Racking up the honors
The numbers may not have always jumped off the page, but there was something to be said for Chase Triplett’s consistency.
Michigan City football coach Phil Mason knew it and the Indiana Football Coaches Association agreed, naming the Wolves senior to the state Top 50 team as well as unanimously choosing him as the Mr. Football representative at linebacker.
“He wasn’t necessarily a guy who constantly jumped out, always making a dramatic play, but you have to understand how steady he is,” Mason said. “We could do a lot of things with him, like we did with Josh (Barajas at Andrean). He moved around depending on who we were playing. I think the fact that he’s an in-state recruit (Purdue) and people recognize what he’s done with the program the last three years against some really good teams really helps. It’s awesome to see him get the recognition.”
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Triplett is Michigan City’s first Mr. Football finalist and the third for Mason as a coach, who had two at Andrean with quarterback Matt DeSomer and Barajas, a linebacker.
“Chase is one of the highest character kids I’ve ever had and that’s saying a lot, coming from Andrean,” Mason said. “He’s so respectful, he’s got a 4.0 GPA. He’s always going to do things the right way. It’s why he’s captain, a leader. He’s always been that guy since we’ve had him.”
Triplett’s recognition highlighted a laundry list of City honors that saw quarterback Bryce Hayman, running back Lyric McFarrin, defensive linemen Royce Robinson and Justin Wozniak tabbed for the Class 5A all-state team, and defensive back Marquan Hurt selected to the Junior 5A team.
“It’s a great accomplishment for them, for the team and for the program,” Mason said. “We were only one (win) better, but I think the thing was we were so much more dominant throughout the season. You look at the scores from the year before, there was a dramatic difference in the way we played. We just ran into a really good team in New Pal. Now we just have to keep working every year to keep things rolling.”
Mason credited New Palestine coach Kyle Ralph for going to bat for McFarrin and Hayman in the selection process.
“I’m really happy for Bryce,” Mason said. ”(Ralph) flat out said Lyric’s got to be an All-State player. It says a lot for him that he only played tailback two-thirds of the season. Justin was our only guy who really played two ways. He was very deserving. What can you say about Royce? He was a man among boys out there. Ryan Stefanko’s another guy who should have made it, Coach Ralph and I laughed, we’re two former offensive linemen. It’s unfortunate there just aren’t enough spots. You’re only allotted so many kids. It would be great if every kid could make it, but I’m sure Ryan’s happy for his teammates.”
La Porte had two players make the list in offensive lineman Brandon Seibert and linebacker Noah Perez.
“His instinct, quickness and toughness made him a dominant linebacker,” Slicers coach Dave Sharpe said of Perez. “Brandon was one of the best base blockers I’ve ever been around. His brute strength allowed him to open up big holes for our running backs the past two years.”
New Prairie’s Jacob Tuttle made the 4A All-State team at tight end, while Cougars Chase Ketterer (quarterback) and Hunter Whitenack (offensive line) made the Junior team.
Chase Triplett, Michigan City (Top 50; Mr. Football finalist, linebacker)
Bryce Hayman, Michigan City (quarterback)
Lyric McFarrin, Michigan City (running back)
Brandon Seibert, La Porte (offensive line)
Justin Wozniak, Royce Robinson, Michigan City (defensive line)
Noah Perez, La Porte (linebacker)
Marquan Hurt, Michigan City (defensive back)
Jacob Tuttle, New Prairie (tight end)
Hunter Whitenack, New Prairie (offensive line)
Chase Ketterer, New Prairie (quarterback)