The Patriots took a lot of flack for the lack of size along their line, but defenders sure were not laughing when Stewart got his big paws on them. The 250-pounder was literally a driving force behind a Wheeling Park offense that was as diverse as it was fast. The Patriots ran for 1,752 yards and passed for 1,640 more on their way back into the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs.
OL - Eli Stewart, Wheeling Park, Sr.
OL - Justin Wade, John Marshall, Sr.
OL - Jake Powers, Morgantown, Sr.
OL - Elliott Albert, Martins Ferry, Sr.
OL - Michael Camilletti, Steubenville, Jr.
RB - Tyrel Simmons, Martins Ferry, Sr. (C)
RB - Maurtice Hython, Harrison Central, Jr.
RB - Dashaun Lewis, Cambridge, Sr. (C)
QB - Marcus Prather, Steubenville, Sr.
QB - Matt Kinnick, St. Clairsville, Jr.
WR - Mike Furda, Indian Creek, Sr.
WR - Stephen Rogalski, Magnolia, Jr.
WR - Juwan Whetstone, Bellaire, Sr.
UT - Jaylon Brown, St. Clairsville, Soph.
UT - Josten Dear, Buckeye Local, Sr.
UT - Lucas McDowell, Oak Glen, Sr.
K - Matt Carter, Wheeling Park, Sr.
DL - Preston Murray, Oak Glen, Jr. (C)
DL - William Houst, Steubenville, Sr.
DL - Christian Allen, Morgantown, Sr.
DL - Corey Ernest, St. Clairsville, Jr.
LB - Leshawn Luke, Steubenville, Sr.
LB - Evan Cline, Tyler Consolidated, Sr.
LB - Tanner Roller, Cambridge, Sr.
LB - Nick Pelegreen, Harrison Central, Jr.
LB - Josh Davis, Bellaire, Sr.
DB - Jeff Hissam, Oak Glen, Sr.
DB - Najee Murray, Steubenville, Sr. (C)
DB - D.C. Banks, Wheeling Park, Sr.
DB - Jerrid Marhefka, St. Clairsville, Jr.
UT - Justin Isinghood, Buckeye Local, Sr.
UT - Boo Lathon, Wheeling Park, Sr.
UT - Jordan Piergallini, Buckeye Local, Sr.
UT - Michael Ferns, St. Clairsville, Soph.
OL - Danny Berry, Morgantown
OL - Cole Stephen, St. Clairsville
OL - Bentley Knight, Magnolia
OL - Slade Dillon, Tyler Consolidated
OL - Dylan Powell, Oak Glen
RB - Jo Jo Pierro, Steubenville
RB - Jayson Keller, Magnolia
RB - Tim Faulkner, Brooke
QB - Spencer Badia, Bellaire
QB - Lee Peluchette, Wheeling Park
WR - Zane Ayouch, Union Local
WR - Jake Lucas, John Marshall
UT - Tanner Hanna, Magnolia
UT - C.J. Williams, Martins Ferry
UT - Manny Ray, Bellaire
K - Zac Musilli, St. Clairsville
DL - Travis Maraney, University
DL - Michael Costantini, Steubenville
DL - Adam Kovac, Morgantown
DL - Christian Edmund, Bellaire
LB - Mack White, Parkersburg South
LB - Mark Ludewig, Indian Creek
LB - Kage Rohde, Magnolia
LB - Ben Evick, St. Clairsville
LB - Sean McGee, Martins Ferry
DB - Darrell Winfree, Cambridge
DB - Hunter Lemasters, Tyler Consolidated
DB - Reese Laishley, Cambridge
DB - Vondel Bell, Wheeling Park
UT - Aaron Fonner, John Marshall
UT - Mike Ferns, St. Clairsville
UT - Kyle Minger, Edison
UT - David Kemp, Indian Creek
Bellaire: Chucky Myers.
Brooke: Alec Buchmelter, Mason Bates.
Buckeye Local: Greg Ring, A.J. Barsch.
