Thursday, January 1, 2009

High School Football Offensive Players of the Year

Chris Bryant, Sr. Bishop Maginn - Offensive Lineman
A three-year starter on the offensive line for the Griffins, Bryant led Bishop Maginn to a 9-1 record and a berth in the Class A Super Bowl during his senior season. A two-way tackle, Bryant bolstered an offensive unit that scored 320 points and a defense that held opponents to 108.
He was one of the most dependable players on a team that often dressed fewer than 25 athletes yet competed against much larger schools.
Bryant was named a Class A Southeast Division first team offensive lineman and is planning to major in urban studies in college.

John Acors, Jr. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - Offensive Lineman
Acors set the tone up front for Section II’s most prolific offense in 2008. The Spartans scored 533 points through 13 games, advancing to the New York State Class A Championship game for the first time in school history.
A first team Class A Northwest Division guard, Acors is also one of the Spartans’ finest wrestlers. He led Burnt Hills to a second place finish in the Section II Class B team finals during the 2007-08 season.
"We’ve been fortunate to have some great guards over the years," said Burnt Hills head coach Matt Shell. "He is a tremendous blocker and he has a real mean streak as well."

Adam Geleta, Sr. Shenendehowa - Offensive Lineman
Geleta is not done playing football in the Capital Region just yet – he is verbally committed to play for the Great Danes at the University at Albany.
He played center on a solid Shenendehowa line and guided the Plainsmen to a 5-1 record in Empire Division games. He was named the Plainsmen’s Most Outstanding Lineman as a junior and won the school’s George Angley Leadership award.
Geleta played in the 2008 Senior Bowl and was an Empire Division first team center.
He also wrestles and was named Shenendehowa’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2006.

Andrew Boldish, Sr. Shaker - Offensive Lineman
Boldish was such a consistent force at the guard position that he earned team MVP honors at the end of the season. He paved the way for Blue Bison rushers, including Jeremy’s Pryor’s 299-yard performance against arch-rival Colonie early in the season.
He was named a Class AA Liberty Division first team guard and also competes on the indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Shaker.
Boldish is considering a number of Division III schools and plans on majoring in physical education.
Mike Lewandowksi, Sr. Troy - Offensive Lineman
The Flying Horses rushed for just under 2,500 yards and racked up nearly 3,400 yards of total offense this season, thanks to a strong offensive line anchored by Lewandowski. Troy scored 42 total touchdowns and 307 points.
Lewandowksi, an offensive guard, was a team captain at Troy and was also a team captain for the 2008 Section II Exceptional Senior Bowl.
A two-way lineman, Lewandowksi also contributed a bit at the defensive tackle position.

Sean Littlejohn, Sr. Cohoes - Tight End
Littlejohn hasn’t missed a day of school since first grade and he didn’t miss a beat on the football field either. He was tied for the team lead with 13 receptions and he gained 180 yards and scored three touchdowns. Littlejohn was named the Reinfurt Division’s first team tight end.
The heart and soul of the team on offense and defense, he led the Tigers to their best season in school history. Cohoes finished with a No. 12 New York State Class B ranking.
A three-year varsity player, Littlejohn was named Cohoes’ most outstanding linebacker after making 83 tackles and two sacks. He is aiming to major in criminal justice in college.

Caleb Gleason, Sr. Watervliet - Fullback
A four-year two-way starter, Gleason really emerged on the offensive side his senior year and led the team in scoring with 58 points. He rushed for 245 yards and three touchdowns, while also catching 17 passes for 206 yards and two scores.
"Last year he had a lot more touchdowns and yards, but this year, he was more a part of everything," Watervliet head coach Erick Bernard said. "He’s tough-nosed and can really play the game."
Where Gleason shone the most, however, was as a blocking back, paving the way for rushers like Ahkeim Thompson and Chris Hughes. His no-nonsense approach showed as a linebacker as well. Gleason, the Watervliet team MVP, made 85 tackles and also forced four fumbles, made three sacks and intercepted three passes.

Fred Fitch, Sr. Troy - Running Back
Fitch rushed for 1,175 yards on 146 carries, good for more than eight yards per attempt. He scored 17 rushing touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass, one of his three receptions.
He was named the Class A Southeast Division Outstanding Offensive Player. During the 2008 regular season, he gained more yards than any other back in Class A.
Fitch also participates in indoor and outdoor track and plans on majoring in mechanical engineering in college.
Joe McMurry, Sr. Hudson Falls - Running Back
McMurry had one of the greatest single-season performances in Section II history. He carried the ball 350 times and ran for 2,537 yards and scored 32 touchdowns during his senior season and is now the fourth-leading rusher in Section II history, finishing with 5,199 rushing yards.
His 424 career points scored rank him fifth all-time in Section II history.
McMurry led Hudson Falls to its first Section II Class B Super Bowl victory since 2000 and took the Tigers to the New York State semifinal round.

Lou DiNovo, Jr. La Salle - Wide Receiver
DiNovo put up gaudy numbers in his second season on the varsity level. He caught 28 passes for 800 yards – a 28.6 yards per catch average – and grabbed nine touchdowns. Those numbers would have been even bigger had injury not limited his participation in weeks 6 and 7.
His biggest game came in week 1 against Colonie when he caught five passes for 205 yards and wound up in the end zone three times. At the time, he became only the 17th player in Section II history to gain more than 200 receiving yards in a game.
A two-time Section II champion, DiNovo is a member of the National Honor Society and also plays lacrosse for the Cadets.

