All-Star team player summaries

Players are listed alphabetically under their respective team name:

Bainbridge-Guilford

Russell Darling, sr., offensive line, 5-foot-9, 150 pounds

Darling is easily the smallest offensive lineman on our all-star grouping this season, but size never kept him from executing all of the traps and pulling plays needed in B-G’s cross-blocking running attack. “Russell is the type of kid that will run through a wall for you, and knock himself out trying to do it,” coach Tim Mattingly said. “He puts everything he has into blocking.” Darling and teammate Mazzarella gave the Bobcats about the most relentless pair of linemen one would find, and two internal motors than ran hard and fast for four quarters. “For what we want to do on offense, it’s vital to have kids that are quick and tenacious,” Mattingly said. “Russell was one of those players. After the Deposit game, their coach said he was really impressed with Darling. Just for his size, (Russell) really hit people.”

Billy Holden, so., offensive tackle, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds

Initially cast as the starting fullback, Holden shifted back to offensive line – a position he played last year – and served as the final piece in the puzzle that made B-G one of the best offenses in Chenango County. “He’s another kid who had a great year for us,” Mattingly said. “We wanted to play fullback, but we went to him and told him it would be better for us as a team if he went back to tackle. He accepted his role and just had a great attitude. He did whatever he could to help the team.” A two-way player for B-G, Holden was an exceptional blocker and a imposing presence at defensive tackle. Holden was also never too far away from carrying the ball, and was often used in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He had eight touchdowns on the season, one of which was a 75-yard kickoff return.

Ethan Mazzarella, sr. offensive/defensive guard, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds

Always undersized as an interior lineman throughout his varsity career, Mazzarella consistently gained the upper hand on offensive linemen with a motor that went 100 miles per hour. “He would give up a good 50 pounds to kids across from him, but he put everything he had into every play,” Mattingly said. “As our nose tackle, I know a lot of teams made sure they took care of him. He was double-teamed and other teams ran away from him. He was quick off the ball and did a great job of penetrating.” On offense, Mazzarella was a relentless blocker at offensive guard in a scheme where guards are asked to pull and trap on nearly every play. “Along with Russell Darling, (Ethan) was our best lineman this year,” Mattingly said.

Justin Pepper, quarterback/linebacker 6-foot-3, 205 pounds

A two-year starter at quarterback and three-year player for the Bobcats, Pepper’s brought the same toughness he had at linebacker to the quarterback position. He had nine rushing touchdowns, more than any other player in Chenango County, and sprinkled in three scoring passes as well. As valuable as he was to the B-G offense, he was equally valuable to the defense. “He was the leader of our team,” said Mattingly. “He was an explosive tackler who just blew people up. Even in the Groton game (a playoff loss), he was all over the place.” Pepper scored nearly every point for his team in a 26-6 win over Harpursville with four rushing touchdowns. Later in the year, he had one rushing and one throwing TD in a key divisional win over Seton Catholic Central. “He had an outstanding senior year. He had a great attitude and a great work ethic,” Mattingly said.

Daren Terpstra, jr., running back, 5-foot-9, 176 pounds

Terpstra gave the B-G offense a big lift when he became a full-time starter the third week of the season. After missing the opening game and seeing spot duty in week two, Terpstra gave indication of things to come with a 141-yard rushing day against Deposit in just his second varsity start. “He just made a huge impact for us and allowed us to move (Billy) Holden to left tackle,” Mattingly said. The result was a deeper and more talented B-G offense. “He ran downhill, and if you gave him a crease, he would hit it and make some big runs.” Despite playing 7 1/2 games, Terpstra finished second in Chenango County rushing with 692 yards to go with five TDs. He had a season-high 184 yards against Livingston Manor, and as a fullback, averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

Greene

Evan Engler, sr., off. tackle/def. tackle, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds

Just like his linemate, Puglisi, Engler was a pancake machine for the Trojans’ offense that led the area in total offense – and defense. He had a team-high 50 pancake blocks this season and 69 over the last two campaigns with Greene winning 16 of 19 games. “Evan (like Nic) had a level of tenacity and intensity. When (Evan) stepped on the field, he played to the whistle and got the job done,” Paske said. Although it came in a loss, Engler had a remarkable 11 pancake blocks against Section IV, Class C champion Chenango Forks. “Evan was definitely a big leader for us up front, and one of the reasons we ran so much to the left side,” Paske said. Engler also averaged over five tackles per game on the defensive line and was third on the Trojans in total tackles with 48.

