Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Tyler Dicks, Mt. Vernon senior running back: 170 carries, 1,852 rushing yards, 10.9-yard average, 23 touchdowns. Finished second all-time on MV career rushing list with 3,162 yards.
Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Anthony Burnett, Mt. Vernon senior running back: 193 carries, 1,580 yards, 8.2-yard average, 23 touchdowns. Finished seventh all-time on MV career rushing list with 2,401 yards.
Defensive Player of the Year, Andy Spears, Mt. Vernon senior linebacker: 172 tackles, including Hancock County-best 108 solo tackles. Finished third all-time in career tackles at Mt. Vernon with 315.
Dicks and Burnett helped the Marauders set program records for most rushing yards and most points in a season, led the team to a Class 4A No. 4 state ranking, fueled a Hoosier Heritage Conference championship run and were paramount in the Marauders’ first sectional title since 2006.
Spears captained a defense that allowed only 13 touchdowns during the team’s 11-game win streak (including the fourth quarter of blowout wins). The Marauders allowed 18.4 points per game and the starting unit went 12 straight quarters midseason without allowing an offensive touchdown.
It started in the weight room. Four years ago, Spears tied the MV freshman bench press record (285 pounds) and Dicks squatted 400 pounds to nearly break that program mark, and they only got stronger. Burnett improved his freshman bench total of 225 to 310 this season and was squatting over 565 pounds.
“We were just beasts in the weight room, really. Not to sound cocky, but we just worked hard.
“We knew that if we were going to be good, we just had to hit the weights hard. You’re not going to be good from sitting around on the couch.”
“I think we all recognized how special it was going to be in the summer. We were together every day, we never took anything for granted. We always had fun and we always worked hard. I think we had seen senior classes in the past kind of split apart. We all built a really strong friendship at the end of the summer.”