Football honors are rolling in for area standouts

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By Mike Farner

SHEPHERDSVILLE - The 2008 high school football season is in the rear view mirror at this point, but awards from the most successful season ever for local football keep rolling in.

Back in December, North Bullitt senior Dalton Cissell was named to the Associated Press All-State Football Team. He is the first, first-team All-State selection in Eagle history. In the past, both Kevin Crisp (1996) and Nick Valadez (2001) were selected second-team All-State honors (in the coaches’ voting).

In fact, the only previous first-team All-State award winner from Bullitt County was Bullitt East’s Jason Reynolds in 1994.

While Cissell’s award is certainly deserving, it was a little on the odd side because he was named to the All-State Defensive first-team. Yes, Cissell played defense in the secondary for the Eagles this season, but for the ninth-leading rusher in state history, his prowess is on the offensive side of the ball.

(It should be noted that the Pioneer News does not have a vote with the Associated Press).

Last week, North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton said that assistant coaches from the University of Louisville visited the school to talk with Cissell. The Cardinals have not offered a scholarship. Instead, they are asking Cissell to be a ‘preferred’ walk-on.

Last Friday, Newton and Cissell, along with Cissell’s family, hopped on a plane and headed to the east coast for an official visit to the Naval Academy. That school has offered Cissell a position on the football team.

(As we learned a few years ago when Bullitt East’s Corey Rakes signed with the Air Force Academy, the military academies do not offer football scholarships in the true sense of the word. Instead, since the government pays for all the students to attend, there is no ‘scholarship’ so to speak. In addition, because of all the paperwork to enroll, Cissell wouldn’t ‘sign’ with Navy on the NCAA’s national signing date in early February, although he can ‘commit’ at any time.)

Cissell, who was one of ten finalist for Kentucky’s Mr. Football award, was also recently was named one of the top 11 senior players in the state by The Orlando Sentinel. That newspaper picks 11 players from each of 12 southern states.

St. Xavier’s Deuce Finch, Kentucky’s Mr. Football, was the top player in the state in The Orlando Sentinel awards.

In the state-wide coaches’ poll conducted by the state’s largest newspaper, Cissell was a second-team selection as a running back.

That state coaches’ poll also honored three other Bullitt County players with ‘honorable mention’ selections.

Bullitt Central junior running back/defensive back Jeremy Bennett was honored on the offensive side of the ball.

Bullitt East seniors Zach McCarthy and Michael Bozarth were also honored. McCarthy on offense as a running back, although, he also played on defense. Bozarth also played on both sides of the ball, but he was honored for his defensive ability at linebacker.

Another award recently went to McCarthy. He was named to the sixth annual Bluegrasspreps.com All-State Team. That organization picked an offensive and defensive honor team and then listed 12 other players as ‘athletes’. McCarthy was one of those 12 athletes.

That organizations’ Player of the Year was Jordan Whiting of Trinity.