Scott Gorton, sr., quarterback, 6-foot, 184 pounds..

Gorton tied Greene’s single-season TD pass record, and needed four TD tosses the last game to do it. Calling his own plays in the Trojans’ finale against Chenango Valley, Gorton had four scoring tosses and 168 yards through the air to finish with 15 scoring strikes and 947 yards passing. In two seasons on the varsity squad, Gorton had 25 touchdown passes and 1,496 yards passing – totals that surely rank him among the school’s all-time leaders. In his four years as a quarterback, on varsity and JV, Scott’s teams went 33-4,” Paske said. “He played with some really good players, and his winning percentage tells you pretty much everything you need to know.” Gorton’s statistics this season are slightly lower than one would expect. The Trojans built such big leads in many games, and stopped throwing the ball. Still, Gorton managed five 100-yard passing games this season with a high of 203 yards – done twice this season. “Scott is a real heady kid and a competitor,” Paske said. “He was willing to do what it takes to win games.”



Alex Kenyon, jr., offensive line, 6-foot-1, 235 pounds

Kenyon, a second-year starter on the line for the Trojans, was part of the triple-threat of returning linemen for Greene that also included Puglisi and Engler. Kenyon moved from guard to center, and finished with 27 pancake blocks to give him 50 over the past two seasons. “He is a strong leader up front who understands the game well and made line calls for the line with our blocking schemes,” Paske said. A product of extra work in the weight room, Kenyon added muscle and bulk over last year without sacrificing speed – and performance. “He’s a real leader by example, and we’re glad he’ll be back next year,” Paske said. On defense, Kenyon finished with 39 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.

Brendan Kinne, sr., 6-foot-2, 189 pounds

Kinne secured his second straight Chenango County receiving title finishing with 25 catches for eight touchdowns and 572 yards. In two varsity seasons as a starter, Kinne secured 54 catches, scored 18 touchdowns (believed a school record), and racked up 924 yards receiving. “He is a heck of an athlete, and we tried to get him the ball in open space or places where he could make things happen,” Paske said. Kinne shot out of the gates in week one with three receiving touchdowns and a career-best 148 yards receiving. He caught passes in 16 of 19 career games, and had five games where he scored two or more touchdowns. Kinne was also the Trojans’ special teams return man, and had back-to-back punt returns for touchdowns in a shutout victory over Unadilla Valley-Edmeston. “A lot of teams bracketed their coverage toward Brendan, and it made it tough to get him the ball,” Paske said. “Because Brendan was such a threat, it opened up opportunities for other kids.”

Nic Puglisi, Greene, offensive line, guard,, 6-foot-2, 295 pounds.

A three-year starter for Greene, Puglisi’s kicking stats – as the biggest interior lineman on the Trojans – proved the athleticism and talent he brought to the offensive guard position. He made 25 extra points, and in handling punts, averaged 32 yards per kick. “We have pride stickers (for making good plays) that we put on players’ helmets after games, and Nic had 96 this season, the most of anyone,” said Paske. “He did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball.” The Trojans chart pancake blocks for linemen who plant their opposing defender on their backs after a particularly effective block. In a show of consistency, Puglisi followed up his 34 pancakes as a junior with 35 this season. “He did a lot of pulling and trapping for us, and was a real force for us,” Paske said.

Nick Wilcox, sr., linebacker, 5-foot-11, 133 pounds.

Wilcox was the smallest player (weight-wise) on the Trojans’ starting defense, but no one played any bigger. Slotted at middle linebacker in the “king” position, the Trojans’ defensive scheme was designed to funnel plays toward Wilcox, and the senior made more defensive plays than anyone else. He led the Trojans with 103 tackles (11.4 per game), had 2 1/2 sacks, and one interception. “He had a great nose for the ball, and you couldn’t block him,” Paske said summing up Wilcox’s play. “Willy used finesse and speed to make plays, and he was more than willing to throw his body in front of the ball. He was a great guy who can control the game from the middle of the field.” Wilcox wasn’t too shabby on offense either. Although he averaged less than five carries per game, he still managed 368 yards on the ground, six TD runs and a team-best 9.4 yards per carry.

