Lane Mendenhall is no stranger to Mid-Lakes Conference honors, having received honorable mention recognition as a sophomore at tight end. But few could have predicted the Clever senior’s selection as a quarterback this year.
Mendenhall didn’t make his first start behind center until Week Five, but went on to throw for more than 900 yards to earn himself a spot on the Mid-Lakes' Third Team.
Mendehall, who completed 75-of-140 passes for 958 yards and six touchdowns, with five interceptions, had no prior experience at quarterback. He started the season at tight end.
“It was so much fun. I honestly wish I would have started at quarterback at a younger age because of how much fun I had,” Mendenhall said. “I was kind of standoffish about it at first. But I came around.
“Quarterback is a lot harder than people give it credit for,” he added. “You’ve got to make the right decisions. If you don't make the right decision, it's all on you.”
Mendenhall wasn’t moved to quarterback until Week Four, when he rotated taking snaps with Brayden Baker. Gage Evans was Clever’s opening-night starter at quarterback, but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
Mendehall is the Jays’ third quarterback to be honored by the Mid-Lakes. Aaron Gross was a Second-Team selection in 2021 and Bryce Gelle an honorable mention choice in 2020.
Clever sophomore wide receiver Xavier Robinson and junior linebacker Jack Whitinger are both First-Team selections.
Robinson hauled in 55 catches for 690 yards and four touchdowns.
Whitlinger collected 101 total tackles, including 16 TFLs and three quarterback sacks.
Robinson was named to the Second Team as a safety. He is joined on the Second Team by Clever offensive lineman Peyton Guccione and linebacker Austin Scott.
Scott posted 100 tackles, 10 TFLs and three sacks, while Robinson had 65 tackles and five interceptions.
Jays defensive back Aven Guajardo is also on the Third Team. He had 103 tackles
The Mid-Lakes’ Offensive Player of The Year is Fair Grove running back Kellen Lair and the Defensive Player Of The Year is Fair Grove defensive end Seth Hardison.