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Haber, Knight named league’s players of the year

Zach Haber of Durango High School scores a touchdown against Pagosa Springs High School. Haber was recently named the 3A Southern League’s Offensive Player of the Year. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)
Fifteen Durango football players, coach honored by league

The 3A Southern League honored 15 Durango High School football players with all-conference first-team and second-team honors recently.

“I’ve never had that many all-conference guys,” said DHS head coach Todd Casebier. “Everybody on the all-conference teams earned it, but there’s always a few others you wish would have got it too.”

Senior defensive lineman Will Knight and junior running back Zach Haber highlighted Durango’s selections. Knight was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and Haber was named the offensive player of the year.

Will Knight of Durango High School listens to his head football coach Todd Casebier during a practice this season. Knight was recently named the 3A Southern League’s defensive player of the year. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

“They’re very deserving of it,” said Casebier, who was also recognized as the league’s coach of the year after leading DHS to 5-0 league mark.

“As a coach, you get it because your team played well,” Casebier said. “And it’s not just about one coach, it’s about all of the coaches, and it’s a product of the kids taking care of business.”

Other Demons landing on the league’s first-team for offense with Haber include sophomore quarterback Tyler Harms, junior running back Jeric Baruch, junior offensive lineman Josh Bates, senior offensive lineman Kooper Mann and junior kick returner Tagert Bardin.

Senior running back Nate Messier and junior tight end AJ Folk both scored second-team offense honors.

Joining Knight on the first-team defense were senior defensive lineman Walter Stauffer, senior linebacker Cole Matava, junior linebacker Junior Garcia-Rodriguez, and senior defensive backs Jordan Stanley and Chase Roberston. Junior defensive back Luke Wesley was named to the league’s second-team for defense.

Knight and Stanley were also selected to compete in the CHSAA All-State game, which is just for seniors and will take place in June in Pueblo.

“We had a lot of guys on the first or second team, and that’s reflective of the season we had within our league play,” Casebier said. “We dominated our league.”

In the four league games Durango played, not including a Mitchell forfeit, DHS out-scored its opponents 210-0.

Knight made 43 tackles and three sacks for the defense, which didn’t give up any points in league games.

Haber unofficially ran for 1,356 yards and 19 touchdowns on 151 carries this season to lead Durangos’attack. He also made 17 catches for 290 yards.

Harms unofficially passed for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.

Baruch, who didn’t start at running back until after Messier got hurt, unofficially gained 384 yards on 53 carries for the Demons.

Matava, meanwhile, had about 100 tackles on the year to lead DHS.