By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The mood was a joyous and pleasant one, as the Belton Tigers’ football team got together for the 2014 Belton Football banquet, held at the Belton Multipurpose Athletic complex last Wednesday.
Following the meal, Belton head coach Bob Shipley ran gave an overview of the 2014. The team 6-6 overall, with a bi-district championship (beating Garland), a fourth-place District 12-6A finish (3-3 district record) and 2-2 a non-district record.
The team elected the following players as the 2014 players of the year at their positions:
Defensive back of the year: Matt Chapman
Linebacker of the year: Ryan Johnson
Defensive lineman of the year: Osbourne Seuteni
Offensive lineman of the year: Sam Hussey
Offensive back of the year: Shane Stafford
Wide receiver of the year: Coby Potvin
Scout team awards were given to the best subvarsity player who helped prepare the varsity for the opponent they would see next. The scout team offensive player of the year was awarded to running back Demetric Brandon and the scout team defensive player of the year was awarded to Bryan Thomas.
The 2014 Tiger Team Captains were given recognitions for their contributions this past season. The awards were given to Hussey, Johnson, Stafford and Tevin Jones.
The Harry Allen Most Conscientious Tiger Award was awarded to John Lara. A strong player on defense, Lara contributed to the team’s effort on and off the field.
The Fighting Heart Award was given to Cody Garrett. On of the hardest working defenders on the field, Garrett took on two and three blockers at a time on plays and always found himself near a receiver or ball carrier.
The Belton Journal Student Athlete Award, given to the player with the highest grade point average on the team, was awarded to Hunter Garrett. Switching from offense to defense in 2014, Garrett made one of the biggest plays of the season by intercepting the pass that clinched a playoff spot for the Tigers in the final game of the regular season against Harker Heights.
The Special Teams Most Valuable Player Award was given to Haygen Tibbetts. One of the most versatile Tigers, Tibbetts punted, was the backup quarterback and emerged into one of the Tigers’ most relied upon weapons in the offensive arsenal. Tibbetts’ punting created ideal situations for the Belton defense and many times contributed to opposing offenses not being able to get started. According to team statistics, Tibbetts had a 42-yards-per punt average, 16 punts inside in the 20-yard line and nine punts inside the 10-yard line.
The Offensive Most Valuable Player Award went to Kavan Johnson. A 1,200-yard rusher in 2014, Johnson averaged 183 yards per game and will best be known for his ability not to give up on a play. The image of Johnson being hit at the 10-yard line, extending and stretching out for a touchdown in the bi-district playoffs against Garland at McLane Stadium in Waco.
The Harry Wilson Defensive Most Valuable Player Award went to Tevin Jones. A two-year starter and one of the most energetic Tigers, Jones set the school record for tackles in a season with 167. Having an uncanny ability to find the ball, Jones had 20 tackles in a game once this season and had several double-digit tackle games. One of the most influential and popular Tigers, his jump into the student section at McLane Stadium will be one of the favorite memories of not only this season, but one that will be a Tiger favorite for years to come. Jones is one of 30 seniors on this team and will be surely missed.