2011-12 District 9 “Players to Watch” list
Written by: Billy Splain on Monday, August 15th, 2011
|Aaron Burnside, Senior OL/DL, Cameron County – One of the top returning sack artists in District 9, Burnside posted 67 tackles (43 solo), a team-best 12 sacks and a fumble recovery. Burnside averaged more than six tackles per game, racking up two games of 10+ tackles and three games with at least two sacks. His fumble recovery, recorded against Curwensville in the District 9 Class A semifinals, was returned for a touchdown.
Aaron Graham, Junior WR/DB, Union-Rimersburg – A key piece returning to the Golden Knights’ defensive backfield, Graham chalked up 57 tackles (40 solo), three interceptions, six deflected passes and three forced fumbles. He averaged 5.7 tackles per game, including a season-best 11 stops against Keystone. Offensively, Graham totaled 275 total yards (187 rushing, 88 receiving) and scored one touchdown, averaging 12.5 yards per carry and 17.6 yards per reception.
Adam Garing, Senior ATH, Karns City – Charged with the kickoff and placekicking duties for the Gremlins last season, Garing averaged 41.5 yards per kickoff on 39 attempts, with one touchback. He also converted 15 extra points and two field goals, scoring 21 of Karns City’s 227 total points on the season.
Alex Holland, Senior RB/ILB, Curwensville – Holland might be the best all-around returning player in the District 9 Class A landscape. He was the feature tailback in Curwensville’s power-I offense, tallying 2,600 yards on 346 carries, snaring nine passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns, returning six kickoffs for 181 yards and totaling 107 tackles (66 solo), two sacks, an interception, a deflected pass, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal on defense. Holland averaged 7.5 yards per carry, 15.2 yards per reception, 30.2 yards per kick return and 8.2 tackles per game. He posted 11 games of 100+ rushing yards and four games of 10+ tackles. He ran for a season-best 419 yards against Kane and posted 26 tackles against Brockway.
Alex Kinkela, Senior FB/DE, Karns City – One of three Gremlin backs to rush for more than 400 yards last season, Kinkela finished with 420 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 63 carries and caught five passes for 51 yards, averaging nearly 6.7 yards per carry and 10.2 yards per reception. Kinkela ran for at least 60 yards in three of KC’s games last year, but did not surpass the 100-yard mark. Defensively, #33 accounted for 61 tackles (35 solo), three sacks, three deflected passes and a blocked punt.
Andrew Stage, Senior OL/DL, Clarion-Limestone – Stage only played in six games last season for C-L, but he made the most of his time, accruing 49 tackles, averaging more than eight stops per game. Stage’s best game of the season came against arch rival Clarion Area. He posted 16 tackles against the Bobcats.
Austin Davis, Senior FB/LB, Union-Rimersburg – One of the leading returning tacklers to the Golden Knights’ defensive unit in 2011, Davis totaled 95 tackles (68 solo), two sacks, three deflected passes, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He averaged 9.5 tackles per game for Union, finishing five games with 10+ tackles, including 16 tackles against Clarion-Limestone, 14 tackles against Moniteau and 13 stops against Keystone. Offensively, Smith was one of the keys to the Kinghts’ ground game, running for 486 yards and three touchdowns on 86 carries and catching another five passes for 70 yards. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and 12 yards per reception.
Beau Swales, Senior RB/LB, Clearfield Area – The top returning rusher to the Clearfield offensive arsenal from a season ago, Swales ran for 691 yards on 96 carries and caught another 16 passes for 242 yards, scoring 17 total touchdowns (11 rushing, 3 receiving, 3 misc.). He averaged 7.2 yards per carry and 15.1 yards per catch. Defensively, Swales added 81 tackles, a sack, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
Ben DeHart, Senior OL/DL, Keystone – A 6’4, 260-pound force in the trenches for Keystone, DeHart rolled up 53 tackles (all solo), three sacks and a fumble recovery, averaging 5.9 tackles per game. DeHart also helped pave the way for a Keystone offensive unit that averaged 271 yards and 21.3 points per game in 2010, scoring 28 total touchdowns (19 rushing, 9 passing).
Billy Kelley, Senior QB, Clarion-Limestone – The field general at the helm of Clarion-Limestone’s spread offense that averaged more than 220 yards and 15.6 points per game, Kelley completed 88-of-179 passes for 1,282 yards and 11 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He averaged more than 128 passing yards per game and finished five games with more than 100 passing yards and three games with at least 200 yards. He also added 58 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 80 keepers. Defensively, Kelley chipped in with 40 tackles.
