Wheeling Central's Gino Bianconi
A 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, Eggleston was the driving force for the Pilots - literally - on both sides of the line. His coach, Mike Flannery, says he has the potential to be an all-stater next season. Eggleston, who graded out at 90 percent on offensive plays, was an Ohio Division VI second-teamer this season, and was named first team Eastern District, OVAC and PVC.
OL - Evan Eggleston, River, Jr.
OL - C.J. Wise, Monroe Central. Sr.
OL - Nick Naumann, Wheeling Central, Jr.
OL - Ryan Riethmiller, Linsly, Sr.
OL - Matt Hammond, Shadyside, Sr.
RB - Gino Bianconi, Wheeling Central, Sr. (C)
RB - Taylor Still, Paden City, Sr.
RB - Casey Pingley, Valley, Sr.
QB - Alex Stephens, Linsly, Sr.
QB - Teryn Jarrett, Beallsville, Jr.
WR - Brannt Pieniazek, Steub. Catholic, Sr.
WR - Akil Blount, Linsly, Sr.
WR - Cody Hudson, Shadyside, Jr.
UT - Parker Henry, Wheeling Central, Soph.
UT - Brandyn Heath, Beallsville, Sr.
UT - Tyler Kinchen, Monroe Central, Sr. (C)
K - Brad Cottrell, Wheeling Central
DL - Andrew Beveridge, Bishop Donahue, Sr.
DL - Braxton Nolte, Wheeling Central, Jr.
DL - Tyler Fitzpatrick, Barnesville, Sr.
DL - Mike Dalto, Bridgeport, Sr.
LB - Ralph King, Toronto, Sr.
LB - Jon Emmerling, Steub. Catholic, Sr.
LB - Jesse Stoudt, Barnesville, Sr.
LB - Mark Dodd, Linsly, Sr.
DB - Kyle Gillis, Bishop Donahue, Sr. (C)
DB - Anthony Thompson, Linsly, Sr.
DB - Ian Yahnke, Wheeling Central, Sr.
DB - Chase Kinemond, Shadyside, Jr.
UT - Preston Dornan, Barnesville, Sr.
UT - Chris Stephens, Linsly, Sr.
UT - Cole Smelley, Bridgeport, Sr. (C)
UT - Jordan Bonar, Bishop Donahue, Jr.
UT - Ross Comis, Weirton Madonna, Soph.
OL - Alex Barry, Bishop Donahue
OL - Ian Wells, Barnesville
OL - Aaron Thompson, Beallsville
OL - Jacob Clark, Shadyside
OL - Adam Jones, Linsly
RB - Brooks Ramsey, Shadyside
RB - Ollie Parker, Bishop Donahue
RB - Chinelo Oparanozie, Linsly
QB - Brenton Colabella, Steub. Catholic
QB - Tristan Haught, Clay-Battelle
WR - Korey Lafferre, Monroe Central
WR - Mark Walker, Cameron
WR - Zach Herrington, Steub. Catholic
UT - Kole Hogue, Monroe Central
UT - Christian Roe, Madonna
UT - Grahamm Dauch, Beallsville
K - Rainer Whiteside, Linsly
DL - Taylor Neely, Cameron
DL - Hunter McPherson, Shadyside
DL - Bryant Arnold, Beallsville
DL - Josh Carter, Wellsville
LB - Austin McConn, River
LB - D.J. Shoemaker, Shadyside
LB - Shane Mosti, Toronto
LB - Erik Gompers, Wheeling Central
LB - Nick Asturi, River
DB - Zach Dornon, Barnesville
DB - Ryan Hughes, Cameron
DB - Cody Caldwell, River
DB - Ricky Jordan, Linsly
UT - Derek Hinkle, Clay-Battelle
UT - Travis Ogden, St. John Central
UT - Clay-Ueltschy, Valley
UT - Elliot Nero, Weirton Madonna
Barnesville: Brandon Burkhart, Colin Hallstrom.
Beallsville: Ricky Tubaugh.
Bishop Donahue: Saquan Hill.
Bridgeport: Dallas Fields.
