KHQA Awards Week: CALEB BIENIEK, Missouri/Iowa Defensive MVP


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.

Past Winners:

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