Norwich

Andrew Austin, sr., safety/tight end, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds

Led Norwich in tackles in spite of missing two games, and also led in interceptions on the defensive side of the ball with four. For the second straight season, Austin was the Tornado’s top receiver finishing with 12 catches for 207 yards and three touchdowns. More than just statistics, Martinson said Austin was an impact player whenever he stepped on the field. “He came up really quickly to make tackles, and he never hurt us in the secondary,” Martinson said. “He is an outstanding defender who really made a difference.” Austin’s biggest moment on offense came against longtime rival Oneonta. He leapt and pulled in a touchdown pass from Seth Thomsen between three OHS defenders that helped secure a divisional win and eventual division title.

Casey Edwards, sr., defensive back, 5-foot-10, 140 pounds

Edwards started the season at quarterback, but shifted into a more versatile role of running back and sometime receiver on offense. Defensively, from day one he was designated as Norwich’s number one cover man. “Casey was the guy we needed at defensive back,” Martinson said, who said the job as a Tornado defensive back requires man-to-man coverage, while also assisting in run support. “Casey was a consistent leader for us through hard work and perseverance,” Martinson said. “He was a tremendous role player for us in whatever we needed him to do.” Edwards was also likely responsible for Norwich’s “play of the year.” In week four against Windsor, Edwards forced a goal-line fumble by the Black Knights as they were ready to score the winning touchdown. Norwich recovered the fumble, won in overtime, and went on to win four more games and a division championship. “Just that play...talk about a miracle,” Martinson said. “Casey’s play saved our season.”

Christian Hotaling, sr., fullback, 6-foot-2, 217 pounds

Hotaling fit the mold of Norwich’s traditional bruising fullback, and really began to show his mettle in the later stages of the season after healing up from a broken bone in his hand. After missing two games and averaging just 33 yards rushing the first three weeks, Hotaling had two 100-yard days the final four contests including a career-best 155 yards in a division-clinching victory over Chenango Valley. He led Norwich with five rushing TDs, was second with 448 yards rushing, and averaged nearly six yards a carry. “Christian really came into his own late in the season. He just started running over people,” Martinson said. “He did a great job at fullback for us, and is another unselfish kid. He knew, depending on what the defense was giving us, that he might not get the ball much. When he was hot and getting the ball a lot, he really set up things for other kids as well.” Hotaling, along with Law, Williams, and Austin, all earned trips to the Ernie Davis Football Classic, Section IV’s senior all-star football game.

Mackay Hotaling, so., running back, 6-foot, 175 pounds

Hotaling made a splash in the first of what will likely be three standout seasons for the Tornado. Hotaling led the Tornado in rushing with 551 yards, and may have challenged for the area rushing title if not for the Tornado’s deep reservoir of running back talent. “He was just a versatile player for us, and came out of the backfield to catch passes as well,” Martinson said. Hotaling had back-to-back 100-yard rushing days in wins over Oneonta and Sidney, but his biggest moment for Norwich was his game-winning catch against Susquehanna Valley. Hotaling slanted across the middle to haul in an overtime TD pass from Seth Thomsen. “Mackay has excellent speed and balance, and we’re looking for great things from him the next two seasons,” Martinson said.

Paddy Law, sr., defensive safety, 5-foot-7, 155 pounds

A quiet leader for Norwich who just performed to his coach’s expectations with whatever task he was assigned. He carried the ball on offense less than five times a game, but always seemed to pop loose on one of those runs for a big gainer. His average of 6.4 yards per tote led the Tornado. On defense, he was second on the team in tackles, always in the right position, and added two interceptions. “The one word to define Paddy is ‘consistent,’” Martinson said. “He carried out his responsibilities and is just an unselfish player. He knew, at times, he wouldn’t see the ball in the backfield, but he carried out his fakes and blocked really well for us...on defense, having Paddy back with Andrew and Alex, that was just a tremendous trio.”

