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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sports > High School >> Football

Bulldogs' banquet: SW Football team honored at annual dinner

May 3, 2021

By Richard Ross - reporter/photographer

Sullivan West seniors (left to right) Frank Decker, Jason Gaebel, Jason Lowe, Justin LeConey and Andrew Crandall were honored. Each received a football helmet and a framed photo.
YOUNGSVILLE -- Gratitude, pride, success and family. Those were words often spoken in honor of the 2021 Sullivan West football team on the occasion of the team's annual football banquet at the Youngsville Firehouse this past weekend.
This year's festivities were arranged through the loving care of Michelle LeConey who opened the post-dinner presentation with her litany of thanks for so many others who contributed their time and energy.
Needless to say that included the coaches Ron Bauer, Justin Diehl and John Hauschild, all of whom were on hand to receive gifts. Coach Ron Padu was not able to attend but he was thanked and honored as well. Dawn Hauschild who filmed all the games and was a constant bastion of support and Ed Hanslmaier, a steady, stalwart friend and contributor also received gifts as did the coaches.

Head Coach Ron Bauer summed up the season citing great improvement and a concerted team effort wrought by great chemistry and dedication. He cited Jason Gaebel and Frank Decker as the team's most probable selections to the Section 9 All-Section team. Four players in all will be named to the Section 9 Eight-Man football honorary team. Those selections are still forthcoming.
“You pulled together and worked together. We played some of the best football we've played in a couple of years,” noted Bauer. “You helped each other out including the younger players.”
Bauer also complimented the coaching staff. “Everyone did their job,” Bauer observed. “The most important thing you can learn is how to handle things when they go wrong. You just have to pick yourself up and go on.”
Offensive Coordinator Justin Diehl expressed his appreciation to the team's cohesive effort and his gratitude for the opportunity to coach this year. Diehl gave Jason Gaebel a pendant for being the Offensive player of the year. Gaebel rushed for over 500 yards in five games with an average of five yards per carry. He led the team with 40.5 tackles and 6.5 sacks. “He was a workhorse on both sides of the ball,” said Diehl.
The defensive “savage” pendant went to Defensive Player of the Year junior Chris Campanelli who recorded 28.5 tackles and 10.5 sacks. Chris also had three touchdowns this season, two of them coming off of fumble recoveries and featuring his impressive speed outrunning opponents.
Diehl noted, “we had to deal with a lot of adversity this season.”
Additional hardship came from the untimely death of a former player. In addition, a significant number of potential players did not come out. The team consisted of just 17 players. As late as the next-to-last regular season game the team was still in the running for a sectional championship game bid.
Coach John Hauschild called up the five seniors: Jason Gaebel, Frank Decker, Jason Lowe, Justin LeConey and Andrew Crandall. All received helmets and pictures and Hauschild's tributes to each. Gaebel, Decker, LeConey and Gaebel all had long histories with the program dating back to Red Dog football. They received a large helmet. Crandall was a more recent arrival, so he got a mini helmet along with his picture.
Next year's team will have as many as nine seniors and should be a force to be reckoned with.

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