District 9’s 2010 Top Returning Athletes
Written by: Billy Splain on Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
Alec Starr, Senior RB/LB, Curwensville – One of the notable returners to the Golden Tide defense, Starr posted 54 tackles (44 solo), 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. He averaged 4.5 tackles per game.
Alex Holland, Junior RB/LB, Curwensville – A tremendous all-around player for Curwensville, Holland showed he will be a big big factor in the years to come. He finished second on the team in rushing yardage, amassing 820 yards and eight touchdowns on 152 carries. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry and over 68 yards rushing per game. Defensively, Holland was a force. He tallied 94 tackles (62 solo), 1.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He also returned 11 kickoffs for 315 yards (28+ yds/ret. average).
Andrew Fragale, Senior ILB, Cameron County – He’s the top returning defensive player (statistically speaking) and one of the key leaders to Cameron County’s defensive effort in 2010. As a junior, Fragale tallied 77 tackles (52 solo), four sacks, an interception and three fumble recoveries. Rumor has it Fragale will also play some fullback this coming season for the Red Raiders in addition to his defensive duties.
Andrew Redden, Senior OLB, Clearfield Area – Redden made the majority of his impacts defensively for the Bison last season, tallying 35 tackles, five sacks and a fumble recovery. He posted three sacks against Central-Martinsburg. Redden also caught five passes for 56 yards.
Andy Nortum, Senior QB/OLB, Johnsonburg – Nortum helped lead the Rams to a 3-6 record last season, completing 69-of-160 passes for 1,059 yards and nine touchdowns and adding three rushing touchdowns on 75 keepers. Nortum averaged nearly 118 passing yards per game. Defensively, Nortum totaled 42 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal.
Braden Bowser, Junior DL, Redbank Valley – His tackle total did not jump off the page, but he made up for that in other areas. Bowser finished his sophomore season with 29 tackles, a team-best 10 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. Bowser finished with multiple sacks against Clarion-Limestone, Union-Rimersburg, Brookville and District 9 Class A champion Clarion Area.
Brandon Bain, Senior QB, Redbank Valley – Bain finished the season completing 48-of-108 passes for 831 yards and nine touchdowns and added 84 rushing yards on 28 keepers. He threw for a season-best 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-20 loss to eventual District 9 AA champion Karns City. Bain also handled the punting and kickoff chores for the Bulldogs – he averaged close to 35.2 yards per punt and booted 29 kickoffs – two went for touchbacks.
Brandon Heeter, Junior QB, Clarion Area – Used as part of a two-platoon system on offense, Heeter completed 33-of-69 passes for 480 yards and six touchdowns against four interceptions. He also scored three rushing touchdowns on 12 keepers. Heeter threw for 100 yards twice last season – against Karns City and Cameron County – and threw three touchdown passes in only four completions against Redbank Valley.
Brandon Hogue, Senior ILB, Clearfield Area – The leading Bison tackler as a junior, Hogue chalked up 96 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. He averaged 8.7 tackles per game and posted a season-best 16 tackles against Philipsburg-Osceola and 14 tackles against Saint Marys.
Brock Bietz, Junior WR/DB, Brookville – Deitz made significant defensive contributions to the Raiders’ defense last season, amassing 63 tackles, a team-leading four interceptions and a fumble recovery. Beitz averaged 6.3 tackles per game, and finished three of Brookville’s final four games with double-digit tackle totals, including a season-best 14 tackles against Clarion Area and 12 tackles against Moniteau. Beitz also caught three passes for 63 yards.
Camrin Stuckey, Senior ATH, Port Allegheny – The consummate type of athlete on a small school football team who seems to be everywhere all the time would best describe Stuckey. He amassed 620 all-purpose yards on offense (27 passing, 159 rushing, 434 receiving) and scored seven total touchdowns. He ran for 100 yards in a game against Smethport and had six catches for 165 yards against Otto-Eldred. Defensively, Stuckey contributed 27 tackles, an interception seven deflected passes and one forced fumble. He averaged over 34 yards per punt and nearly 20 yards per kickoff return.