Cambridge: Trevor Wilson.
Edison: Shane O'Brien, Mark Smyth.
Harrison Central: Clayton Coffman.
Indian Creek: Montel McClelland, Shane Winland.
John Marshall: Evan Magers, Tyler Fordyce.
Magnolia: Drew Keller.
Martins Ferry: Trent Neavin, Zach Coole, Richie Padyjacek.
Meadowbrook: Courtland Johnson.
Morgantown: Jalen Thomas, Shane Commodore, Sammy Lusk.
Oak Glen: Dylan Davis, Ethan Delekta.
St. Clairsville: Dan Monteroso, Luke Smith.
Steubenville: Davon Wicker, Matt Petrella.
Tyler Consolidated: Koty Martin.
Union Local: Robert Simpson.
University: Karl Gall.
Weir: Andy Marshall, Ryan Mendenhall.
Wheeling Park: J.R. Pyle, Lee Mendenhall.
Bellaire: Dalton Conroy; Brooke: Gio Fuscardo, Raleigh Mason; Buckeye Local: Josiah Hannen, Brian Zeroski; Cambridge: Anthony Miller; Harrison Central: Matt Shurina; Indian Creek: Frank Ward, Alex Young; John Marshall: James Morgan; Magnolia: Nick Blatt, Cole Seckman; Martins Ferry: Jonathan Carlier, Robert Vargo; Morgantown: Kevin Minehart; Heath Bolyard, Evan Hamilton, Mark Johnson; Oak Glen: Zack Staley, Clayton Flowers, Nate Wright; St. Clairsville: Chase Garan, Greg Parker; Steubenville: Dashawn Redmen, Tashawn Luke; Union Local: Kaleb Blackman, Eric Dunfee; University: Travis Layton; Wheeling Park: Carl Earnest.
(The Intelligencer/News-Register All-Valley 'Big School' captains since selections resumed in 1951. One team was picked from 1923-41).
2011 - Tyrel Simmons, RB, Martins Ferry; Dashaun Lewis, RB, Cambridge; Najee Murray, DB, Steubenville; Preston Murray, DL, Oak Glen.
2010 - Justin Fox, QB, Magnolia; Dein Ward, WR, Bellaire; Ryan Lazear, LB, Brooke; Shaq Petteway, LB, Steubenville.
2009 - Cotey Wallace, Utility, Brooke; Dwight Macon, QB, Steubenville; Richard Hall, LB, Wheeling Park; Tyler Arigoni, LB, Union Local.
2008 - Jordan Barbina, QB, Union Local; Dwight Macon, QB, Steubenville (jr.); Jeremy Murray, Utility, Martins Ferry; Branko Busick, LB, Steubenville.
2007 - Bryan Gaiters, RB, Zanesville; Zach Gust, WR, Union Local; Dan Gordon, LB, Wheeling Central (jr.); Steve Davis, DB, Steubenville.
2006 - Zach Collaros, QB, Steubenville; Nick Rocchio, QB, Bellaire; Stephen Ford, RB, Cambridge.
2005 - Angelo Magnone, OL-DL, Steubenville; Nate Davis, QB, Bellaire; Mike Buffo, LB, Weir
2004 - Ryan Church, Spc, Martins Ferry; Zach Amedro, QB, John Marshall; Zac Cooper, LB, Weir
2003 - Nate Hubbard, RB, Steubenville; Matt Wright, RB, Tyler Consolidated; Cody Tominack, LB, Wheeling Park.
2002 - Caleb Meyer, QB-DB-Spc, Edison; Nate Hubbard (jr.), RB, Steubenville; Shawn Waliesky, FB-LB, Martins Ferry; Aaron Bane, RB-LB, Indian Creek.
2001 - Trent Lehasky, RB-WR, John Marshall; Derrick Stickles, RB-PK, Oak Glen; John Smith, LB, Magnolia; Aaron Bane, LB-FB, Indian Creek (jr.)
