By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor

Hutchinson Community College sophomore defensive end Latrell Banskton was named the 2019 Jayhawk Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, as the all-KJCCC teams were announced.

Bankston, a 6-foot-1, 299-pound defensive tackle from Woodstock, Georgia, is the second straight Blue Dragons to win the league’s top defensive honor, joining Monty Montgomery, the 2018 winner.

This season, Bankston has been a dominant force on a dominant defense, which was No. 1 in the KJCCC in scoring defense (14.3 ppg), No 1 in total defense (215 ypg), No. 1 in pass defense (170.5 ypg), and No. 2 in rush defense (86.4 ypg).

Bankston was one of 10 Blue Dragons to earn first team honors and one of 23 total Hutchinson players to earn postseason notoriety. Bankston had a season high 13 total tackles and four quarterback sacks in a narrow loss to Garden City, and had eight tackles and two sacks in a win at No. 2 Iowa Western, to go along with seven tackles and two sacks in a victory over No.2 Butler. The Blue Dragons finished the regular season at 9-2 and ranked No. 3 in the regular season NJCAA National Rankings.

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