Brady Ellenberger, Senior QB/LB, Karns City – Primarily a defensive weapon for the Gremlins, Ellenberger tallied 54 tackles, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He averaged 5.4 tackles per game and finished games against Keystone and Hickory with 10 tackles each. Ellenberger posted a three-sack game against Clarion-Limestone.
Brock Beitz, Senior WR/DB, Brookville – A key presence in the Raiders’ defensive backfield last season, Beitz registered 55 tackles (all solo), five interceptions and eight deflected passes. He averaged 4.6 tackles per game, including a season-best 10 tackles against Karns City. Beitz also made some impacts at wide receiver, using his 6’2 target to snag 14 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown, averaging 12.7 yards per catch.
Brock McCullough, Junior ATH, Elk County Catholic – McCullough should see his roles increase for the Crusaders as time goes by after amassing 425 all-purpose yards (170 rushing, 115 punt returns, 140 kickoff returns), averaging five yards per carry, 23 yards per punt return and 17.5 yards per kickoff return. Defensively, McCullough posted 30 tackles (23 solo), two interceptions, a deflected pass and a fumble recovery.
Brock Taylor, Senior T/LB, Port Allegany – A two-way weapon for the District 9 Class A runners-up, Taylor registered 61 tackles (33 solo), two sacks and a deflected pass. Offensively, he helped pave the way for a Port Allegany offense that averaged 376 yards and 31.8 points per game, scoring 50 total touchdowns (28 rushing, 22 passing).
Brody Pollock, Senior WR/DB, Union-Rimersburg – The featured target in the Golden Knights’ aerial assault that averaged more than 90 yards per game, Pollock snagged 22 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns, averaging nearly 18.8 yards per reception. He finished four games with three or more catches and three games with at least 60 receiving yards. Defensively, Pollock brings a veteran presence to the defensive backfield after posting 61 tackles (43 solo), four interceptions, five deflected passes, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Pollock also returned 11 kickoffs for 194 yards, averaging 17.6 yards per return.
Bryce Straffin, Senior TE/DE, Clarion Area – A defensive weapon for the Bobcats, Straffin racked up 39 tackles, four sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. He finished with a season-best 15 tackles against Clarion-Limestone and had a pair of sacks against Redbank Valley. A 6’5 target in the Clarion aerial assault, Straffin snared seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, averaging 18.1 yards per catch and returned five kickoffs for 148 yards, an average of 29.6 yards per return.
Cam Yard, Junior K/ATH, Brookville – Yard did a little bit of everything for the Raiders en route to the blue and white’s appearance in the District 9 AA championship game. He converted 25 extra points and three field goals, scoring 34 total points and averaged 29.3 yards per punt on 12 attempts. Defensively, he tallied 29 tackles (all solo) and a pair of deflected passes. Yard also amassed 485 all-purpose yards (97 passing, 128 rushing, 260 kickoff returns), completing 3-of-6 passes, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 16.3 yards per kickoff return.
Camron Kirkland, Junior WR/FS, Clarion Area – Kirkland played much larger than his 5’8, 155-pound frame, amassing 961 all-purpose yards (156 rushing, 490 receiving, 305 kickoff/punt returns) and scored five total touchdowns (4 receiving, 1 rushing). He was the featured target in the Bobcats’ aerial assault, hauling in 23 passes for an average of 21.3 yards per catch. He also averaged 9.2 yards per carry, 6.8 yards per punt return and 21.1 yards per kickoff return. But Kirkland was also quite the asset in the Clarion defensive backfield – racking up 49 tackles, five interceptions, eight deflected passes, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He picked off three passes against Allegheny-Clarion Valley.
Charlie Buchanan, Senior WR/CB, Port Allegany – A two-way threat for the Gators, Buchanan caught 12 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns, finishing as the third-leading receiver in the Port Allegany aerial assault that averaged more than 167 yards per game. Buchanan averaged more than 27.2 yards per catch and posted two games of 100+ receiving yards. Defensively, Buchanan contributed 40 tackles (26 solo), three interceptions and a deflected pass.
Chris Cooper, Senior OL/LB, Sheffield – One of the defensive athletes returning to the Wolverines in 2011, Cooper finished his junior season with 52 tackles and one sack, averaging 7.4 tackles per game and recording one game of 10+ tackles.
Christian Bakewell, Sophomore QB/DB, Clarion-Limestone – In limited action behind junior Billy Kelley, Bakewell finished his freshman season completing 24-of-56 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns against three interceptions. He posted consecutive games of 90+ passing yards against Saint Marys and Keystone and finished the Saint Marys game with two passing touchdowns.
