In this file photo, Manhattan running back Vinny Smith (8) rushes for a touchdown in the first half against Wichita North on Oct. 29. Smith was named the Centennial League Player of the Year by league coaches on Monday while also earning first team honors as a running back and second team honors as a kick returner.

A large group of Manhattan High football players earned All-Centennial League honor Monday. The Indians ended their season with a 9-3 record after falling in the sectional round of the Class 6A football playoffs to Lawrence High last week.

Senior running back Vinny Smith was named the Centennial League Offensive Player of the Year along with earning first-team honors as a running back and second-team honors as a kick returner.

MHS head coach Joe Schartz was named Coach of the Year, while Junction City senior linebacker Keghan McConnell was picked as Defensive Player of the Year.

Smith ended the 2021 season with 1,177 yards rushing on 141 carries — an average of 8.3 yards per carry.

The senior scored 23 rushing touchdowns along with one receiving score and two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Smith averaged 49.4 yards per kickoff return on eight attempts.

Senior right tackle Cade McIlvaine and senior guard Talique Houston were the other two first-team offensive selections for the Indians.

Houston also was picked up first-team honors as a defensive tackle after recording 35 tackles (19 solo) including 4.5 sacks; 12.5 of Houston’s tackles went for losses. Houston also forced and recovered a fumble.

Junior linebacker Jaxon Vikander and senior safety Colby Klieman rounded out Manhattan’s first-team selections.

Vikander led the team in tackles with 59.5 (31 solo), a tally that included four sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. He forced three fumbles and recovered one and had two pass breakups.

Klieman finished second for the Indians in tackles with 45 (34 solo) with five tackles for loss. He had one interception and three pass breakups.

On the second team, senior wide receiver and safety Joe Hall earned honors for both positions.

Hall reeled in a team-high 23 receptions for 283 yards and three touchdowns while recording 24 tackles (14 solo) with 4.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups for the defense.

The senior had three interceptions including a pick-six.

On the defensive line, junior Ke’Lonnie Patterson and senior Josh Adeniji were both honored.

Patterson had 19.5 tackles (five solo) and a half a sack and five tackles for loss, while Adeniji — in his first-ever season playing football — had 37 total tackles (23 total), including a team-high 15.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Adeniji forced and recovered a fumble.

Senior linebacker EJ Whitfield also was selected for the second team, ending the year with 35.5 tackles (22 solo) and a team-high 6.5 sacks along with 13 tackles for loss. Whitfield had an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Last but not least, place kicker Grant Snowden was a second-team selection after hitting 44-of-45 extra points this season while going 2-for-6 on field goals including a clutch game winner in Manhattan’s regional win over Gardner-Edgerton.

Snowden also averaged 54.7 yards on 71 kickoffs this season with 30 touchbacks.

The Indians had five honorable mention selections: junior quarterback Keenan Schartz, junior tight end Jaxon Bowles, junior wide receiver Kyler Hahn, senior cornerback Zac Hirschey and junior cornerback Dante Walters.