SPRINGVILLE – Springville senior Mike Hannon has been selected to join the South team for the 43rd annual Kensington Lions All-Star football game July 25 at Williamsville South High School.
“It’s kind of nice getting the call, having your name out there as far as recognition. I had preseason All-WNY recognition, but a lot of that often goes with your team’s success,” Hannon said of having a chance to play one last game and represent Springville one final time.
At nearly 6-foot and around 300 pounds, Hannon was a force on both the offensive and defensive lines for Springville during his varsity football seasons and head coach Rob Valenti sees his departure as his biggest heading into his second year at the helm.
“In terms of his overall play, he was consistent throughout his years on varsity but he really excelled his senior year. He’s just really explosive from the offensive and defensive lines and I know he caused a lot of problems for individual players on a lot of teams,” Valenti said about his selection noting that it spans the entire Western New York high school football realm from Class D to AA.
Hannon follows in his brother Pat’s footsteps in securing a spot in the iconic game after Pat was selected in 2016 and Valenti couldn’t say enough about the two and the Hannon family overall.
“They are two of the most high-character individuals I’ve ever come across,” he said. “They were fantastic students, fantastic players and model citizens. They’re just incredible kids.”
“Football’s in my blood,” Hannon said of coming from a household of four brothers who have all played football. Mike will be joining brother Pat next season at Alfred University and that may have given Alfred the edge in recruiting as Valenti stated there were many suitors and at least one very disappointed not to have landed the younger Hannon, who prefers to play center on the offensive side after being recognized as a Trench Trophy nominee last season.
Hannon can’t say enough about the coaching he had at Springville that included both Eric Jantzi and Valenti, “They’re both really good coaches who do a great job relating to the players. They’re probably two of the best coaches I’ll ever have,” he said as practices for the Lions classic is set to get underway July 18.
Hannon set a school record last season in the weight room by squatting 540 pounds and is the lone Griff from last season’s team to be continuing his football career at the collegiate level. He said he got the call for the game from a Hamburg coach while trap shooting.
Valenti couldn’t have been happier for a player who exemplifies Springville football having begun playing as a seventh-grader all the way up through his senior year, “He’s a selfless kid who would do anything for his team. Just an unbelievable individual.”