District 5’s Top Returning Athletes in 2010
Written by: Billy Splain on Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
Alex Will, Senior WR, Berlin-Brothersvalley – Will was the featured receiving target in the Mountaineers’ passing attack as he snagged 27 passes for 552 yards and five touchdowns last season. In two games against Windber, Will caught nine passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He also added nine tackles and a pair of interceptions and averaged over 33.5 yards per punt on 17 attempts.
Brad Hengst, Junior QB, Chestnut Ridge – Hengst was a dual-threat type of athlete last year operating the Chestnut Ridge offense as he amassed 1,510 yards of total offense (1,008 passing) and 10 total touchdowns (8 rushing). Hengst averaged 91 passing yards and 45 rushing yards per game last season. Hengst also handled the kickoff chores for CR, averaging nearly 41 yards per boot with a long of 50.
Brett Byers. Senior LB, Conemaugh Township – Byers was a human wrecking ball last season from his linebacker position – tallying 163 tackles (103 solo), 1.5 sacks and three interceptions. He averaged 13.6 tackles per game, and did not finish a single game with fewer than 10 tackles last season. In two games against Windber, Byers had 33 tackles (23 solo) and he had 14 tackles against eventual PIAA champion Clairton in the District 5/7 quarterfinals.
Brian Gibbons, Senior LB, Bedford Area – Normally, a season like Gibbons’ would be the best on the team, in terms of total of tackles. But Gibbons settled for #2 on the Bison in terms of total tackles. He finished the 2009 season with 140 tackles (90 solo), two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a blocked field goal. Gibbons, who averaged 10 tackles per game, had eight games with 10+ tackles, including a season-high 16 stops against Bishop Guilfoyle and two 14-tackle performances against Central Cambria and Chestnut Ridge.
Chris Foore, Senior QB, Tussey Mountain – Foore wasn’t asked to pass much, but he put up decent numbers during his junior season in the Titans run-first, pass-second offense. Foore completed 57-of-88 passes for 697 yards and four touchdowns, completing nearly 65 percent of his passes. Foore threw for a season-best 173 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-12 victory against Williamsburg.
Dan Sollenberger, Senior G/LB, Northern Bedford County – Sollenberger contributed 52 tackles, four sacks and two fumble recoveries on defense for the Panthers last season. He averaged 5.2 tackles per contest.
Dan Zambanini, Junior WR/DB, Conemaugh Township – Zambanini put up respectable numbers his sophomore season as a defensive back for the Indians, racking up 64 tackles (24 solo), three interceptions and a forced fumble. He averaged 5.7 tackles per contest.
Dylan Friedline, Senior LB, North Star – Friedline will be expected to provide senior leadership for a young but seasoned North Star team in 2010. He’s coming off of a successful junior season in which he tallied 101 tackles (82 solo) and two interceptions, averaging over 10 tackles per game and finishing six of those contests with double-digit tackle totals. Friedline also ran for 112 yards and a touchdown and returned six kickoffs for 96 yards.
Hayden Stumpo, Senior QB, Conemaugh Township – Stumpo completed 94-of-170 passes for 1,213 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 55.3 percent of his passes and averaging 134.8 yards per game. Stumpo threw for 100+ yards in six of Ferndale’s nine games last season, and surpassed the 200-yard mark twice.
Ian Edwards, Senior RB, Meyersdale – Edwards finished the season as the Red Raiders’ second-leading rusher, accumulating 580 yards and 15 touchdowns on 83 carries, averaging over 6.9 yards per rush and 58 yards per game. Edwards’ season totals were greatly aided by a 172-yard, 5-touchdown performance against Tussey Mountain, a game which Meyersdale won, 63-29. Edwards added 61 tackles and four sacks on defense.
Ian Sayler, Senior ATH, Berlin-Brothersvalley – If there was a statistical category for it, chances are Ian Sayler put up some numbers of statistical significance in 2009. The Mountaineers’ feature athlete (literally) is coming off an All-state caliber type of junior season in which he amassed 2,882 all-purpose yards (1,723 rushing yards; 543 passing yards; 69 receiving yards; 223 punt return yards; 324 kick return yards) and scored 23 total touchdowns. He also added 76 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles defensively. Sayler has run for more than 2,200 yards in his career and has an outside chance at reaching 4,000 rushing yards for his career.
Jacob Craig, Junior LB, Berlin-Brothersvalley – Craig put up monster numbers from his linebacker spot as a sophomore, so chances are if you’re in District 5 you’ll be hearing about Mr. Craig for the next couple of seasons. He amassed 126 tackles (41 solo), two sacks and an interception last season, averaging over 11 tackles per game. Craig had nine games of 11+ tackles, including 17 stops against Windber and 14 tackles against Chestnut Ridge and Rockwood.
Jarid Cover, Senior RB, Windber Area – Cover will literally be the straw that stirs the Ramblers’ drink this season – he’s easily the best statistical player returning to the blue and white’s offensive side of the ball. As a junior, Cover ran for 1,657 yards and caught 12 passes for 216 yards, scoring 26 total touchdowns. He averaged 7.46 yards per carry and 18 yards per reception.
