All-Times Leader football offensive unit announced

There were several high-powered offenses in the Ohio Valley this season that resulted in some teams scoring points in bunches.

Today, the All-Times Leader Football Team’s offensive unit is announced. The defensive unit was contained in Saturday’s edition.

The All Times Leader Team honors players from throughout The Times Leader’s coverage area and is chosen by the sports staff along with the help of area football coaches.

The offensive captains are the St. Clairsville duo of Dan Monteroso and Matt Kinnick along with Bellaire junior tailback Spencer Badia.

Here’s a capsule look at the honorees:

DAN MONTEROSO, St. Clairsville – This senior wide receiver demonstrated why Boston College is so anxious to get him on campus next year.

The 6-3, 170 bundle of talent caught 68 passes for 1,483 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. His biggest game came in the Division IV state semifinals when he had 10 receptions for 264 yards and two touchdowns.

Monteroso has been named Eastern District Division IV Player of the Year and first-team all-Ohio, all-OVAC and all-Valley.

“Dan will go down as one of the best athletes the school has ever put on the field in any sport,” said Red Devils’ head coach Brett McLean. “He was a very unselfish player, who was like a coach on the field. He made a ton of big plays, but he also was willing to work with the younger kids.”

MATT KINNICK, St. Clairsville – This senior quarterback could be one of the most underrated all-Ohioans the area has ever seen.

Kinnick made play after play in helping to lead the Devils to the Division IV state final last month. Kinnick passed for 3,428 yards and 41 touchdowns all told. He threw for nearly as many yards in the postseason as he did during the regular season.

The work of the 6-1 quarterback didn’t go unnoticed as he was first-team all-Ohio, all-Eastern District and all-OVAC and all-Valley.

“Matt was probably the most underrated player on our team,” McLean said. “He’s the guy who made the ship sail. He’s been a huge part of the success – not just this season, but each of the last two seasons. He always seemed to perform his best against the best competition.”

SPENCER BADIA, Bellaire – Only a junior, Badia continues to etch his name in the Big Reds’ record books.

The 5-8, 165-pounder completed 212 of 387 passes for 3,001 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was picked off 13 times.

His finest showing came in the season-opener when he aired it out a career-high 64 times, completing 37 for 424 yards and four TDs in an improbable, 44-42, come-from-behind victory over Steubenville Central. He capped a late-game march with a short six-point pass to Nick Patrone as time expired.

“Obviously, when you talk about a leader on and off the field, Spencer’s name comes up,” Bellaire head coach Jose Davis praised. “He has a lot of poise and seems to get everyone in the right position before the ball is snapped.

“His skills speak for themselves, but the important thing is how he paid attention to all the little details this season,” Davis said.

He also ran the ball 93 times for 321 yards and four TDs.

Badia was injured in the playoff loss to Cuyahoga Heights, but, according to Davis, has progressed well after surgery in early December.

MAURTICE HYTHON, Harrison Central – This Huskies’ tailback put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career with another big season.

The 5-8 back ran for 1,803 yards and 19 touchdowns during the regular season. He also caught 17 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Hython was a repeat selection on the all-Ohio squad and was a first-team all-OVAC and all-Eastern District performer.

“Everyone knew (Maurtice) was the guy they had to take away and he still ran for almost 5,000 yards in his career,” Kropka said. “He carried the ball 731 times in his career and it was sad that his last carry resulted in a serious knee injury. He definitely carried the load for us.”

JERRID MARHEFKA, St. Clairsville – This senior was a two-way standout and did so despite playing most of the season with a broken finger.

The 6-1 wide receiving speedster averaged better than 27 yards a catch. He made 36 receptions for 983 yards and 12 touchdowns. Included was a state-record setting performance in the title game where he caught 9 balls for 272 yards and four touchdowns.

He was also a standout in the secondary with seven interceptions.

Marhefka was a first-team all-Eastern District and all-OVAC pick.

“The biggest thing about J-Mar was he proved to be the big-time playmaker or johnny-on-the-spot in huge situations,” McLean said. “He made huge catches in both the regional final and state semifinal and then had the huge game in the final. He’s the kind of kids you could throw underneath to on a 5-yard pass and he turned into a 70-yard touchdown.

RASHAEN MITCHELL, Harrison Central – This Huskies’ quarterback had a brilliant season as he rounded back into form after suffering an injury during his junior campaign.

The 6-5 senior passed for 1,443 yards and 15 touchdowns during a 7-3 regular season that resulted in Harrison earning its second trip to the Ohio playoffs in school history. He also ran for 311 yards and four touchdowns along with playing solid defensive back.

