Butler County Times Gazette
  • Three Grizzlies earn NJCAA All-American honors

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  • Three more players have been added to the long list of Butler's NJCAA All-Americans, with offensive tackle Luke Hayes, tight end Steven Walker and defensive lineman Owen Williams earning those honors. This is the 31st consecutive season in which the Grizzlies have had a player earn NJCAA All-American status, and the 19th straight year in which Butler has had multiple players earn such an honor in the same season. Butler has now had 68 players earn NJCAA All-American honors under Troy Morrell, who just finished his 14th year as Butler's head coach. That is an average of nearly five per season for the Grizzlies, who have a record of 146-19 and three national titles in that time span. The Grizzlies had the most All-Americans of any team in the Jayhawk Conference. Hayes, a sophomore from Scott City, Kan., anchored the left side of Butler's offensive line at the tackle position, serving as a punishing run blocker and effective pass blocker for the Grizzlies. He has committed to play at Kansas State University next fall. Walker, a sophomore from Wichita Heights High School, was a blocker for the Grizzlies but also served as a pass-catching threat in his two seasons with Butler. He caught 12 passes for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season. He has committed to play for Colorado State next season. Williams, who was the only returning starter this year for Butler, is a sophomore from Macon, Ga. He had 48 tackles on the season seven and a team-high 15.5 tackles for loss. He also had a forced fumble. Butler finished the season with a 9-2 record, winning its fourth consecutive Jayhawk Conference and Region VI championships along the way and finishing No. 6 in the final national poll. It is the 16th-consecutive year for Butler to finish in the top 10, the longest streak among any NJCAA football programs.
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