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By Carmen Ensinger
The Carrollton community gathered in the Carrollton High School gym Sunday afternoon to honor the 2021 State Runner-up Carrollton Football Hawks.
The boys treated the community to a fantastic ride this year, taking the team all the way to the State Playoffs where they fell Friday afternoon to a very tough Lena-Winslow team 38-25.
A large contingency of fans drove the four-hour drive to DeKalb to watch the play-off game in frigid temperatures and head coach Nick Flowers said the gathering Sunday afternoon was a way to put closure to the season.
“I told the boys that a lot of people wanted to come out and put a little bit of closure to this season in the right way,” Flowers said to the crowd. “I told them that the fans wanted to do it the right way and that it was to come in here today and have a short ceremony to honor them.”
Flowers then presented the entire 2021 Carrollton Football Hawk team, who had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the fans who had backed them all year long.
Flowers then wanted to present two of the players with special awards.
“The All-State selection committee is actually put on by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association so it is not an IHSA thing,” Flowers said. “But, because the recognition was during our warmups, both Grant (Pohlman) and Kyle (Leonard) took part in our warm up so they could get ready to go for the game and boy did that help cause these two boys played really well.”
Flowers then presented Pohlman with the award for IHSA First Team Quarterback and Leonard with the award for IHSA First Team Receiver.
Flowers had two trophies sitting on the table – the WIVC-South trophy and the State Runner-Up trophy. The Hawks claimed the WIVC title with a perfect 5-0 record.
“The great thing about claiming the WIVC title is that we got a lot of younger boys involved in all five of those South Conference games,” Flowers said. “So, what is really important is that it kind of sets a tone for this coming fall which is now less than a year away.”
Flowers reminded his team that they are more than just football players – they are role models.
“Whether you realize it or not, you are huge role models for these youngsters in the crowd and at these games,” Flowers said. “They look up to you and they cheer for you. To be quite honest – they want to be like you. They want to be like you because to them you are their heroes – just like you are to us.”
Flowers also announced the 2021 All-Conference team.
First Team – Offense: Ethan Harrelson, tackle; Will Gilmore, guard; Travis Evans, center; Kyle Leonard, receiver; Max Arnett, receiver; Grant Pohlman, quarterback.
First Team – Defense: Hayden Flowers, lineman; Grant Pohlman, linebacker; Boden Flowers, defensive back; Harley Angel, defensive back.
First Team – Specialists: Hayden Flowers, punter; Kyle Leonard, kicker; Gus Coonrod, returner.
Second Team – Offense: Matt Camden, tackle; Matt Beiermann, guard; Harley Angel, running back; Hayden
Flowers, tight end.
Second Team – Defense: Ethan Harrelson, lineman; Max Arnett, defensive back.
Honorable Mention – Offense: Gus Coonrod, running back.
Honorable Mention – Defense: Matt Camden, lineman; Will Gilmore, lineman; Gus Coonrod, linebacker.