Jimmer Bennett, Sr. Albany Academy - Wide Receiver
Bennett came into the season as the all-time leading receiver in Section II history and only added to his legendary totals. He caught 77 passes for 1,039 yards.
He finished his career with 199 receptions for 3,119 yards and is now 91 catches and 1,075 yards in front of those in second place.
He also holds the records for most catches in a single season (77) and most catches in a single game (15), which he did against Ravena this season.

Paul Layton, Sr. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - Quarterback
Layton rushed for 1,196 yards and scored 20 touchdowns, while also passing for 1,242 yards and 13 touchdowns. He became the first Section II quarterback to ever surpass 1,000 yards in both categories in the same season.
"That’s never been done by a quarterback in our area before," said Burnt Hills head coach Matt Shell. "He’s a multidimensional player. He played with poise but he is also very humble."
Layton finished his career as the best extra-point kicker in Section II history, booting 151 tries and seven field goals through the uprights during his three-year varsity career. He connected on 68 extra points and three field goals in 2008. A fantastic punter, Layton is drawing college interest for his special teams exploits as well.

The Record's Offensive Player of the Year
Pos. Player School Yr. Ht. Wt.
RB Marquis Terrell La Salle Sr. 5-8 170

First Team Offense
Pos. Player School Yr. Ht. Wt.
OL Chris Bryant Bishop Maginn Sr. 6-4 250
OL John Acors Burnt Hills Jr. 5-10 215
OL Adam Geleta Shenendehowa Sr. 6-3 280
OL Andrew Boldish Shaker Sr. 6-1 225
OL Mike Lewandowski Troy Sr. 6-3 220
TE Sean Littlejohn Cohoes Sr. 6-0 200
FB Caleb Gleason Watervliet Sr. 6-1 225
RB Fred Fitch Troy Sr. 5-8 195
RB Joe McMurry, Sr. Hudson Falls 5-11 185
WR Lou DiNovo La Salle Jr. 6-0 180
WR Jimmer Bennett Albany Academy Sr. 5-10 185
QB Paul Layton Burnt Hills Sr. 6-1 210

Second Team Offense
Pos. Player Yr. School Comment
OL Evan Crawford Sr. Bishop Maginn A two-year starter at center and defensive tackle, paved the way to the Class A Super Bowl
OL Trevor Ryan Jr. Troy In Troy’s first season at the Class A level in some time, Ryan helped lead the Flying Horses to the semifinals
OL Ian Bridegroom Sr. Columbia Also was a star as a linebacker for the Blue Devils, kept Columbia close in many games down the stretch
OL Greg Mollnow Sr. Cohoes A captain, Mollnow centered the Tigers’ line on offense and was a disruptive force as a defensive tackle
OL Adhem Elsawi Sr. Saratoga Springs One of the strongest lineman in Section II, Elsawi is drawing D-I interest from Big East and Ivy League schools
TE Brent Matazinsky Sr. Tamarac A great pass-catching tight end, Matazinsky grabbed 27 receptions for 340 yards and led the Bengals to their best season since 1992
FB Tyler Washington Jr. La Salle Was the Cadets’ change-up option to Terrell and gained 350 yards on the ground also led the team with 92 tackles
RB Marcus Hepp Sr. Lansingburgh Gained 1,145 rushing yards and scored 18 touchdowns and was the South Team MVP in Senior Bowl
RB Suhyab Banks Jr. Shenendehowa Banks ran for 1,135 yards and 21 touchdowns and should be one of the best backs in the area next season
WR Anthony Cooper Jr. Schenectady A dynamic athlete, Cooper caught 22 passes for 474 yards and five scores, taking them to the cusp of a Section II title
WR Keaton Flint So. Burnt Hills With big leads, the Spartans did not need to throw much, but Flint caught nine touchdowns and racked up 582 yards of offense
QB Danny Peters Sr. Niskayuna The most prolific QB in Class AA, Peters passed for 1,786 yards and 27 touchdowns led Warriors to upset of Shen in Sectionals

Third Team Offense
Pos. Player Yr. School Comment
OL Greg Peterson Sr. Schuylerville Two-way terror on the line as a tackle and a defensive end first team Class C North Division tackle
OL Tom Stark Sr. Watervliet A first team Class C South Division guard, Stark was solid on the offensive line for years
OL Josh Rider Sr. Rensselaer A three-year starter at center, Rider took the Rams to their first Section II Class D Super Bowl Since 1995
OL Bryan Beauchamp Sr. Cohoes A first team Class B Reinfurt Division lineman, Beauchamp blocked on a unit that was undefeated in division play
OL Steve Brown Sr. Shenendehowa Captain on a youthful Plainsmen team Class AA Empire Division first team tackle
TE Marcus Brandon Sr. Schenectady Brandon snagged 25 passes for 341 yards but was also one of the best blocking tight ends in Class AA
FB Tommy Durrant Jr. Cohoes Was a wrecking ball between the tackles, moving would-be tacklers out of the way for RB Steve Weaver
RB Tymear Mallory Jr. Bishop Maginn A speedy and explosive running back, scored 12 touchdowns and gained 908 yards for the Griffins
RB Jeremy Pryor Jr. Shaker Rushed 161 times for 1,035 and 11 touchdowns, including a 299 single-game performance against Colonie
WR Mico De Los Santos Jr. Rensselaer Averaged 23.5 yards per catch, snared seven touchdown grabs tremendous speed
WR Shane Reed Sr. Columbia Was the Blue Devils’ all-purpose MVP, also stared in the defensive backfield
QB Zach Dolan Troy Sr. A three-year starter for the Flying Horses, was a strong leader and effective passer

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