Buckeye Trail: Nate Huber.
Caldwell: Adam Rossiter.
Cameron: Austin Warsinsky, Zach Hall.
Clay Battelle: Jacoby Steele
Conotton Valley: Taylor Bowdish, Seth Rutledge.
Fort Frye: Chandler Lang.
Frontier: Brandon Kring, Jordan Jefferson.
Hundred: Chris Varner, Jacob Watson.
Linsly: Jimmy McCleery.
Monroe Central: Curtis Nixon, Tyrone Kinchen
Paden City: Jamie Billiter, Keith Hardbarger.
River: Jordan Sapp, Kameron Brown.
Shadyside: Matt Goulash.
Shenandoah: Eli Hurst, Derek Leasure.
Steubenville Catholic: Joe Fallon.
Toronto: Jeff Weidger, Aaron Thompson.
Valley: John Smallwood.
Weirton Madonna: Ryan Mozingo, Nick Ossman.
Wheeling Central: Andrew Keane, Patrick Biega.
Beallsville: Kyle Groves; Bishop Donahue: Marshall Reager, Garrett Yurisko; Bridgeport: Bailey McGrath, Cody Frey; Cameron: Hunter Yoders, Alex Jones; Conotton Valley: Brandon Bailey, B.J. Booth; Linsly: Gabe Hill; Monroe Central: Dylan Shapley; Paden City: Kyle Staton, Payton Hinkley; River: Brett Rosen, Jonathan Stewart; Shadyside: Chris Littell; Steubenville Catholic: B.J. Grandinetti, Steve Mihalyo; Toronto: Joey Chadwick, Spenser Sninchak; Valley: Spencer Mason; Weirton Madonna: Joe McCombs, Anthony Fulmer.
(The Intelligencer All-Valley, Small School captain selections since two-class setup started in 1951. One-class honors made from 1923-41.)
2011 - Gino Bianconi, RB, Wheeling Central; Tyler Kinchen, Utility, Monroe Central; Kyle Gillis, DB, Bishop Donahue; Cole Smelley, Utility, Brideport.
2010 - Marcus Clifford, RB, Wheeling Central; Brandon Sedinger, RB, Shadyside; Garrett Price, Utility, Ryan Jones, WR.
2009 - Zach Hood, QB, Wheeling Central; Nate Maleski, OL, Bridgeport; Lou Comis, LB, Weirton Madonna; Max Nogay, Utility, Madonna.
2008 - Tyler Brooks, RB, River; Eric Lucas, Beallsville, Utility; D.J. Duke, River, DL; Dan Gordon, LB, Wheeling Central.
2007 - Michael Angalich, QB, Bishop Donahue; Troy Starr, RB, River; D.J. Duke, DL, River (jr.); Dustin Sadlowski, LB, Shadyside.
2006 - Brandon Tucker, RB, Wheeling Central; Taylor Jovicic, RB, Shadyside
2005 - Brandon Tucker, RB, Wheeling Central; Bud Hines, RB, Barnesville; Zach Hawrot, RB, Steubenville Catholic
2004 - Jacob Zerkle, RB, Shenandoah; Jake Myers, RB, Weirton Madonna; Tony Walls, DB, Linsly
2003 - Erik Cwalinski, QB, Shadyside; Gabe Gordon, LB, Monroe Central; Tom Contraguerro, DL, Wheeling Central.
2002 - Steve Spence QB, Steubenville Catholic; Chris Wilson, RB, Monroe Central; Chris Carroll, DL, River; Charlie Hunter, LB, Toronto.
2001 - Mike Kernik, QB, Shadyside; Jon Gordon, LB, Wheeling Central.
2000 - Chris Caldwell, QB, Beallsville; Don Price, DB, Toronto; Jon Gordon (jr.), LB, Wheeling Central.
1999 - Nate Walker, Toronto; Kenny Howell, Bellaire St. John's; Dan Stephens, Linsly.
1998 - Nate Walker (jr.), Toronto; Roger Snyder, Wheeling Central; John Schumacher, Monroe Central.