2000 - Adam Quirk, QB, St. Clairsville; Billy Rinderer, WR, John Marshall; Todd Filtz, LB, Steubenville
1999 - Jarod Rine, QB, John Marshall; Vinnie West, RB, Steubenville; Tony Collette, RB, Martins Ferry; Josh Ludwig, DL, East Liverpool
1998 - Fred Ray, QB, Martins Ferry; Quincy Wilson, RB, Weir; Derek Palmer, LB, Magnolia
1997 - Ty Masciarelli, QB, Bellaire; Chad Brinker, RB, Martins Ferry; Quincy Wilson (jr.), RB, Weir; Justin Gosney, DB, Indian Creek
1996 - Chad Brinker (jr.), RB, Martins Ferry; Ben Taylor, WR, Bellaire; Kevin Snyder, LB, John Marshall; Jeff Powell, DE, Wheeling Park
1995 - Jose Davis, QB, Bellarie; Rich Mamie, LB, Bellaire; Luke Schumacher, LB, Monroe Central
1994 - Nate Johnson, RB, Steubenville; Chet Pobolish, RB, Buckeye Local; Chad Barkley, LB, Weir
1993 - Mark Cisar, QB, Magnolia; Art Miller, RB, Weir; Chris Enochs, QB, Oak Glen; Rich Theil, DE, St. Clairsville; Todd Clark, DL, Brooke
1992 - Mark Cisar (jr.), QB, Magnolia; Ken Fisher, WR, Magnolia; Bill West, RB, Buckeye Local; Curtis McGhee, RB, Wheeling Central; Kirk Stecik, LB, Brooke; Steve Terry, LB, Steubenville
1991 - Daryl Johnson, RB, Wheeling Park; Aaron Cisar, QB, Magnolia; Bill West (jr.), RB, Buckeye Local; Michael Tillman, WR, Steubenville; Greg Wise, LB, Brooke
1990 - George Vudrogovic, OL, Steubenville; Kevin Heller, QB, Wheeling Park; Bob Dunlevy, DL, Brooke
1989 - Zach Abraham, WR, Wheeling Park; Paul Kokas, OT, Steubenville; David Allen, DL, East Liverpool
1988 - Keith Jeter, RB, Weir; Dunyasha Yetts, RB, Steubenville; Joe Pabian, LB, St. Clairsville; Brian Stolarik, OL, Magnolia
1987 - Willie Clay, OE, Linsly; Hans Yetts, DL, Steubenville; Matt Ceglie, LB, Brooke
1986 - Jeff Sweitzer, QB, Brooke; John Spencer, RB, and Shawn Vincent, QB, St. Clairsville; Larry Long, LB, East Liverpool
1985 - John Spencer (jr.), RB, St. Clairsville; George Kidwell, DL, Brooke; Brian Young, LB, Steubenville
1984 - Mike Tennant, QB, Wheeling Park; Todd Kinder, OE, Bellaire; Charlie Keenan, DL, Steubenville; Dan McGrew, LB, Weir
1983 - Monte Summers, RB, Weir; Mike Mayo, DB, Steubenville; C.J. Gross, LB, St. Clairsville and Joe Vincent, QB, St. Clairsville
1982 - Todd Morris, QB, Magnolia; Andre Creech, QB, Steubenville; Frank Stewart, DL, Brooke; Tim Wilson, RB, Toronto
1981 - Todd Morris (jr.), QB, Magnolia; John Ceglie, LB, Brooke; Dennis Swearingen, DB, Martins Ferry
1980 - Jeff Woofter, OG, Oak Glen; Ernie Anderson, DL, Brooke; Trey Duffy, LB, Bellaire
1979 - Jim Johnson, RB, Martins Ferry; Tom Thomas, DB, Wheeling Central
1978 - Tim Spencer, RB, St. Clairsville; Jeff Patterson, OE, Brooke; John Brown, LB, Jefferson Union; Craig Miller, LB, Bridgeport
1977 - Rico Cox, RB, Wheeling Park; Mike Dawson, DB, Magnolia
1976 - Doug West, RB, Wintersville; Jerry Browne, OE, East Liverpool; Darrell Solomon, MG, Steubenville; Jim Gompers, OE, Wheeling Central
1975 - John Leon, OT, Brooke; Ernie Washington, RB, East Liverpool; Lance Mehl, LB, Bellaire; Jeff Kreider, OE, Oak Glen
1974 - Bill Stone, RB, Toronto; Ernie Andria, MG, Wintersville
