Poteau football players honored at banquet
By David Seeley
The Poteau Daily News
The 2022 Poteau Pirates Quarterback Club Football Awards Banquet took place Sunday night at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center.
Poteau football Greg Werner gave out the coaches awards to cap off the night.
Dean Odom and Todd Mattox were the Co-Most Valuable Players, Dax Collins the Offensive MVP and Ben Brooks the Defensive MVP.
Ethan McBee was named the Special Teams Player of the Year, while Jackson Sommers and Holden Mattox were the co-winners of the Patrick Lynch Defensive Back Award.
The Co-“Squirrel Squad”/Scout Team MVP was Jaxon Hurst, while Jeffrey Martin was awarded the 100 Percent Award.
Riley Dill got the Billy Jack Smith Offensive Lineman of the Year Award, Caden Fox the Bill Perry Award for showing good leadership in the locker room and in the classroom and Kix Fenton got the Big Stick Award.
Dylan Tucker and Wyatt Gamble were the Co-Newcomers of the Year, while Jacob Smith and Will Restine were the Co-Most Improved Players of the Year.
Werner gave awards to all the players who named to the Class 4A All-Star Team — Brooks, Todd Mattox and Odom. Odom was named to the East All-State Football Team, which will have as one of its coaches his dad and Poteau assistant coach Mike Odom.
Werner recognized all the players who made the All-District 4A-4 Football Team — Brooks as linebacker, Martin as defensive lineman, quarterback Jaxton Rutledge, Offensive MVP Todd Mattox and Odom as District MVP along with those players who were named to the team — Dill, Ryan Mattox, Fox, Smith, Tucker and Warren.
Werner handed out recognition plaques to all 22 senior players as well as to the three senior managers — Jace Renteria, Libbi Cusimano and Brittny Gavina. As for the Class of 2022 football players, they amassed a 46-7 record to be the winningest class in PHS history and the senior class with the fewer losses. They were a perfect 28-0 in district play, 26-2 at home and won four District 4A-4 titles to go along with postseason district championships three times, made the state semifinals three times and had four Thanksgiving Day practices.
As for this year’s team, the Pirates were 11-2, 7-0 in district play, won their district games by an average of 41 points per game, made it to the state semifinals, ended up third in the final Class 4A Poll, had 38 quarterback sacks on defense, 74 touchdown runs on offense, scored every time they got into the red zone, 5,534 total yards of offense and the top offense in Class 4A.
“There’s nothing like coaching in Poteau,” Werner said.
Werner recognized his coaching staff — Odom, John Thompson, Jason Prescott, Jarrett Lowrimore, Payton Werner, Matt Kennedy, Jamie Armstrong, Allan Stockton, Justin Payne and Jason Henry — as well as all his football players and team managers.
After the event’s guest speaker, Bixby Spartans coach Loren Montgomery spoke about the importance of leadership, PHS cheer coach Valerie Odom recognized all her cheerleaders and gave her five seniors — Brooklyn Morris, Alexis Lowe, Reagan Bullard, Journi Bartels and Gracyn Thompson — senior plaques and collages.
Co-Silver Steppers dance team coach Leslie Hemphill recognized her dancers and gave plaques to seniors Madalyn Krehl, Ashlyn Barnes, Aiden Faulkner, Jaylee McKenzie, Maura Tecla and Alexa Mutz.
Before the player awards, there was a highlight video, and the night ended with Poteau Pirates Quarterback Club President Jay Sommers presenting the coaches as well as Montgomery gift certificates.