1997 - Ed Drummond, Linsly, RB; Colby Street, Beallsville, QB; Mike Gehrig, River, QB; Mike Swearingen, Toronto, DB.
1996 - Ed Drummond (jr.), Linsly, RB; Bryan Widmor, Bridgeport, RB; Colby Street (jr.), Beallsville, QB; Brent Wear, Wheeling Central, LB; Hank Boka, Toronto, LB.
1995 - Bo Carter, Wellsville, OE; Bryan Widmor (jr.), Bridgeport, RB; Joe Barker, Valley, DE; Rick Meade, Beallsville, DL.
1994 - Jeff Snedegar, Buckeye Trail, QB; Jamie Zelewicz, Bishop Donahue, RB; Eric Wolfe, Wellsville, LB; Jason Angelica, Steubenville Catholic, DT.
1993 - Chris Dalrymple, Woodsfield, OT; Mike Orlando, Steubenville Catholic, QB; Joff Starcher, Paden City, RB; Steve Cain, Valley, DE; Donald Thorn, Steubenville Catholic, LB.
1992 - Andy Martin, Wellsville, RB; Tim Rohde, Valley, RB; David Bosley, Paden City, Spc.; Ryan Walton, Tyler, LB.
1991 - Jon Knowlton, Woodsfield, RB; Steve Schumacher, Woodsfield, OL; Dave Stanwick, Steubenville Catholic, DL; Shane Florence, Shadyside, DB.
1990 - Eric McGhee, Wheeling Central, RB; Jason Dalesio, Cameron, RB; Matt Hohman, Wheeling Central, OL; Eric Obrokta, Linsly, DL.
1989 - Brent Burkhart, Shadyside, QB; Eric McGhee (jr.), Wheeling Central, RB; Brett Grimm, Sistersville, DL.
1988 - Bill Seach, Mingo, QB; Pat Staley, Bellaire St. John's, RB; Kevin Kissner, Tyler, LB.
1987 - Jim West (jr.), Valley, RB; Greg Schumacher, Woodsfield, Off. Spc.; Kevin Warner, Tyler, DE; Mitch Bendle, Springfield, DB.
1986 - Jeff Swisher, Sistersville, RB; Chad Seckman, Tyler, LB.
1985 - Jeff Swisher (jr.), Sistersville, RB; Eric Peterson, Cadiz, RB; Rick Faust, Beallsville, LB.
1984 - Joel Wilson, Sistersville, RB; Eric Petho, Bellaire St. John's, LB; Scott Lash, Tyler, DB.
1983 - Matt Archer, Sistersville, QB; Blaine Rose, Stanton, OE; Dave Rose, DE, and Jeff Crowell, RB, Linsly; Mike Liggett, Cadiz, DL.
1982 - Dan Hawthorne, Cadiz, RB; Mark Brenneman, Sistersville, Off. Spc.; Jack Rodman, Weirton Madonna, DB; Mike Potenzini, Mingo, OE.
1981 - Brian Swisher, OE, and Mike Salmons, Sistersville, LB; Mike Brooks, Cadiz, RB; Brian Miller, Bridgeport, Def. Spc.
1980 - Tom Archer, Sistersville, QB; Darryl Shipp, Woodsfield, RB; Brett Elliott, Springfield, DL.
1979 - Jay Peterson, Cadiz, RB; Steve Mele, Bishop Donahue, RB; Vig Ceglie, Weirton Madonna, LB; Jeff Fox, Paden City, QB.
1978 - C.R. Howdyshell, Sistersville, RB; Lance LaFollette, Woodsfield, WR; Don Roe, Buckeye North, LB.
1977 - Rick Doan, Barnesville, RB; Don Kennedy, Cameron, Off. Spc.; Wade Lucas, Beallsville, DB.
1976 - Dave Cosper, Paden City, RB; Tim Magorien, Woodsfield, RB; Dan Hall, Buckeye North, LB.
1975 - Jeff Kendziorski, Cadiz, FB; Bob St. John, Bridgeport, Def. Spc.
