By Bill Battle
Missourian Sports Editor
There was no question which team dominated the area high school football scene this season.
The Sullivan Eagles went 12-1 while winning the Four Rivers Conference and Class 4 District 3 championships this season. The Eagles advanced to the Class 4 quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Webb City.
So, it’s only fitting that the Eagles have swept the major awards in this year’s Missourian/East Central Coaches Association All-Area Football Team voting.
This year’s All-Area team has taken on added luster this year as the East Central Coaches Association has been included in the voting process. The All-Area team has been selected each year since 1991.
Unlike any other all-star team, the All-Area team combines schools no matter the size or conference affiliation. The teams which were in the Missourian Area Football Poll (Four Rivers Conference plus Washington, Borgia, Warrenton, Wright City and Cuba) were eligible for selection. This year’s team was picked through balloting of area coaches and media members.
Sullivan Head Coach Pat Burke was the unanimous top selection for everyone who voted for the coach of the year. He ranked far ahead of runner-up Cody McDowell of St. Clair and third-place finishers Erick Webster of Union and Zach Schneider of Washington.
The big winner among players was Sullivan’s Justin Biermann. The junior running back was picked as both the offensive player of the year and the special teams player of the year.
Biermann carried the ball 171 times for 1,846 yards and 30 touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown. As a returner, Biermann had eight kick returns for 142 yards and 18 punt returns for 415 yards. He scored four return touchdowns.
He was selected to the Four Rivers Conference first team (unanimous at running back), was honored by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association East Central District first team, made the Missouri Football Coaches Association all-district team and made both the coaches and media all-state teams. He was on the coaches first team as an athlete and made the media second team as a running back.
Biermann edged out St. Clair quarterback Kyle Juergens for the offensive player of the year award in the closest player of the year award voting. Washington’s Luke Hasenjaeger was a distant third.
In the special teams player of the year voting, Biermann bested Sullivan kicker Jake Lochner with Borgia punter Tony Helfrich finishing third.
The defensive player of the year was Sullivan senior linebacker Dalton Turner, who won comfortably over teammate Seth Mesey. St. Clair’s Adam Brott was third with St. Clair’s Jake Yerkey placing fourth.
Turner posted 98 total tackles with 12 sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception. He was named to the FRC first team, the MSSA East Central first team the coaches all-district team, the coaches Class 4 all-state second team and the media all-state first team.
First-team players are:
• St. Clair quarterback Kyle Juergens;
• Sullivan running back Justin Biermann;
• St. Clair running back Rickey Grivetti;
• Warrenton receiver Devin Roberts;
• Sullivan receiver Adam Weiland;
• Borgia tight end Tony Helfrich;
• Sullivan offensive lineman Gus Hecht;
• Washington offensive lineman Jared Walde;
• Sullivan offensive lineman Dalton Turner;
• St. Clair offensive lineman Jake Yerkey;
• St. Clair offensive lineman Jake Oermann;
• Sullivan defensive lineman Seth Mesey;
• Washington defensive lineman Jared Walde;
• St. Clair defensive lineman Jake Yerkey;
• Washington defensive lineman Nathan Kopp;
• Sullivan linebacker Dalton Turner;
• Borgia linebacker Evan Zeitzmann;
• St. Clair linebacker Josh Martin;
• St. Clair linebacker Ben Suntrup;
• Sullivan defensive back Justin Biermann;
• St. Clair defensive back Adam Brott;
• Washington defensive back Dilan Bollmann;
• St. Clair defensive back Rickey Grivetti;
• Sullivan kicker Jake Lochner;
• Borgia punter Tony Helfrich; and
• Sullivan returner Justin Biermann.
Due to ties, there were four defensive backs on the first team. Ties which resulted in more players being selected for one team were resolved by having fewer players on the subsequent team.
