5 Trojans earn all-OVC football


PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth Trojans sported indeed a young football team in 2023.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that the five Trojans — three first-teamers and two automatic Honorable Mentions — which earned all-Ohio Valley Conference honors are indeed first timers.

There are two senior first-teamers, tight end and linebacker Noah Livingston and two-way lineman Leo Poxes, and one junior first-teamer — running back Chase Heiland.

With the likes of Livingston and Poxes paving the way along the offensive line, Heiland — a converted wide receiver in fact —had a monstrous season rushing the ball.

That was, of course, in both OVC games and non-league tilts — and in terms of carries, yards, yards per carry and total touchdowns.

Two other Trojan juniors — offensive lineman and linebacker Dylan Sanderlin and two-way lineman Alex McKenzie —claimed Honorable Mention.

All of the all-OVC selections and top honors are made by the league’s head coaches — as under previous conference rules, there was no Player of the Year selected for football all-league.

That was until three years ago —when Portsmouth senior quarterback Drew Roe won that honor, followed last year by Coal Grove running back/linebacker Chase Hall.

This year, the POY went to Fairland senior quarterback Peyton Jackson, as the Dragon gunslinger —with his father and head coach Mike Jackson calling the plays — guided largely the Dragons to a 6-1 league mark.

The Dragons’ lone league loss was against undefeated in-league Ironton (7-0), which played its final OVC affair —edging Portsmouth 21-6 in the regular-season finale.

Ironton is exiting the conference for football only, as the win over Portsmouth put a final stamp on its OVC winning streak at 33 games.

It is the Fighting Tigers’ fifth consecutive and final conference championship, as they also won the OVC in their first two years in —in 2015 and 2016.

Ironton is now 66-60-7 all-time against archrival Portsmouth, having now won the last seven meetings in this series —the second-oldest rivalry in the entire state.

Ironton will continue to play OVC members Portsmouth, Fairland and Gallia Academy —as part of its independent schedule starting next year.

All eight Ironton all-OVC selections are first timers, as sixth-year head coach Trevon Pendleton made it five consecutive seasons as the conference Coach of the Year.

Fairland tied the Fighting Tigers with eight all-league choices, as Jackson and senior wide receiver Brycen Hunt repeated to the first team —and senior Ryan Dixon moving up to the first team from Honorable Mention.

For third-place Gallia Academy at 5-2, with narrow yet lone losses at Fairland (40-35) and against Ironton (27-17), the Blue Devils had six all-league picks —and three of which were repeat first-teamers.

The trio of Cole Hines, Hudson Shamblin and Kenyon Franklin were all seniors — with Hines making it a perfect 4-of-4 in all-OVC first-team selections.

Franklin, for his all-purpose efforts, finished as a three-time first-teamer.

South Point (3-4 OVC), like Portsmouth (4-3 OVC), also featured five selections — as ALL eight teams automatically receive two Honorable Mentions.

Blaine Freeman, a senior for the Pointers, joined Fairland’s Dixon as an Honorable Mention moveup in 2022 to first team.

Rock Hill (2-5), Coal Grove (1-6) and Chesapeake (0-7) all had four players picked —as the Redmen, Hornets and Panthers each had a pair of first-teamers.

Senior lineman Brett Klaiber of Coal Grove and senior skilled man Camron Shockley of Chesapeake were repeaters to the first squad.

ALL of the OVC selections for 2023 were either juniors or seniors —sans sophomores Kaden Murphy of Coal Grove on the first team and Daniel Medinger of Rock Hill on Honorable Mention.

In addition, all 16 Honorable Mention choices were first-time honorees to the all-OVC unit.

The OVC features eight schools, as Portsmouth joined the primarily Lawrence County-based league eight years ago (2015).

A year later, Gallia Academy officially entered the OVC — as Coal Grove (2017), Gallia Academy (2018) and Ironton (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) had captured the league championship in each of the past six seasons.