Mitchell was a first-team all-Eastern District selection for his fine campaign.

“It’ll always be a career of what ifs for Rashaen because he lost most of his junior season,” said Harrison Central head coach Justin Kropka. “I was tickled to see him have such a great senior year and kind of live up to what we expected of him. He was a very underrated player.”

NICK ASTURI, River – This senior running back was a two-way standout for the Pilots of Coach Mike Flannery.

As the team’s tailback, Asturi became just the fifth player – and first since 2008 – to crack the 1,000-yard mark. He finished with 1,007 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. All told, he had 19 touchdowns. He had 74 tackles defensively.

Asturi was a first-team all-Eastern District selection and was third-team all-Ohio.

“I always tell people Nick plays bigger than he looks,” Flannery said. “He’s our blue-collar guy, who we relied on quite a bit this year. Nick’s been a very dependable teammate and set a recipe for the coaches by setting an example of the younger players through this dedication and work ethic.”

EVAN EGGLESTON, River – This offensive line mainstay put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career for the Pilots this season.

Eggleston was the team’s top offensive lineman and earned all-Ohio for the second straight season in the process. He was also a standout on the defensive side of the ball. As an offensive player, he graded out at 94 percent for the season and had 54 total tackles.

“One of the coaching staff’s biggest enjoyments was watching Evan’s assignments on the offensive side of the ball,” Flannery said. “We designed plays where Evan’s block was one of the key factors. As the season went along, we were able to use Evan as a decoy. He’s a high academic achiever and has the chance to play at the next level.”

JOSH GUILER, Monroe Central – Monroe’s veteran coach Jay Circosta labels this 6-0, 200-pounder as a “true team player. We asked Josh to consider becoming a lineman due to the fact we were short at the position,” the ‘Noles’ coach explained. “Josh had no trouble making the switch and became one of our leading trap blockers.”

Circosta indicated Guiler played at one speed. “He played fast and hard every Friday night. Josh was a reliable young man you could always depend on.”

Guiler turned around and also was effective on the defensive side at end. “His mobility was excellent. and he became our leading tackler. That tells you everything about his work ethic,” Circosta added. “Josh is an aggressive player and that always showed up on game nights.”

CAMDEN HILL, Monroe Central – A three-year starter for the Maroon & Gold, this 5-11, 190-pounder made a transition to offensive guard and the Seminoles were a much better team because of it.

“Camden was a potential running back as a freshman. Like Josh Guiler, we asked Camden to consider converting to the front line and Camden did that without any complaints,” Circosta stated. “It takes that type dedication to have a winning program. His blocking was a key part of our ability to run and throw the football.”

Defensively, Hill went from middle guard to linebacker where he settled in to enjoy a productive season. “Camden’s play (at linebacker) was one of the major reasons we were able to contain our opponent’s run game,” Circosta added.

CODY HUDSON, Shadyside – This Tiger wide out was the go-to-guy in the Shadyside offense for Coach Mark Holenka’s team.

During the regular season, Hudson caught 27 balls for 446 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also a regular contributor in the secondary.

Hudson also served as the Tigers’ kicker for the third straight season. He was good on 42-of-43 PAT kicks and connected on two field goals during the season.

“Cody is an intelligent, possession-type receiver who has great hands,” Holenka said. “He runs great routes and knows how to get open. Plus, he’s got a strong leg as a placekicker. His ability to pin teams deep on kickoffs was a huge weapon for us.”

ZACK COOLE, Martins Ferry – Down and dirty. That’s the way this three-year Purple Rider starter enjoyed life in the trenches.

“Zack was one of our captains which speaks volumes regarding his play and character,” Ferry mentor Dave Bruney praised. “Zack took everything personal on the field. His physical style was a major asset for our success. Week in and week out, Zack came to play and made his presence felt every minute he was on the football field.”

The Purple’s 5-9, 222-pound mainstay got it done both at left guard and as a rugged defensive end. “At guard Zack played his position well as any player who’s come through this program,” Bruney added. “Zack’s the type young man whose play hopefully inspired the younger kids coming up through our program. He enjoyed a great career for the Purple Riders.”

JAYLON BROWN, St. Clairsville – This junior speedster developed into the every-down back that McLean and company were seeking this season.

Brown ran for 1,848 yards and 34 touchdowns on the season. He was also a capable pass catcher with 16 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns.

Brown was a first-team all-district and second-team all-Ohio performer. He was also named all-Valley and all-OVAC.

