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Local Sports

Six Tigerhawks grab district honors in first 1A season

Although it was a challenging season for the Colfax-Mingo football team in its first season in Class 1A District 7, six Tigerhawks still made their presence known on the recently-released all-district teams.

Leading the way on the second team were seniors Jaden Van Dyke (utility), Byron Johnson (wide receiver) and Dylan Albright (linebacker), but the lists also included seniors Jake Alexander (linebacker), Colton Russell (offensive line) and Chad McLain (offensive line), who received honorable mention.

Van Dyke was the personification of utility for the Tigerhawks this season. After starting the year at his usual wide receiver position, he took the reigns at quarterback after starters Juan Gonzales and Jared Myers went down with injuries early in the season. Van Dyke finished the season with team-high totals in passing (624 yards, five touchdowns) and rushing (691 yards, eight TDs).

He also finished with 172 receiving yards, and recorded numbers in all three categories in the team's final three games of the season. Defensively, he was sixth on the team with 52 tackles from the cornerback position and recorded two interceptions.

Joining Van Dyke on the second team was fellow senior Albright, who also made an impact on both sides of the ball. His second team honor came at the linebacker position, from which he finished second on the team with 119 total tackles, including five for a loss.

Offensively, Albright finished second on the team in rushing with 178 yards and three touchdowns as well as second in receiving with 183 yards. Albright also served as the Tigerhawks’ kicker, converting 15-of-17 extra points and going 1-for-2 in field goals.

Using his big 6-foot-3 frame, Johnson also earned second team honors as the Tigerhawks’ leading receiver. Johnson caught 29 balls for 407 yards and four touchdowns, including an acrobatic catch in C-M’s first game of the year against East Marshall. His contributions weren’t limited to offense, however, as Johnson also finished ninth on the team with 29 total tackles. Johnson also received academic all-district honors.

As a two-way starter in the trenches and one of the strongest players coach Mike Rupert said he’s ever seen, McLain ended his career with an honorable mention in the district. On top of starting on the offensive line, McLain contributed 61 tackles (eight of which were for a loss) and four sacks from the defensive line, as well as a 29-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.

A fellow senior and trench mate, Russell also saw plenty of action on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he finished seventh on the team in tackles with 45, while also adding three tackles for loss. A highlight play in his season included an interception on a ball he tipped himself in the Tigerhawks’ loss to Van Meter.

Rounding out the selections was Alexander, another senior that had plenty of an impact on both sides of the ball. At linebacker, Alexander finished fourth on the team with 64 total tackles, including one for a loss and one interception. As a tight end, Alexander pulled in 153 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Joining Johnson on the academic all-district team were senior Stephen Lahart and juniors Brandon Byal and Keagan Smith.

After going 2-1 in nonconference play, the Tigerhawks finished the season 2-7 overall and 0-6 in district play.

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