KHQA Awards Week: COLE PENNEWELL-2017 MO/IA Defensive MVP

Monroe City teammates Cole Pennewell (#11) and Dalton Shively (#15) finished one and two in the final ballot for KHQA Missouri/Iowa Defensive MVP



RATIONALE: Cole Pennewell’s remarkable Senior Year can be summed up thusly:

Clarence Cannon Coaches bestowed the Monroe City Senior honors as their conference’s Offensive Player of the Year; and in so doing, handed him their highest award for the lesser of his football talents.

Look, that’s not a shot on Cole’s work in the backfield. To the contrary, It’s hard to argue with either his approach or his production as the Panther’s Wing-T hammer. Pennewell rushed for just a smidge under 1600 yards and amassed 23 touchdowns, even while sitting out nearly all of his team’s first two District Playoff games. That’s a formidable resume. And you are not winning a State Title in this Offensive Scheme without a powerhouse Fullback.

Just don’t let any of that obscure Cole’s critical importance as the cornerstone, for two years now, of a defense that added both a State Runner Up and State Championship Trophy to the program’s already regal pedigree.

David Kirby calls Pennewell the best high school Linebacker he as seen and Cole has got successive All-State entries now on his career resume to back up that assertion. Consider his impact from a couple of different angles here. Monroe City was the stingiest team in Tri-State Football in 2017, allowing just a dozen points per game on average. Even more impressively, that unit was at it’s very best when it mattered the most. Over the course of the State Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Championship Games, Monroe City faced a trio of opponents in Westran, East Buch, and Valle Catholic that averaged 31, 33, and 42 points per game. The Panthers held those offenses to just 28 combined points in twelve quarters of football; a run that saw Valle Catholic score just a seven total points, 35 fewer than the Warriors usual output.

Pennewell helmed that group to the tune of a team leading 114 tackles. His thirteen stops for loss also tied for team honors with Jonathon Saxbury. He also posted four quarterback sacks along the way. Those were the concrete metrics at play. They don’t, however amplify just what his leadership and intelligence meant to his teammates as a whole, or the tone here his overall toughness set.

Bottom line, Cole Pennewell was the best two-way football player on the best team in Missouri Small School Football. That’s one heck of a way to close out a stellar high school career.

Popular Vote: Peyton Plunkett, Palmyra

Runner-Up: Dawson Shively, Monroe City


Past Winners:

2016: Sam Hasekamp, Centralia

2015: Jerry McBride, Hannibal

2014: Jerry McBride, Hannibal

2013: Josh Hultz, Palmyra

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

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