Kestler

Ford Player of the Week Conner Kestler hands the ball to Fullback Steve Johnson in Calhoun’s 17-6 victory over the Calallen Wildcats to clinch the district title last Friday night. Kestler was named Ford Player of the Week for his performance against the Southside Cardinals Friday, November 1. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

Sandcrabs Quarterback Conner Kestler added another achievement to his Calhoun High School football career after being named 5A Ford Player of the Week.

Kestler’s performance against the Southside Cardinals resulted in his nomination for the award. During the game, he ran for 271 yards and five touchdowns and threw the ball for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Kestler is the first Calhoun player to receive this award. After Wednesday’s practice, he spoke to Wave about being its recipient.

“It’s a great feeling, I mean, it’s an honor that six people in the state get it a week,” Kestler said. “But I couldn’t have done this without my line, the defense getting the ball back, and our perimeter guys blocking and Steve [Johnson] taking those hits for me.”

In last Friday’s win against Southside, Kestler gave his O-Line a lot of the credit for opening the holes for him to score, and he said it all starts with them upfront.

“Without them…I wouldn’t have the stats that I have, and Steve [Johnson] has. Nobody would,” Kestler said, “I mean it starts with them. They should be getting the award.”

Kestler was informed about winning the award after Tuesday’s practice, and he said it was a joy. He knew his Coach, Josh Voss, had nominated him, but he never thought he would win it.

Kestler thanked his coaches and his teammates for helping him win this award.

He said that football is not an individual sport, especially in the offense the team runs.

“If one guy doesn’t do his job, the play isn’t successful. Without the guys doing their jobs, I wouldn’t have gotten the stat that I did,” Kestler said.

It was a team effort for Kestler to earn that award, and Sandcrabs Head Coach Richard Whitaker said he is proud of him and the team.

“I told Conner last week, before we even started the week before Southside, that this was going to be a big week for him,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker talked about how he knew how Southside was going to play defensively, and “it was going to open a lot of things for the quarterback.”

“The surrounding cast did a great job around him and allowed him to do that,” Whitaker said. “But he [Kestler] absolutely stepped up and played big for us Friday night.”

Last year against Southside, Kestler went out early in the game with an injury, and Whitaker said Kestler was frustrated about being forced to do so.

“He probably would have gone back in that game if I would have let him,” Whitaker said, “but we had bigger fish to fry down the road and needed him healthy.”

Whitaker talked about Kestler being the first Sandcrab to be Ford Player of the Week and said Johnson was nominated multiple times.

“This is the first time that we’ve been honored to have one [Calhoun Sandcrab] chosen as the best player in Texas,” Whitaker said. “What a great honor for our team and for our town.”

With this high honor, Kestler will travel to Frisco in February with other Ford Player of the Week winners for the chance to be named player of the year.

Kestler talked about how it is an honor to have a chance to be named player of the year, and he said he never thought in a “million years” that he, a player in Port Lavaca, would be nominated for player of the year.

“Honestly, I don’t think I deserved to be with some of those guys, but it’s an honor to be in the same category as them,” Kestler said.