The District 9 Football League announced its All-Stars for its three divisions late Tuesday night, and the Tri-County Area was well represented on the Large School and Small School South squads — the two divisions local schools compete in — with 42 players earning honors at a combined 50 positions.
A vast majority (37) of those All-Stars came in the Large School Division, where regular season champion Ridgway came away with two major awards. Mark Heindl was tabbed Coach of the Year, while Gabe Watts named Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Runner-up Clarion also had two major award winners as Austin Newcomb shared Offensive MVP honors with Kane’s Jake Alcorn, while Ben Smith took home the Offensive Lineman of Year Award.
Brookville’s Nathan Taylor garnered Defensive MVP honors.
Individually, Ridgway led all Large School teams with 11 All-Star selections and one honorable mention. Three Elkers — Watts (runnning back/defensive end), Jake Wickett (running back/safety) and Paul Gresco (quarterback/placekicker) — were named All-Stars at multiple positions.
A full list of the All-Stars by position can be found at the end of this story.
Newcomb (running back/safety) and Knepp (lineman) were the lone Bobcats to earn honors on both sides of the ball.
Clarion had eight All-Stars, as did Brookville, while St. Marys had six and Brockway four. St. Marys also had one honorable mention pick.
Brookville’s Elliot Park (lineman) was a selection on both sides of the ball in the trenches, while Taylor was named an All-Star at linebacker and punter.
Over in the Small South Division, Redbank Valley’s Ethan Hetrick was the area’s lone major award recipient as he was named Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Regular season champion Keystone collected awards for Coach of Year (Ryan Smith), Offensive MVP (Isaak Jones) and Offensive Lineman of Year (Kirk Wolbert). Union/A-C Valley’s Colton Hoffman garnered Defensive MVP honors.
Individually, Redbank Valley and Elk County Catholic each had five All-Stars and one honorable mention pick, while Curwensville had three players make the All-Star squad.
Hetrick (receiver/defensive end) was selected on both sides of the ball, as was ECC’s Sam Kaul (running back/linebacker).
Here is a closer look at the All-Star teams for each division:
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 the Year: Mark Heindl, Ridgway
Offensive Interior 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 Novose, Kane
Wide Receiver/Slot Back: Ian Thrush, Brookville; Ethan Burford, Clarion; Bryce Walker, St. Marys; Matt Dush, 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; Calvin 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
Placekicker: Aaron Hottel, Kane; Paul Gresco, Ridgway; Ethan McDeavitt, Moniteau; Owen Collwell, Karns City
Linebackers: 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
Defensive Line/Ends: Riley Davis, Karns City; Elliot Park, Brookville; Gabe Watts, Ridgway; Simon Sheeley, St. Marys; Kevin Scarba, Kane; Derek Ishman, Punxsutawney; Mitch Knepp, Clarion
Safety: Jake Wickett, Ridgway; James Davis, St. Marys; Austin Newcomb, Clarion; Ben Glasl, Brockway; Bobby Rumcik, Kane
Cornerback: Kyle MacBeth, Brookville; Kaden Scherer, Karns City; Terry Williams, St. Marys; Josh Sorg, Ridgway; Connor Ford, Brockway
Tyler Watts, Ridgway
Christian Coudriet, St. Marys – Quarterback
Luke Garing, Karns City – Linebacker
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Kirk Wolbert, Keystone
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Ethan Hetrick, Redbank Valley
Offensive MVP: Isaak Jones, Keystone
Defensive MVP: Colton Hoffman, Union/ACV
Coach of the Year: Ryan Smith, Keystone
Offensive Interior Line: Trent Bowersox, Redbank Valley; Jared Emmert, Elk County Catholic; Kirk Wolbert, Keystone; Layton Stewart, Union/A-C Valley; Brady Rapp, Keystone
Wide Receiver/Slot Back: Tanner Merwin, Union/A-C Valley; Ethan Hetrick, Redbank Valley; John Wittman, Jr., Elk County Catholic
Quarterback: Luke Bowser, Union/A-C Valley; Isaak Jones, Keystone
Tight End: Leo Gregory, Elk County Catholic
Running Back/Slot Back: Sam Kaul, Elk County Catholic; Nick Weaver, Keystone
Return Specialist: Caden Rainey, Union/A-C Valley
Punter: Jake Mullins, Curwensville
Place Kicker: Nick Cosper, Keystone
Linebackers: Colton Hoffman, Union/A-C Valley; Chase Bish, Redbank Valley; Duane Brady, Curwensville; Eli Penny, Union/A-C Valley; Sam Kaul, Elk County Catholic; Kirk Wolbert, Keystone
Defensive Line/Ends: Ethan Hetrick, Redbank Valley; Layton Stewart, Union/A-C Valley; Nick Holbert, Curwensville; Joe Mansfield, Redbank Valley; Brady Rapp, Keystone
Safety: Tanner Merwin, Union/A-C Valley; Kylar Culbertson, Union/A-C Valley; Zander McHenry, Keystone
Cornerback: Alex Rapp, Keystone; Tony Thompson, Union/A-C Valley
Taylor Altman, Keystone – Running back/Safety
Sam Hetrick, Redbank Valley – Receiver/Cornerback
Anthony Gerg, Elk County Catholic – Offensive Line