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Reece Thornton, 2019 1A Southern League Most Valuable Player.

Pahranagat Valley senior Reece Thornton was recently named the Most Valuable Player in the 1A Southern league for the 2019 football season.

Thornton’s teammate Preston Higbee was named as the Most Valuable defensive player.

Both players had earlier been given an honorable mention on the NevadaPreps All Southern Nevada football team.

Thornton was listed in the NevadaPreps statistics sheet with 1,089 yards on 97 carries and 18 touchdowns.

As a two-way player, Higbee, the Panthers’ quarterback, was a strong defensive back, picking off three interceptions. Austin Poulsen holds the school record of 10 in 2012.

Higbee was also chosen as All-League First Team quarterback.

Coach Brett Hansen said Thornton “built himself into a pretty dominant two-way player and the effect he had on both sides of the ball, what he brought to the game, all of which was recognized by the league coaches and to how much he meant to our team,” including coming back from an ACL injury that kept him out of sports for nearly all of his junior season.

Hansen said Higbee was “the leader of our defensive team. Both he and Thornton were team captains and played pivotal leadership roles. His defensive play is what stood out to the league’s coaches. Even though he wasn’t the team leader in number of tackles, he was very, very good at stopping the pass and giving run support when we needed him to. I am very proud for both players to receive these honors.”

Other Panthers named to the First Team All-League were defensive lineman Jacob Griffin; linebacker and tight end/receiver Paul Lewis; defensive back John Hansen; the offensive line of Jarett Stewart, Tayt Leavitt and Tad Twitchell; and running back John Hansen.

On Second Team All League were Leavitt and Kobi Fiatoa on the defensive line, and linebacker Jaren Leavitt.

Given an honorable mention for Pahranagat were Jamison Miller and Gage Davis. Fiatoa was given an honorable mention as a tight end/receiver.

Offensive Player of the Year was Masiah Pagota of Spring Mountain and Coach of the Year was Andrew Lai of Green Valley Christian.