By Patrick Newell
Sun Sports Editor
Note: Area teams listed alphabetically
Willie McGinnis, sr., 6-3, 245 pounds, linebacker
A three-year starter on both sides of the ball for the Bobcats, McGinnis again brought a big load on defense as captain of his team, and made the transition to fullback on offense from offensive line, and gave his team a physical presence in the backfield. “He was a leader on offense and defense with a tremendous work ethic and his motor is always running,” said B-G coach Tim Mattingly. “A lot was expected of him this season, and he didn’t disappoint at all.”
Ray Neubauer, sr., 5-10, 220 pounds, center
Not only was Neubauer the Bobcats’ center, but he was the centerpiece of the Bobcats’ offensive line. Among several varsity newcomers and experienced players, Neubauer finished off his third year as a varsity starter, and was regarded by head coach Mattingly as the club’s best offensive lineman. “He just really matured this year and took on a leadership role,” Mattingly said. “He helped our other linemen and did an outstanding job making calls. Technique-wise, he was our best guy.”
Dylan Whittaker, jr., 6-2, 190 pounds, tight end
Whittaker was B-G quarterback Chris McGinnis’ go-to receiver, and was a big reason for the Bobcats’ improved passing game this season. After missing all of last year with an elbow injury, he became an integral cog on both sides of the ball. He had a team-high 12 receptions for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns. “He really stepped up his game over last year, and came back bigger, faster, and stronger,” Mattingly said. “He came up with some huge plays and clutch catches for us this season.”
Nate Seymour, sr., 5-9, 150 pounds, outside linebacker
Pound-for-pound, you would be hard-pressed to find a tougher linebacker in the area. A jack-of-all-trades for the Bobcats, Seymour not only started at linebacker, but was a slot-back and ballcarrier, punt returner, kick returner, and receiver. “He’s an awful tough kid and just made great plays,” Mattingly said. “He was very deceptive as a running back. He could run physical, or he could juke and jive.” Seymour had two interceptions this season, and Mattingly said Seymour was someone who played much bigger than his size.
B-G Honorable mention: Cody Ruff, offensive tackle, sr.
Keith Savory, sr., 6-0, 240 pounds, running back
Savory nearly became the Trojans’ first 1,000-yard rusher this decade, and the first 1,000-yard rusher in Chenango County in six years coming up just a couple dozen yards shy (979) in Greene’s first playoff appearance since 2001. “What can’t you say about him?” said Greene coach Tim Paske. “He was just a special player for us, and I am honored to have the opportunity to coach him. He’s a great kid on and off the field, and was a leader in the locker room.” A three-year representative on this all-star collection, Savory earned his first two distinctions at linebacker, where he again led the Trojans in tackles finishing with over 300 in his 27-game varsity career. “The position he played on defense, we called it the ‘king,’” Paske said. “And he definitely was the king.”
Jesse Mares, sr., 6-0, 250 pounds, offensive line
A three-year starter for the Trojans on the offensive line, Mares played the tackle position and led the club with 11 pancake blocks. He also improved his downfield blocking this year moving past the initial level of attack. “He was always good at the first level of blocking, and every once in a while he used to get to that second level,” Paske said. “We talked to him about getting to that second and third level, and he took pride in doing that this year and staying on his blocks.”
Will Bennett, sr., 5-8, 165 pounds, defensive line
Not the largest of defensive linemen, Bennett made up for his diminutive size with quickness, tenacity, and a motor that wouldn’t quit. As Paske put it, “he just had a nose for the football.” Bennett pursued down the line of scrimmage, often times staying on the tail of the offensive guard to make the play from behind. “He is a smart, solid kid, and he was able to use his quickness to his advantage this year,” Paske said.