Homer senior Teddy Croft (8) pitches a handoff to a teammate with Utqiagvik’s Oneahi Talaiasi (52) pressuring him Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in the ASAA First National Bank Division III state championship at Machetanz Field in Palmer. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer senior Teddy Croft (8) pitches a handoff to a teammate with Utqiagvik’s Oneahi Talaiasi (52) pressuring him Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in the ASAA First National Bank Division III state championship at Machetanz Field in Palmer. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Croft earns Division III Offensive Player of Year

The Homer football team capped the most successful season in school history by nabbing one of the major awards and collecting five first-team nods in Division III all-state balloting announced Monday.

Homer senior Teddy Croft was named Offensive Player of the Year. Other major award winners were Houston’s Reed Graham at Defensive Player of the Year, Eielson’s Scott Fry at Lineman of the Year, Barrow’s Chris Battle at Coach of the Year and Eielson’s Don Fry at Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Mariners set a school record by going 7-1 in the regular season. Homer then defeated Eielson in the Division III semifinals before falling to Barrow in the title game.

“He had great game after great game after great game for us,” Homer head coach Walter Love said of Croft. “We played him all over our backfield.

“He could throw the ball, he could catch passes, he could run the ball and he could run block. He’s a superb athlete.”

Love said Homer’s stats don’t quite include every game, but what the Mariners have is Croft completing 29 of 52 passes for 798 yards and 14 touchdowns without an interception. He also rushed 110 times for 864 yards and eight touchdowns. Finally, he caught eight balls for 185 yards and a touchdown.

“Knowing the athlete Teddy is and knowing he wanted to play football after high school, we moved him around so we could get film showing just how versatile of an athlete he is,” Love said.

The coach added that Croft was key even when he wasn’t piling up stats.

“Some games we didn’t use him at all because they were just focusing on him so much,” Love said.

Homer senior Joe Ravin made the first team at wide receiver and defensive back. Ravin caught 19 balls for 615 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was part of a defense that posted five shutouts in the regular season.

Love said Ravin was able to succeed despite ankle and hamstring issues.

“He’s got a lot of quickness and great speed,” Love said. “He runs great routes.”

On defense, the coach added Ravin was able to blanket the opposition’s best receiver one-on-one, freeing up other defenders to make plays.

Homer sophomore fullback Noah Fisk also made the first team, rushing for 757 yards and 11 touchdowns on 83 carries.

The final first-teamer is senior Levi King on the defensive line.

“Levi’s a beast,” Love said. “He played physical football, and that’s translated to wrestling, where he is just blowing things up.”

The final first-teamer from the Kenai Peninsula is Voznesenka inside linebacker David Sanarov.

Division III All-State Awards

Offensive Player of the Year: Teddy Croft, Homer

Defensive Player of the Year: Reed Graham, Houston

Lineman of the Year: Scott Fry, Eielson

Coach of the Year: Chris Battle, Barrow

Assistant Coach of the Year: Don Fry, Eielson

First-team offense

Quarterback — Teddy Croft, Homer; Running back — Noah Fisk, Homer; Jeramiah Brown, Eielson; Fullback — Ben Heather, Barrow; Wide receiver — Joe Ravin, Homer; Tight end — Sione Tuifua, Barrow; Tackle — Lau Takafua, Barrow; Kevin Baird, Eielson; Guard — Reed Graham, Houston; Ryan Armour, Eielson; Center — Scott Fry, Eielson; Utility — Travis Adams, Barrow.

First-team defense

Defensive line — Levi King, Homer; Brian Filipo, Barrow; Sebastian Sias, Barrow; Scott Fry, Eielson; Inside linebacker — Reed Graham, Houston; David Sanarov, Voznesenka; Outside linebacker — Noah Plum, Houston; Sione Tuifua, Barrow; Defensive back — Jeramiah Brown, Eielson; Joe Ravin, Homer; Isaac Minnema, Monroe.

First-team special teams

Kicker — Zach Paul, Eielson; Punter — Kyle Sadergren, Valdez; Return specialist — Isaac Minnema, Monroe; Long snapper — Derek Berg, Valdez.

Second-team offense

Quarterback — Trae Puryear, Monroe; Running back — Noah Plumb, Houston; Kyler Rumfelt, Redington; Fullback — Ian Johnson, Nikiski; Wide receiver — Justin Sumpton, Homer; Jordan Higbee, Monroe; Tight end — Brian Amirault, Redington; Tackle — Baker Hensley, Homer; Finn Heimbold, Homer; Guard — Justin Mullings, Nikiski; Isaac Acheryok, Redington; Center — Levi King, Homer; Utility — Dawson Felde, Homer.

Second-team defense

Defensive line — Dylan Jackson, Houston; Baker Hensley, Nikiski; Nikit Anufriev, Voznesenka; Kyle Wells, Homer; Inside linebacker — Josh Grey, Monroe; Ian Johnson, Nikiski; Outside linebacker — Eli Benson, Redington; Noah Fisk, Homer; Defensive back — Christian Bolton, Eielson; Tyler Olsen, Nikiski; Aiden Norris, Redington.

Second-team special teams

Kicker — Michael Mysing, Nikiski; Punter — Kyle Wells, Homer; Return specialist — David Sanarov, Voznesenka; Long snapper — Beau Freiberg, Seward.

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