DARKE COUNTY – As the fall sports season winds down, many senior athletes across Darke County are competing for the final times in their fall sports.
While their time is running short, some of those seniors are making the most of their final opportunities, including this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Arcanum volleyball player Brooke Allen and Mississinawa Valley football player Brandon Byers.
Allen led Arcanum with 283 assists and 171 kills this season. The senior also was third on the team with 211 digs.
“She was the only one who played all the way around, front row and back row,” Arcanum coach Terri Day said. “She just loves the game, and it shows.”
Allen, who began her tenure with the Lady Trojan volleyball team as a team manager when she was an elementary school student, was a four-year varsity starter for Arcanum. She was a co-captain as a senior and someone the rest of the team looked up to, Day said.
“That works for me when that’s the type of kid they’re looking at to emulate,” Day said. “Great team leader. Always has been. She just had a nice senior season.”
Allen was named first team all-Cross County Conference as a senior after just missing out on first-team honors last year as a junior.
“I was glad that happened,” Day said about Allen being named first team all-conference. “Very deserving without a doubt.”
Byers also is having a great senior season as he is second in Darke County in both passing yards with 681 and rushing yards with 875 through the first eight games of the season.
“Byers is having a great year,” Mississinawa Valley coach Brandon Mock said. The kid is doing things through the air and on the ground.”
Byers also is third on Mississinawa Valley team with 70 tackles this season and is the team’s leading punt and kickoff returner, averaging almost 20 yards per return.
Byers has a team-high three rushing touchdowns and also has thrown nine touchdown passes.
“If he sees that he has a receiver open he isn’t afraid to throw it in there, and if he feels that there is nothing open or that there is pressure from the defensive front, then he knows he can take off running,” Mock said. “He trusts his offensive lineman and wide receivers to find a man to block and work to get open and that leaves him with the mind set to either throw or run.”