The Nashville Hornets football team held their annual banquet on November 16. Colin Laws was given the Hornet Award. Justin Aulds was given the Tackle Award. Cameron Parker was given the Most Valuable Back Award. Dylan Kwiatkowski was given the Most Valuable Lineman Award. Jullian Metcalf was given the Most Improved Player Award.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornets football team wrapped up the season with their annual banquet on Thursday November 16. The varsity, sophomore and freshman football teams as well as the NCHS cheerleaders were all honored at the banquet. The Hornets varsity team finished the season at 4-5, and just missed out on a playoff berth. Both the freshmen and sophomore teams finished the season undefeated. The sophomore team finished at 3-0, and the freshmen team finished 8-0.
The Varsity team had an up and down season this past year. The Hornets began the season with a loss against Carlyle, but bounced back to beat Massac County on the road. The Hornets fell to Wesclin in week three. The Hornets opened conference play with a loss against Anna-Jonesboro in week four, and got their first conference win of the season against Sparta on September 22. Nashville suffered a loss on the road against Carterville in week six. The Hornets got a win in their homecoming game this year, as they defeated the Panthers of Pinckneyville to pick up their third win. DuQuoin defeated Nashville in week eight, and the Hornets ended the season on a high note, knocking West Frankfort out of the playoffs, as they defeated the Redbirds in week nine.
The Hornets faced a daunting schedule as each of the Hornets five losses came to playoff teams. Carlyle, Wesclin, Carterville, Anna-Jonesboro, and DuQuoin went to the playoffs. Wesclin finished the regular season undefeated, but were upset in the first round of the IHSA Class 3A playoffs. Carterville and DuQuoin also were disposed of in the first round of the playoffs. Carlyle advanced to round two of the playoffs, and the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcat advanced to the IHSA Class 3A State Semi-Finals.
At the banquet six players were given individual awards. Cameron Parker received the Most Valuable Back Award. Dylan Kwiatkowski was given the Most Valuable Lineman Award. Jullian Metcalf was given the Most Improved Player Award. Justin Aulds was given the Tackle Award, while Colin Laws was given the Hornet Award. Kyler Klingenberg was given the Tom Luczaj Award.
Parker started every game for the Hornets this season at quarterback, racking up 1,515 yards through the air. Parker threw 10 touchdowns on the season, and rushed for 11 more. Parker finished with 652 yards rushing. Metcalf was the team’s leading rusher this season, as he rushed for 970 yards and tied for the team lead with 11 rushing touchdowns. Receiving wise, Novak led the team with 553 yards receiving, followed by Kozuszek with 416 yards, and Bergmann with 338 yards. Bergman,, Kozuszek, and Novak each had three receiving touchdowns to lead the team.
Defensively, Justin Aulds received the tackle award for leading the Hornets with 56 tackles this season. Justin Aulds, Jackson Aulds, Issac Sexe, and Joseph Wacker all led the team with one sack. Bergmann led the team with two interceptions, followed by Rhys Biagi, Lane Henderson, Jacoby Jones, Parker and Kozuszek who all each finished with one interception. Biagi and Sexe each forced a fumble this season. Sexe also recovered a fumble this season.
The Hornet Award this season went to Colin Laws. Laws was the kicker for the Hornets this season. The Hornet Award was given to the player who best displays the characteristics of the ideal Hornet Football: tough, hard-worker, good teammate, good leader, and an overall good person.
The Tom Luczaj Award is given out every year in honor of Tom Luczaj. Luczaj was a member of the Hornets football team who died due to injuries suffered during a game in 1967. Kyler Klingenberg was given the award this past season. The Luczaj Award is given to a player the senior who displays the leadership, sportsmanship, scholarship, and ability throughout the season..
The Sophomore team finished their abbreviated campaign 3-0. Games were tough to come by as the sophomore team had a few games cancelled this past season. In their first game, the Hornets defeated Wesclin 16-0. The sophomores got their second win of the season against Sparta by a score of 30-14. The Hornets team picked up their third win with a 14-8 win over Pinckneyville.
The Freshmen Hornets finished a perfect 8-0 on the season. Nashville dominated their competition this season outscoring teams 376-77, which included two straight shutouts over Greenville and Carterville.
Cole Malawy was the team’s quarterback this season. Malawy finished with over 1,500 yards passing and 27 touchdowns on the season. Malawy’s biggest target this season was Gavin Baldwin who finished with 17 receptions for 529 yards. Nick Miller finished with 16 receptions for yards, followed by Jaxon Goforth with 15 receptions for 372 yards. Bryce Donato finished with six receptions for 182 yards. The Hornets were led on the ground by Baldwin who finished with 780 yards rushing this season. Luke Ehret finished with 401 yards rushing followed by Miller with 254 and Malawy with 202. Theron Hausner finished with 194 yards, while Buzz Ritzel finished with 135 yards rushing. Baldwin scored 16 total touchdowns, followed by Miller and Goforth, who finished with nine apiece. Ehret scored eight times, while Donato, Malway and Hausner finished with three touchdowns apiece.
The Cheerleaders that were honored at the banquet were Emily Wisely, Holly Hutchison, Joey Lane, Jasmine Sennholtz, Jenna McClintock, Parker Quillman, Laney Renth, Chloe Crum, Kaly Huge, Sidney McCandrew, Sarah Staley, Courtney Hallock, and Hanah Grzegorek.