1973 - Bob Wilt, QB, Magnolia; Terry Kettlewell, C, Wintersville; Eric Frankovitch, LB, Weir; Dan Mlynek, LB, Bellaire
1972 - Brian Book, QB, and John (Fuzzy) Filliez, OE, Magnolia; Jim Woofter, LB, Oak Glen
1971 - Steve Jones, RB, Toronto; Mike Mehalik, RB, and Dave Tuttle, LB, Steubenville Central; Doug Fedak, LB, Brooke
1970 - Ed (Buzz) Evans, OT, Bellaire St. John's; John Ostrander, MG, Bellaire
1969 - Jeff Rice, RB, St. Clairsville
1968 - Alan Hornyak, QB, Bellaire St. John's
1967 - Pat Korsnick, QB, Wheeling Central
1966 - Mike Palmer, RB, Steubenville; Tom Hogan, T, Wheeling Central
1965 - Don Hutchins, G, Bellaire
1964 - Buster Yannon, RB, Steubenville Central
1963 - Wayne Peters, G, Bellaire
1962 - Harry Wilson, RB, Steubenville
1961 - Larry Duck and Vic Rose, RBs, Martins Ferry
1960 - Bob Kelley (jr.), RB, Weir; Bill Lude, E, Martins Ferry
1959 - Charles Mamula, T, Martins Ferry
1958 - Tom Bloom, RB, Weir
1957 - Roger Holdinsky, RB, Moundsville; Joe Maroon, RB, Bellaire St. John's
1956 - Bob Ryland, E, Linsly
1955 - Geno Sessi, RB, St. Clairsville; Don Kuri, T, Bellaire
1954 - Rich Wilinski, E, Follansbee; Jim Nemec, RB, Bellaire
1953 - Pete Gongola, E, Benwood Union; Ed Garbark, RB, Wheeling Central
1952 - Jerry Comer, RB, Linsly; John Piehowicz, E, Bellaire
1951 - Ken Vargo, C, Martins Ferry
At 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, Wade stuck out like a sore thumb. When you're that kind of a hulking human it can sometimes be a detriment because everyone notices when that guy gets beat or misses an assignment. Fortunately for the Monarchs, they rarely had to worry about the second team all-stater failing to do his job. When John Marshall needed the tough yardage, it went behind Wade.
When you have as many running backs gain more than 250 yards on the season as the Mohigans did, it becomes obvious the big boys up front are more than holding their own. The lead guy in that pack for Coach John Bowers was this 5-9, 235-pounder who also was recognized as a second team all-state selection.
Two things are certain on a yearly basis - the Purple Riders will qualify for the playoffs, and they'll do so with a punishing ground game. Such was the case again as Ferry made the postseason and featured a pair of tailbacks who combined for more than 2,200 yards. At the center of it all, or in this case the tackle, was Albert.
If you want to play for Coach Reno Saccoccia, and particularly when you're talking offensive line, you've got to be fast and physical. Camilletti, who moved from center to tackle, was both. Big Red piled up more than 3,000 yards of offense in returning to the postseason, thanks in no small part to Camilletti, who will be a three-year starter next season.
If a player can have his career defined by one drive, Simmons' will forever be known for a late fourth-quarter march against then-undefeated St. Clairsville. That night the Purple Riders went 99 yards for the game-winner. Simmons rushed 209 times for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns on his way to being named first team All-Ohio in Division IV.
