Davenport, Hobelmann, Zabel take home POY honors

Davenport, Hobelmann & Zabel take home top honors. (Jacob Isaacson Photography)
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen
Dec 2, 2018

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2018 Sports in Kansas 1A Offensive Player of the Year 

Nick Davenport, Ell-Saline, Sr., QB

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Davenport was a multi-year starter at quarterback and linebacker for the 7-3 Cardinals. After a big junior season, he passed for 1,601 yards with 64.2 completion rate. He threw for 13 scores against four interceptions. He rushed for 700 more yards and 15 scores. Davenport didn’t play two games on defense but still finished with 81 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks. 

Davenport, also third place in wrestling and fifth at discus last year, has multiple football scholarship offers at both quarterback and linebacker. He has received offers from Division I Drake, Concordia (Neb.), Washburn and Missouri Southern. He also has a PWO offer from Kansas State. Ell-Saline’s three losses came by two, seven and three points. Davenport was the best two-way player in the classification for 2018. 

Congrats Nick Davenport on being named Player of the Year! We are so proud of you- love Grandma and Papa! Ludes Plumbing is proud to support Ell-Saline football!

Congrats to El-Saline HS QB Nick Davenport for being named 1A Offensive Player of the Year from Sports in Kansas! The Cardinal Touchdown Club is a proud supporter of Ell-Saline Football!

2018 Sports in Kansas 1A Defensive Player of the Year 

Logan Zabel and Austin Hobelmann, Srs., Smith Center

Smith Center captured the Class 2-1A crown in 2017 and then won 1A with virtually the same teams in the classification this year.

SC again led the classification in scoring defense with 9.1 points per game. Last year, the Redmen led all of Kansas with six points allowed per game. In 2016, SC was also first in 2-1A in scoring defense with 10.6 points a contest.

Austin Hobelmann started on all three teams and anchored both lines this year. Logan Zabel backed up first team all-state linebacker Avery Hawkins before he took over at linebacker this year.

The 6-1, 180-pound Zabel, known for his speed, recorded 149 tackles, among the state’s best, with four tackles for loss, four sacks, six quarterback hurries, two interceptions, four passes defended and two fumble recoveries, including a 55-yard scoop-and-score.

Zabel tallied the second-most tackles in a single season in SC history, according to mclkansashighschool.com. Kerby Rice delivered 160 stops in 2005.

Zabel, who has a 34.5 inch vertical, played football for Smith Center as a junior, then transferred to Rock Creek and qualified for state in both baseball and track, as SC doesn't offer HS baseball and then transferred back. He has a football offer from Sterling College and track offers from Fort Hays, Nebraska Wesleyan and Friends.

The 6-1, 240-pound Hobelmann finished with 119 tackles, nine TFLs, six sacks, six quarterback hurries, three passes defended. On offense, he recorded 14 pancake blocks as the Redmen averaged 331 rushing yards a game. He earned first team all-Mid-Continent League on both sides of the ball and was unanimous on defense. He has four verbal football offers.

In the state game, Hobelmann had one of the most dominant defensive sequences SC coach Darren Sasse had ever seen. He tipped a pass, recorded a sack and then had an interception as Smith Center rolled Olpe, 59-0.

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Congratulations to Logan Zabel and Austin Hobelmann on being named the defensive players of the year! Dave’s Heating, Cooling, and Electric, LLC proudly supports Smith Center Athletes!

Congratulations! From the Hobelmann Families!

Congratulations to Austin and Logan for being named 2018 class 1A co-defensive players of the year. Simmons-Rentshler Mortuary are proud supporters of the Smith Center Redmen.

Congratulations to Smith Center High School Middle Linebacker Logan Zabel and Defensive Lineman Austin Hobelmann, on being named 2018 1A Co-Defensive Players of the Year by Sports in Kansas from the Peoples Bank of Smith Center. The Peoples Bank is a proud supporter of Smith Center Redmen Football.

Congratulations to Smith Center HS Middle Linebacker, Logan Zabel on being named the 2018 1A Co-Defensive Player of the Year from Sports in Kansas, from Parkview Care Center of Osborne, Kansas.

Congratulations Smith Center Redmen Logan Zabel and Austin Hobelmann for Player of the Year!!! Proud supporters of Redmen Athletics. John Overmiller, Burke, Kim and Shawn Phelps.

Blooms Floral/Embellishments Boituque in Smith Center would like to congratulate Logan Zabel and Austin Hobelmann on 1A Sports in Kansas Defensive Player of the Year honors! Proud to support Smith Center athletics!

Congratulations to Smith Center High School Middle Linebacker Logan Zabel and Defensive Lineman Austin Hobelmann, on being named 2018 1A Co-Defensive Players of the Year by Sports in Kansas from Farmers Union Insurance, Greg and Tamra Frank, Smith Center, Kansas. Greg and Tamra are proud supporters of Redmen Football!

LandMark Implement would like to congratulate the Redmen on another outstanding season. Congrats to all of the players on their honors and success! 

Dietz and Hardman Law Offices in Osborne and Smith Center would like to congratulate Logan Zabel on 1A Defensive Player of the Year from Sports in Kansas. Congrats on back-to-back state titles!

Congrats Logan Zabel and Smith Center on your state win! Julie Kuhlmann Photography Downtown Smith Center is Proud to support Logan Zabel, the 2018 Sports in Kansas 1A DPOY!

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Sports in Kansas 1A Offensive Player of the Year Finalists

Nick Davenport, Ell Saline, Sr. QB

Hooper Schroeder, Sedgwick, Sr. QB

Lane Whisennand, Elkhart, Sr. QB

Derek VanDorn, Centralia, Sr. OL

Ethan Peterson, Smith Center, Sr. RB

Sports in Kansas 1A Defensive Player of the Year Finalists

Nick Davenport, Ell Saline Sr. LB

Jared Casey, Plainville, Jr. LB

Austin Hobbelman, Smith Center, Sr. DL

Logan Zabel, Smith Center, Sr. LB

Jordan Finnesy, Plainville, Jr. DB