Chris Marshall, Senior WR, Brockway – Marshall threw for 131 yards and two touchdowns, caught 26 passes for 423 yards and four touchdowns, and added 78 tackles, two sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles on defense. Marshall was the fourth-leading receiver on the Rovers in terms of receiving yards. Marshall had a 21-tackle performance in a 32-19 loss to Curwensville.
Cody Overturf, Junior DL, Brockway – A potential Division-1 prospect in the 2012 recruiting class, Overturf produced 21 tackles and a sack as a sophomore. Already, schools like Maryland, Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia have shown interest in the Rovers’ defensive lineman.
Curtis Frye, Junior QB, Clearfield Area – Frye might be the best returning quarterback in all of District 9. As a sophomore, he completed 107-of-199 passes for 1,777 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging over 160 passing yards per game and throwing for 200+ yards five times. He added 451 rushing yards and 12 scores on the ground on 135 carries. Frye totaled 339 yards of offense and five total touchdowns in a 48-33 shootout victory over Indian Valley and had 181 yards of offense and four total scores against Penns Valley.
Dan Walters, Junior QB, Clarion Area – Walters was the other half of the two-quarterback platoon used by the Bobcats en route to their second District 9 football championship, but Walters did more than just lead the offense. He finished with 770 all-purpose yards offensively (665 pass, 55 rush, 50 receiving) and had a hand in 11 total touchdowns (6 passing, 3 rushing, 2 receiving). Defensively, Walters added 82 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and five fumble recoveries.
David Bojalad, Senior OLB, Elk County Catholic – A real weapon as a punter, Bojalad averaged 40.39 yards per punt on 31 attempts with five kicks downed inside the 20. He also handled the kickoff chores, and averaged 36.6 yards per boot. Defensively, he contributed 66 tackles (46 solo) and seven sacks.
David Hoover, Senior DL, Clearfield Area – An integral part of the Clearfield defensive line, Hoover led the Bison in sacks last season with 6.5 of them. He also contributed 35 tackles and recovered a pair of fumbles.
Derek Buganza, Senior QB, Brockway – The top returning passer in the state, Buganza completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,824 yards and 37 touchdowns last season, helping guide the Rovers to an 8-4 record. He averaged over 318 passing yards per game and had five 300-yard passing games to his credit. He’s thrown for 6,747 yards and 65 touchdowns in 2 years time. He added 102 rushing yards and eight scores on the ground.
Derek Danver, Senior WR, Clearfield Area – Danver is the top returning Bison receiver. He caught 30 passes for 437 yards and three touchdowns as a junior, averaging nearly 14.7 yards per reception and 40 yards per game. Defensively, Danver contributed 38 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Derek Morgan, Senior RB, Clearfield Area – Morgan finished the 2009 season as the leading rusher for the Bison, amassing 772 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 158 carries and adding 14 receptions for 214 yards and two additional touchdowns. Morgan averaged 4.98 yards per carry, 70.2 rushing yards per game and over 15.2 yards per reception. Defensively, he added 20 tackles and an interception.
Dylan Hipple, Senior QB, Karns City – One of the few key statistical returners from Karns City’s latest District 9 championship team, Hipple completed 75-of-126 passes for 1,056 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 345 yards and four touchdowns on 90 carries. He averaged 3.83 yards per carry and 81 passing yards per game. Hipple also contributed 10 tackles and an interception defensively.
Garrett Weaver, Senior QB/DB, Brookville – Weaver was part of a two-quarterback rotation used by the Raiders last year, and he amassed 497 yards of offense (440 passing) and had a hand in six total touchdowns (4 passing, 2 rushing). Defensively, he chalked up 83 tackles, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery, posting three 10+-tackle performances, including a season-best 15 stops against Clarion Area.