An All-Eastern District first teamer and a two-time member of the All-Valley squad, Hython took it to an even higher level this season for Coach Justin Kropka's Huskies. A bull of a back at 5-9 and 190 pounds, he rushed for 1,588 yards and 20 touchdowns. Hython, who also caught 11 passes including three touchdowns, ran for more than 1,300 yards as a sophomore.
When the idea was running the football, few in the Big School ranks did it better than Lewis. In Coach Rick Goodrich's last season with the Bobcats, he turned the 6-0, 215-pounder with 4.5 speed loose. Lewis averaged 7.1 yards per carry on his way to 1,656 yards and a whopping 27 touchdowns en route to a first team All-Ohio season in Division III.
Not a lot of people think of the quarterback position when the conversation turns to Steubenville, but it has had one of the best runs in the area during the last decade or so. Prather, who was invited to walk on at Pitt, had to wait his turn, but made the most of his final season in a Big Red uniform. The right-hander completed 102 of 162 (63 percent) of his passes for 1,588 yards and 18 touchdowns, against three interceptions.
Taking over for his older brother, Kinnick felt right at home immediately in the Red Devils' high-powered offense, which helped it to the second round of the Ohio playoffs. In 11 games, he was good on 128 of 219 attempts for 2,440 yards and 26 touchdowns. Kinnick also ran for nearly 500 yards on his way to being named All-Eastern District.
Coach Andrew Connor's Redskins have been opening up the offense more the last couple seasons, and with Furda to throw the football to, it's hardly any wonder. He hauled in 37 passes this season to gain 735 yards, scoring 12 touchdowns along the way. He had 63 tackles, nine sacks and three INTs defensively.
A new quarterback proved to be no problem for Rogalski, The Intelligencer's Sophomore of the Year in 2010. Already a two-time member of both this team and the Class AA All-W.Va. selection, Rogalski (5-11, 170) came down with 59 receptions for 898 yards and six touchdowns this season. He also returned a pair of kicks for scores.
Returning to the football field after taking some time off, Whetstone found immediate chemistry with his quarterback. Coach Jose Davis turned the tandem loose on opposing secondaries, and the results were scary. Whetstone pulled in 29 catches for 729 yards and scored nine touchdowns.
There was arguably no bigger threat to go the distance this season than Brown, who found a number of different ways to hurt opponents. Despite missing a chunk of time with an injury, Brown averaged 10.4 yards per rush (74 carries, 769 yards) and scored 10 touchdowns. He added 17 catches for 317 yards and three more scores.
This guy was a battering ram for Coach Anthony Barsch's Panthers. Dear carried the football 163 times for 1,212 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He finished with 3,709 career yards, which is second in school history. In addition, he is only the second back to rush for 1,000 yards more than once in a career.
Blessed with great size for a quarterback, McDowell helped lead Coach Tony Filberto's team to the second round of the playoffs. A first team all-state selection, he led all Big School rushers with 1,753 yards and 19 touchdowns on 202 carries. Throwing the football, McDowell completed 25 of 55 for 492 yards and five touchdowns.
This Patriot made a name for himself this season with his strong right leg. Carter kicked five field goals for the playoff-qualify club, including a school-record 48-yarder. He also kicked 36 extra points to finish second on the team in scoring 46 points, and had 23 touchbacks on kickoffs.
Thought to be a candidate for the Hunt Award which is given annually to the state's top interior lineman, this Golden Bears stalwart was recently named first team all-state. From his tackle position, Murray registered 97 tackles - 21 for loss and 10 sacks while also forcing four fumbles, recovering three and intercepting a pass.
The Big Red defense was ferocious, and nobody was scarier looking across the line of scrimmage than Houst. Very athletic and agile for his size, he showed off his ability with a one-handed interception that was the talk of the valley for months. A second team all-state pick, Houst had 44 tackles, nine for loss, as well as nine sacks, two forced fumbles and two recoveries, a blocked kick and the interception he took to the end zone.
