Contributed photo/Mike Somnis
Sherman Husky football was well-represented in the Big Sky Conference All-League voting by opposing coaches with nine players taking awards. In the picture are, from left to right, Jeremy Ballesteros, Reese Blake, Bradley Moe, Treve Martin, Jacob Justesen, Nic Lesh, Caleb Fritts, Zack Fluhr and Tyler Jones. Justesen was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, as well as first team on both sides of the ball.
MORO – For a football team that wound up with a 5-4 record, a No. 10 ranking, second place in league and a state-playoff berth, the Sherman Huskies had nine players pick up Big Sky Conference awards, four on both sides of the ball, and Jacob Justesen was voted on as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.
“The boys that made this list should be proud of their accomplishments,” said Sherman head coach Mike Somnis. “Football is a gritty game that requires high levels of mental and physical toughness. The student-athletes who made this list have been shown to stand out among our league and at the state level.”
Justesen capped his final season on the gridiron with first-team recognition on both offense and defense; Treve Martin, a senior, earned first team as a tight end and second team for his play on the defensive line; fellow senior Reese Blake grabbed second team bids at running back and linebacker, and Tyler Jones was a second-team offensive guard and a second-team linebacker.
Playing center on offense, Nic Lesh received enough votes for a first-team bid, and senior Bradley Moe grabbed second-team praise at running back.
The Sherman offense racked up 370 points in nine contests and outscored league opponents by a 136-76 margin for a 2-1 Big Sky record to end up in second place.
After a 54-22 loss to Dufur on Oct. 6, the Huskies defeated Arlington-Condon, 46-8, and then cruised past Perrydale, 68-14, to qualify for the postseason.
In those three league tilts, Justesen completed 12 of 26 passes for 341 yards and six touchdowns and added 224 yards rushing with three end zone trips on his 25 attempts.
Blake, who had a career-high 172 yards against Perrydale, finished his last league campaign with three rushing scores on 255 yards, and he tacked on 95 receiving yards and a score.
Against Arlington-Condon, Moe rattled off 107 yards and a touchdown, and the senior fullback ended up with 193 yards on the ground, adding two scores, and hauled in two catches for 28 yards.
Many of those open plays were due to the line play of Lesh, Martin and Jones, with Martin adding a touchdown reception and six two-point conversions.
Defensively, Caleb Fritts scored first-team all-league praise on the defensive line and Jeremy Ballesteros secured a spot on the second team at defensive back.
All told, Sherman’s defense shut down opposing teams to two touchdowns or fewer five times, including one shutout, as this unit finished the season as the ninth-ranked scoring defense (222 points allowed).
Following the Dufur loss, the Husky defense gave up 22 points, posted 12 sacks and tallied four takeaways in their last two games, both wins.
Sherman held Arlington-Condon to negative 13 yards in the opening half, with the longest gain going for 19 yards, and the defense also posted seven first-half sacks, four by Martin and one apiece by Moe, Jones, and Makoa Whitaker, and Jared Fritts added a fumble recovery.
In the second half, Arlington-Condon managed 65 yards, but the Huskies added a sack and an interception to complete the lopsided home triumph.
In the Perrydale game, Sherman allowed 218 yards, 116 in the second half, 25 through the air on 2 of 11 completions.
“Our coaches always did a great job preparing us for our games,” Fritts said. “We spent a lot of time on film and we had good schemes to work against whoever we play.”
Although the Huskies had their season cut short last week in a 30-14 loss to Adrian in the first round of the 1A state playoffs, Blake walks away with many great career memories.
“I have been with this team my whole life, they are like a family to me,” Blake said. “It has been fun to watch everyone develop around you, myself included, just getting better.”