It was a bittersweet night Monday during the fall sports banquet at First Baptist Church.
Graham football coaches said goodbye to a senior class that has been exemplary throughout their high school careers.
All fall sports were honored at the annual event, but celebrating the success of this decorated football team, which may go down as the greatest class in Graham football history, was the unofficial goal of the night.
“It’s always hard to let these seniors go, but it gives you a chance to honor them for their hard work and effort,” athletic director and head football coach Kenny Davidson said. “This senior class has been a part of so many victories over the last three years.”
Since the 2011 season, the Steers have a 32-9 record.
Bryce Reeves was named team MVP at the banquet, which was a tough decision for coaches. But ultimately it was Reeves’ ability to play on both sides of the ball at a high level that helped them make the call.
“You’ve got to pick somebody,” Davidson said. “Bryce is a three-year two-way starter.”
Reeves amassed 176 receptions, 2,801 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns in the last three seasons, and also made 178 tackles and 7 interceptions in the last two seasons.
Other candidates for the MVP award could have been quarterback Ben Davis and running back Dillon Gonzales, each having made their own cases for the top honor during their brilliant three-year careers.
Davis combined for 104 total touchdowns in the last three seasons, while Gonzales’ ability to run the ball and receive made him the most versatile weapon on an offense that took pride in its ability to adjust.
Gonzales had 4,839 all-purpose yards and 65 touchdowns in three seasons.
Davis and Gonzales shared the honor of offensive MVP at the banquet.
Spur Hearne and Hunter Hughes were each named defensive MVP, and Husky Melendez was given the outstanding lineman award.
All three players allowed Graham to have one of the best takeaway defenses in 3A over the last two seasons and only gave up 9.8 points per game in 2013.
The Fighting Heart Award went to Thomas Hernandez.
Though Hernandez’ playing time was limited, Davidson noted that he always worked hard in practice and constantly had the right attitude.