Four Seward County Saints as well as Head Coach Bryan Zollinger were recognized by the league Monday as All-Conference members and the Jayhawk West Coach of the Year.
Freshman Niem Stevenson drew top honors for Seward as he was named 1st Team All-Jayhawk West and the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year, finishing runner-up to two time All-American Kadeem Allen for Jayhawk West Most Valuable Player honors. Stevenson had a spectacular rookie year for the Saints, leading the team in scoring at 19.3 points per game and exploding down the stretch for Seward with 20 point games in 13 of the Saints final 16 games of the year. Stevenson becomes the first Seward freshman to receive 1st Team honors since Reggie Chamberlain in 2008 and is also the first Saint to win Freshman of the Year honors since Chamberlain in '08.
Fellow freshman Secean Johnson was named a 2nd Team All-Jayhawk West selection by the coaches. Johnson also received the first ever Jayhawk West Defensive Player of the Year award. Johnson finished third on the team with 11.3 points per game for Seward in 2013-2014 and was a menacing defensive figure for opposing offenses all season. Johnson scored in double figures 19 times for the Saints as a rookie including Seward's first six Jayhawk West games of the year, a stretch in which they took hold of the league race at 5-1.
Malcolm Hill-Bey also earned 2nd Team All-Jayhawk West for the Saints, putting together a spectacular sophomore season in which he was second on the team behind Stevenson at 12.0 points per game and also led the Saints in assists per night at 2.2. Hill-Bey stepped his game up immensely during Jayhawk West play for Seward, scoring in double figures 10 different times during the conference season including 24 and 26 point games against Garden City and Colby to open the conference year.
Brian Bridgeforth was an Honorable Mention All-Conference pick for Seward. The 6'10 sophomore led the Saints in rebounding during his second season in green and white with 6.0 boards per contest and was fourth on the team in scoring at 9.4 points per game. His 62.6% shooting percentage was second best in the Jayhawk West and in the top 25 nationally.
Seward Head Coach Bryan Zollinger was rightfully honored as the Jayhawk West Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season by his peers. Zollinger made Jayhawk Conference history this season, leading the Saints to a fourth consecutive outright league title, something that hadn't been done since the conference split into its current East/West format in 1968. It is the fifth time in seven seasons that Zollinger has won the award.
The four selections to the All-Conference teams are the most for the Seward program in nearly 20 years. In 1995 Carlo Walton, Shelby Walton, Martin Lewis, and Bart McIntire were all named 1st Team choices.