Mike Reilly, sr., defensive end, 6-foot, 178 pounds

Every team needs a player like Reilly – someone with high energy, and absolutely fearless, especially on special teams. Reilly’s relentless pursuit to the ball yielded him a team-best three fumble recoveries this season. “His motor just never stopped,” Martinson said. Reilly was Norwich’s attack guy on punt coverage, and typically the first one down the field on kickoffs. He averaged around four tackles per game, and rarely was out of position at defensive end. “He was very consistent on the defensive side of the ball, and a pleasure to have,” Martinson said. “With his ability to get up field, we thought he might get caught on the bootlegs, but he was always in position. The word I would use to describe him is, ‘tenacious.’”

Seth Thomsen, so., quarterback, 6-foot-2, 170 pounds

Thomsen saw his first significant action against Windsor, and allowed the Tornado to pull out a one-point overtime win. He rushed for one score, was efficient in the passing game, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Earlier in the season, Thomsen hauled in a TD pass from teammate Casey Edwards in a display of versatility. In most games, Thomsen wasn’t asked to throw the ball much, but still finished with three TD passes, 259 yards through the air, and a 47.5 percent completion percentage, best among area starting signal-callers. “I told Seth his most important stat was that he was five and one (five wins, one loss) when he was our quarterback,” Martinson said. “He is just a natural athlete who fell into the quarterback role through working hard and understanding the offense. He was a big-play guy, and how many players score on a 77-yard quarterback sneak?”

Alex Williams, sr. linebacker, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds

Williams missed the opening two games of the season as he recovered from appendicitis, and he returned to anchor the Tornado defense as its middle linebacker. “Alex did an outstanding job making tackles from sideline to sideline for us,” Martinson said. “He epitomizes what a linebacker needs to be.” Williams was responsible for on-the-fly defensive adjustments, understanding the blitzing packages, and filling the bubbles (holes) in the Tornado’s defensive scheme. “Alex had to make a lot of reads, and was just a natural at the position,” Martinson said. In Norwich’s loaded offensive backfield, Williams did not get an abundance of carries. When he did, he typically provided a spark finishing with three rushing touchdowns and six yards per carry.

Oxford

Spencer Brown, sr., center, 6-foot, 230 pounds

Coming off an injury-laden junior year, Brown was the steadying influence on Oxford’s offensive line, and a position switch for Brown in the second game turned the Blackhawks’ fortunes quickly. “After being hurt on and off his junior year, he really committed himself in the offseason to get in shape and make it through the whole season,” said Oxford coach Mike Chrystie. Oxford struggled badly its opening game with fumbled center-quarterback exchanges. Brown, a tackle throughout his football career, moved to center for the first time. “It’s a huge deal to move to center. He knew the importance of the position and he accepted the change. We couldn’t get a snap the first week, but after the switch, it really wasn’t an issue again.” Brown made most of the line calls and was the go-to player when his teammates on the line had a question. Possessing good feet and hands, Brown stayed on his blocks, and allowed Oxford to step up its rushing attack.

Alex Marin, jr., defensive end, 5-foot-8, 150 pounds.

If anyone got the most out of his size, it was Marin. With a body more suited to play defensive back, Marin was in the defensive backfield the opening two weeks of the season. With the Oxford coaches scrambling to make adjustments after two subpar defensive performances, Marin was moved to the defensive line. “We didn’t have (Alex) in the right spot the first two weeks and weren’t utilizing him the right way,” Chrystie said. “With his size, we thought he would be a cover guy. We tried him at defensive end in practice, and we realized no one on our team could block him.” In his first game on the defensive line, Marin made 11 tackles against Harpursville, and proved a relentless pass rusher. Marin had double-digit tackles in four of the last seven games and was among the team’s sack leaders. “Yes, he was undersized for his position, but he has a huge heart,” Chrystie said. “He comes off the ball quick, and he gets after whoever has the ball. Not too many people did a good job of blocking him.”

Jeremy Nelson, WR, sr., 6-foot-3, 174 pounds.

