Defensive Back, Palmrya


RATIONALE: One defense. A lot of very worthy candidates.

Palmyra's reign of dominance, particularly a nine week stand in which the Blackshirts gave up a paltry 30 points and pitched four shutouts, all but guaranteed that your 2013 Missouri/Iowa MVP would be a Panther.

The very spirited debate around here...was exactly which Panther that would be.

This is a squad that had seven different guys with 10 or more tackles for loss this season; and seven All Conference picks. Ultimately, we were able to whittle our candidate pool into a pair of or potent playmakers: Linebacker Case Doyle, who led the team in both tackles (114) and stops for loss (27) and Defensive Back Josh Hultz, your Cannon Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Ultimately, the tie-breaker came down to the opinion of man with far more football smarts than any media guy. A man with a State Championship ring and one of the most impressive coaching reputations in the state of Missouri

Back in early September, Centralia Coach Erle Bennett broke down the Panther Defense in advance of his team's head to head matchup, by crediting safety play as the X-factor that made a good unit great. Paraphrasing Coach Bennett, it was that speed and aggressiveness from the back that made it seem like their were always more than 11 guys to block. Even with just one game worth of tape to review, it became very clear, very quickly that Josh Hultz was something pretty special as a catalyst.

His numbers clearly bore that out. He finished the year with 78 total tackles, the third highest total on his team, which is pretty amazing considering his proximity to the line of scrimmage at the snap of the football. Josh was putting up Linebacker numbers against the run, despite having to start five yards or more away from the line of scrimmage. More amazing still, he had nine stops for loss and tied for the team lead in Quarterback Sacks with five; proving his worth as one of the most sudden and effective blitzers Northeast Missouri has produced in a long time.

And when he wasn't rushing the passer, Hultz played a mean centerfield in locking down the passing lanes. He finished among the area leaders in interceptions with eight (with nearly 150 yards in return yardage) and broke up a team high thirteen passes as well.

More to the point, it's not like the kid ever came off the field either. Josh was a 1000 yard rusher in the run game for Palmyra and scored 11 combined touchdowns. Bottom line, even amid a supporting cast this star studded; the brightness of Josh Hultz's high wattage game was impossible to miss...and invaluable to his team's area best bottom line.


Runner Up: CASE DOYLE, Palmyra

Viewer Vote: CASE DOYLE, Palmyra


Past Winners:

2012: Caleb Bieniek, Hannibal

2011: Caleb Bieniek, Hannibal

2010: Matt Brown, Bowling Green

2009: Geoff Correnti, Bowling Green

2008: Bryce Johnston, South Shelby

2007: Javis Vineyard, Clark County

2006: Luke O'Laughlin, South Shelby

2005: Andrew Bergeson, Hannibal

2004: Sean Kite, Clark County

2003: Alphonse Dames, Palmyra

2002: James Branch, Hannibal

2001: Keith Painter, Monroe City

2000: Derek Wallace, Mark Twain

1999: Jonathan Simpson, Hannibal

1998: Derek Minter, Monroe City

1997: Adam Crowe, Monroe City