Although the season is over for the Mehlville Senior High School football team, postseason honors keep rolling in as seniors Chris Baltazar and Tyrone Clark have garnered First-Team, All-State honors.
“This is a really nice honor for them because other coaches are recognizing their accomplishments on the field this season,” Mehlville head football coach Eric Meyer told the Call. “It really takes an overall team for these to get the All-Conference and All-State honors and that’s what we preach to them every day.”
The Panthers finished the season at 7-4 overall with a 6-1 mark in Suburban West Conference play. Mehlville tied with Lafayette for the conference championship and advanced out of the Class 6, District 2 playoff with a 19-14 win over Ritneour.
But Mehlville’s season came to an end with a 24-7 loss at Oakville in the first round of the Class 6 playoffs.
However, the Panthers’ defense was solid for most of the season, giving up just 186 points to opponents — slightly less than 17 points per game.
“The kids did just an outstanding job on defense this year,” Meyer said. “They really hung in there and I thought that they played really well.”
Clark was a major player on Mehlville’s defense and offense as a linebacker and the team’s starting quarterback.
On defense, the 5-foot-10-inch, 195-pound senior racked up 62 tackles, one sack and one interception as well as a team-leading three fumble recoveries. At quarterback, Clark led the Panthers with eight touchdowns and one two-point conversion for 50 points. He passed for 303 yards, one touchdown and six interceptions and ran the ball 151 times for 789 yards.
“Tyrone’s such a great worker and is a good leader on the field,” Meyer said. “He has pride in doing things the right way and was always one of the first ones ready to go.”
Baltazar is a 5-foot-10-inch, 285-pound offensive and defensive lineman and was a two-year starter with the Panthers. On defense, he recorded seven tackles and two fumble recoveries this season.
“You don’t talk about the offensive line individually, but Chris did a great job this season,” Meyer said. “He really helped lead the way for our running game and he’s got a couple of schools interested in him right now.”