“Jaylon really grew into his own this season,” McLean said. “We challenged him in the off-season to become an every-down back. He just exploded in the regular season and that opened the entire offense up.”

COLE STEPHEN, St. Clairsville – This senior center was a mainstay along the front line for the Red Devils’ high-powered offense.

Stephen was a three-year starter at center and helped pave the way for the entire cast of St. C. skill players to put up the huge numbers.

Stephen was also brilliant on defense as one of the Red Devils’ top tacklers at a linebacker spot.

For his efforts, Stephen was selected all-Eastern District.

“Cole is extremely underrated as an offensive lineman,” McLean said. “He was a very vocal guy offensively and coordinated a lot of the blocking schemes for us. He never came off the field and wore a lot of hats by playing special teams and defense.”

TOM PARKER, St. Clairsville – This senior was another key cog on the offensive line for the Red Devils’ offensive express.

Up until the postseason, Parker didn’t play a lot of defense, but made his presence felt during the tournament on both sides of the ball.

“Tom was a meat and potatoes goes,” McLean said. “He screams what St. Clairsville football is all about. He’s a true team leader and we’ll certainly miss him.”

DALLAS FIELDS, Bridgeport – This Bulldog senior was a threat to take it the distance any time he touched the football.

“Dallas is a very gifted athlete with great hands and quick feet. He is very strong and was one of our hardest workers in the off season,” Bridgeport head coach Rudy Vavrock said. “Dallas is a very hard runner to bring down and was rarely tackled by the first defender. He gained a tremendous amount of his yards after contact.”

Fields surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau in the season finale against Cameron. He finished with 1,018 yards rushing.

KAM BROWN, River – This Pilots’ senior was the big-play threat in the passing game for Flannery’s squad, which qualified for the Region 23 playoffs.

Brown caught 37 passes for 774 yards and seven touchdowns this season during the regular season. He was also a standout in the secondary with 52 tackles and four picks.

“Kam was definitely one our go-to-guys when we needed to make a first down,” Flannery said. “In my opinion, he ranks up there with any other receiver we’ve had in the school’s history. He was also one of our top defensive backs, who covered the opposing team’s best receiver.”

TERYN JARRETT, Beallsville – A 4-year starter as the Blue Devils’ quarterback, the 6-3, 190-pounder did something in his career that only a handful of quarterbacks have ever done in Ohio Valley history.

He surpassed the 6,000-yard passing milestone late in the season, and finished his senior season with 2,424 yards, 22 TDs and 11 INTs.

“Being a first-year head coach, it was nice to have a veteran quarterback who knew the offense. That was a big bonus,” Beallsville’s Paul Kanzigg said. “It made the transition even that much easier.

“Teryn’s a quality young man who showed great leadership skills,” Kanzigg added. “Defensively, we put him back in the secondary about halfway through the year and he was able to help the younger kids with some reads and stuff like that.”

BROOKS RAMSEY, Shadyside – This durable Tiger was the top ground gainer during the first unbeaten regular season since 1976 for Holenka’s team.

Ramsey gained nearly 800 yards despite battling through a myriad of injuries most of the season. He was also a threat on kickoff returns for the Tigers.

“Brooks is extremely quick footed and is a tough as a muscle running back,” Holenka said. “He’s very durable and strong for his size. We rested him on defense, but he could have been a solid contributor there for us, too.”

NICK PATRONE, Bellaire – When the 2012 season started, the Big Reds needed someone to step up and be that go-to guy at the wide receiver position, Patrone was just the person.

The 5-8, 150-pounder snagged a team-best 66 receptions that accumulated 1,009 yards. He reached the end zone seven times and averaged 91.7 yards per game.

In the win over the Crusaders in Week 1, Patrone grabbed a season-high 15 passes for 171 yards and the game-winner. He had five games in which he amassed more than 100 yards receiving.

“Nick really stepped up and became that big-play receiver that we were looking for when the season started,” Davis said. “Him and Spencer got really comfortable together.”

Defensively, Patrone was the Big Reds’ fifth leading tackler with 58 stops, which included 50 solo tackles. He also picked off half-a-dozen passes which he returned 118 yards. He forced a pair of fumbles and recovered three others.

ALEX FRANCIS, St. John Central – Another Tiger transfer, Francis displayed many of the same qualities that Shoemaker did.

“Like DJ, Alex brought the winning attitude that carried over to the other kids,” Merryman noted. “He is a raw talent. This was just his second season of playing football. He can do a lot of different things and I think his better football-playing days are ahead of him.”

Francis picked off eight passes and returned two of them for touchdowns. He logged 67 tackles.