Several locals earn all-Ohio honors
COLUMBUS – Another collection of area football players and one coach were recognized on the Division VI and VII all-Ohio squads, which were released Wednesday evening by the Associated Press.
A total of 11 players – including five from Bellaire in Division VI – earned a spot on the top three teams.
In Division VI, the Big Reds had one player – quarterback Spencer Badia – earn a spot on the first-team after his record-setting season and career. They had two players on the second team and two on the third team.
The 5-10, 180 pounder passed for 2,182 yards and 28 touchdowns during the regular season. He also ran for two scores. During his brilliant three-year career in Jose Davis’ spread offense, Badia passed for more than 7,000 yards and accounted for more than 8,000 yards of offense.
“It’s an honor to be included in such an elite group of athletes,” Badia said. “When you really think about it, this is a team accomplishment. The success I’ve had wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates. I also owe a great deal of thanks to the coaches because it makes it easier when you’re surrounded with the coaching staff that I was provided. Coach Davis will always be someone that I look up to.”
On the second team, junior kicker Cody LaRoche earned a spot. He connected on five field goals and was true on 36-of-42 PATs for the season. He was also a standout on the offensive line and as a defensive player, he recorded 36 solo tackles and five for loss.
Senior offensive lineman Wyatt Back was named second-team as an offensive lineman after a brilliant campaign on both sides of the ball. He was the Big Reds’ top blocker and defensively, he had 46 tackles from his tackle spot.
Senior wide receiver Nick Patrone earned all-state accolades for the second straight season. He caught 40 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season en route to third-team honors.
Senior linebacker Kenny Hess was the team’s leading tackler from his linebacker post. He had 84 tackles and an interception. He was also a viable option as a receiver. He caught 35 balls for 583 yards and six touchdowns during the regular season.
Monroe Central standout linebacker Mike Jones turned in a brilliant season from his linebacker spot. He was named to the Division VI second team after accumulating 108 tackles during the regular season. He also had a huge game in the Seminoles playoff victory at Centerburg in the first round.
IN DIVISION VII, Shadyside had three of its players earn all-Ohio honors and two of those were on the first team.
Senior Zach Meadows was named to the first-team defensive line. He was a one-man wrecking crew up front for Coach Mark Holenka’s defense.
He had 41 tackles, including 13 for loss during the regular season. He also had 5.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
“This is a great honor that I’m proud of because of all of the hardwork I’ve put into the sport and in the weightroom,” Meadows said. “Our season was an accomplishment everyone on the team and in the community is proud of.”
The Tigers offensive line was one of the area’s best and it paved the way for a trio of backs to rush for better than 1,000 yards. One of the anchors of that front was senior Cory Banco.
He was the top offensive lineman for a team that ran for more than 3,300 yards and 52 touchdowns during the regular season.
“This means a lot to me personally and shows that hardwork does pay off,” Banco said.
“I’d like to thank the coaches for improving my knowledge and skills. Plus, I want to thank my dad for always being there for me and lastly, I want to thank the team for a great senior year.”
Junior quarterback Austin Dorris earned a spot on the third team. He ran for 1,036 yards and 16 touchdowns during the regular season. He also passed for nearly 600 yards and six touchdowns.
Beallsville had a pair of honorees, including head coach Paul Kanzigg who was named co state coach of the year.
Kanzigg, in just his second season guiding the Blue Devils, was overwhelmed by the recognition.
“This is something I couldn’t even imagine,” he said. “Being (Eastern) District Coach of the Year was an honor in itself. And to get this was just quite an honor.”
Kanzigg led Beallsville to a 6-4 mark and an appearance in the Region 25 quarterfinals where it lost to state finalist Glouster Trimble.
“I’ve tried to maintain what (former head coach) Dave (Caldwell) tried to establish,” Kanzigg said. “I was in a little disbelief at getting this honor; kind of shocked.”
To him, it’s an award that’s a credit to his assistant coaches and players.
“It wouldn’t be possible without them,” Kanzigg said. “It was a testament to their hard work and dedication to the program.”
Blue Devils senior defensive lineman Dalton Secrest was named second-team all-state after accumulating 26 sacks and leading the team with 75 tackles in the regular season. He was also the Blue Devils’ top offensive lineman.
Bridgeport’s Bailey McGrath earned his first appearance on the all-Ohio listing. He was a third-team selection on the defensive unit.
The 5-9, 185 pounder was a standout at defensive back and also played quarterback for the Bulldogs. He was in on more than 30 tackles from his defensive back position.
Rick Thorp also contributed to this article.