuable Player. The 5-foot-8 senior rushed for 1,215 yards and 12 touchdowns, and threw for another 974 yards and 13 scores. He added an interception in the secondary and was an all-league pick as a punt returner to lead the Lions to a 5-5 record.

Coach of the Year: Al Troyer, Tonganoxie

The Chieftains earned their first outright Kaw Valley League title since 2006, posting a 9-0 record throughout the regular season. It was the school’s best start to a season in 55 years before a postseason loss to De Soto.

First team

Dalton Bock, Tonganoxie — Leading the Chieftains’ offense, which averaged 34 points, Bock rushed for more than 100 yards in seven games. A big-play threat, the first-team all-Kaw Valley League selection ran for 1,441 yards and 13 touchdowns on 168 attempts. Bock ranked second in Class 4A in rushing yards.

Ekow Boye-Doe, Lawrence — A lockdown cornerback, Boye-Doe helped shut down opposing teams’ top receivers. The Kansas State commit had 42 tackles and nine pass breakups. The speedy Boye-Doe, who had seven touchdown receptions, was a first-team all-Sunflower League pick.

Jax Dineen, Free State — The fearsome 5-foot-10, 225-pound running back rushed for more than 11 yards per carry on his way to a school-record 23 touchdowns. Dineen, a first-team all-Sunflower League choice, ran for 1,510 yards to help the Firebirds to a 10-1 record. At linebacker, the junior recorded 33 tackles.

Gage Foster, Free State — Starting at quarterback and linebacker, Foster had a big impact on both sides of the ball to lead the Firebirds to another Sunflower League title. The senior totaled 1,339 yards on offense with nine passing touchdown and eight scores on the ground. On defense, he made 54 tackles, including six for loss.

Trey Huslig, Veritas Christian — An explosive receiver and running back, Huslig highlighted the Eagles’ offense with 1,113 total yards. The junior caught 11 touchdown passes and ran for another six scores to help his team to a 6-4 record. At cornerback, Huslig had 49 tackles and an interception.

David Johnson, Free State — Known for his powerful hits, the senior middle linebacker constantly made plays in the backfield to help the Firebirds hold opponents to 16.2 points per game. Playing through a shoulder injury, the first-team all-Sunflower League pick had 95 tackles (53 solo).

LeeRoi Johnson, Tonganoxie — One of the best linemen in the Kaw Valley League, Johnson made an impact on both sides of the ball. At 6-foot-2 and 265 pounds, he had seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss, adding five catches for 41 yards and a touchdown at tight end. Johnson was a unanimous all-league pick.

Dalton Kellum, Perry-Lecompton — Powering the Kaws’ offense to a 7-4 record and at least 50 points in six games, Kellum produced 1,555 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. The 5-foot-10 junior added 1,295 passing yards at quarterback and 40 tackles as a defensive back on his way to all-Big 7 honors.

Luke Laskowski, Baldwin — The 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback lead the Bulldogs to a 6-4 record with his dual-threat skill set. Laskowski, a first-team all-Frontier League selection, threw for 1,002 yards and nine touchdowns while running for another 804 yards and 17 scores.

Carter Neis, Eudora — A second-team all-Frontier League selection, Neis rushed for 623 yards and five touchdowns on 124 attempts. The 5-foot-8 junior two-way player had 58 total tackles (39 solo) and one fumble recovery to lead the Cardinals to a pair of wins.

Honorable mention

Mason Beach, Tonganoxie; Kyle Bonham, Perry-Lecompton; Garrett Borth, Baldwin; Turner Corcoran, Free State; Quinton Donohoe, Veritas; Jalen Dudley, Lawrence; Keenan Garber, Free State; Joel Guess, Perry-Lecompton; Hunter Krom, Lawrence; Kwinton Lassiter, Free State; Zac Morgan, Tonganoxie; Jake Rittman, Free State; Jalan Robinson, Free State; Spencer Roe, Free State; Kristian Russell, Lawrence; Grant Schuck, Veritas; Connor Searcy, Tonganoxie; Nathan Spain, Free State.