All-Eastern District teams named
COLUMBUS – Post-season accolades for the prep football season began to trickle in for numerous area players.
The Associated Press announced its all-Eastern District teams Tuesday evening and several local players and two area coaches earned special accolades.
The AP’s all-Ohio teams will be announced in a couple of weeks during the days leading up to the OHSAA State Football Championships, which are slated for Dec. 6 and 7 in Stark County.
St. Clairsville’s Jaylon Brown – twice an all-Ohioan – earned his first Offensive Player of the Year award in Division V.
The Youngstown State commit ran for 1,328 yards and 20 touchdowns in 10 games. He missed a game in the middle of the season due to injury.
As a receiver, Brown caught 6 passes for 115 yards and two yards. For good measure, he was a talented defensive back for Coach Brett McLean’s team.
On the defensive side of the ball in Division V, Martins Ferry’s Robert Vargo earned the top billing.
Vargo was a force on both sides of the ball, but made his presence felt at defensive end. He was amongst the team leaders in tackles and batted away several passes with his 6-ft-6 frame.
As a tight end, he caught 14 passes for 211 yards.
Martins Ferry head coach Dave Bruney was named the district coach of the year. He guided his Purple Riders to a 9-1 regular season record and a trip to the Division V playoffs.
Martins Ferry finished 5-5 last season and outside of the postseason. The Riders also won the OVAC 4A title and grabbed a share of the Buckeye 8 crown.
Bellaire’s Spencer Badia, who has earned all-Ohio each of the past two seasons notched his first player of the year award in Division VI.
Badia triggered the Big Reds to a 7-4 season and another trip to the postseason.
For the season, Badia finished with 2,265 yards and 28 touchdowns passing. He was 164-of-281. All told, he eclipsed the 7,000-yard passing barrier and re-wrote the Big Reds recordbook.
In Division VII, Shadyside’s Zach Meadows has been a force along the defensive line for the 12-0 Tigers.
Meadows was simply unblockable during the regular season as a constant member of the opposing team’s backfield. He was in on 41 tackles, 21 of which were solo and 13 for loss with an additional 5.5 sacks.
Beallsville’s Paul Kanzigg was a first-time winner of the Division VII Coach of the Year. The Blue Devils – with just 19 players – advanced to the playoffs for the first time under his watch. They finished with a 6-4 regular season.