When Oxford needed a big play, it often turned to Nelson, a returning Chenango County all-star. Of his nine touchdowns, eight were of 28 yards or longer. He led all area receivers with 574 yards, was second in catches with 20, and averaged 28.7 yards per reception. A three-year player for head coach Mike Chrystie, he markedly improved from year to year. “He really established himself this year as not only one of the good receivers in the area, but the whole section,” Chrystie said. “He had pretty good stats, even though every game defenses were trying to stop him. Putting up numbers like he did, it’s a testament to his offseason work, and he and John (Wonka, starting QB for Oxford) getting together.” Nelson’s best game this season was his last in an Oxford uniform. He hauled in five passes for 109 yards, one of those a trademark long ball in which he tracked down a Wonka pass pulling it in with his fingertips for a 40-yard score.

John Wonka, jr. defensive back/quarterback, 5-foot-9, 170 pounds.

A two-way starter for Oxford, Wonka was the definition of a big-play quarterback, and led Chenango County passers with 964 yards through the air to go with eight touchdown passes. With Nelson and Jamie Smolcnop as his primary targets, Wonka averaged just about 22 yards per completion, easily the best total among starting quarterbacks in the area. He had three multiple-TD games and surpassed 100 yards passing in six games this season with a high of 176 yards against Deposit. “He grew a lot this year as he became an upperclassmen rather than the lone sophomore,” Chrystie said. “He commanded respect from the rest of the players, and they followed him.” Wonka was also a capable scrambler finishing with five rushing touchdowns, and he brought a high level of intensity to the defensive backfield as one of the team’s biggest hitters. “You don’t always see your quarterback as one of your big hitters,” Chrystie said. “He’s a physical guy and he loved to come up and hit people.”

Sherburne-Earlville

Joe Corey, sr., left tackle, 6-foot, 275 pounds

A three-year starter on the offensive line, Corey moved from left tackle to right tackle, and it was no surprise that the Marauders became a heavy-handed right-side running team. “He did everything we asked, and you could not ask more of a kid,” said S-E head coach Mike Jasper. “He just brings his lunch box and works hard. He does exactly want you ask him to do, and he’ll move around if you need him to.” Aside from being S-E’s poster boy for hard work and dedication, Corey was a selfless player who understood his position was not one that received the headlines. “He toils and works hard on all the drills that aren’t that much fun,” Jasper said. “He knew he had to do it, and he enjoyed it. You never saw this kid down or not smiling.” As a blocker, Corey was fundamentally sound, and rarely did he receive correction from his coaches. And if he did make a mistake, he knew it before the coaches. “We relied heavily on Joe to make the right blocks and reads,” Jasper said. “We almost took that for granted. Sometimes we had to stop Joe and just tell him he was doing a good job.”

Andrew Dobson, sr. defensive line, 6-foot, 205 pounds

Another three-year player for the Marauders, Dobson grew physically by leaps and bounds from his sophomore season, and grew equally as a player, especially as a pass-rushing force on the S-E defensive line. “He led our team in sacks, he was quick off the ball and quick up the field,” Jasper said. “Sometimes he had to actually slow down so he wouldn’t overpenetrate on the running attempts.” Dobson was not one-dimensional, though. He would move from the outside to the inside as an interior defensive tackle, and his ability to penetrate quickly wreaked havoc on offenses. “He has a real good nose from the ball, and he held his gap, even against the bigger guys,” Jasper said. “There was a learning curve his first year here. He really improved from his first game, and he was much more disciplined in playing assignment football, especially at the end of the year.”

Greg DuVall, jr., safety, 5-foot-11, 150 pounds

DuVall is the very definition of versatility on the football field. On offense, he was charged with handling snaps at quarterback when starter Ethan Johnson was out with an injury. He also filled in as a running back, the “Wildcat formation” quarterback, and ended up leading the Marauders with seven receptions. But it was on the defensive side where he was most valuable. “We started him at outside linebacker, but we needed to put him in a position to flow to the ball,” said S-E coach Mike Jasper. DuVall was subsequently moved to safety, the perfect spot for his natural aggressiveness. “He was a solid tackler and he flew up to the football,” Jasper said. “He made things happen and was our defensive MVP this season.” DuVall also picked up a pair of interceptions. “He stuck his nose in there and made hits. He’s a solid, strong kid, and we’re glad to have him coming back next year.”

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