Ad Spot

Buchanan dominates BCS All-Conference team

BUCHANAN — Led by the offensive and defensive most valuable players, the Buchanan Bucks dominated the All-BCS Conference football team, which was released recently.

The Bucks had nine players earn first-team all-conference honors, including Johnny Rager, who was named the offensive MVP, and Gavin Fazi, who was the defensively MVP.

Buchanan went undefeated during the shortened regular season and reached the Division 6 District championship game before falling to state powerhouse Constantine.

“This was a special season for Buchanan,” said Buchanan coach Mark Frey. “We had 50 amazing young men on this team, who all believed we could do something special. With the leadership of our 16 seniors, we were able to attack our goals and achieve many of them, including going undefeated in the regular season and winning the conference.”

The Bucks’ Gavin Fazi (81) was the Most Valuable Player on defense in the BCS. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Rager rushed for 528 yards on 65 carries for an average of 8.1 yards per play with seven touchdowns.

Fazi led the Bucks with 71 total tackles, including 51 solo stops. He also had 17 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and three pass break-ups.

Earning first-team all-conference honors on offense were Conner Legault, who stepped in for starting quarterback Levi Zelmer, who suffered a season-ending injury in the opening game of the season, Blaize Orphanidis and Jamin Purtha. Logan Grwinski was the all-conference kicker.

All-conference selections on defense were Troy Holloway, Darius Griggs and Keeghan Pelley.

“My staff and I are so proud of the effort and determination of this team, even in our last game, they fought to the very end, including breaking the school record for longest kickoff return in school history in the final seconds of the season,” Frey said. “We love these young men. We wish the seniors the best in their futures and we are excited to get back to work with the underclassmen in preparation for the future of this program.”

Brandywine had a pair of first-team selections on offense in Gabe Gouin and Phillip McLaurin. Colin Hess was the lone Niles player selected.

On defense, the Vikings had Dakota Hinkle named first-team.


All-BCS Conference Football

Offensive MVP — Johnny Rager, Buchanan


First Team Offense

Johnny Rager, Buchanan

Conner Legault, Buchanan

Blaize Orphanidis, Buchanan

Jamin Purtha, Buchanan

Trevor Winkel, South Haven

Preston Calvert, South Haven

Colin Hess, Niles

Jamal Hailey, Berrien Springs

Gabe Gouin, Brandywine

Phillip McLaurin, Brandywine

Skylar George, Comstock


Special Teams Player

Logan Grwinski, Buchanan — Kicker


Honorable Mention

Carsen Pyle, Berrien Springs

Carl Owen, Comstock

Trent Till, South Haven

Ray Woodall, South Haven

Michael Palmer, Brandywine

Chase Andres, Niles


Defensive MVP

Gavin Fazi, Buchanan


First Team Defense

Gavin Fazi, Buchanan

Troy Holloway, Buchanan

Darius Griggs, Buchanan

Keeghan Pelley, Buchanan

Travis Jordan, South Haven

Xander Willett, South Haven

Dakota Hinkle, Niles

Zeb Bodtke, Berrien Springs

Marshall McFarland, Berrien Springs

Kareem Owens, Comstock


Honorable Mention

Caleb Stewart, Buchanan

Drew Glavin, Buchanan

Com Shaver, Comstock

Israel Patterson, Comstock

Nick Berry, Niles

Carter Hinkle, Niles

Eliot Williamson, South Haven

Michael Palmer, Brandywine

Hunter Heath, Brandywine

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Cass County

Cass County deputy saves dog from icy pond

Berrien County

Slow vaccine rollout hinders southwest Michigan distribution


Andrews University’s urban design studio arrives in Buchanan to kickoff revitalization project

Berrien County

Berrien County vaccine supplies remain limited, residents urged to have continued patience


‘Freddie the Stoner’ says Jimmy Kimmel changed his life


Dowagiac charity campaign doubles fundraising goal

Brandywine Education

Brandywine Innovation Academy sees increased interest as students prepare for second semester

Cass County

Cassopolis woman injured in Pokagon Township three-vehicle crash

Berrien County

Cocaine, pistol discovered in search warrant on Phoenix Street in Niles

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports one new COVID-19 death

Berrien County

Berrien County launching survey to investigate broadband connectivity

Cass County

Cass County Fair announces 2021 book cover contest

Brandywine Education

SMC announces fall honor rolls

Berrien County

Honor Credit Union to award 23 high school seniors with $1,000 scholarship

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD to become Heritage Southwest ISD

Cass County

Cass County Meals on Wheels workers save client from natural gas leak


Niles Township Board discusses e-bikes, public works equipment

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 540,115 cases, 13,865 deaths


LEE celebrates MLK Day with virtual event

Cass County

Cass County Probate Court urges public to prepare for vaccination of incapacitated family members


Southwest Michigan wineries adapt to continued mandates

Brandywine Education

MEC accepting scholarship applications

Cass County

Bonine House to honor COVID-19 victims with light ceremony