His name has been known for years for his work on both sides of the ball, but he made a real impact this season as a 6-1, 245-pound defensive end. A first team All-W.Va. selection at the same position, Allen made 35 tackles - six for loss - and recorded eight sacks as the Mohigans made another deep playoff trip.
The Red Devils were known for their offense, but that defense wasn't too shabby either. Some of that had to do with the play of Ernest, who was charted with 11 solo tackles, 35 initials, nine sacks, six assists, five tackles for loss, a pair of QB hurries for Coach Brett McLean's crew.
When helmets started rattling, there was a good chance Luke was the one dishing out the punishment. The leading tackler for Saccoccia, Luke made 87 stops - 33 more than anyone else - during the regular season, including four for loss and four sacks.
A rock during tough times, Cline also was awarded second team all-state laurels this season for Coach Rob Caldwell's Silver Knights. He registered 64 solo tackles and 32 assists. Cline also came through with nine stops behind the line and a pair of sacks, as well as two forced fumbles, four batted passes and an interception he returned for a touchdown.
A third team all-state pick for the Bobcats, you could follow the ball by locating Roller on the field. A 5-10, 185-pounder, he made 90 tackles, 50 of which were of the solo variety. In addition, Roller accumulated 16 stops for loss, 4.5 sacks, a interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
Blessed with good size at 6-3, Pelegreen recorded a team-best 101 tackles this season for Kropka's Huskies. An All-Eastern District first-team performer, he had a way of sniffing the football out of a crowd, which is evident by the number of tackles.
A second team All-Ohio selection for the Big Reds, Davis was just about everywhere on both sides of the ball this season. Defensively he had 90 solo tackles and assisted on six others - eight for loss. In addition, Davis caused three fumbles, recovered another and knocked down five passes.
Another W.Va. first team all-stater, Hissam literally burst onto the scene in his first year of varsity football. In 12 games, Hissam was charted with 46 tackles - 11 solos - and eight interceptions, while also recovering a fumble. Whether running, catching or returning kicks, he racked up 1,588 total yards (24.3 a touch) and scored 16 times.
You won't find very many opposing quarterbacks on this level willing to throw this Ohio State recruit's way. He finished with 54 tackles for a club that allowed 9.1 points each night during another perfect regular season, en route to being named Division III co-Defensive Player of the Year. Offensively he had 17 catches for 280 yards and four touchdowns.
Playing free safety for Coach Chris Daugherty's Patriots, Banks was everything a ballhawk should be. Not only did he make his way toward the line of scrimmage frequently enough to record 61 tackles, but he led Wheeling Park with five interceptions on his way to being selected first team all-state.
Somehow when the ball was up for grabs, this Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year always seemed to come up with it. Not only did Marhefka come through with seven interceptions, but also a whopping 15 passes defensed. He made 14 solo tackles - one for loss - 13 initials and one fumble recovery.
Whether he was on offense or defense, the ball was normally in sure hands when it found its way to Isinghood, which it just so happened to do more often than not. Defensively he was charted with a team-leading seven interceptions. On the other side of the ball, Isinghood made 13 catches for 371 yards.
In just his second season of varsity football, the high-rising Lathon came on strong, which was one of the chief reasons for the Patriots' success. He made 41 stops and had an interception as a defensive back, while hauling in 36 passes for 588 yards and four touchdowns offensively.
At times lost in Dear's shadow, Piergallini stepped out of it in a big way. Not only did he registered 60 tackles on the defensive side of the football, but offensively Piergallini was able to carry the ball 91 times for 510 yards and five touchdowns.
Along with his teammate Brown, is one of just two sophomores on the team. He burst onto the scene during a Next Level Football combine during the summer, then when nuts this fall. Ferns recorded 24 solo stops, 63 initials, 10 assists, eight tackles for loss, two pass breakups and hurries each. He also caused a fumble, recovered two and had a sack. Offensively Ferns ran for 373 yards and four scores, and caught 13 passes for 199 and another.