PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg High School football team officially closed the book on the 2017 season by hosting the annual football banquet on Sunday inside Memorial Auditorium.

Throughout the course of the evening, players, coaches and boosters were all given recognition for the work they put in to make the season a successful one.

“This is a really cool way to end the season,” PHS head coach Tom Nickelson said. “It’s just a night we share memories and commemorate the seniors. It’s about all the kids, but this is a particularly special night for the seniors and we want to do our best to honor them.”

Several awards voted on by the players were handed out during the banquet, as Chase Johnson was named the most inspirational player and Chase Curtis was voted as the most valuable skill player.

“I think they always get the picks right, but the kids knew this year was especially tough,” Nickelson said. “We never had the voting be so close. There were two or three well-deserving kids for all of the awards. It’s just a very special group of kids. They don’t work as hard as they do with the goal in mind of winning those awards — although it’s nice — they work hard for the community, for the school and for their teammates.”

Nickelson also took a moment to thank all of the supporters who took care of the details along the way.

“The boosters are absolutely amazing,” Nickelson said. “Our quarterback club did so much to help make this a special experience for the kids and the coaches. They went above and beyond. They put in so many hours behind the scenes to make this season special. These parents put in countless hours after their full-time jobs. PHS is truly a special place to coach football.”

The players also took a moment to give back to the coaches, gifting Nickelson a football signed by the entire team.

“It’s a special group,” Nickelson said. “When you spend all of the hours we do around these kids for four years, you develop a deep relationship with them and it’s tough to let them go. We’ve put hundreds of hours in together and we’ve seen them grow up from freshmen into mature, young men and they just become an extended part of the family. We’ll keep an eye on them and follow them, but it’s never quite the same after they graduate. I’m just very proud of them and I know they will all go on to do special things after graduating.”

 — Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at jbuckamneer@morningsun.net and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.