KHQA Awards Week: ZACHAREE OSBORN-2017 MO/IA Offensive MVP
2017 KHQA MISSOURI/IOWA OFFENSIVE MVP
ZACH OSBORN, RB, Monroe City
RATIONALE: If 23 years of covering football here in Wing-T Heaven have taught me anything about that scheme…it is that the most successful incarnations of that offense share one historic commonality:
A blazing fast home run threat in the backfield.
Be it Wyatt Green, Ashton Gronewold, Ser Whitaker or Bradley Dinsmore: the Wing-T teams that have brought home Titles were special not only because they methodically slugged away at defense for four yards a carry, but because they featured a true knockout punch to pair with that base methodology.
Zacharee Osborn is the heir to that legacy; perhaps even a next generation evolution of the line.
The Monroe City Junior certainly broadened the play-calling canvas for David Kirby this Fall. After watching Osborn thrive in a complimentary role as a Sophomore with eight hundred rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, The Panther Coaching Staff found expanded opportunities to employ this electrifying weapon in 2017, while minimizing the wear and tear upon his 5’9” 145 pound frame. Zach ended up with just 145 total carries this season, which actually works out to less than ten totes a game on average. Paired in conjunction with bruising workhorse fullback Cole Pennewell and change of pace back Gage Bottoms, Osborn’s success with those carries proved to be more a function of “when” than “how many.” Like a great fighter, the Monroe City Offense would set opponents up with jab after jab, then unleash the haymaker that was Osborn’s staggering 11 yards per carry average.
A simple glance at his tape is tells you all you need to know about Osborn’s explosiveness. Maybe not since Ser Whitaker has the Tri-States produced a back who just seems to be playing at another speed relative to all the other pieces on the football chessboard. Zach’s glide is effortlessly faster that most kids full on sprint. He’s got a particular talent for setting up the field; weaving into open spaces and creating edges and lanes that only he can exploit. See also his four punt returns for touchdown this season…on just seven attempts. And while his exhilarating athleticism suggests a certain type of running back, I would be quick to point out that Zach was in fact a kid who willingly attacked between the tackles when called up and rarely showed any signs of wear when he was hit. In short, he’s stronger and more durable than you think. And indisputably fearless.
The final numbers here are hard to argue with: Zach nearly doubled his total ground yardage from a year ago with 1565 rushing yards and scored twenty eight total touchdowns, 21 of them of the rushing variety. That’s a legit resume for any award on the board on statistical merit alone. Add that State Championship bullet point to the mix and well, you see just how easy this decision became for us to make. With another season yet to play and likely an even larger workload falling on his shoulders in the Fall of 2018, this likely won’t be the only time Zach’s name plays prominently on the Postseason Awards Banquet Circuit.
Runner-up: Brock Wood, South Shelby
Facebook Vote: Zach Osborn, Monroe City
2016: Shamar Griffith, Hannibal
2015: Shamar Griffith, Hannibal
2014: Adam Holt, Bowling Green
2013: Caleb Kizer, Palmyra
2012: Austin Egley, Clark County
2011: Scott Kroeger, Clopton/Elsberry
2010: Mark Nemes, Hannibal
2009: Justin Alderton, Clark County
2008: Shawn Maloney, Monroe City
2007: James Hurt, Keokuk
2006: James Vandenberg, Keokuk
2005: Josh Roberts, Clark County
2004: Jared Bichsel, Monroe City
2003: Aaron Bergeson, Hannibal
2002: Clint Carroz, Mark Twain
2001: Wentric Williams, Hannibal
2000: Will Clayton, Hannibal
1999: Matt Paris, Monroe City
1998: Craig Lewis, Keokuk
1997: Ryan Watson, Monroe City