KHQA AWARDS WEEK
2012 KHQA Missouri/Iowa Defensive Player of the Year:
CALEB BIENIEK, DB, Hannibal High School
Where exactly Caleb Bieniek belongs among the Brad Griffes and Andrew Bergesons and Wentric Williams in the Pantheon of All Time Great Hannibal Pirates is largely subjective.
That the man deserves a place of honor in that discussion, however, is downright indisputable.
His career, or reign of terror as Pirate opponents might better call it, is now history. And what a sizable chunk of history Caleb carved out for himself. He debuted spectacularly in the back of the Pirate Defense with an All State Campaign and just never relented in hitting whatever crossed his sights. Three years, two more All State nods, 300 total tackles and 13 interceptions later and you have career that is now splashed all over the Hannibal record books. During his three year tenure as a starer, Caleb Bieniek led defenses held Pirate opponents to a miniscule 13.7 points per game on average. By his senior season, Pirate opponents had wisely done everything in their power to avoid him. Bieniek still managed to rack up 85 stops and a pair of interceptions to polish off his career; a campaign that amassed him another round of unanimous All NCMC picks and All State nods from both the Missouri Coaches and Sportswriters Associations.
And while this may serve as a Defensive Award, no candidate for this particular honor had a more wide reaching impact on their respective program, which proved to be the deciding factor between Bieniek and two very worthy Defensive Line prospects in Palmyra's Bobby Gruenloh and Clark County's Kyle Kovar. Though Bieniek's role in the Pirate Offense was tweaked somewhat thanks to the emergence of other credible weapons, Caleb still generated 778 rushing yards, 236 receiving yards, and 16 total touchdowns. Bottom line, he was an unstoppable force for good, in every conceivable fashion in America's Hometown as evidenced by the 27 victories Hannibal amassed over his starting career and the second straight KHQA Missouri/Iowa Defensive MVP Award he takes home for his efforts in doing so.
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