A week ago we published our season-ending individual statistics and the records of the six Chenango County football teams. At the top was a summation of team records, and the overall winning percentage (36 percent) was the second lowest in my 19 seasons covering area football with my first year (1995), the only year where the victory percentage was lower.
While team play slid, the individual play of the young men named to 2013 Evening Sun Football All-Stars did not. It’s fair to say that this year’s best rank favorably with every other set of gridiron greats we have placed on this exclusive club.
Take Norwich junior running back Mike Oralls, who eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards. He is the first Norwich back to reach 1,000 rushing yards in six years, and just the second junior to accomplish that feat since our paper started keeping official records in 1970.
Over the past two decades, how many local football players have gone on to play Division I college football? Not many.
Sherburne-Earlville senior Austin Jasper, already a two-time all-state selection, was recently accepted at Youngstown State, a four-time 1-AA national champion. This will be Jasper’s third appearance in this issue as he leads our 23-player group.
S-E junior Cody Marango also returns to our all-star team, and what a season he had. Marango was an easy choice as either a defensive safety or at quarterback. He swept the passing awards with 16 TD passes and over 800 yards through air. The former total, according to our statistics, is the highest single-season TD passing total at Sherburne-Earlville since we began charting those numbers. Marango also had four interceptions at safety, and his coach, Mike Jasper, said that Marango merits all-state consideration on defense.
Oralls, Jasper, and Marango are three of just five returning all-star players, the lowest total in 19 seasons. Also making the grade – again – are Unadilla Valley juniors Alex Avolio and Richie Conklin.
The rest of our group, as you will read below, includes a mix of seniors making their high school swan song, and upstart underclassmen; building blocks for next season.
All-stars are listed by team:
Mike Carlin, sr., WR 6-1, 170 pounds
Carlin had just three offensive touches the first five weeks of the season, but it was his spectacular final month that earned him a spot on our all-star squad. Due to injuries and absence, Carlin was cast in a featured role the last month, and all he did was score 10 touchdowns the final four weeks. He had 14 catches and six TD receptions in those four games, and at running back – a position he never played on varsity – he ran for 257 yards the last three games, while also scoring four more touchdowns. He also had a defensive touchdown during that hot streak, and his 11 touchdowns were second among Chenango County gridders. “He was our number one target when we needed to throw the ball, and he had a great set of hands,” said B-G coach Tim Mattingly. “He stepped up and had a great year for us.”
Shane Curtin, sr., OL, 5-11, 250 pounds
The Bobcats’ selection to the Ernie Davis Football Classic, the veteran two-way player was the unquestioned leader of a young and inexperienced offensive line. With Curtin leading the way, the Bobcats averaged better than 200 yards rushing per game over the last seven weeks of the season. “He was our best lineman on both sides of the ball,” Mattingly said. “On defense, we moved him to defensive tackle, and he just controlled opposing centers. On offense, if we needed to pull, we pulled him. He understood our offense, and was just another one of those tough kids. He was smart making the line calls, and had a great year.”
Dylan Moffitt, jr. RB, 5-8, 165 pounds
The first two weeks of the season gave no indication of the season Moffitt would have. Moffitt broke loose for 170 yards against Deposit-Hancock, and over his last six games, averaged 113 rushing yards per game. “He really came on this year,” Mattingly said. “Not only is he fast, but he is a very physical runner. He was a tough guy to bring down.” Moffitt had an outside burst that led to several long runs. He finished with 745 rushing yards with a 6.3 average per attempt. Defensively, he was a big part of the Bobcats’ aggressive approach. “He’s another one of those kids who plays much bigger than his actual size,” Mattingly said.
Cole Webb, sr, LB, 6-0, 180 pounds
Bainbridge-Guilford’s season nearly took a serious turn for the worse the first week of the season when Webb suffered a broken thumb. The injury kept Webb from quarterbacking for nearly a month, but it didn’t keep him off the field. Webb, with a hard cast en tow, continued to start at linebacker, and moved to the offensive line as a blocking tight end. “He is a kid who just had a nose for the ball, and he always played with a high level of intensity,” said B-G coach Tim Mattingly. “He just got after it on defense.” Over the last five weeks, Webb returned as the starting QB, and led the Bobcats to all three of their wins. During those weeks, he threw nine touchdown passes and ran for three more. “When we got (Cole) back, it made all the difference in the world for us,” Mattingly said.