By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
After amassing more than 10 injuries throughout the season, along with a 3-7 record, it seemed there was little for the Bulldog football team to celebrate.
But the announcement of four players being named to the All-Conference team gave a lift to Tuesday nights football banquet.
Bulldogs seniors Mike Charchalis and John Counts earned first team All-Conference honors, while Travis and Ryan Linsacum were named All-Conference Honorable mention.
The banquet and the All-Conference honors meant a little more to coach John Haddan, since the seniors were the first class he spent full four years with as a head coach.
"It's a special night to see these seniors that I started with four year's ago as freshmen, mature into fine young men," he said. "It means a lot to have watched these kids grow up over my first four years of coaching."
Charchalis earned first team All-Conference for his play at quarterback. He finished the year as the team's top rusher, racking up a total of 641 yards on the season.
Along with the yards gained on the ground, Charchalis threw for 818 yards on the season. Being the offense's most productive player not only earned Charchalis All-Conference recognition, but the Bulldogs' offensive Most Valuable Player.
"Everyone who followed football this year knows what Mike did for the team," Haddan said. "He was a solid player at whatever position he was at, and every time he touched the ball he had a chance to break for a touchdown."
On the other side of the ball, Counts was honored with first team All-Conference for his play at linebacker, where he not only led the Bulldogs in tackles but finished the season with the third most tackles in Class 3A.
With a total of 153 tackles and one sack, Haddan said Counts was always around the football.
Counts was also honored as the Defensive Most Valuable Player.
"I felt that I played the hardest I could this season, and had a lot of fun doing it," he said. "Even though we didn't have the greatest record this season, I had a great time with my teammates out on the field,"
Travis and Ryan Linsacum earned All-Conference Honorable Mention for their play at defensive end. The Lincsum twins were the book ends for the defensive line, but had the look of blitzing cornerbacks rather than linemen.
"Each week, Travis and Ryan were out weighed by as much as 80 to 100 pounds," Haddan said. "They were tremendously under-sized for their positions, but played with some of the biggest hearts on the field."
The Linscum twins were among the Bulldogs top tacklers, compiling a total of 143 combined tackles. Ryan led the way with 75, and Travis was the team's leading pass-rusher with five sacks on the season.
"I wasn't really expecting the honors I got because there are so many good players in our conference," Travis said. "But there is a sense of accomplishment in getting this award, it lets me know that a lot of my hard work paid off."
All-Conference is decided through a popular vote by the conference's coaches, but a coach cannot vote for his own players.