Ian Matson, Junior OL/DT, Clarion Area – Matson will be one of the key leaders on the Clarion defensive line in 2010. He finished his sophomore season with 84 tackles (55 solo), 1.5 sacks and an interception. Matson had three double-digit tackle performances, against Sharpsville, Farrell and Coudersport, three opponents who combined to finish 33-7 last year. Matson’s best game was a 10-tackle performance and a sack against Farrell.
Ian Weaver, Senior DEF, Punxsutawney – Weaver is the top returning tackler to the Chucks’ 2010 defense. He tallied 88 tackles (46 solo) as a junior. He finished eight games with seven or more tackles, including 10-tackle performances against Karns City and Clarion Area.
Jake Shaffer, Senior WR, Brockway – Shaffer did the bulk of his damage as a wide receiver, totaling 66 receptions for an even 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He averaged 15.15 yards per catch and 83.3 yards per game. Shaffer posted three games with more than 100 receiving yards and five games with seven or more receptions. Shaffer added 38 tackles and a fumble recovery on defense.
Jared Heschke, Senior WR/LB, Brookville – Heschke had a monster junior season for Brookville – finishing as the team’s leading receiver (33 rec., 619 yards, 8 TD) and as the team’s leading tackler on defense (158 tackles). Heschke averaged over 18.7 yards per reception and had five games with more than 60 receiving yards. In addition to his 158 tackles, Heschke added three sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He posted 23 tackles in a 40-34 loss to Bellefonte and had two 19-tackle perfromances against Allegheny-Clarion Valley and Clarion Area.
Jason Blose, Senior QB/DB, Cameron County – Easily a better runner than a passer, Blouse has helped guide Cameron County to a two-year record of 22-4 as a varsity starting quarterback. As a junior, Blose ran for 699 yards and six touchdowns on 121 carries and completed 31-of-88 passes for 480 yards and seven touchdowns. Defensively, Blose added 52 tackles (40 solo), a sack and two interceptions.
Joe Holmberg, Senior WR, Johnsonburg – Holmberg finished the 2009 season as the leading returning receiver for the Rams. He hauled in 30 passes for 452 yards and seven touchdowns last season, averaging over 15 yards per catch and 50 receiving yards per game. Holmberg had two 100-yard receiving games. Defensively, Holmberg added 63 tackles and a fumble recovery. He had a pair of 13-tackle games against Port Allegany and Kane.
Joe Tomasi, Sophomore RB/LB, Clarion-Limestone – Tomasi burst onto the scene as a freshman, finishing as the team leader in tackles. He amassed 126 tackles (all solo – C-L did not report assisted tackles to Maxpreps) and averaged 14 tackles per game. After 14 tackles in the Lions’ first two games of the season, Tomasi finished each of the next seven games with no fewer than 14 tackles, including two 18-tackle performances against Union-Rimersburg and Keystone.
Joel Yahner, Senior NG, Brockway – Yahner played in nine of the Rovers’ 12 games last season, amassing 78 tackles (39 solo), four sacks and a fumble recovery. He averaged 8.7 tackles per game, and finished with 10 tackles against Kane and 16 tackles and a sack against Ridgway.
Jordan Smith, Senior ILB, Moniteau – Smith is one of the key returners to the Warriors’ defense in 2010 after posting 50 tackles (42 solo), 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his junior season. He averaged five tackles per game and finished five consecutive games with tackle totals greater than that per game average.
Josh Kibbie, Junior OL/DL, Kane Area – A 6’2, 250-pound lineman, Kibbie tallied 58 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his sophomore season. Kibbie averaged 5.8 tackles per game and had six games with six or more tackles, including a pair of eight-tackle games.
Kevin Hoy, Senior FB, Saint Marys – Hoy was literally the main cog in the Flying Dutchmen’s ground attack, running for 1,513 yards and 14 touchdowns on 227 carries. Hoy averaged 6.67 yards per carry and over 151 yards per game, surpassing 100+ rushing yards eight times and 200+ rushing yards twice.
