The Banner Staff
The Duncan Banner
While Dallen Mercer became one of the state’s most feared running backs this season, churning out nearly 2,000 yards, his defensive prowess certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. Coaches across the state certainly didn’t.
The Velma-Alma senior was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All State Team as a linebacker on Monday evening, when the team was announced.
“He’s very talented and his best asset is his speed,” Velma-Alma coach Greg Gothard said. “For someone of his size and speed, he’s a very good player. He’s got a nose for the football as well. Dallen is very deserving to be named All-State.”
Mercer racked up 129 tackles (ranked seventh highest in Class A by The Oklahoman) and one sack as he helped lead Velma-Alma to a 8-4 record and trip to the second round of the playoffs.
Mercer was one of only two players from Class A named to the West defense, joining Ringling defensive end Jackson Dillon. Five spots went to Class 6A players, four to 4A, one to 3A, two to 2A, two to A and one to Class B.
Mercer was the only area player named to the All-State team, which only selects seniors.
All Stars by Class
Duncan landed three players on the Class 5A All Star unit. Derek McKnight and Caleb Longest made it as defensive linemen, while Jack Braught was named the squad’s punter.
McKnight finished the year with 73 tackles, including five tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. He also recovered one fumble.
Longest, meanwhile, compiled 72 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks.
Braught booted 32 punts this season, averaging 34.3 yards on each. Five of his punts pinned teams inside their 20-yard line, including three inside the 10.
Comanche defensive backs Kale Reed and Zach Young both made it onto the Class 2A All Stars.
Young was a master of turnovers, picking off six passes, forcing three fumbles and recovering one. He also racked up 36 total tackles.
Reed made 30 total tackles on the year to go along with three interceptions and pass deflection.
Along with Mercer at linebacker, Velma-Alma placed wide receiver Checotah Lynn on the Class A All-Star Team.
Lynn made 22 grabs for 376 yards and seven touchdowns this season.