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Several area gridders honored

COLUMBUS — Football players from throughout the immediate area have begun to reap the rewards of fine seasons.

The all Eastern District Football Team, which is chosen by sports writers from throughout the district, features numerous area players on the top two teams and the honorable mention lists in Divisions IV through VII.

The all-Eastern District Team helps determine the all-Ohio teams, which are named by the Ohio Prep Sports Writer’s Association and will be announced during the week leading up to the OHSAA State Football Championships.

Along with being named to the top two teams, three area individuals — two players and one coach — earned special accolades after helping their teams to impressive seasons.

St. Clairsville, which finished the regular season with a 10-0 record, is well represented on the Division IV squad. But, head coach Brett McLean, who became the school’s all-time leader in football victories with the Week 9 win at South Range, earned the Division IV Coach of the Year honor.

Not only did McLean direct his team to a spotless record, but the Red Devils also claimed the OVAC Class 4A and Buckeye 8 South Division titles along the way.

For the Devils, it’s the fourth time they’ve finished with a spotless regular season record in McLean’s tenure.

The Red Devils were in action Saturday night against Bloom-Carroll in the Division IV, Region 15 semifinals.

In Division VI, Shadyside basically changed its entire identity in a week’s time. As head coach Mark Holenka opened up the offensive playbook and allowed senior quarterback Anthony Coggins to take over with his arm, the Tigers took off.

Shadyside won eight games in a row before stubbing its toe against Wheeling Central in Week 10. Coggins led the way through much of that and was named the Division VI Offensive Player of the Year.

Coggins, who started as a junior, completed 124-of-197 passes for 1,958 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was picked off just three times. He also rushed for two scores.

The Tigers advanced to the Division VI, Region 23 championship game on Friday night by cruising past top-seeded Bainbridge Paint Valley.

River was the lone area playoff team in Division VII and Coach Mike Flannery’s team boasts a solid defense thanks to the play of sophomore dandy Carter Dennis.

Dennis, who helped guide the Pilots to the Division VII, Region 27 tournament last weekend was named the Eastern District Player of the Year after logging 111 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

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