Kevin Wolflinger, Senior RB/DB, Coudersport – Wolflinger made significant contributions on both sides of the ball, registering 466 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 81 carries (5.75 yards/rush) and adding eight receptions for 71 yards and two additional touchdowns. Defensively, Wolflinger chipped in with 32 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
Kris Burkhart, Senior RB, Clarion Area – The top returning rusher to the Bobcats for 2010, Burkhart was the third-leading rusher in Clarion’s system last year, totaling 644 yards and five touchdowns on 95 carries (6.78 yards per carry). Burkhart twice ran for more than 100 yards in a game – totaling 156 yards against Redbank Valley and 102 yards against Brookville.
Kyle Armagost, Junior RB, Moniteau – Utilized as a dual-threat quarterback in Moniteau’s offense, Armagost amassed 1,520 yards of total offense (955 passing, 565 rushing) and had a hand in 18 total touchdowns (10 passing, 8 rushing). Armagost completed 55-of-122 passes and averaged just under 4.7 rushing yards per attempt in 121 total carries. He threw for more than 100 yards twice and ran for more than 100 yards once.
Kyle Kyler, Senior WR/OLB, Curwensville – Kyler did most of his damage defensively last season, tallying 51 tackles (34 solo) 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. He averaged 4.6 tackles per game. Fifteen of Kyler’s tackles came in the Golden Tide’s two match-ups with Coudersport.
Kyle Schneider, Senior RB/LB, Saint Marys – Schneider finished as the Flying Dutchmen’s second-leading rusher, accumulating 461 yards and five touchdowns on 81 carries, averaging over 5.6 yards per carry and 51 rushing yards per game.
Logan Weaver, Junior QB, Punxsutawney – Weaver led the Chucks to their first District 9 football championship since 1991, tallying 1,660 yards of total offense and 19 total touchdowns (16 passing, 3 rushing). Weaver completed 74-of-145 passes for 1,366 yards. He’s thrown for more than 2,500 yards in two years as a varsity starting quarterback. Defensively, Weaver added 30 tackles (18 solo) and seven interceptions, which led the team.
Marty Niklas, Senior DE, Kane Area – Niklas might be one of the lightest defensive ends returning in all of District 9 (176 pounds) but he certainly packs a punch for the Wolves. As a junior, he registered 66 tackles, 12.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and a safety. Niklas had six tackles, three sacks and a safety against Sheffield and 10 tackles and four sacks against Johnsonburg.
Matt Bodamer, Sophomore QB, Port Allegany – Never a team to be known for its passing game, Port Allegany found a spark in that department last year in the freshman Bodamer, who threw for 1,239 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 67-of-113 passes (59.3 percent). He added three rushing touchdowns on 62 keepers. Bodamer finished the year strong, going 23-of-38 for 437 yards and five touchdowns against Otto Eldred and Cameron County combined.
Matt Hergenroeder, Junior WR/LB, Keystone – Limited to doing his damage defensively as a sophomore, Hergenroeder amassed 76 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a safety. He averaged 6.7 tackles per game, and finished with 13 tackles against Union-Rimersburg and 11 tackles against Brockway.
Mike Veervort, Senior WR, Brockway – The leading receiver in the Rovers’ vaunted passing offense last season, Vervoort caught 88 passes for 1,390 yards and 16 touchdowns. He had two 12-catch games last season, against Cameron County (209 yards, 2 TD) and against Moniteau (224 yards, 3 TD). Vervoort also had 175 yards and four touchdowns against Otto-Eldred when QB Derek Buganza set the state’s single-game passing yardage record. He averaged nearly 16 yards per catch and close to 116 yards per game. Defensively, Vervoort contributed 70 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two blocked punts.
Mikey Harris, Junior RB/LB, Union-Rimersburg – Harris finished his sophomore season with 66 tackles and a pair of sacks, finishing with 10 tackles against Redbank Valley and two nine-tackle games against Clarion Area and Clarion-Limestone. Harris also ran for 118 yards on 41 carries and caught nine passes for 68 yards.
