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By Kent Coultas
West Central’s football was honored at its team banquet Nov. 9 at the Winchester American Legion.
The Cougars finished 6-4 and qualified for the IHSA playoffs for the sixth time. They also were ranked as high as No. 4 in the Associated Press Class 1A poll during the season.
West Central head coach Matt Coultas thanked his wife, Lori, who has been part of his life for the past 31 years, including 23 that he has been involved with the football programs at Winchester and West Central.
Coultas also thanked his assistant coaches Defensive Coordinator Grant DeWitt, Offensive Coordinator Brian VanMeter, Special team’s coach Jeremy Reardon, Line coach John Marshall and Linebacker coach Brady Shelts.
Coultas mentioned that he has coached six Barnett brothers – Nate, Corey, Drew, Lance, Landon and Lathan – over the last 16 years. Coultas had a moment of silence for their mother, Michelle, who passed away during the season.
It was announced that Ryan Moore set the West Central record with 22 touchdowns and 138 points in a season. Lathan Barnett finished as West Central’s fourth all-time leading rusher with 2,275 yards. Tyson Brown had the second most passing yards in a game by a West Central player with 197 against Arcola.
West Central finished with 326 points which was the second most by a team in a season, and had two 1,000 yards for just the second time and first since 2015.
Coultas thanked Superintendent Kevin Blakenship and Principals Denny Vortman and Joe Kuhlman; the members of the Cougar Club; Kent Coultas and Randy Barnett for serving as statisticians; Jamie Arnold and Jackson Dahman for filming games; Phil Pratt, Dick Coon, Chris Meyer, Shiloh Savage and others who worked on the Chain Gang; Mark Clayton and Thad Walker for serving as Play by Play announcers; Denny Vortman, Ms. Beavers and Aaron Littig for streaming games; Cheerleading coach Candy Miller and the West Central cheerleaders; the assistant coaches; and Lori Coultas and the team mothers for organizing team meals.
Coultas announced the following award winners:
■ WIVC Sportsmanship – Zack Magelitz.
■ WIVC All Academic (Must be a varsity player with a 3.0 or higher GPA) – Lathan Barnett, Mason Berry, Tyson Brown, Jackson Ford, Landon Barnett, Eli Brown, Jack Bangert, Jackson Surratt, Conner Turner, Owen Barber and Ryan Moore.
■ WIVC South Honorable Metion – Carson Brown (G), Owen Barber (G), Chance Little (RB), Josh Bailey (DL), Chance Little (LB), Tyson Brown (DB) and Parker Hoots (KR/PR).
■ WIVC South Second Team – Eli Brown (Center), Tyson Brown (QB), Ryan Moore (DL), Jackson Ford (DL), Landon Barnett (Punter/Kicker).
■ WIVC South First Team – Ryan Moore (RB), Lathan Barnett (RB), Jackson Ford (T), Landon Barnett (TE), Lathan Barnett (LB), Parker Hoots (DB) and Landon Barnett (DL).
■ Academic All-State (Must be a varsity team member, First Team All-Conference and a 3.5 or higher GPA) – Lathan Barnett and Jackson Ford.
■ Team Awards – Tyson Brown (QB), Jackson Ford (OL), Landon Barnett (DL), Lathan Barnett and Ryan Moore (RB), Lathan Barnett (LB), Mason Berry and Parker Hoots (DB), Parker Hoots (TE), Landon Barnett (Special Teams), Carson Brown (New Comer), Eli Brown (Cougar Award) and Ryan Moore (Most Valuable Player).