1974 - Pat Singleton, Woodsfield, RB; Tom Sapp, Jefferson Union, OT; Jeff Grandstaff, Bridgeport, Def. Spc.
1973 - Greg Ketchum, Wellsville, OT; Jim Kovalo, Shadyside, DT.
1972 - Joe Gaudio, Yorkville, RB; John Figurski, Buckeye West, OE; Norm Trowbridge, Paden City, LB.
1971 - Bob Haught, Stanton, RB; Terry Edwards, Linsly, RB; Dennis DaGrava and Gary Kish, Smithfield, DBs.
1970 - Sonny Brown, OT, and Roy Kinnison, LB, Bridgeport.
1969 - Mike Nelson, Paden City, RB; Frank Rico, Tiltonsville, RB.
1968 - Ron Kontra, Smithfield, RB; Phil Harvin, Brilliant, T; Jim McVey, Powhatan, E.
1967 - Dick Kerwood, Bishop Donahue, C.
1966 - Mike Hostasa, Shadyside, T.
1965 - Randy Massey (jr.), Bridgeport, RB.
1964 - Randy Donahue, Tiltonsville, T.
1963 - Randy Donahue (jr.), Tiltonsville, T.
1961-62 - none selected.
1960 - Bill Lee, Cadiz, QB.
1959 - Arcelius (Ace) Lyle, Paden City, RB; Henry Boyd, Smithfield, G.
1958 - Jerry Dougherty, Brilliant, RB.
1957 - Marvin Brown, Powhatan, T.
1956 - Burley Grimes, RB, and Jim Yoho, E, Cameron.
1955 - Robert Allen, Cameron, RB; Frank Noble, Dillonvale, RB.
1954 - Jim Jarvis, Adena, RB.
1953 - Kenny Mikes, Sistersville, RB; Jim West, Cameron, G.
1952 - Mike Kernik, Powhatan, RB.
1951 - Sam West, Cadiz, G.
When the Seminoles needed yards, they ran the ball behind this monsterous 6-6, 235-pound tackle. A first team Division V all-state pick this season, Coach Jay Circosta called Wise the best blocker on his team and the leader of the offensive line. On defense he managed 52.5 tackles, including nine for loss.
Playing on a pair of bad ankles practically all season, Naumann was the key cog in a revamped Maroon Knights line that paved the way for more than 5,000 yards of total offense, including 4,000-plus on the ground. A first team All-W.Va. choice, Naumann was the pulling guard - the most important position along the line in the Wheeling Central offense.
There were players that got more notoriety in the Cadets' perfect 10-0 season, but Riethmiller was as instrumental as any from his guard position, where he started every game. One of 10 returnees on this All-Valley team, Riethmiller graded out at 91 percent and was credited with 21 pancake blocks for an offense that put up obscene numbers this season.
When you make two consecutive deep playoff runs, it obviously has a lot to do with having great players. Hammond (6-1, 190) was not only one of the best for the Tigers, but also in the Ohio Valley and the state, as evidenced in his being selected third team All-Ohio. Hammond was a terror at defensive end two years ago when Shadyside advanced to the state final, but added the duties of playing tackle on the other side of the ball this season.
This slasher came out of nowhere and ran Coach Mike Young's squad to its second W.Va. Class A state title in a row, eighth since 2000 and ninth in school history. A receiver a season ago, Bianconi switched to running back this season turned in a record-breaking performance on his way to being named Class A all-state offensive captain. Bianconi carried 219 times for 2,139 yards and 31 touchdowns. In the state-title game, he had 39 carries, 355 yards and five touchdowns - all-class records for each.
A four-year letterman for Coach Brent Croasmun's Wildcats, Still (5-10, 175) broke through in a big way this season. He starred a season ago, but turned it up another notch in 2011 and was rewarded with a spot as a first team all-stater. One of the faster players in the area, when he got the corner is was lights-out. Still carried the ball 249 times for 1,632 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also running in eight 2-pointers for a total of 138 points. He was special mention last season.
