Headlined by three major award winners, the Brookville and Clarion football teams were well-represented in last week’s release of the District 9 League Large School Division All-Star team.
Clarion’s Ben Smith and Austin Newcomb, both seniors from Clarion-Limestone, were voted the Offensive Lineman of the Year and Offensive Co-Most Valuable Player respectively. Brookville junior Nathan Taylor was named the Defensive MVP.
Both Clarion and Brookville had six different players filling eight positions on the all-star team. Kane had the same numbers as well with repeat division champion Ridgway grabbing 10 spots with seven different players.
Smith anchored an offensive line that helped pave the way for 445 yards per game for the 10-1 Bobcats, who play Ridgway for the D9 Class 1A title Saturday. Three skill players benefited from the line play, including Newcomb who has rushed for 1,209 yards and 21 touchdowns. He shared the Offensive MVP award with Kane’s Jake Alcorn.
Junior Cal German, who has thrown for 2,087 yards and 29 TDs, was one of three quarterbacks named to the team, and receiver Ethan Burford were the other Bobcats skill players honored. With just 35 catches, Burford has 1,139 receiving yards and 16 TDs.
The Bobcats’ other offensive all-star is another C-L senior in lineman Mitch Knepp.
On the defensive side of the ball, Knepp and Newcomb got another nod at defensive end and safety. Going into last week’s game, Knepp had 57 tackles and 5.5 sacks while Newcomb intercepted three passes with 56 tackles. Also named was junior linebacker Cutter Boggess with 84 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
For the Raiders, Taylor moved to linebacker this year and delivered with an MVP performance where he finished with 82 tackles and seven sacks. Not only was he part of the defensive unit, but also was named as one of the three punters. He averaged 37 yards per boot on 29 kicks, his longest punt this year going 63 yards.
Junior Elliott Park earned two spots on the team on both lines, finishing with 83 tackles and seven sacks on defense.
Junior quarterback Jack Krug, and his top receiving targets in senior Ian Thrush and junior Robert Keth were honored as well. Krug finished up with 2,207 yards passing with 23 TDs. Thrush caught 77 passes for 981 yards and 11 TDs while Keth caught 50 balls for 668 yards and seven TDs.
Also on the defensive side with Park and Taylor was junior Kyle MacBeth, whose ball-hawking ability had him intercepting a whopping eight passes.
Other Large School Division All-Stars news:
— Ridgway led the way with the most all-star honors with head coach Mark Heindl getting Coach of the Year for the second straight season. He had seven players earned a combined 10 spots on the team. Senior Paul Gresco earned two spots at quarterback where he’s thrown for 1,882 yards and 16 TDs and place-kicker where he’s made 42 of 47 point-after kicks and one field goal. Senior Jake Wickett and junior Gabe Watts were two-way picks. Wickett has rushed for 543 yards and 11 TDs while making 61 tackles and three interceptions at safety. Watts was the Elkers’ other running back honored with 551 yards and 10 TDs with 72 tackles and 12 sacks from his defensive line spot. Senior Robert Briggs got a nod at linebacker with his 118 tackles leading the Elkers’ defense.
— Kane’s Alcorn rushed for 536 yards and 5 TDs while earning one of the return specialist spots after gaining 634 return yards with four TDs. Senior Kevin Scharba was a two-way pick at tight end and defensive line while senior linebacker Teddy Race was named with his team-high 129 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
— Karns City had five players fill eight positions on the team, led by two-way picks in senior lineman Riley Davis, senior tight end/linebacker Nathan Waltman and junior return specialist/cornerback Kaden Scherer.
In the other two divisions, the Small School-South and Small School-North:
— In the Small School-South, Keystone won three major awards as Ryan Smith was the Coach of the Year, senior Kirk Wolbert the Offensive Lineman of the Year and senior quarterback Isaak Jones the Offensive MVP. Redbank Valley senior Ethan Hetrick was Defensive Lineman of the Year and Union/A-C Valley Defensive MVP.
— Coudersport nearly swept the Small School-North major awards with Tom Storey winning Coach of the Year, junior Cale Ayers Offensive Lineman of the Year, senior linebacker Kolby VanWhy Defensive Player of the Year, and senior running back Travis Gleason and junior quarterback Hayden Keck Co-Offensive MVPs. Smethport junior Kameron Rounsville was Defensive Linemen of the Year.
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Ben Smith, Clarion
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Gabe Watts, Ridgway
Offensive Co-MVPs: Austin Newcomb, Clarion; Jake Alcorn, Kane
Defensive MVP: Nathan Taylor, Brookville
Coach of Year: Mark Heindl, Ridgway
Line: Greg Simon, Ridgway; Jake Walter, St. Marys; Ben Smith, Clarion; Elliot Park, Brookville; Riley Davis, Karns City; Cameron Faust, Brockway; Donnie Thomas, Moniteau; Mitch Knepp, Clarion; Reese Novosel, Kane.
Wide Receiver/Slot back: Ian Thrush, Brookville; Ethan Burford, Clarion; Bryce Walker, St. Marys; Matt Dusch, Ridgway; Robert Keth, Brookville; Austin Green, Ridgway.
Running back/Slot back: Austin Newcomb, Clarion; Gabe Watts, Ridgway; Jake Alcorn, Kane; Jon Wood, Brockway; Jake Wickett, Ridgway.
Tight end: Nathan Waltman, Karns City; Kevin Scharba, Kane.
Quarterback: Paul Gresco, Ridgway; Cal German, Clarion; Jack Krug, Brookville.
Return specialist: Max London, Punxsutawney; Kaden Scherer, Karns City; Jake Alcorn, Kane.
Punter: Caleb Nuzzo, Bradford; Nathan Taylor, Brookville; David Stamm, Moniteau.
Kicker: Aaron Hottel, Kane; Paul Gresco, Ridgway; Ethan McDeavitt, Moniteau; Owen Collwell, Karns City.
Line: Riley Davis, Karns City; Elliot Park, Brookville; Gabe Watts, Ridgway; Simon Sheeley, St. Marys; Kevin Scharba, Kane; Derek Ishman, Punxsutawney; Mitch Knepp, Clarion.
Linebacker: Nick Martino, Moniteau; Teddy Race, Kane; Robert Briggs, Ridgway; Nathan Waltman, Karns City; Cutter Boggess, Clarion; Nathan Taylor, Brookville; Connor Bressler, St. Marys; Anthony Kamenski, Karns City; Derek Sunafrank, Bradford.
Safety: Jake Wickett, Ridgway; James Davis, St. Marys; Austin Newcomb, Clarion; Ben Glasl, Brockway; Robby Rumcick, Kane.
Cornerback: Kyle MacBeth, Brookville; Kaden Scherer, Karns City; Terry Williams, St. Marys; Josh Sorg, Ridgway; Conner Ford, Brockway.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Watts, Ridgway; Christian Coudriet (quarterback), St. Marys; Luke Garing (linebacker), Karns City.