Cole Gerber, Senior FB/LB, Elk County Catholic – The second-leading rusher in the Crusaders’ offensive attack last season, Gerber ran for 248 yards and four touchdowns on 48 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per rush. He also caught seven passes for 44 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per catch. He added 58 tackles (43 solo), an interception and two deflected passes.
Colt O’Neil, Senior RB/DE, Keystone – One of the featured backs in the Keystone offensive arsenal, O’Neil ran for 391 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 58 carries, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Defensively, #45 recorded 45 tackles (all solo), two sacks, an interception (returned 23 yards for a touchdown), four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. O’Neil averaged 4.5 tackles per game.
Conan Gilhousen, Senior RB/LB, Brookville – A key returner to the Raiders’ linebacking corps in 2011, Gilhousen racked up 55 tackles (all solo), three sacks, two deflected passes, a fumble recovery and a safety, averaging five tackles per game with two 11+ tackle performances and one game with multiple sacks. Offensively, Gilhousen ran for 168 yards and a touchdown on 43 carries and caught another two passes for 38 yards.
Curtis Frye, Senior QB/DB, Clearfield Area – Frye is coming off of a very productive junior season, helping lead Clearfield to a school-record 13 wins and a berth in the PIAA AAA quarterfinals against Allentown Central Catholic. The Bisons field general threw for 1,830 yards and 19 touchdowns against five interceptions and ran for 304 yards and nine additional touchdowns on 110 carries. Frye completed 119-of-206 passes (57.8 percent) and averaged 2.8 yards per carry. He threw for 100+ yards in 10 of 14 games and has thrown for 3,607 yards and 33 touchdowns in his career. Defensively, Frye added 24 tackles (all solo), five interceptions and six deflected passes.
Dan Kline, Senior C/DT, Bradford Area – A key returner to the defensive trenches for Bradford, Kline tallied 63 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery, averaging 6.3 tackles per contest with a pair of 10+ tackle performances against Erie Central Tech and General McLane.
David Reinhardt, Senior G/LB, Bradford Area – An important presence at linebacker for an Owls’ defensive unit that allowed an average of 19.4 points per game last season, Reinhardt amassed 97 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery, averaging 9.7 tackles per game and finishing seven games with 10+ tackles, including a 16-tackle game against General McLane and a quarter of 11-tackle performances.
Dustin Geegan, Sophomore RB/CB, Moniteau – The second-leading rusher in the Warriors’ offensive arsenal that averaged more than 200 yards per game on the ground, Geegan totaled 937 yards of offense (676 rushing, 261 receiving) and scored nine total touchdowns (6 rushing, 3 receiving). Geegan averaged 6.4 yards per carry on 106 carries, rushing for 100+ yards on three occasions and 15.4 yards per reception on 17 catches. Geegan also added 15 tackles and an interception and returned a combined nine kickoffs and punts for 142 yards.
Ethan Pry, Senior WR/DB, Moniteau – The featured receiver in Moniteau’s aerial assault that averaged more than 120 yards per game, Pry hauled in 24 passes for 593 yards and five touchdowns, averaging more than 24.7 yards per catch. He posted a pair of 100-yard receiving games. Pry also ran for 137 yards on 16 carries and returned a combined 22 kickoffs and punts for 290 yards. Defensively, Pry chipped in with 38 tackles (26 solo) and three interceptions.
Ethan Williams, Senior RB/LB, Karns City – Williams had more of an impact for the Gremlins from his position at linebacker during the 2010 season, racking up 60 tackles, one sack and a deflected pass, averaging six tackles per game and posting a pair of 10+ tackle games against Punxsutawney and Clarion Area. Used sparngly on offense, Williams ran for 32 yards and one touchdown on six carries and returned a combined 10 kickoffs and punts for 135 yards.
Evan Jamison, Senior WR/DB, Sheffield – The third-leading receiver behind George Fitch and Kalil Slaughter, Jamison hauled in 14 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown, averaging more than 17.1 yards per catch. He finished three games with at least 62 receiving yards. Defensively, Jamison added 35 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
George Fitch, Senior TE/DE, Sheffield – The primary receiver in the Wolverines’ aerial assault that averaged over 110 yards per game, Fitch snagged 21 passes for 440 yards and a pair of touchdowns, averaging more than 20.9 yards per reception. He did not finish any of Sheffield’s games with more than three receptions, posting eight games of at least two catches and five games of at least 50 receiving yards. Defensively, Fitch chipped in with 89 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery, finishing five games with 10+ tackles, including a pair of 13-tackle games against Curwensville and Coudersport.