Coach Tom West's Lumberjacks went to Pingley when they were in a crunch, and even a lot of the time when they weren't. When you put up the kind of numbers this second team all-state speedster did, it's easy to understand why. Pingley carried the ball 228 times for 1,316 yards, and also hauled in seven catches for 118 yards and had 21 total touchdowns. He was second team All-Valley last season.
At the controls of arguably the area's most explosive offenses, Stephens makes the climb from special mention all the way to first team. All he did this season was complete 95 of 139 passes (68 percent) for 1,712 yards and a valley-leading 28 touchdown passes against five interceptions during the regular season. Those yardage and TD totals set Linsly school records. In addition, he carried 27 times for 128 yards and two more scores.
It seems like Jarrett has been around forever, and he still has another season. Jarrett was one of the main reasons the Blue Devils were able to advance to the regional final, thus sending veteran coach Dave Caldwell into retirement on a high note. During the regular season, he completed 102 of 196 (52 percent) of his passes for 1,422 yards and 16 touchdowns, while throwing a Small School-low three interceptions.
The Crusaders possessed one of the valley's most potent passing offenses as they changed things up under first-year coach Steve Daley. At the forefront was Pieniazek, who went out in style. In 10 games, the senior hauled in 39 catches for 771 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 19.7 yards per reception.
All Stephens had to do was throw the ball in the vicinity of Blount and he would go and get it - regardless of the number of defenders trying to prevent the play. The 6-2, 215-pound Blount caught 28 passes for 465 yards, which averages to more than 16 a reception, and found the end zone nine times. He was also a stalwart at defensive end with eight sacks.
The Tigers didn't throw the ball a ton, but when they did, they went to the sure-handed Hudson. A third team All-Ohio selection, Hudson hauled in 23 passes for 495 yards - 21.5 per - and scored nine touchdowns
Talk about bursting onto the scene, all that prevented this burner from 2,000 yards of total offense was an early injury in the state championship game. Henry, who was also named a first team All-W.Va. selection, rushed for 1,259 yards and threw for another 696. He accounted for 29 total touchdowns (17 rushing, 11 passing, and one interception return on defense). He only threw one interception, and that came in the state semifinals.
It's not what Heath did for Beallsville that was impressive. In fact, it's a matter of what didn't the senior do? Battling numerous ankle issues, the 6-2, 170-pounder led all Small-School scorers with 162 points - 19 touchdowns, 39 PATs and three field goals as the Blue Devils nearly made a Division VI semifinal appearance. During the regular season he averaged 104.4 yards (1,149 overall) and 8.5 a carry, while scoring 16 touchdowns. Heath was a third team All-Ohio pick.
Arguably the hardest runner in the valley to bring down, Kinchen - a quarterback - was often seen looking for a defender to hit while carrying the football. A first team All-Ohio selection, Kinchen carried 177 times for 1,094 yards (6.2 a carry) and 14 touchdowns. As a passer, he completed 77 of 151 for 1,086 yards and 12 more touchdowns. He's the only four-time first teamer in All-Valley history.
It wasn't all that long ago Cottrell wasn't even playing football. Now he's turned himself into an All-W.Va. and All-Valley kicker. Cottrell booted five field goals - tops in the Small-School ranks - and also finished with 65 points in 14 games. In addition, he also handled all kickoffs and was the punter.
A returning first teamer, Beveridge (6-2, 225) played most of the season with a cast on his hand after breaking it in Week 2. No matter, he still put up numbers good enough to not only make this team, but also All-W.Va. Beveridge registered 88 tackles - 17 for loss - as well as seven sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Not done, he returned an interception for a score and caused a safety.
When you win a state title and you're the leading tackler on the team, that says a lot. Such was the case for Nolte, who will look to make it three state championships in three seasons in 2012. For the season, he registered 109 tackles and seven sacks - also a team best - on his way to being named a first team all-stater, as well. As a tight end, he caught five passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns.
A tower of power at 6-5, 205, Fitzpatrick left his mark on both sides of the ball during his four years with Coach Luke Johnson. This season he led the Shamrock - by a total of 32 - in tackles with 109, and also dropped the opposing quarterback four times. As a tight end, he caught 32 passes for 434 yards and four scores.
