Six locals earn top district grid honors
COLUMBUS – The first of many post-season accolades for prep football was announced Monday evening when the Associated Press unveiled its All Eastern District Football Teams.
Three area players and a like number of coaches received special honors, while dozens others were recognized on either first or second team as well as honorable mention for the splendid seasons they put forth this fall.
The immediate area swept the accolades in Division IV.
St. Clairsville senior wide receiver Dan Monteroso added the Offensive Player of the Year Award to the hoops award he won last winter. Monteroso has been one of the Red Devils’ go-to-players all season. During the course of the regular season, the Boston College commit caught 40 passes for 777 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Harrison Central’s Nick Pelegreen took the top honors after leading the Huskies to their second playoff appearance in school history.
Pelegreen was a mainstay at linebacker for Coach Justin Kropka’s Huskies. He recorded 121 tackles during the first 10 weeks of the season and set the career and single-game mark for stops during the course of the season.
The 6-ft-4, 210 pounder was also a standout on the offensive side of the ball at tight end.
Red Devils’ mentor Brett McLean was named the coach of the year in Division IV after guiding St. C. to a perfect 10-0 regular season. The Red Devils are currently 12-0 on the season and will take on Johnstown Monroe in Friday’s Region 15 championship game.
Along with the playoffs, the Red Devils also captured the OVAC Class 4A title as well as the Buckeye 8 crown in the process. For McLean, it’s the second time he guided the Devils to an undefeated regular season.
IN DIVISION V, Bellaire head coach Jose Davis was honored as the coach of the year.
The fourth year Big Reds’ boss earned his second honor as the top coach after he guided his alma mater to its first playoff appearance since 2006 this season. The Big Reds finished sixth in the Division V, Region 17 computer poll.
Along with reaching the postseason, the Big Reds finished 8-2 despite heavy graduation losses from last season. Bellaire also notched its first win against arch-rival Martins Ferry since that 2006 campaign.
IN DIVISION VI, Shadyside produced the top defensive player and one of the two top coaches in the Eastern District.
Senior Chase Kinemond – a returning first-team all-Ohioan – bounced back from major knee surgery late last season to post another brilliant campaign in the secondary for the Tigers to earn the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
As a free safety, Kinemond recorded 41 tackles, four interceptions, four pass breakups and returned one of those INTs for a touchdown.
Kinemond was also brilliant as the Tigers’ quarterback.
Tigers’ head coach Mark Holenka was recognized as one of the co Eastern District Coaches of the Year after guiding his squad to its first 10-0 season since 1977.
Shadyside also won the OVAC 2A title and earned yet another first-round home game in the Division VI, Region 21 tournament, but were eliminated by Berlin Center Western Reserve in a tough-to-swallow, 19-18, reversal.
The AP All-Ohio honors will be announced in two weeks during the days leading up to the state finals in Stark County.