Hannibal, Monroe City stalwarts garner all-state honors from Missouri Football Coaches Association

Hannibal’s Aneyas Williams (22) runs the ball during the Pirates game against Battle Friday in Hannibal.  Mathew Kirby/Herald Whig/Courier Post

Hannibal all-purpose back Aneyas Williams, who will be making his college decision known Friday night, is one of several players from Northeast Missouri to earn all-state honors from the Missouri Football Coaches Association. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

HANNIBAL, Mo. — One of the nation’s most coveted recruits, who is days away from revealing his college choice, received an honor fitting his impressive production.

One of the best tacklers Northeast Missouri has seen in recent memory picked up another honor, too.

Hannibal all-purpose back Aneyas Williams and Monroe City linebacker Ceaton Pennewell repeated as all-state selections and led a brigade of Northeast Missouri football standouts receiving all-state honors from the Missouri Football Coaches Association.

Williams was one of three Pirates to pick up first-team plaudits. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound athlete was a first-team running back after churning out 1,362 yards rushing with 27 touchdowns in nine games. Williams missed the postseason after suffering a broken collarbone in the regular-season finale.

He also caught 33 passes for 424 yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 28 yards per kick return and 12.2 yards per punt return. Rated a four-star recruit by all national recruiting services, Williams will announce his college choice at 6 p.m. Friday at Korf Gym.

Joining Williams on the first team are junior defensive lineman Kane Wilson and senior return specialist Markahl Humphrey. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Wilson racked up 63 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.

Humphrey, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound running back, averaged 21 yards per kick return, while finishing the season with 1,237 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. He also had 34 receptions for 608 yards and five touchdowns.

Hannibal’s Ryan Ross, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior offensive lineman, and Ashton Watts, a 5-foot-11, 230-pound senior linebacker, were second-team all-state selections.

In Class 1, Pennewell led Monroe City’s throng of all-state recipients. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior racked up 156 tackles with 20.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and one defensive touchdown as the Panthers reached the state semifinals.

Pennewell also rushed for 1,611 yards and 31 touchdowns as a fullback. 

Also earning first-team honors were the Panthers’ Jag Hays and Jaylyn Countryman. Hays, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior offensive lineman, anchored a line that paved the way for 5,385 yards of total offense and 44.1 points per game. Countryman, a 6-foot-3, 155-pound senior defensive back, had seven interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and 13 passes broken up.

Second-team honors went to Monroe City’s Waylon DeGrave, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior, as both a running back and a kick returner, along with two Panthers along the defensive line — 5-foot-9, 215-pound senior Landan Holland and 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior Dawson Karr.

Mark Twain kick returner Lakoda Preston, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, was a Class 1 third-team selection. In Class 2, Palmyra’s Aaron Ritchey, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound junior defensive back, was a third-team selection.

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