Mitch Freeman, Sophomore RB/LB, Coudersport – Only a freshman in 2009, Freeman finished the season as one of four Coudersport backs to surpass 400 rushing yards on the season. Freeman ran for 438 yards and seven touchdowns on 105 carries, averaging close to 4.2 yards per carry. Defensively, Freeman added 43 tackles and an interception.
Mitchell Rhoades, Senior LB, Clarion Area – Rhoades finished his junior season with 83 tackles (54 solo) and seven deflected passes, averaging nearly six tackles per game. He finished with 11 tackles against District 9 AA champion Karns City and 13 tackles against District 10 Class A runner-up Sharpsville.
Nathan Hartless, Senior LB, Brockway – He played in nine of Brockway’s 12 games last season, tallying 80 tackles (41 solo), one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He averaged 8.9 tackles per game and finished five games with 10+ tackles, including a season-high 18 tackles against Curwensville.
Noah Colebert, Senior QB, Otto Eldred – Colbert is the top returning athlete on the Terrors’ football team in 2010 – as a junior, he threw for 713 yards and nine touchdowns, completing 44-of-106 passes (43.4 percent) and added three rushing touchdowns on 22 carries. Defensively, he added 12 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Philip Esposito, Sophomore K, Brockway – Esposito converted 51 extra points and two field goals for the Rovers last season, scoring 57 of the team’s 468 points, or 12.1 percent of the team’s scoring output for the season. Esposito was one of seven Rover players to score at least 48 points in 2009.
Ricky Pearsall, Senior RB/S Elk County Catholic – Pearsall made significant contributions in all three phases of the game for the Crusaders last season. For starters, he led the team with 1,211 rushing yards on 191 carries, averaging over 6.3 yards per carry and 120 yards rushing per game. He ran for 100+ yards six times and 200+ yards twice. Defensively, he added 60 tackles (41 solo), an interception and a fumble recovery. On special teams, he returned 26 combined kickoffs and punts for 480 yards.
Ryan Hertlein, Junior ILB, Clearfield Area – Hertlein had a solid sophomore season for the Bison, tallying 86 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. He posted an impressive 19 tackles against Saint Marys and had 10 tackles each against Philipsburg-Osceola and Indian Valley.
Ryan Kerr, Junior LB, Brookville – Kerr had a solid sophomore season for the Raiders, chalking up 92 tackles, three sacks, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Kerr finished four games with 10+ tackles, including a season-high 18 tackles against Clarion Area and 13 stops against Bellefonte. Kerr’s best game came against Redbank Valley – nine tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
Scott Stubber, Senior WR/OLB, Elk County Catholic – Stubber was primarily a defensive threat as a junior as he tallied 69 tackles (43 solo), four sacks and a safety. He averaged 6.9 tackles per game and posted a season-high 11 tackles against Brockway and eight tackles and two sacks against Johnsonburg.
Seth Lowery, Senior OL/LB, Port Allegany – A solid and respectable two-way player for the Gators, Lowery has made significant contributions to the varsity football team since his freshman year. As a junior, Lowery ran for a team-best 829 yards on 160 carries and scored six touchdowns. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry and twice surpassed 175 rushing yards in a single game. Defensively, he added 76 tackles, a sack, an interception a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He even booted two punts, averaging 38 yards per.
Skyler Blumer, Senior RB/LB, Coudersport – A two-way player for the Falcons, Blumer ran for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 46 carries, averaging 5.76 yards per carry. Defensively, Blumer added 58 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He averaged 5.3 tackles per game.
Taylor Hathaway, Senior OL/DL, Coudersport – A 6’1, 283-pound behemoth, Hathaway helped pave the way for a Falcon offense that averaged over 228 rushing yards per game last season. All in all, Coudersport ran for more than 2,700 yards and averaged 22.8 points per game. Defensively, Hathaway contributed 12 tackles and three fumble recoveries.
