|The Custer County High School Football team celebrated the 2017 season on Sunday, December 10, with a brisket dinner and presentation of various awards. As is tradition, the audience began the night by voting on the “play of the year” and this year David Kinsey won the play of the year for his 45 yard touchdown run where he was seemingly stopped (and the film shut off) but he broke free for the TD run against Kiowa.
Head Coach Troy Bomgardner began by reviewing the 2017 season. Bomgardner noted the strong ending of the season with two victories over Simla and Kiowa and the excitement looking forward to next year.
After the letters and certificates were given to the team, All-League selections were announced with David Kinsey, Chad Lewenkamp, Ray Perez, and Adam Sapp receiving 1st Team awards and Billy Berry and Dylan Schoch receiving honorable mention awards. Player awards were given next and Coach Bomgardner awarded “Best Finnish Tackler” award to foreign exchange student Eero Prusti and the “Best Almost TD” to Billy Berry. “Eero did a great job coming in having never played football before and we just had to recognize Billy’s unique play at Kiowa,” said Bomgardner.
Next up was Coach Cole McCollum awarding Most Improved Player. Three Players received this award from the coaching staff, JD Morris, Christian Taylor, and Damien Day. “JD may be small in stature but he is larger than life when it comes to his heart and that is what keeps driving him to get better. Christian always gets back up no matter what comes his way, with both determination and a positive attitude. And Damien can be a driving force in the years to come,” said Coach McCollum.
The “Doing it Right” award was given to Chad Lewenkamp and Coach McCullom noted, “Chad is an example of true integrity by always doing what is right, even when no one is looking!” Coach Eric Prins awarded the Up and Coming Player to Tyler Camper. “I remember the first time we saw Tyler on the field and he made a huge play and we said, ‘We have to get that kid on the field’, we expect great things in the future from Tyler.” Coach Sterling Hinson awarded the Most Positive Teammate awards going to Kobe Lewsader, Wyatt Aldrich, and Wesley Curtis. “You don’t have to be a team captain to be a leader and all these players showed this. They were leading by example and encouragement all season,” said Coach Hinson. Coach Scott Thomas ended with awarding the Highest Senior GPA award which went to David Kinsey. “David not only has been outstanding on the football field but also in the classroom. He has amazing work ethic and determination and this shows on the field and in the classroom!”
Bomgardner took time to recognize the 2017 captains, David Kinsey, Chad Lewenkamp, and Ray Perez. “David, Chad, and Ray are a big reason this football team is getting better. They care deeply about the success of our team.” Team awards which are voted on by both players and coaches began with Practice Player of the Year which was given to freshman Wyatt Aldrich. Coach Hinson presented the award to Aldrich, “Wyatt is a special player. He has been especially helpful with leading our scout team against the varsity in practice. Each day, someone needs to step up, and he has been that guy this year. We are really excited for his future as a football player.”
Coach McCullom presented the Special Teams player of the year to senior Dylan Schoch. “Dylan just thrives on being the go-to guy in any situation. He ended up making numerous plays of impact on special teams.” Next Defensive Coordinator Eric Prins presented senior David Kinsey as the Defensive Player of the Year. “David led our team defensively in tackles and forced turnovers and was a big presence on the field defensively,,” said Coach Prins. Offensive Player of the Year was given to David Kinsey as well. In presenting, Coach Bomgardner said, “David rushed for over 1,000 yards and tied for runner-up in the voting for Player of the Year in our league. He became a dominant running back by the end of the year.”
Next was recognition of the coaching staff of Eric Prins, Cole McCullom, Scott Thomas, and Sterling Hinson. “I have an unbelievable staff and one that should give our program some continuity for the next few years,” said Bomgardner.
The final award presented was the Bobcat Award. This award is an annual tradition for the Bobcat football team. It is voted on by players and coaches and awarded to the player that best exemplifies the core foundations of the team. This year’s foundations were Trustworthy, Effort, Accountable, and Mental Toughness (TEAM) “The Bobcat Award is really what our football program is about,” said Bomgardner in explaining the award. “We believe we will be successful in football if we adhere to our foundations but more importantly, our players will be successful in life, with their friends, families, and employers.” The recipient for this year’s Bobcat Award was senior David Kinsey. “David has had an outstanding career as a Bobcat football player, but also as a leader for our team, he will be greatly missed!” said Bomgardner.
In closing Bomgardner thanked the parents and informed the crowd on the new league alignment for next year in which the Bobcats should be very competitive with hard work and dedication over the summer. The evening ended with the crowd enjoying the highlight film of the year and reminiscing on the big plays.