The Calhoun Sandcrabs had five players represented on the 5A, Division II, 2019 All-State Team.
Caleb Harrington, Heath Henke, and Steve Johnson made the First Team All-State Offense, Conner Kestler made Second Team Offense, and Cade Kveton made First Team All-State Defense.
The five players talked about receiving high honors from the state.
Harrington and Henke talked about making the First Team All-State team as offensive linemen. Henke said it felt “great” and “an honor” to be named.
“It’s an amazing feeling because, out of all the football players that could have been nominated, me and Henke got chosen to be up there with them,” Harrington said.
The Sandcrabs Offensive Line Coach Roger Saenz said he was “extremely proud” of his two linemen making First Team All-State, especially for their hard work and desire.
“These accolades are all on them, and you couldn’t ask for kids to have better benefit than what they received from things that they do that’s special,” Saenz said.
Saenz got a chance to see his players from the time they were freshmen, and he said that is the best part of coaching.
“That is the best part of coaching; when you get to see the growth of your athletes,” Saenz said. “Their achievements, the pride that you see in a kid,” Saenz said.
He added it is special for them, and the reward and the hard work his players put in is the “best benefit” of watching that as a coach.
Kveton made the All-State team in back-to-back appearances. Last year he made Second Team All-State.
Kveton talked about making First Team Defense in his final year as the Sandcrabs linebacker and completing a goal he set last year.
“It feels amazing. It’s always been a goal of mine [to make first-team all-state], and I just wanted to do better than I did last year, and I did,” Kveton said.
Kveton had a setback before the start of the 2018 season with an eye injury, but he said it was great knowing he was able to get through that.
“It was good to have my whole team there to help me through it all,” Kveton said. “And it was good to have friends and family to help me through that.”
Kveton’s defensive coordinator, Cory McFall, talked about his linebacker receiving his high honor.
“I’m very proud of him. I think he’s very well deserving. He’s worked extremely hard for it,” McFall said. “He has been just as important to us as anybody has ever been at this school for Port Lavaca.”
McFall talked about Kveton’s eye injury, and he said when he came back from the injury, he played at a high level, and McFall added that shows his will and “determination” to get back on the football field.
“He’s got a lot of support at home with his mother and father, and his support staff with his brother,” McFall said. “So he had a lot of good things going for him, but Cade [Kveton] definitely made the most of his time with us.”
McFall added it didn’t come easy for Kveton. He said he did a lot of hard work to get where he is.
Kestler finished the season being named Second Team All-State Quarterback, and he said it was a great accomplishment for a quarterback from Calhoun High School to get an award like that, even though he doesn’t have normal stats like other quarterbacks.
Kestler talked about finishing his Calhoun career as a member of the All-State team.
“It’s a great way to go out, and I wouldn’t have finished my high school career any other way with the teammates that I had and the coaches,” Kestler said. “And it’s just a great way to remember high school.”
Johnson finished the year earning his second First Team All-State Running Back award for the second year in a row. He is the only junior among the five Calhoun players that made the All-State team.
Johnson gave credit to his offensive line and the defense for helping him get this honor.
“It feels amazing, but I couldn’t do nothing if it didn’t start with my line, and my defense getting stops, I wouldn’t be on the field doing what I can,” Johnson said.
Calhoun’s season came to an end early in the Area Playoffs, but Johnson hopes receiving this accolade will help motivate him for next year.
“Knowing what this team taught me from my freshman year, then my sophomore year, going into my senior year is going to really help me give other people everything that they gave to me,” Johnson said. “So I’ll give back what I received these past three years.”
Johnson talked about playing in a new district, and he said he and his team are going to prove a point that “no matter what district” they play, they are able to “compete against any team” on the field.
Sandcrabs Head Coach Richard Whitaker spoke about his five players that made the All-State team, and he said all of those players “worked extremely hard to get to that point.” “They are all very well deserving. A football team is made up of a lot of kids. It’s not made up of one or two. You got lots of parts to it,” Whitaker said. “And those guys were certainly some of the biggest parts that we have.”
Kestler, Kveton, Harrington, and Henke made the All-State team as seniors, and Whitaker said those are players that they’ll miss “tremendously” and have been a huge part of the team for the last three years.
“The whole senior group was a great senior class. This year was a tremendous group. Certainly, there are a lot of kids were going to miss,” Whitaker said. “But those four especially, and again I’m proud of them, and it’s a good way to go out your senior year to be an All-State player.”
Whitaker talked about having Johnson back for his senior year next season and having him step up. It is something that he is putting in Johnson’s ear about the offseason, he said.
“Kids that return like him [Johnson] have to be our leaders on offense. They have to bring these young kids along,” Whitaker said. “And their work ethic needs to be the best. They got to show these young kids what it takes to get where we want to get to.”