Taylor Smith, Junior ATH, Union-Rimersburg – Smith’s duties were varied last season – he amassed 438 all-purpose yards on offense (95 passing, 89 rushing, 254 receiving) and scored six total touchdowns (1 rushing, 5 receiving). Smith completed 10-of-16 passes in relief of Corle and averaged 3.1 yards per carry and 12.1 yards per catch. Defensively, Smith added 43 tackles, a sack, and a team-best four interceptions.
Tim McCusker, Junior QB/DB, Coudersport – Operating the reins of a triple-option offense, McCusker proved to be a dual threat, completing 41-of-74 passes for 616 yards and eight touchdowns and adding 458 yards and five touchdowns on the ground on 93 carries. McCusker averaged 4.9 yards per carry and 51 passing yards per game, helping the Falcons reach the District 9 Class A championship game. Defensively, he added 23 tackles, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
TJ Armstrong, Sophomore DE, Clarion Area – Armstrong had a freshman season that was well worth remembering. After opening the year with a nine-tackle, 3.5-sack performance against Moniteau, Armstrong didn’t slow down, and finished with 106 tackles (61 solo), a team-best 12 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal. Armstrong averaged 7.6 tackles per game and had five games of 10+ tackles.
Trent Corle, Senior QB, Union-Rimersburg – Corle did most of his damage in three games last season, throwing for 661 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 69 yards on 36 keepers and another touchdown. Corle surpassed 100 yards in three games and had three games with multiple touchdown passes.
Tyler Dombrowski, Junior QB, Brookville – The other half of Brookville’s two-quarterback rotation, Dombrowski amassed 718 yards of offense and had a hand in nine total touchdowns (8 passing, 1 rushing). Dombrowski threw for 564 yards on only 33 completions. Defensively, he added 45 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Vince Summers, Senior WR/CB, Cameron County – One of the Red Raiders’ leading receivers in 2009, Summers caught only eight passes, but racked up 169 yards and scored three touchdowns. He averaged over 21 yards per catch. Defensively, Summers added 30 tackles (21 solo), two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Zac Dickey, Senior WR/DB, Punxsutawney – Dickey is the top returning receiver to Punxsutawney’s fold this year after totaling 24 receptions for 333 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 13.88 yards per catch and nearly 28 yards per game. Defensively, he added 37 tackles (23 solo), three interceptions and four deflected passes.
Zach Dimmick, Senior WR/LB, Curwensville – One of the top returning defensive leaders for Curwensville, Dimmick registered 60 tackles (38 solo), 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He averaged six tackles per game and fnished two games with nine tackles and two more with eight stops.
Zach Freemer, Senior WR, Brockway – Freemer was the third-leading receiver for the Rovers last year, snagging 40 passes for 756 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 18.9 yards per reception and 63 yards per game. Freemer had three games with six or more catches, and he went over 100 receiving yards in each of them – the most notable a 7-catch, 151-yard, 4-touchdown performance against Keystone. Defensively, Freemer chipped in with 60 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Zach Kemmer, Senior WR, Clarion-Limestone – The Lions’ leading receiver in 2009, Kemmer hauled in 37 passes for 529 yards and five touchdowns, averaging over 14 yards per reception and nearly 53 yards per game. Kemmer surpassed 100 receiving yard totals in games against Moniteau and Ridgway. Defensively, he added 38 tackles and a team-best three interceptions.
Zach Ramadhan, Senior LB, Port Allegany – He made the vast majority of his impacts defensively, tallying 81 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in his junior season. Ramadhan finished three games with 10+ tackles, including a 12-tackle performance in the season-opener against Distriict 9 Class A semifinalist Curwensville.
Zak Brody, Senior DE, Elk County Catholic – Another important part of the Crusaders’ defense in 2009, Brody tallied 51 tackles (32 solo) five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Brody averaged 5.1 tackles per game and had a season-high nine tackles against Curwensville and two games (Sheffield and Johnsonburg) with multiple sacks.
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