Glenn Toy, Junior RB/DB, Karns City – Toy was named D9Sports.com’s Rookie of the Year for his efforts in his sophomore season. Toy finished with 782 all-purpose yards for the purple and gold (461 rushing, 37 receiving, 284 kickoff/punt returns) and scored nine rushing touchdowns. He averaged 8.2 yards per carry, 9.2 yards per reception, 16.8 yards per punt return and 12.9 yards per kickoff return. Defensively, Toy chalked up a team-leading 73 tackles (37solo) and also added two interceptions, nine deflected passes and a fumble recovery.
Hunter McCracken, Junior QB, Curwensville – One half of the Golden Tide’s two-quarterback platoon in 2010, McCracken completed 45-of-92 passes for 758 yards and 13 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He threw for a season-high 136 yards against Farrell in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals and posted two games with at least two touchdown passes. He also ran for 28 yards and two scores on 15 keepers. Defensively, McCracken chalked up 23 tackles, two interceptions and six deflected passes.
Ian Matson, Senior G/DT, Clarion Area – Matson had quite the junior season, accumulating 95 tackles, two sacks, a deflected pass and four forced fumbles. He averaged 10.1 tackles per game, finishing six games with 10+ tackles, including a 16-tackle game against Saint Marys and a trio of 11-tackle games against Keystone, Moniteau and Allegheny-Clarion Valley. Matson also forced three fumbles in the Keystone game.
Ike Nearing, Senior QB, Sheffield – The field general operating the reins of Sheffield’s offense, Nearing accounted for 1,226 yards of total offense (1,134 passing, 92 rushing) and had a hand in 10 total touchdowns (5 each rushing/passing). Nearing completed 70-of-157 passes and averaged just under one yard per carry on 97 attempts. He threw for 100+ yards in seven of the Wolverines’ 10 games. Defensively, Nearing added 72 tackles, one sack and three interceptions.
Jason Gibson, Senior ATH, Coudersport – You name it, Gibson probably did it during the 2010 season for Coudersport. He finished his junior season with 842 all-purpose yards (416 passing, 200 rushing, 26 receiving, 200 kickoff/punt returns) and had a hand in six total touchdowns (4 passing, 2 rushing). Gibson completed 23-of-57 passes, thrice throwing for 90+ yards and averaged 3.5 yards per carry, rushing for 100+ yards once. Defensively, Gibson added 54 tackles, three sacks, two deflected passes and a fumble recovery. He also averaged 32.3 yards per punt on three attempts.
Jesse Zorger, Senior WR/OLB, Curwensville – Primarily a defensive force for the Golden Tide en route to a District 9 Class A championship, Zorger totaled 55 tackles (43 solo), three sacks, an interception, two deflected passes and two forced fumbles. He averaged 4.2 tackles per game. Zorger chipped in offensively with 11 receptions for 106 yards and scored one touchdown, averaging 9.6 yards per catch.
Jimmy Holton, Junior OL/LB, Allegheny-Clarion Valley – Statistically speaking, Holton was the leader of the Falcons’ defensive unit last season, racking up a team-leading 72 tackles (49 solo), four sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Holton averaged nine tackles per game for A-C Valley and finished four games with at least 10+ tackles.
Joe Tommasi, Junior RB/LB, Clarion-Limestone – The leading returning rusher for the Lions, Tommasi tallied 487 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 99 carries, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Tommasi finished with a season-best 244 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Union-Rimersburg. Defensively, he contributed 54 tackles, averaging 7.7 stops per game.
Josh Eberhart, Junior ATH, Keystone – Eberhart finished his sophomore season by amassing 569 all-purpose yards (29 rushing, 165 receiving, 40 punt returns, 335 kickoff returns) and scored three total touchdowns (2 receiving, 1 rushing). He averaged 9.7 yards per carry, 23.6 yards per reception, 10 yards per punt return and 23.9 yards per kickoff return. Defensively, Eberhart chipped in with nine tackles (all solo) and a pair of interceptions.
Josh Greslick, Junior RB/DB, Curwensville – Mostly used in a reserve capacity for the Tide, Greslick finished with 246 rushing yards and one touchdown on 35 carries, averaging just under 7.1 yards per attempt. Greslick finished four games with between 49 to 71 rushing yards. Defensively, he chipped in with 13 tackles (11 solo) and a forced fumble.
Josh Kibbie, Senior OL/DL, Kane Area – The 6’2, 260-pound Kibbie was literally a force along the defensive line for the Wolves, amassing 70 tackles (68 solo), five sacks and two fumble recoveries. He posted 10 tackles and three sacks against Coudersport and 10 tackles against Curwensville.
