Three Dillon Beavers earn All-State football honors

By 
J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Six Dillon Beavers were awarded slots on the All-Western A football through a vote of the league coaches, with three of Dillon’s selections were named to the all-state A roster. The players represent a Dillon team that posted a 7-2 record in the regular season before bowing out in the first round of the Class A playoff.

“It was really a good selection of people,” said Dillon coach Zach McRae. “As our coaching staff sat down and talked about some of the highlights of our players, we were really happy with what we were able to achieve in that tie for third place. The selection of players, this is a vote from 13 other coaches - as big as an all-conference meeting as we’ve ever had. To have 13 coaches in the room voting on these guys adds a lot of credibility to what these guys are doing. A lot of our guys were so highly regarded with the way they conduct themselves and the way they play.”

Dillon’s all-state selections were seniors Jonathan Kirkley (6-1, 190), Callahan Hoffman (6-8, 250) and Connor Curnow (6-3, 190). Sophomores Kee Christiansen (6-0, 170) and Kale Konen (5-11, 170) and senior Anthony Macias (6-0, 210) were named to the All-Western A second team.

“Jon Kirkley, first team on both ends, wide receiver and linebacker, was a real anchor, and as good as he is on the field, he brings so much leadership characteristics,” said McRae. “For Jon to be so highly regarded as he was amongst the 13 coaches in sitting out three games, I think, is a real testament to his impact on the field.”

Hoffman, at 6-8, was likely the tallest punter in the state, but his impact came in the trenches where he was recognized first team at both offensive tackle and defensive end.

“Callahan continued to grow as a football player and he’s going to have some opportunities to play football at the next level,” said McRae. “For him to get first team at defensive end and offensive tackle I think is real special.”

Curnow made his mark as a junior willing to play whatever position the team needed him in order to succeed. As a senior, that trait and the respect it earned him gave him the mantle of team leader.

“It is interesting when we go into our conversations, the linebackers are generally the defensive version of the offensive quarterbacks,” McRae revealed. “So you’re seeing a real tough list of players there, a lot of guys that can play football at a high level and generally the best players on defense. Connor was recognized as a first team middle linebacker.”

Macias battled through injuries for two years, but kept returning to the field and battling in the trenches for Dillon, getting recognized as a second team defensive end.

“Anthony was the guy that we thought really anchored the physical play for the team,” said McRae. “For years of working hard, Anthony is going to be a tough one to see go just because he embodies what we do. He’s physical, he loves football, he loves practice. I would say he is the guy on our team that consistently gave us max effort and gave us max physicality.”

Sophomores Christiansen and Konen will carry the leadership of Dillon Beaver football into the future. Both players are multi-sport athletes who will make an impact on both sides of the ball. Christiansen earned second team notice as a quarterback and Konen as a running back.

“These are guys we are going to lean on for a couple of years,” McRae explained. “I remember us talking every week how Kee was growing and maturing. Considering the two quarterbacks he was behind - Rostad (Hamilton) and the Polson quarterback Wilson – he has a bright future ahead. And for an offense where we really try to do both, run and pass, Kale Konen really jumped off the chart. He was a no-brainer, second teamer.”

Western A offensive Co-Most Valuable Players were quarterbacks Tyson Rostad of Hamilton and Jarrett Wilson of Polson. The defensive Co-Most Valuable Players were linebacker Liam O’Connell of Hamilton and defensive end Braunson Henricksen of Polson.

Bryce Carver, the Western A Coach of the Year, guided Hamilton to an undefeated state championship season. Carver is a former Dillon Beaver and his dad is a long-time Dillon Beaver assistant football coach. Carver and McRae have been friends since childhood.

“I am so happy for Bryce, he’ll always be a Dillon guy to me,” said McRae. “I know what kind of work he’s put in, I know what kind of heartbreak he’s been through, so to see him represent the west like that, I think is nothing but just the best. Our competitiveness will forever live on and there is nobody worse to lose to than Bryce Carver, but I couldn’t be more proud of Bryce.”

EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME

Callahan Hoffman and Jon Kirkley were named over the weekend to the West roster for the 75th all-star game. Connor Curnow was picked as an alternate. All three players were picked as defensive players.

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