By Mark Jurgena
When your last name begins with an A you are used to being at the top of the list.
When the IHSFCA released their all-state team this past week the name at the top of the list was senior Kolby Anderson from Collinsville.
While the list may have been based on the alphabet, the honor of being all-state was earned on the field, in the weight room, and by being a teammate.
“Kolby really deserved to be a first-team all-state guy for his versatility,” began CHS Colton Rhodes. “He played all over the field for us on both sides of the ball. He started for us at receiver, running back, and one game at quarterback for us on offense while starting at free safety on defense. His experience and leadership on both sides of the ball really allowed us to be successful this season. He is the definition of an athlete on the football field, and I’m thankful I got to be his coach.”
Anderson carried the ball 65 times for 398 yards and ten TD’s for a 6.1 yards per carry average this season. He also caught 15 passes for 168 yards and one TD. He averaged over eleven yards per catch.
He was also second on the team in tackles with 75 and tied for the interception lead with five.
And he played quarterback in week nine at Centralia when starter Ethan Bagwell was out with an injury. He went 10-for-17 for 177 yards in that 35-31 win to cap an 8-1 regular season.
All this after Anderson had spent the better part of the last three seasons as the starting varsity quarterback for the Kahoks.
Pennell named Honorable Mention all-state
Junior Darren Pennell had a tough assignment every night.
He was in charge of shutting down the leading receiver on the other team.
The significance of his success is crucial to the defense and Pennell was fantastic at his job.
For his efforts, he was named honorable mention all-state for Class 7A.
“Darren was outstanding for us on both sides of the ball this season as well,” said Rhodes. “He was our leading receiver on offense. He also led the team in interceptions on defense. He was tasked with guarding the best player on the opposing team on defense and was always ready for the task. Whenever we needed a big first down, we looked to Darren to be the guy on the perimeter to get open and make it happen. Darren is going to be a big component for us next season as well.”
He had 36 tackles, five interceptions, and one fumble recovery in his defensive role.
On offense, Pennell had 35 catches for 454 yards a two TD’s. He averaged 13 yards per catch.
Pennell also returned eight kicks for 259 yards and a 32-yards-per-return average.