Fairbanks’ Patrick Cotter (left photo-center) and senior linebacker Charlie Scheiderer have earned special honors in the Central District for the 2018 football season. Cotter was named Coach of the Year and Scheiderer was honored as defensive player of the year in Division VI.
(Journal-Tribune photos by Sam Dillon)
It’s almost like Christmas has come more than a month early for several area high school football players.
A number of local gridders have earned awards as announced today by a panel of sports editors and writers from the Central District.
The all-district teams were formerly named by the Associated Press. The wire service, though, stopped naming those teams midway through the 2017 campaign.
When the AP decided to do away with those All-Star teams, groups of sports writers from around the state took it upon themselves to honor athletes from the various districts.
More than 10 local athletes have earned first-team honors for the district in various divisions.
Union County is also the home of a player of the year, as well as a coach of the year.
The top two local honors landed in the Milford Center area.
Fairbanks High School linebacker Charlie Scheiderer was named the defensive player of the year for Division VI, while FHS’ Patrick Cotter was named the division’s coach of the year.
Scheiderer led the 7-4 Panthers (who qualified for their first state playoff game in more than a decade) in tackles. He finished the season with 151.5 tackles (36.5 of which went for losses) and 5.5 sacks.
“Charlie was the heart of our defense,” said Cotter. “He made all of our defensive calls and is the best pure linebacker I have coached in 14 years.”
Scheiderer was also a special teams leader, playing on numerous special teams units. He also filled in as a short-down running back. As such, he finished with 116 yards on 27 attempts and scored a pair of touchdowns.
The success the Panthers experienced this season led to Cotter’s award as coach of the year in Division VI.
The team not only earned a state playoff berth, but also tied with West Jefferson for the Ohio Heritage Conference North Division championship.
While Scheiderer and Cotter snagged the top two awards for the area, the football “elves” were able to reach into their bag for several other pre-Christmas presents.
Other local gridders who earned first-team honors were:
-Marysville linebacker Mike Powers and offensive lineman Tyler Connolly.
-Jonathan Alder: quarterback J.T. Keith, running back Garrett Proxmire, offensive lineman Connor Morgan and defensive lineman Brennan Blain.
-North Union: running back Trevor Moran, defensive lineman Colton Clark, defensive back Trevyn Feasel and punter Anthony Padovano.
-Fairbanks: quarterback Jacob Nicol, receiver Tyler Beem, offensive lineman Sam Rengert, defensive back Gatlin Luke and linebacker Braylon Green.
Thumbnail sketches of the area’s other first-team honorees follow:
-Powers: Finished the season for the 5-5 Monarchs with a team-leading 148 tackles (105 solo and 43 assists). The senior, who had 23 tackles for losses and forced two fumbles, also earned district honors in 2017.
-Connolly: Was the top O-lineman for a squad that rushed for 2,616 yards. The 295-pounder also had seven tackles on the defensive line.
-Keith: The sophomore turned in a solid season during his first year as a starter. He completed 87-of-157 passes as the Pioneers finished with a 6-4 mark. His passes covered 1,292 yards and went for 14 touchdowns.
-Proxmire: A junior, Proxmire led JA with 1,369 yards on 210 rushing attempts. He finished with 11 touchdowns.
-Morgan: The junior, was labeled by head coach Brett Glass as the squad’s best offensive lineman. He also finished with 44 tackles on the D-line.
-Blain: The senior tallied 70 tackles, 12 of which finished behind the line of scrimmage. He also had eight sacks.
-Moran: Only a sophomore, Moran put up huge numbers for a Wildcat squad that finished 7-3 and just missed a state playoff berth.
He ran for 1,455 yards and crossed into the end zone 21 times. He also caught 14 passes for 147 yards.
-Clark: The NU senior, who earned first-team district honors a year ago, accumulated 63.5 tackles, 15 of which went for losses.
-Feasel: A sophomore, Feasel finished the season with 43.5 tackles and broke up nine passes.
-Padovano: The senior, who was the division’s first-team All-Ohio punter a year ago, was also the Wildcats’ starting quarterback. NU’s potent offense meant he had to punt only 17 times this year. Those kicks covered an average of nearly 41 yards.
-Nicol: The senior quarterback put up impressive numbers despite the fact he missed a handful of games at the start of the season with an injury.
Nicol completed 127-of-215 passes for 1,761 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was also a dual threat as he rushed 133 times for 880 yards as the Panthers’ top ground gainer.
-Beem: The senior finished with a team-leading 53 receptions for 886 yards and 10 touchdowns.
-Rengert: A junior “Big Sam” as he was called, cast a huge shadow across opposing defensive lines. The 6-7, 300-pounder graded out at 84 percent and tallied 10 pancake blocks.
-Luke: Another junior, Luke picked off six passes and broke up an additional 13. He also returned two fumble recoveries for touchdowns.
-Green: The sophomore finished the season with 91 tackles and recovered a fumble.
While the first-teamers highlighted the local area, they weren’t the only athletes honored.
There were a handful who earned second-team accolades in divisions where a second team was named.
Not all divisions had enough players for second teams. In those divisions, special and honorable mention accolades were recognized.
Local athletes who earned second-team status were offensive lineman Dalton Rowland, linebacker Jaxson Harrah, defensive back Carsen Newell and defensive lineman Luke Dunn of North Union in D-V.
Rowland finished the season with 23 tackles, while Harrah tallied 59.
Newell intercepted five passes, while Dunn had 57 tackles.
Those who earned special or honorable mention status in their respective divisions were:
-Walker Heard (special), a senior linebacker who tallied 86 tackles and two sacks. Heard was also MHS’ starting quarterback. He completed 37-of-88 passes in a run-oriented offense.
-Bodie Eberhart (honorable), a senior defensive back who finished with 31 tackles and two interceptions. Eberhart also rushed for 485 yards and caught 17 passes for 360 yards.
-Ethan Smegal (honorable), a senior offensive-defensive lineman who tallied 30 tackles and started on an O-line that allowed only four quarterback sacks.
Division I had separate lists for special and honorable mention.
-Brayden Blain, a junior defensive lineman who led the team with 93 tackles.
-Blake Caldwell, a junior lineman who started as JA’s center on offense.
-Jacob Fenik, a junior multi-purpose player who had 46 tackles as a safety. He caught three touchdown passes and rushed for 164 yards. He averaged 24 yards per kickoff return and 10 yards per punt return.
-Jordan Leeka, a senior defensive lineman, who finished with 27 tackles.
-Jackson Welsch: a senior place-kicker who was 33-of-33 on extra points and three-of-five on field goals. His longest field goal went for 45 yards.
-Preston Crabtree, a sophomore defensive back who finished with 42 tackles and two interceptions.
-Ethan Hoffer, a senior offensive-defensive lineman.
-Matt Bouic, a senior offensive lineman who graded at 80 percent blocking. He was a three-year starter on the Panthers’ O-line.
-Mason Cushman, a sophomore running back who gained more than 600 yards and scored 11 touchdowns running or receiving.
-Wyatt Damron, a senior who caught 27 passes and scored four touchdowns as a receiver and had four tackles in the defensive secondary.
-Dakota Key: a junior offensive-defensive lineman who graded at 79 percent blocking and had 22 tackles.
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