Justin Quiggle, Senior RB/S, Saint Marys – Quiggle figures to be an integral part of the Flying Dutchmen’s offensive attack after totaling 960 all-purpose yards of offense (713 rushing, 247 receiving) and scored 14 total touchdowns (10 rushing, 3 receiving, 1 misc.). He averaged 10.3 yards per carry and 22.4 yards per reception, running for 100+ yards three times and surpassing 100 receiving yards once. Quiggle posted two games with four touchdowns scored – against Clarion-Limestone and Moniteau.
Kaden McGregor, Junior RB/LB, Union-Rimersburg – McGregor handled the punting chores for Union last season, averaging 36.4 yards per punt on 30 attempts with a long of 50 yards and one punt downed inside the 20 yard line. He also recorded 24 tackles (19 solo), two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery and ran for 55 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Kalil Slaughter, Senior TB/OLB, Sheffield – A dual threat running back, both as a pass catcher and a rusher, Slaughter amassed 855 all-purpose yards of offense (601 rushing, 254 receiving) and scored seven total touchdowns (4 rushing, 3 receiving). He averaged 6.2 yards per carry and 14.1 yards per reception, posting a pair of 100-yard rushing performances. Defensively, Slaughter contributed 69 tackles, a sack and an interception, averaging 7.7 tackles per game and accounting for three 10+ tackle performances.
Keaton Delp, Senior WR/OLB, Redbank Valley – The featured target in Redbank Valley’s aerial assault that averaged more than 120 yards per game, Delp snagged 29 passes for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging more than 22.1 yards per reception. Delp finished three games with at least four receptions and seven games with at least 51 receiving yards, including a season-high 173 yards on four catches against Moniteau. He also ran for 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, registered 66 tackles and an interception on defense and returned eight kickoffs or punts for 150 yards.
Kevin Lord, Senior QB, Smethport – The ringleader of Smethport’s triple option offense that averaged more than 220 rushing yards per game, Lord finished with 1,325 all-purpose yards (673 passing, 591 rushing, 61 receiving) and had a hand in 16 total touchdowns (6 passing 9 rushing, 1 receiving) for the Hubbers, who qualified for the District 9 Class A playoffs. Lord completed 39-of-99 passes and posted three 100+ yard passing performances, averaged 6.4 yards per carry on 92 attempts with three 100-yard rushing performances and averaged 30.5 yards per reception.
Kyle Armagost, Senior QB/ATH, Moniteau – Armagost was Moniteau’s “Mr. Everything” in 2010 – literally. When the dust settled on the Warriors’ 5-6 campaign, Armagost accumulated an astounding 3,046 all-purpose yards (1,361 passing, 1,186 rushing, 231 punt returns, 268 kickoff returns) and contributed 25 total touchdowns (11 passing, 14 rushing). Armagost threw for 100+ yards six times, ran for 100+ yards five times and finished the season as District 9’s second 1,000/1,000 quarterback in the last three years. Defensively, #5 racked up 120 tackles (80 solo), two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two blocked field goals. He averaged 10.9 tackles per game, finishing with 17 tackles against Punxsutawney, 16 tackles in the District 9 AA playoffs against Brookville and a pair of 14 tackle-games in the Warriors’ regular season meeting with Brookville and against Clarion Area. On special teams, Armagost averaged 40.4 yards per punt on 32 attempts, with 10 punts downed inside the 20 yard line and also averaged 19.3 yards per punt return and 29.8 yards per kickoff return.
Kyle Barger, Senior TE/DE, Karns City – A key returner to the Gremlins’ defensive line, Barger recorded 52 tackles (32 solo) and 2.5 sacks in 2010. He averaged 5.2 tackles per contest. Also a tight end in Karns City’s Wing-T offense, Barger hauled in a pair of passes for 17 yards.
Kyle Bloom, Junior G/DT, Curwensville – A force along both the Golden Tide’s offensive and defensive lines, Bloom helped to pave the way for a Curwensville offense that averaged more than 275 rushing yards and 39 points per game last season en route to the District 9 Class A championship. Defensively, Bloom racked up 18 tackles (12 solo) and three fumble recoveries. Bloom also handled some limited kickoff duties, averaging a little more than 30 yards per attempt, with a long of 46.
Kyle Braun, Senior WR/DB, Brockway – Braun had a solid junior season for the Rovers, amassing 1,086 all-purpose yards of offense (168 passing, 116 rushing, 802 receiving) and accounted for 10 total touchdowns (8 receiving, 1 passing, 1 rushing) through Brockway’s first 11 games. Braun completed 11-of-21 passes, averaged 7.3 yards per carry on 16 rushes and 21.7 yards per reception on 37 catches. He posted one 100+-yard passing effort, one 90+ yard rushing effort and three games of 100+ receiving yards.
Kyle Lee, Senior RB/OLB, Redbank Valley – Lee has some speed to burn, as evidenced in the Bulldogs’ District 9 Class A semifinal against Port Allegany when he piled up more than 200 all-purpose yards and scored a touchdown. #24 finished the 2010 season amassing 663 all-purpose yards of offense (411 rushing, 252 receiving) and scored five total touchdowns (3 rushing, 2 passing). Lee averaged 4.8 yards per carry and nearly 19.4 yards per reception. He finished three games with at least 55 rushing yards and went over the 100-yard receiving mark against Port Allegany. Defensively, Lee added 38 tackles and one sack.
Kyle Scribe, Senior G/DT, Curwensville – Injured in the District 9 Class A semifinals against Cameron County, Scribe was one of the keys to the Curwensville offensive line that helped pave the way for the Tide offensive unit to average 367.5 yards per game (277.5 rushing) and 39.8 points per game.
Lee Russell, Senior OL/DL, Allegheny-Clarion Valley – Primarily used on the Falcons’ defensive line, Russell tallied 38 tackles (20 solo), 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble, averaging a little more than five tackles per game and posting a pair of games with at least two sacks. Russell also saw some action on offense for A-C Valley, recording 23 rushing attempts for 90 yards with one touchdown.
Logan Weaver, Senior QB, Punxsutawney – Weaver has led Punxsutawney to consecutive District 9 Class AAA championship games, including the 2009 district championship. He’s District 9’s top returning career passing yardage leader, having thrown for 3,676 yards and 43 touchdowns. Weaver finished his junior season completing 81-of-141 passes for 1,126 yards and 18 touchdowns against five interceptions, connecting on 57.4 percent of his passes. He threw for 100+ yards five times and had six games with at least two touchdown passes. Weaver also added 167 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 51 keepers, averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Defensively, Weaver added 53 tackles (37 solo), two interceptions, four deflected passes, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Marcus Smerker, Senior RB/LB, Clarion Area – A two-way threat for the Bobcats, Smerker is the top returning rusher to the orange and black after running for 507 yards and five touchdowns on 105 carries and catching another eight passes for 109 yards and one additional touchdown. Smerker averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 13.6 yards per reception. Defensively, #35 tallied 74 tackles, two sacks and deflected a pass.
Matt Bodamer, Junior QB, Port Allegany – Bodamer is one of the top returning quarterbacks among the District 9 Class A landscape. He helped lead the Gators to a 7-5 record and berth in the District 9 Class A championship game opposite Curwensville by amassing 2,566 yards of offense (1,992 passing, 574 rushing) and 32 total touchdowns (22 passing, 10 rushing). Bodamer completed 102-of-174 passes (58.6 percent) and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. He threw for 100+ yards nine times and posted five games of at least 77 rushing yards. Defensively, Bodamer chipped in with 34 tackles (26 solo) and a team-best five interceptions. Bodamer has thrown for 3,231 yards and 36 touchdowns in his career.
Max Hine, Senior WR/DB, DuBois Area – The featured wide receiver in DuBois’ aerial assault that averaged more than 159 yards per game, Hine hauled in 35 passes for 582 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 16.6 yards per reception. He finished five games with at least four receptions and six games with at least 65 receiving yards. Hine also ran for 197 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. Defensively, he compiled 28 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. On special teams, Hine booted seven of his 40 kickoffs for touchbacks and averaged 33.2 yards per punt on six attempts.
Mike Shuey, Senior OT/DE, Johnsonburg – One of the key returners to the Johnsonburg defense, Shuey tallied 63 tackles (35 solo), two sacks, three forced fumbles and a blocked punt. He averaged seven tackles per game and finished games against Kane and Brockway with 11+ tackles.
Mikey Harris, Senior RB/LB, Union-Rimersburg – Harris returns to man a position in the Union linebacking corps after posting 61 tackles (45 solo), an interception, a deflected pass, two fumble recoveries, a blocked field goal and a safety. He finished three games with 10+ tackles, including 13 stops against Allegheny-Clarion Valley and 12 tackles against Keystone. Offensively, Harris ran for 242 yards on 43 rushes and caught three passes for 22 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and 7.7 yards per reception.
Mitch Freeman, Junior RB/LB, Coudersport – One of four Falcon backs to finish the season with 200+ rushing yards, Freeman led the way, rushing for a team-best 642 yards and 10 touchdowns on 119 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and posting three 100-yard games. Freeman also caught four passes for 58 yards and one additional touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, Freeman tallied 47 tackles and two forced fumbles, finishing the Smethport game with an even 10 tackles, which was his season best.
