The Hillsboro High School football team claimed nine of the 93 spots on this year’s South Central Conference All-Conference teams, which were recently released by the athletic directors of the conference.
The nine honorees were the sixth most in the nine-team conference, which will add North Mac next season to replace Roxana, who departed for the Cahokia Conference.
Five players took up the nine spots for the Toppers, with Magnus Wells, Ian Malloy and Blaze Helton all earning recognition at multiple positions.
Wells, who was a second team pick on the offensive line and defensive line as a junior, was honored three times, including a first team nod on the defensive line. The senior also repeated as a second team offensive lineman pick and was tabbed as the second team punter as well.
Malloy, his fellow senior lineman, was a first team pick on the offensive side of the ball and a second team pick on the defensive line. Last year, Malloy was a third team honoree at the same positions.
Helton, one of three Hillsboro juniors to be honored this year, was another repeat selection from the spring of 2021. As a sophomore Helton received third team recognition at linebacker, but upped his game and was a third team pick at linebacker and running back this past fall.
Hillsboro’s other two honorees, Brayden Fowler and Jaben Compton, were both third team selections. Fowler earned his first all-conference recognition at defensive back, while Compton did the same at the linebacker position.
Hartzell On Third Team
In addition to the Hillsboro honorees, Litchfield also had its first all-conference football player since 2019, when Jefferson Thomas and Dylan Maxwell were both third team selections.
Senior running back Drew Hartzell was one of 10 running backs to be honored by the South Central Conference coaches, earning a spot on the third team.
Overall, seniors made up more than half of this year’s honorees, 56 in all, while juniors took another third with 34 selections. Staunton punter Braden Buffington, Gillespie defensive lineman Bryce Hohnsbehn and Vandalia kicker Kanon Wollerman were the only sophomores on this year’s squad.
Conference champion Pana, who went 8-0 in the conference and 11-1 overall before running into state qualifier Nashville in the quarterfinals, led all schools with 18 honorees, including eight first team selections.
Vandalia and Carlinville, who tied for second at 6-2, had 16 and 14 honorees respectively, while fourth place Greenville (5-3) had 12 honorees. Seventh place Gillespie was the only other team to have multiple selections, scoring 10, with Hillsboro (9), Southwestern (8), Staunton (5) and Litchfield (1) rounding out this year’s honorees.
A complete all-conference football team list can be found on page 2B.
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