Seems fitting that a football player who scored touchdowns seven different ways this season would be selected to the all-state team at the athlete position.
Swain High senior wide receiver Matthew Maennle was selected to the Associated Press All-State squadMonday, the only Western North Carolina player honored.
Maennle scored touchdowns via receiving, passing and running, plus on returns of an interception, fumble, kickoffs and punts while leading the Maroon Devils to a 15-1 season, the Smoky Mountain Conference title and a berth in the 1-AA state title game.
“Anyway I could help my team, I wanted to do that,” said Maennle, the son of retiring Swain assistant coach Frank Maennle.
“This is a good end to a great season, a great football team with the best teammates in the world. It’s an honor to share with all my teammates.”
Maennle caught 68 passes for 1,301 yards and 22 touchdowns, the receiving scores tying Georgie Kerber of Murphy High (2009) for most in a season by a WNC player.
Defensively, he had eight interceptions.
His school records include being the career leader in receptions, yardage and receiving touchdowns.
In a 59-7 win over Pikeville, Ky., this season, Maennle showed his versatility, scoring on receptions of 39 and 78 yards, a 39-yard run and an 89-yard kickoff return.
“Matthew is such a phenomenal athlete and a great competitor,” Swain coach Neil Blankenship said.
“He had an incredible season for us and a really good career. We’re very proud he’s being recognized like this; he deserves the honor.”
Blankenship and Maennle said there has been recruiting interest from Mars Hill, Lenoir-Rhyne and Western Carolina, but no decision has been made on where to attend college.