* * *

2023 all-Ohio Valley Conference football team

First Team

Player, Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

Shaun Terry, Ironton All-Purpose-DB 5-10 175 Jr.

Noah Patterson, Ironton OL-DL 6-03 285 Sr.

Braden Schreck, Ironton WR-QB 6-02 185 Jr.

Josh Johnson, Ironton WR-DB 6-03 180 Jr.

Aris Pittman, Ironton LB-DB 6-02 190 Sr.

Aiden Layne, Ironton OL-DL 6-01 240 Jr.

Peyton Jackson*, Fairland QB-DB 5-11 180 Sr.

Brycen Hunt*, Fairland WR-DB 6-01 170 Sr.

Ryan Dixon#, Fairland OL-LB 6-01 225 Sr.

Quentin Cremeans, Fairland RB-LB 6-01 215 Jr.

Jack Hayden, Fairland All-Purpose-DB 6-01 180 Jr.

Will Callicoat, Fairland OL-LB 5-11 195 Jr.

Cole Hines*, Gallia Academy OL-LB 5-8 180 Sr.

Hunter Shamblin, Gallia Academy QB-WR-DB 5-11 195 Sr.

Hudson Shamblin*, Gallia Academy RB-LB 5-11 195 Sr.

Kenyon Franklin*, Gallia Academy WR-DB 6-01 205 Sr.

Chase Heiland, Portsmouth RB-DB 5-08 183 Jr.

Noah Livingston, Portsmouth TE-LB 6-02 200 Sr.

Leo Poxes, Portsmouth OL-DL 6-00 280 Sr.

Eli Wilburn, South Point All-Purpose-DB 5-10 160 Sr.

Blaine Freeman#, South Point RB-LB 5-09 190 Sr.

Dontae Harris, South Point OL-DL 5-11 315 Sr.

Levi Jiles, Rock Hill RB-LB 5-11 190 Sr.

Anthony Stamper, Rock Hill RB-DB 5-10 165 Jr.

Brett Klaiber*, Coal Grove OL-DL 6-03 275 Sr.

Kaden Murphy, Coal Grove RB-DB 5-08 165 So.

Camron Shockley*, Chesapeake RB-DB 5-07 145 Sr.

Garrett Napier, Chesapeake OL-DL 6-00 295 Jr.

Player of the Year: Peyton Jackson, Fairland

Coach of the Year: Trevon Pendleton*, Ironton

Honorable Mention

Player, Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

Bailey Thacker, Ironton QB-TE-DE 6-03 210 Sr.

Tatum Moore, Ironton TE-DB 6-00 165 Jr.

Garrett Spence, Fairland DB 6-01 175 Sr.

Keegan Smith, Fairland WR-DB 6-01 180 Jr.

Joey Darnbrough, Gallia Academy WR-DB 5-09 160 Sr.

Steven Davis, Gallia Academy OL-DL 5-11 175 Sr.

Alex McKenzie, Portsmouth OL-DL 5-08 165 Jr.

Dylan Sanderlin, Portsmouth OL-LB 5-10 202 Jr.

Derrick Taylor, South Point TE-DE 6-03 255 Jr.

Brayden Hanshaw, South Point WR-DB 6-02 175 Jr.

Daniel Medinger, Rock Hill OL-DL 6-04 265 So.

Wyatt Jenkins, Rock Hill OL-LB 5-10 185 Jr.

Joe Scarberry, Coal Grove RB-LB 6-00 200 Jr.

Devin Bloomfield, Coal Grove WR-DB 5-10 170 Sr.

Drew Plantz, Chesapeake RB-DB 5-07 140 Jr.

Spencer Wright, Chesapeake OL-DL 6-00 240 Jr.

* — indicates repeat first-team selection (Cole Hines of Gallia Academy was also first-team selection in 2020 and 2021; Kenyon Franklin of Gallia Academy was also first-team selection in 2021; Trevon Pendleton of Ironton was also COY in 2019, 2020 and 2021)

# — indicates 2022 Honorable Mention selection

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on X @paulboggssports © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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