Once this 6-2, 250-pound beast got his hands on the ballcarrier, it was game, set and match. Dalto, who was a first team last year and was selected All-OVAC, registered 70 tackles, 16 of which occured behind the line of scrimmage. In addition, he was charted with seven sacks for Coach Rudy Vavrock's team.
Not blessed with tremendous size at 5-10, 170 pounds, the Red Knights standout more than made up for it with his heart and a motor that never stopped. King paced Toronto with 143 tackles, while also accumulating 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. Offensively he had 853 yards and six TDs as the team's tailback. He was special mention All-Ohio
A second team All-Ohio honoree, Emmerling moves up from second team on our list. He was charted with 97 tackles, nine of which went for negative yardage, a trio of sacks and two interceptions. He also ran 34 times for 118 yards and two scores and caught 26 passes for 303 yards.
A wrecking ball on both sides of the ball in the truest since, the 207-pound Stoudt did his most damage on the defensive side of the football. A four-year contributer, Stoudt accumulated 77 tackles and recorded three sacks, which was tied for second on Coach Luke Johnson's club.
Another repeat honoree, Dodd was again the heart and soul of the Cadets defense. The Division-I Lafayette recruit was a star from the time he stepped foot on campus four years ago. Dodd, who was a three-year captain and was voted Defensive MVP of the team, made 78 tackles - 13 for loss - while registering a pair of sacks, a defensive touchdown and an interception. Offensively he had a combined 11 scores.
A two-time member of the All-Valley and All-W.Va. team, where he was also named captain, Gillis simply shut down one side of the field as Coach John Durdine's Bishops made their second straight trip to the postseason. While guarding every team's No. 1 receiver - the Bishops played a pass-happy schedule - Gillis made 63 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered one, in addition to grabbing three interceptions, one of which he took back for a touchdown.
Making his second consecutive appearance on the All-Valley team, Thompson spearheaded a ball-hawking Cadets secondary that aided them in their 10-0 season. Not only did he come up with 47 tackles, but six of them went for losses. Thompson intercepted five passes, caused two fumbles and recorded a sack.
A second team all-state performer, Yahnke was the glue that held the back end of the Maroon Knights secondary. At 5-8, 140, Yahnke often had the challenge of covering bigger receivers, and he had little issue. Yahnkee made 40 tackles and registered a team-leading six interceptions for 13-1 Wheeling Central.
Kinemond also doubled as the Tigers quarterback, but made his name on the defensive side of the football. Shadyside made it to the regional final, thanks in no small part to this first team All-Ohio performer's work. He intercepted a team-high four passes and was one of the leading tacklers en route to also being named All-Eastern District.
Dornon rarely came off the field this season for the Shamrocks, but that didn't stop him from putting up some big numbers. A free safety, he registered 75 tackles and stole away four interceptions. Offensively as a tailback, Dornon rumbled for 770 yards and six touchdowns.
We told you the Cadets secondary was loaded, and Stephens capped off a stellar career by hauling in a club-high eight interceptions to go along with 26 tackles, four pass breakups and a pair of fumble recoveries. He also averaged 25 yards a kick return and had 11 catches for 255 yards and four touchdowns.
He did everything for the Bulldogs except sell popcorn. A repeat honoree on the All-Valley team as well as All-Ohio, Smelley recorded 63 tackles, forced a pair of fumbles and intercepted two passes. He ran for 1,076 yards and eight touchdowns offensively, while throwing for six more scores and 886 yards.
As hard-nosed a football player as you will find in the Ohio Valley, Bonar earned the same delegation on the Class A all-state team. At 5-11, 185 pounds, he had 74 tackles - 16 for loss - as well as two sacks, a pair of interceptions and a forced fumble. Offensively he ran for 943 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Comis broke out in a big way on both sides of the ball for first-year coach Doug Taylor and the playoff-qualifying Blue Dons. He came through with 36 tackles and three interceptions on defense. Offensively, he rushed for 602 yards and nine touchdowns, as well as three 2-point conversions, and also threw for 1,022 yards and nine more scores.