By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON — The Rams football team had standouts all over the field this season.
The South Seven Conference recently recognized those on field achievements with the release of the all-conference teams. A dozen Rams were named first team, second team and honorable mention.
“I'm just very happy with those guys getting on, and that's a great number for us a lot more than we've had the past couple of years, and I just think that speaks to the kids and how well they played throughout this year,” Mt. Vernon football coach Jared Shaner said.
Demontez Miller-Gray, Jacob Williamson, Eli Phillips and Josh Bourland were all named to the first team.
Tyler Bradley, Doug Gardner, Robert Grider and Jacobee Marshall were included in the second team.
Graham Henken, Alex Hopkins, Tyler Knutson and London Marler were recognized with honorable mention.
The representations for the Rams included several members of the offense and defense.
“I thought it was good representation on both sides of the ball,” Shaner said. “And it was also a nice mix for us just the way it worked out. (There were) a lot of seniors that have put in a lot of time and effort, getting some recognition and then a couple of our younger kids as well.”
First team members Bourland and Phillips consistently opened holes from their offensive line positions for each of the Rams running back. They helped allow Miller-Gray surpass the 1,000-yard mark this season.
“Two offensive linemen and a running back, I think that just again speaks a lot about our style of play and then how successful the kids were this year in executing it,” Shaner said.
Williamson was one of the four team captains for the Rams and helped operate the Mt. Vernon defense from his linebacker spot.
“He's a kid (that's) not real big, not overly strong, not super fast, but I'm pretty sure everybody in the conference would want to take a Jacob Williamson on their team,” Shaner said. “Just a very, very smart football player, hard worker, a great leader and did some really nice things for us defensively.”
Mt. Vernon finished the season 7-4 overall. The victories included an opening round 5A playoff win against Mattoon. Washington ended the Rams season a week later in the round of 16.