DARKE COUNTY – It was a record-setting year for several football players across Darke County, earning some of them The Daily Advocate’s 2012 football MVP honors.
The Daily Advocate’s 2012 football offensive MVP is Versailles’ Nick Campbell, The Daily Advocate’s 2012 football defensive MVP is Arcanum’s Mason Garber, and The Daily Advocate’s 2012 overall football MVP is Bradford’s James Canan.
Canan set several Bradford rushing records as a senior, including the Railroaders’ single game, season and career rushing marks. The senior captain had 2,254 yards and 30 touchdowns on 194 carries this season plus had six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.
“It was an outstanding year,” Bradford football coach Curtis Enis said. “He did a lot of great things for us. Just the ability to go out there and make plays.”
Against National Trail, the Railroader running back ran for 455 yards, which is the 10th best performance in Ohio High School Athletic Association history.
“He’s something special,” Enis said. “His breakaway speed is very deceiving. His ability to make people miss and then his ability to stiff arm people at will.”
Canan was named first team all-Cross County Conference, the CCC co-back of the year, first team all-Southwest District in Division VI by The Associated Press, the AP’s Division VI Southwest District offensive player of the year and first team all-Ohio in Division VI by the AP among his honors. The four-year starter also was among the players considered by the AP for Ohio’s Mr. Football award.
Canan, who is being looked at by some college football teams, helped lead Bradford to the playoffs for the first time in 30 years and helped lead the Railroaders to their first winning season since 1994.
“That speaks from his leadership abilities,” Enis said. “I talk about James as a football player. I enjoy talking about James just as much as a leader. Just a very selfless person.”
Campbell led all Darke County quarterbacks with 1,368 passing yards his junior season. He completed 53 percent of his 162 pass attempts for 18 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions.
Campbell, who was named first team all-Ohio by the AP a year ago, also rushed for 508 yards and two touchdowns on 107 carries this season.
Campbell was named second team all-Southwest District in Division V by the AP and honorable mention all-Midwest Athletic Conference by the league.
“Nick was the heart and soul of our offense,” Versaill1es football coach Adam Miller said. “He is a dual threat with his passing and running. Nick was a very efficient game manager for us.”
Garber was among the county’s top tacklers with 111 tackles, including 90 solo, this season. The junior linebacker also had four tackles for loss, two pass break ups, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Garber was named first team all-CCC by the league and second team all-Southwest District in Division VI by the AP.
“Mason had an outstanding season for our team and defense, especially adjusting to a new system and philosophy,” Arcanum football coach TJ Powers said. “He unofficially set the single season Arcanum total tackles record with 111. He is the type of young man that strives for success and has a passion for playing the game of football. He is a tough kid. I expect a huge senior season from him as long as he continues to improve on his discipline within the defense and progresses on the offensive side of the ball. I expect a huge senior season from Mason as a player and leader on and off the field.”