Area football players earn special honors
After a very productive football season by area teams and players, the post-season accolades are starting to trickle in.
The All-Eastern District Football Team was recently selected by a panel of media members from throughout the district and no fewer than five area players and one coach received special accolades.
On top of that, several dozen players were recognized on either the first or second teams as well as honorable mention. The complete listing can be found on Page D3.
Here’s a look at the special award winners:
St. Clairsville’s Reese Skaggs was named the co-Defensive Player of the Year after a campaign in which he caused all sorts of problems for opposing offenses from his defensive end spot. He finished with 60 tackles, 10 sacks, seven hurries, forced and recovered a fumble.
Skaggs’ head coach, Brett McLean, guided the Red Devils to an undefeated regular season at 6-0, claiming the OVAC Class 4A title. He also led St. C. to the top seed in the Division IV, Region 15 playoffs. The Red Devils advanced to the regional championship before bowing out.
Harrison Central senior quarterback Kobe Mitchell enjoyed yet another brilliant season in leading the Huskies. He was named one of three offensive players of the year in the district, joining Ridgewood’s Gabe Tingle and Sandy Valley’s Cameron Blair.
Mitchell did a little bit of everything for Coach Anthony Hayes’ team this season. He completed 113-of-213 passes for 2,058 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was a threat with his legs, which was proven by his 659 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. He was also a menace on opposing offenses from his defensive back spot.
On the defensive side of the ball, Martins Ferry senior Evan Carpenter repeated as the district’s co-defensive player of the year, sharing the award with Ridgewood’s Zack Prater.
Carpenter posted 80 tackles, including 10 for loss, four sacks, forced three fumbles, had three quarterback hurries, picked off a pass and he blocked two kicks.
Playing a shining role on both sides of the ball for Coach Chas Yoder’s squad, Carpenter had 106 carries for 769 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns.
Shadyside junior Wyatt Reiman produced a second consecutive brilliant season at running back and was rewarded with a piece of the district’s player of the year award, sharing the top honor with Malvern’s Derk Hutchison.
Reiman was a key cog in the Tigers’ success, which saw them advance to the regional championship game. He rushed for 995 yards on 185 carries and scored 13 touchdowns, despite missing a game due to injury.
Defensively, River’s Carter Dennis earned his third piece of a district player of the year honor. He shared the top accolade with Toronto’s B.J. Pearson.
Dennis finished with 134 tackles, 20 for loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. In helping Coach Mike Flannery’s team to an OVAC title and trip to the regional semifinals, Dennis also rushed 124 times for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns.