St. MARYS – At St. Marys, the choosing of football captains from one year to the next comes at the end of the season where the outgoing leaders elect the new ones for the upcoming season under the guidance of head coach Doug Frey.
Despite being a junior Blake Kanorr was picked as one of the new Roughrider leaders for 2018 and the St. Marys defensive lineman. took his new responsibilities serious and it showed in the team’s success and his personal accomplishments and a mjor reason he was selected the 2018 Lima News Dream Team Defensive Player of the Year.
Kanorr, the WBL defensive player of the year and the All-Northwest Division IV lineman of the year, produced 104 tackles with 11 sacks during the regular season. He notched 20 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
Kanorr is part of a St. Marys defense that held opponents to seven points or less in half of their regular season games. In the playoffs the Roughriders have outscored their opponents 141-40.
Like most impact players, Kanorr’s journey to being one of the top lineman in the area began in the off season. At the onset of the summer, Kanorr set some personal goals for the 2018 year.
“Coming in, weight room rise I knew I had to get stronger and build up,” Kanorr said. “I had good coaches and they pushed me. First of all I wanted to get first team (All-WBL) and I wanted to be the top defensive lineman and ended up getting those goals.”
Frye describes Kanorr as a player who has that rare combination of size and speed with a tremendous work ethic and a motor that does not quit. He added that Kanorr is also motivated in the classroom.
“He is a dream type kid to coach,” Frye said. “He is fantastic because generally if God blesses a guy with an ability not all the intangibles fall into place and he has a number of intangibles that worked.”
More important Frye adds is that Kanorr loves to play football and be part of the team.
“Sometimes you have gifted athletes that are more of a challenge to coach but Blake, whether he was the smallest guy or the biggest guy on the team, he is fun to coach,” Frye said. “He enjoys the practice. His enthusiasm rubs off on other people. Probably the only thing that he would rather be doing than here is going hunting or fishing.”
Frye said what makes him a good player is that he is gifted but what makes him a standout is his that he enjoys the challenge and has fun.
“That is something that is often overlooked and doesn’t show up in the stat box is Blake’s enthusiasm and excitement about the game and hisenjoyment of the game rubs off on his teammates,” Frye said.
Kanorr describes his style of play as aggressive and hand-on and there are a number of WBL lineman that can attest to how physical the St. Marys junior can get.
Kanorr accepted the challenge of being a team leader and was instrumental in helping St. Marys achieve its team goals like a third consecutive WBL title and a deep run in the playoffs.
“I told the coaches where ever they need me to go I would go,” Kanorr said. “We all wanted it (the WBL title) pretty bad and make history again.”
As the leader on the defensive line, Kanorr sees it as his responsibility to keep the defensive line charged up and ready.
“We go for the shutout and takeaways really,” Kanorr said. “At the beginning of the year I aimed for 100 tackles, 10 a game, but other than that games will show what they show.”
As a team during the regular season, the Roughriders had a turnover ration of 24-plus with 20 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries.
Frye said Kanorr is not done growing as a person or a player.
“He is a leader by example right now but will be in more ways a leader on next year’s team,” Frye added.