Indians earn top conference honors
The Hays High football team made history this season, and the Indians were recognized for their efforts. Hays High had 12 players make the All-Western Athletic Conference football team, and the Indians had both the Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
Senior quarterback Jaren Kanak, a Clemson commit, received top offensive honors. Kanak, in his first year playing QB, rushed for 1,615 yards, averaging 10.2 yards per carry, and scored 23 touchdowns. Kanak also threw for 910 yards, with 12 TDs and nine interceptions.
Receiving top defensive honors was senior linebacker Gavin Meyers. The team’s top tackler with 124 stops on the season, Meyers had 13 tackles for loss and three sacks, with one interception.
Joining Kanak on the first-team offense were senior running back Roy Moroni; junior tight end Bryce Salmans; and senior lineman Gavin Nutting. Moroni rushed for a career-high 1,106 yards this fall, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and scoring 17 touchdowns. Salmans averaged 19.6 yards per catch on nine receptions, with three TDs. Nutting helped pave the way for an offense which averaged 420 yards per game.
Joining Meyers on the first-team defense were senior linemen Carson Spray and Iden Baalman and junior defensive back Remy Stull. Spray made 50 tackles, with five tackles for loss. Baalman had 59 stops, with 15 tackles for loss and two sacks. Stull made 61 tackles, with four tackles for loss and two interceptions.
On the second-team offense for Hays High were senior wide receiver Jordan Dale; junior wide receiver Kyreese Groen; and senior lineman Karson Russell. Making the second-team defense for the Indians was junior defensive back Connor Dreiling.
Hays High finished the season at 8-3, just the third time in program history an Indian team played 11 games. HHS finished in a three-way tie for first place in the WAC with Garden City and Dodge City, with Coach-of-the-Year honors going to Dodge City’s Glenn O’Neil.