Second-team selections are:
• Washington quarterback Luke Hasenjaeger;
• Sullivan quarterback Adam Tiefenbrunn;
• Sullivan running back Clayton Mayer;
• Washington running back Kyle Summers;
• Washington receiver Brock Hopkins;
• St. Clair receiver Adam Brott;
• St. Clair tight end Blake Dierking;
• Washington offensive lineman Brad Hellebusch;
• Borgia offensive lineman Clayton Pezold;
• Sullivan offensive lineman Jeremy Stumpe;
• Warrenton offensive lineman Brett Garrison;
• Warrenton offensive lineman Jeff Reese;
• Sullivan defensive lineman Mitch Paneitz;
• Pacific defensive lineman Jeff Hinkle;
• Warrenton defensive lineman Jeff Reese;
• St. Clair defensive lineman Josh Haynes;
• Warrenton linebacker George Wielms;
• Washington linebacker Kyle Summers;
• Washington linebacker Caleb Summers;
• Union linebacker Cody Pace;
• Union defensive back Logan Bellamy;
• St. Clair defensive back Kyle Juergens;
• Washington kicker Luke Hoemann;
• Washington punter Max Phinney;
• St. Clair returner Adam Brott; and
• Borgia returner Ray Smith.
Third-team selections are:
• Washington running back Randall Flotte;
• Warrenton running back Devin Ray;
• Union receiver Logan Bellamy;
• Borgia receiver Robbie Vossbrink;
• Sullivan tight end Seth Mesey;
• Wright City offensive lineman Sergio Ortega;
• Pacific offensive lineman Jeff Hinkle;
• Sullivan offensive lineman Kishan Patel;
• Union offensive lineman Nathan Collins;
• Hermann offensive lineman Bryce Kuhn;
• Union defensive lineman Blake Wright;
• Borgia defensive lineman Nick Monzyk;
• Warrenton defensive lineman Logan Shay;
• Sullivan defensive lineman JC Beckett;
• Owensville defensive lineman Ryan Escalante;
• Sullivan linebacker Clayton Mayer;
• Pacific linebacker Dalton Voyles;
• Wright City linebacker Nick Hanff;
• St. James linebacker Jesse Hays;
• Sullivan defensive back Adam Weiland;
• Warrenton defensive back Trevor Bradshaw;
• Warrenton defensive back Devin Roberts;
• Borgia kicker Luke Schriewer; and
• St. Clair punter Adam Brott.
Players who received votes, other postseason honors or were specially nominated have been selected for the honorable mention list.
By position, they are:
• Quarterbacks — Warrenton’s TJ LaFaver, Union’s Blake Hulsey and Borgia’s John Baumstark.
• Running backs — Hermann’s Armando Matech, Pacific’s Kelvin Klenke, Wright City’s Nick Hanff, St. James’ Jesse Hays and Sullivan’s Caden Weigl.
• Receivers — St. James’ Jake Ford, Washington’s Max Phinney, St. Clair’s Evan Powell, Union’s Jobie Richardson, Washington’s Derek Walters, St. James’ Cody Birkner, Union’s Jacob Carman; Wright City’s Derico Blanks and Pacific’s Chris Klenke.
• Offensive linemen — St. James’ Josh Karnes, Pacific’s Ryan Byron, St. James’ Jake Gleason and Owensville’s Logan Shoemaker.
• Defensive linemen — St. James’ Jake Gleason, Hermann’s Bryce Kuhn and Pacific’s Ryan Byron.
• Linebackers — St. Clair’s Skyler Hutchison, Hermann’s Armando Matech, Borgia’s Josh Kleekamp, Union’s Nick Maher, Sullivan’s Caden Weigl and Wright City’s Matt Dollard.
Defensive backs — St. James’ Cody Birkner, St. Clair’s Evan Powell, Union’s Jacob Carman, Hermann’s Craig Winkelmann, Wright City’s Derico Blanks, St. James’ Jake Ford, Sullivan’s David Stack and Hermann’s Zach Speckhals.
• Kicker — Wright City’s Ben Randolph.
• Returners — Borgia’s Robbie Vossbrink and Warrenton’s Devin Roberts.