DARKE COUNTY – There were many great performances by Darke County athletes throughout the 2012 fall sports season.
Several of the county’s athletes were among the state’s best this year, including both of The Daily Advocate’s overall fall sports MVPs.
The Daily Advocate’s 2012 fall sports MVPs are Bradford football player James Canan and Franklin Monroe girls soccer player Allyson Manning.
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.”
Manning had a record-breaking season for the Lady Jets, setting many of the program’s single game, season and career records.
“She crushed almost all the girls soccer records this year,” Franklin Monroe girls soccer coach Scott Howell said.
Manning set Franklin Monroe’s single game records with most goals in a game with five and most assists in a game with five.
The Franklin Monroe junior set the school’s single season assist record at 11 and also tied the team’s single season goals record with 27.
Even though she still has her senior season to go, Manning already has set the school record with 59 career goals and the career record with 19 assists.
While she rewrote the school’s record book, Howell said, she was unaware of her record-setting accomplishments the entire season.
“She had no idea throughout the year,” he said. “That’s pretty impressive numbers for anybody.”
Manning’s 27 goals this season were second best among Miami Valley girls soccer players, regardless of division. Among Division III players, she tied for eighth statewide in goals.
And the first team all-Cross County Conference player was able to accomplish all of that while drawing the opposition’s attention every game.
“She always drug in the best defender,” Howell said. “Each team that we played had their best player on her all the time. Some teams even put their two best defenders on her.”
Howell credited Manning’s work ethic and attitude with her success, also saying she is extremely involved in charity and a great student.
“Manning is just a fantastic athlete with a great work ethic and great attitude,” he said. “She just works extremely hard at everything she does, and that’s why she stands out.”
Howell said Manning and all her teammates deserve a lot of credit for leading the Lady Jets to a pair of wins in the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament, which had never been done before in Lady Jets history.