Two Streator area and two Ottawa schools claimed victory in the fourth annual Prep Football Fans' Choice Awards, sponsored by OSF HealthCare.
Streator High School led the pack, with seven awards going to its football players and other performers at home games. Ottawa High School followed with wins in three categories, and Marquette Academy claimed the title in two categories. The Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland co-op was represented with a win in one individual player category.
Winners per category are:
- Favorite Quarterback: John Benckendorf, Streator
- Favorite Receiver: Coltin Grace, Streator
- Favorite Running Back: Dalton Kacvinsky, Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland
- Favorite Placekicker: Alonzo Flores, Streator
- Favorite Defensive Player: Dustin Gerkitz, Ottawa
- Favorite Head Coach: Tom Jobst, Marquette
- Favorite Cheerleading Squad: Streator
- Favorite Dance Team: Ottawa
- Favorite Band: Ottawa
- Favorite Student Section: Streator
- Favorite Team Nickname: Marquette Crusaders
- Favorite Mascot: Streator
- Favorite School Fight Song: Streator
The leading votes this year came from a handful of high schools, Barichello said.
"Streator is on the leader board every year with the majority of votes," she said. "Ottawa, Marquette and FCW also had a strong showing, as evidenced by the list of winners. But we also had a few behind-the-scenes schools on the leader board in terms of votes cast. Hall High School in Spring Valley and St. Bede Academy in Peru posted large numbers."
The margin between winners and runners up varied in each category. The widest margin was 111 votes, Barichello said.
"Marquette Coach Tom Jobst ran away with the favorite coach category. The narrowest margin was one vote in the favorite receiver category — Coltin Grace edged in front of Ottawa's Max Donahue on the last day."
Barichello said the majority of winners won by a margin of 15 votes or fewer.
"It just goes to show every vote counts."