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Top individual awards in football usually are reserved for quarterbacks and running backs, but not in the Little Ten Conference and not this year.
David Gross, a senior two-way lineman from conference champion Bucksport High School, swept three of the top awards Sunday at the annual LTC postseason banquet held at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer.
Gross was chosen as the winner of the Art Greenlaw Player of the Year Award, the Bob Carmichael Defensive Lineman of the Year Award and the George “Toogie” McKay Offensive Lineman of the Year Award as well as being selected to the All-LTC first team on both offense and defense.
Gross previously won the Carmichael Award in 2017 and the McKay Award last fall for his work in the trenches for coach Joel Sankey’s Golden Bucks.
This fall he was the undisputed leader of a dominating front on both sides of the line of scrimmage that propelled Bucksport to a 9-1 record and its first LTC championship since 2013.
On offense the Golden Bucks averaged 39.5 points per game and produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in freshman Jaxon Gross, David’s brother, and sophomore Josh Miller.
On defense Bucksport yielded only 27 points with four shutouts during its 7-0 regular season and finished the fall yielding 7.5 points per game.
Gross was one of four Golden Bucks linemen to earn first-team All-LTC honors on offense along with guards Gavin Billings and Dawson Eaton and center Owen Gaudreau. Tight end Cameron Soper also was a first-team choice.
David Gross was one of four two-way, first-team selections from Bucksport, along with Miller at running back and linebacker, Soper at tight end and defensive end and Logan Stanley at wide receiver and defensive back.
Other first-team selections from the championship team were quarterback Brady Findlay, Jaxon Gross at running back and linebacker Skylar McNair.
Sankey, the LTC’s career leader in coaching victories, also was named co-winner of the Dale Curry coach of the year award with Dexter coach Andrew Shorey.
Shorey guided Dexter to an 8-2 season and its second trip to the LTC Class D North championship game in four years. Both of the Tigers’ losses came against Bucksport.
Joining David Gross as LTC Player of the Year nominees were Cameron Paige of Dexter, Logan Martin of Foxcroft Academy, Noah Reynolds of Houlton, Brayden Lujan of Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, Mark Ward of Mount View of Thorndike, Bennett Dunstan of Stearns of Millinocket and Marek Veal of Washington Academy in East Machias.
Dunstan also was the recipient of the annual Silvernail Scholarship presented by the conference, while Stearns teammate J.J. Cox received the Ken Libbey Scholarship.
Stearns High School, coached by Cody Herring, was presented the LTC Sportsmanship Award.