By David Sharp
NEMOnews Media Group
Milan linebacker Dominic Dabney was presented the 2019 KRES All Star Football award during ceremonies held December 18, 2019 at Moberly. Dominic Dabney is the fourth Milan player in two years to receive the KRES Radio All-Star designation.
Dominic’s older brother Ryan Dabney was a KRES All-Star basketball player in 2018. Dominic Dabney was previously named to the Grand River All Conference, the Missouri Football Coaches Association All District and All State Football Teams.
Ryan and Dominic Dabney were previously named to the 2019 Missouri Football Coaches Association All Hands Team. The All Hands team is recognition for volunteer work in the community, school and at St. Mary’s Church at Milan.
Milan teacher and coach John Dabney won the 2013 Pete Adkins Award from the MFCA. As of this writing, John, Dominic and Ryan Dabney are the only Father-Son combination to receive any of the MFCA awards.
Ryan and Dominic Dabney’s parents are John and Andrea Dabney of Milan.
The KRES All-Star Teams are selected by vote of area coaches. Honorees are selected regardless of enrollment classification. Junior Wide Receiver Noah Copeland of Kirksville and Junior Defensive Lineman Jarrett Kinder of Moberly are part of the 2019 KRES All-Star Football Team.
Centralia had three players selected. Macon seniors Blake Claas, and Caden Phillips along with junior Christjen Riekeberg, Senior Dayton Mettes of North Shelby became the first 8-Man football player on the KRES All-Star team. South Shelby senior Cason Wilt and Knox County junior linebacker Robert Mauck were area selections.
Monroe City senior running back Keenan Batsell rushed for 4,000 yards during his high school career. Sophomore defensive back Joshua Talton was also part of the 2019 KRES All-Star Football Team. Monroe City head football coach David Kirby was part of John Dabney’s staff at Milan several years ago.
Former Centralia football coach Erle Bennett received the 2019 KRES Football Legends Award. Coach Bennett won 206 games during a more than 30 year coaching career. Centralia won 70 football games from 2005 to 2012.
The Panthers won the Class 2 state football championship in 2003.Steve Hopkins of Harrisburg was tabbed 2019 KRES Coach of the Year.
The Wildcat football team finished with an overall record 5-6 of in 2019. The Wildcats were 1-3 in one point games this season. Milan finished in the District semifinals, where they lost to eventual district champion South Harrison by a final score of 32-8.
“You are always proud of your athletes,” John Dabney said. “The time that you spend with your kids. They might be in your house, but if they are actually your kid it’s hard to describe.”
“I grew up with coaches and administrators in my house, but I never actually played for them,” John Dabney said. Coach Dabney’s father LaVerne (Horse) Dabney was a Hall of Fame Football player for what is now Truman State University. Mr. Dabney was a teacher, coach and Administrator for Knox County High School. Horse Dabney coached Knox County’s first ever football game with Putnam County in 1963.
“Robby Mauck’s Dad Bobby Mauck and my Dad coached us. I’m sure they are looking down with a lot of pride tonight,” John Dabney said. Knox County senior linebacker Robert Mauck became a two time KRES All Star football player. Robert is the son of Robbie and Sherrie Mauck of Edina, Mo.
“I have talked to people about coaching your kids. Sometimes it can be very hard,” John Dabney said. “The biggest thing is you get what you earn. These guys have earned the things they have earned.”
“They come through a lot of hard work. A lot of hours. These guys are not only outstanding on the gridiron, they are outstanding on the basketball court, track and field. I think these guys will tell you they have never been forced to the weight room or forced to play anything,” Coach Dabney said of his children.
“One thing they have been forced to do is get their academics in line. These guys do a fantastic job. Not just for sports, but in their heart. Their heart for things they care about,” John Dabney said.
“These guys do a lot for the Milan Civic Recreation Association. The things they do around school voluntarily, at St Mary’s Church. They got the trifecta,” John Dabney said. “All State, Academic All State, make the All Hands Team. Throw the KRES All Star Award on top of them.
“I’m just very proud to say that not only am I their coach, but to say I am their Dad,” John Dabney said.
“It’s great to know that a lot of people think you might be one of the top players in Northeast Missouri,” Dominic Dabney told the Milan Standard. “Not very many people, especially one from Milan can say they are one of the top football players in the area.”
The KRES All-Star Teams are generally recognized as the top 24 players in a very wide region of Northern Missouri. “It’s not talking about he is one of the best Class 1 players, but no matter what. That is a big honor.”
“You have to go out and earn everything in this world,” Dominic Dabney said when asked about having another school year coming. “Especially in football. I don’t know how many hours I have spent either at school working out, running. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Dominic Dabney said.
“I want to be the best player in the area.”