Joel Suter, Senior DE, Northern Bedford County – Suter finished the season as the Panthers’ leading tackler, amassing 94 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries. He averaged 9.4 tackles per contest.
Jude Donatelli, Senior FB, Chestnut Ridge – Donatelli was the Lions’ leading rusher last season, and he figures to receive a bulk of the workload in the ground game once again in 2010. He ran for 1,106 yards and 15 touchdowns on 228 carries, averaging over 100 yards per game and over 4.8 yards per carry. He added 31 tackles on defense.
Justin Hoover, Junior RB, Meyersdale – Hoover made meaningful impacts on both sides of the ball for Meyersdale last year – he ran for 468 yards and nine touchdowns on just 58 carries, averaging nearly 8.1 yards per carry and 43 yards per game. Defensively, Hoover chalked up 91 tackles (54 solo) and seven sacks. Hoover’s most notable defensive performance came against North Star – he tallied 11 tackles and four sacks.
Kyle Dunmeyer, Junior G/LB, Meyersdale – Dunmeyer will be among the key defensive returning players to the Meyersdale football team this fall. As a junior, Dunmeyer finished with 114 tackles (52 solo) and a pair of sacks. He averaged over 10 tackles per game and had a 14-tackle game against Conemaugh Valley and three 13-tackle performances, against Shade, Windber and Tussey Mountain, respectively.
Logan Fluke, Junior WR/DB, Northern Bedford County – As a sophomore, Fluke registered 37 tackles, three interceptions (tied for the team lead), four deflected passes and a fumble recovery. Fluke averaged 3.7 tackles per contest.
Luke Wiley, Senior LB, Chestnut Ridge – Wiley made limited offensive impacts last season, but he really put up solid numbers on the defensive side of the ball. He finished 2009 as Chestnut Ridge’s leading tackler, with 111 tackles (35 solo), two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Wiley averaged over 10 tackles per game and had two 17-tackle performances to his credit – against DuBois and Philipsburg-Osceola.
Marcus Shippey, Junior RB/LB, Bedford Area – Shippey was all over the field for Bedford last season. He was Bedford’s quarterback and a linebacker and he made very significant contributions on both sides of the ball. Shippey totaled 1,665 yards of offense (960 passing, 705 rushing) with 14 total touchdowns (9 rushing). He averaged 68 passing yards and 50 rushing yards per game. Defensively, Shippey registered 180 tackles (126 solo), a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He also handled the punting chores for the Bison and averaged over 33 yards per punt on 40 attempts.
Matt Bittner, Senior QB, Meyersdale – Bittner put up respectable numbers leading the Red Raiders offense last season, throwing for 846 yards and eight touchdowns on 64-of-139 passing. Bittner averaged nearly 77 yards per game. The Red Raiders averaged over 31 points per game in 2009.
Max Strasiser, Junior QB, North Star – Strasiser replaced senior Cory Kaltenbaugh, who led one of the most successful scoring teams in District 5 history in 2008 (457 points in 12 games). Strasiser completed 59-of-121 passes for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns in the Cougars’ Multiple-I offense and added 146 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Strasiser surpassed 100+ passing yards in a game only four times last season, but when he did reach triple figures, he threw for no fewer than 138 yards. Defensively he contributed 36 tackles and an interception.
Neil Yoder, Junior LB, North Star – Yoder had a solid sophomore season for the Cougars on defense, racking up 89 tackles and picking off a pair of passes. Yoder averaged close to nine tackles per game and had four games of 10+ tackles in 2009.
Preston Albright, Senior RB, Northern Bedford County – Albright finished the season as the Panthers’ leading rusher, accumulating 1,145 yards and 12 touchdowns on 233 carries. Albright averaged over 4.7 yards per carry and 114 yards per game. He accounted for 63.6 percent of the Panthers’ season rushing output himself.
T. Strasiser, Sophomore WR/DB, North Star – His first name wasn’t entered in the Maxpreps database, but this Cougar earned his identity for having some big games and proving to be a worthy target in the passing game. Strasiser finished with 643 yards and three touchdowns on 34 receptions as a freshman, and he had three games of more than 100 receiving yards. He made an impact defensively, chalking up 13 tackles and two interceptions, and averaged over 38 yards per punt on 20 attempts.
Tyrel Stockwell, Senior RB, Berlin-Brothersvalley – Stockwell contributed both offensively and defensively to the Mountaineers’ efforts in 2009 – finishing as the team’s second-leading rusher, racking up 698 yards and seven touchdowns on 94 carries, averaging over 7.4 yards per rush. Stockwell also chipped in with 52 tackles, two interceptions, five deflected passes and a fumble recovery, and, lastly, he returned eight kickoffs for 159 yards.
Willie Sollenberger, Senior WR/DB, Northern Bedford County – Sollenberger helped to contribute both offensively and defensively to the Panthers’ 2009 season effort – he caught nine passes for 262 yards and a touchdown – averaging over 29 yards per catch – and added 52 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries on defense.
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