Mitchell Holmberg, Junior ATH, Johnsonburg – Holmberg made impacts for the Rams in all three phases of the game, chalking up 822 rushing and scored four total touchdowns. Holmberg racked up more than 520 of those yards between kickoff and punt returns, averaging more than 25.7 yards per kick return and 8.9 yards per punt return. Defensively, Holmberg registered 73 tackles (51 solo), two interceptions, three deflected passes, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, posting a season-best 16 tackles against Cameron County.
Mitchell Vallone, Junior ATH, Johnsonburg – A threat on both sides of the ball for the Rams, Vallone totaled 373 yards of offense and had a hand in five total touchdowns (2 passing, 2 rushing, 1 receiving). Vallone completed 6-of-16 passes, averaged nearly 3.8 yards per carry on 32 carries and averaged more than 13.8 yards per catch on 12 receptions. Defensively, Vallone amassed 50 tackles (29 solo), two interceptions, a deflected pass and two fumble recoveries. He posted a season-best 12 tackles against Kane.
Nick Bonavita, Senior WR/OLB, Sheffield – A weapon on both sides of the ball for the Wolverines, Bonavita tallied 303 all purpose yards of offense and scored a rushing touchdown, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and 17.4 yards per reception. Bonavita posted a five-catch, 133-yard performance in the Wolverines’ season-opening loss to Brockway. Defensively, #21 amassed 58 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble, recording a pair of 11-tackle games against Brockway and Curwensville.
Nick Hepfl, Senior OL/DL, Keystone – A key returning presence in the defensive trenches for the Panthers, Hepfl amassed 37 tackles (all solo) and five sacks. He averaged 4.1 tackles per game.
Pat Anderson, Senior RB/DB, Kane Area – Anderson did a little bit of everything for Kane last season, running for 301 yards and a touchdown on 61 carries, returning 16 combined kickoffs and punts for 280 yards, averaging 30.2 yards per punt on 46 attempts with 12 of the punts downed inside the 20 yard line, and recorded 21 tackles and an interception on defense. Anderson is Kane’s top returning rusher and best returning weapon on special teams.
Phil Esposito, Junior K, Brockway – Esposito converted 68 extra points and one field goal for Brockway through its first 11 games, scoring 71 total points. The Rovers’ kicker has scored more than 100 points in his career to date.
Ryan Counts, Junior OL/LB, Coudersport – A force on the Coudersport defense from his spot at linebacker, Counts posted 68 tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries in his sophomore season, averaging 7.6 tackles per game. Counts finished three of the Falcons’ final four games with 10+ tackles, including a season-best 14 stops in a victory against Otto-Eldred.
Ryan Kerr, Senior RB/LB, Brookville – The featured tailback in Brookville’s offense last season, Kerr exploded for 1,543 yards and 15 touchdowns on 248 carries, averaging more than 6.2 yards per carry and 128.5 yards per game. Kerr ran for 100+ yards in nine of the Raiders’ 12 games and scored at least two touchdowns in four games. #5 also completed his only pass attempt for 24 yards and caught three passes for 30 yards. Defensively, Kerr registered 89 tackles, three sacks, two deflected passes and three forced fumbles. Brookville does not report assisted tackles, only solos. Kerr had three games of 10+ tackles, including a season high 12 stops against DuBois.
Sean Jordan, Junior QB/DB, Kane Area – Jordan played in the Wolves’ final three games of 2010, and he performed well, completing 22-of-48 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns against only one interception. He connected on 45.8 percent of his passes and finished two games with at least 120 passing yards. He averaged 114 passing yards per game and fired three scoring passes in a win against Ridgway.
Sean Sleigh, Senior QB, DuBois Area – The top returning offensive weapon to a Beavers’ offense that averaged 324 yards and 20.5 points per game last season, Sleigh completed 101-of-205 yards for 1,517 yards and 11 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and ran for 264 yards and six additional touchdowns on 109 carries. Sleigh finished with a completion percentage of 49.3 and averaged 2.4 yards per carry. He threw for 100+ yards in six of the Beavers’ 10 games.
Spencer Smeal, Junior C/DE, Curwensville – Smeal helped to pave the way for a Curwensville offense that averaged 277.5 rushing yards and 39.8 points per game and was a 1st-team selection to the Pennsylvania Football News All-state football team. Defensively, Smeal was a force along the line, amassing 22 tackles (16 solo), a half a sack, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Steve Kennedy, Senior QB/DB, Brookville – A dual-threat quarterback operating the reins of the Raiders’ run-oriented offense, Kennedy finished his junior season with 1,846 yards of total offense (1,045 passing, 801 rushing) and had a hand in 16 Brookville touchdowns (10 rushing, 6 passing). Kennedy completed 71-of-137 passes, throwing for 100+ yards three times, and averaged more than 7.4 yards per carry on 108 attempts, surpassing 100 yards rushing in a game twice. He helped lead the Raiders to a 9-3 overall record and a berth in the District 9 AA championship game opposite Brockway.
Tanner Hannold, Senior WR/DB, Keystone – A veteran presence in the Panthers’ defensive backfield, Hannold racked up 62 tackles (all solo) and intercepted a pass. He averaged 6.2 tackles per game, including a season-high 12 stops against Union-Rimersburg. Hannold also hauled in 11 passes for 144 yards, averaging 13.1 yards per catch. He returned one punt for 18 yards and four kickoffs for 45 yards.
Taylor Smith, Senior ATH, Union-Rimersburg – Smith had an all-around solid junior season for the Golden Knights, amassing 1,441 all-purpose yards (90 passing, 459 rushing, 269 receiving, 623 kickoff/punt returns) and had a hand in 13 total touchdowns (2 passing, 7 rushing, 2 receiving, 2 misc.). He posted three 100-yard rushing performances and one game with 100+ receiving yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry on 82 rushes and 17.9 yards per reception on 15 catches. Smith also averaged 30.8 yards per punt return and 21.9 yards per kickoff return. Defensively, Smith chalked up 77 tackles (57 solo), one sack, an interception, four deflected passes, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, posting a pair of 11-tackle games against Keystone and Clarion-Limestone.
Tim McCusker, Senior QB/DB, Coudersport – In limited offensive action last season, McCusker totaled 349 yards of offense (269 passing, 80 rushing) and had a hand in four total touchdowns (two rushing and two passing). He threw for 100+ yards once and posted a season-best 45 rushing yards in a game against Elk County Catholic. Defensively, McCusker registered 19 tackles and deflected a pass.
T.J. Armstrong, Junior DE, Clarion Area – Armstrong missed the vast majority of Clarion’s 2010 season with an injury, but in very limited action did total 15 tackles and one sack for the Bobcats. As a freshman, the now-6’3, 204-pound defensive end posted more than 14 sacks and earned D9sports.com’s Rookie of the Year honors. He is a potential Division-1 prospect in the 2013 class at linebacker, having received interest from programs like Pitt, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse and Toledo, among others.
Todd Munchak, Senior OL, Curwensville – A 1st-team Associated Press All-state selection on the Class A team’s offensive line, Munchak helped pave the way for the Golden Tide’s potent power-I offense that averaged 367.5 yards and 39.8 points per game, finishing 11-2 overall. Munchak helped block and open holes for 2,600-yard rusher Alex Holland and a pair of 450-yard passing quarterbacks. Curwensville finished 11-2 on the season.
Tyce Miller, Junior HB/CB, Port Allegany – Primarily used as a receiver in the Gators’ aerial assult, Miller totaled 31 touches between rushing attempts, receptions and punt and kickoff returns, totaling 519 all-purpose yards and scoring three total touchdowns. Miller’s 24 receptions and 392 yards were good enough for second on the team in each category. He also averaged 25 yards per punt return and 21.7 yards per kickoff return.
Tyler Smead, Senior OL/DL, Smethport – A key two-way player up front for the Hubbers, Smead helped pave the way for a Smethport offensive unit that averaged 283 yards and more than 28 points per game last season. He was also a force along the defensive line, racking up 29 tackles (26 solo), a team-leading five sacks and a fumble recovery.
Zach Cumby, Senior OL/DL, Coudersport – A force along the Falcons’ defensive line, Cumby posted 54 tackles, a trio of sacks and recovered a fumble in his junior season. He averaged six tackles per game and posted a season-best 13 tackles in Coudersport’s final game of the season – a loss to Port Allegany.
Zack Austin, Senior QB/DB, Cameron County – The field general in Cameron County’s Wing-T attack that averaged more than 240 rushing yards per game, Austin registered 1,142 yards of total offense (661 passing, 481 rushing) and had a hand in 11 total touchdowns (5 passing, 6 rushing). He completed 48-of-121 passes and averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry on 87 attempts. Austin twice threw for 100+ yards in a game and also ran for 100+ yards twice as well. Defensively, Austin added 39 tackles and a trio of interceptions.
Zack Brinkley, Senior T/LB, Brockway – Through the Rovers’ first nine games, Brinkley was having himself quite a junior season. He racked up 89 tackles and two sacks, averaging 9.9 tackles per game, including a season-best 21 tackles in a victory over District 9 Class A champion Curwensville. Brinkley also had a pair of 11-tackle games against Elk County Catholic and Kane.
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