SCIOTO COUNTY — Truth be told, even Luke Bryan has nothing on Scioto County’s all-Southeast District football honorees.
Defense, offense, first team, repeat.
That’s because, in a rarity, although the county did not have any individuals capture either a Player of the Year or Coach of the Year honor — there were multiple first-team repeaters from last season’s list.
That lengthy list — which includes offensive first-teamers, defensive first-teamers and Special Mention selections —was selected by a panel of Southeast District sports writers, and was officially announced on Saturday by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association.
Indeed, 2020 has been an entirely odd-ball and out-of-whack season, so perhaps it is fitting that no Scioto County players or head coaches —not a single solitary one —was rewarded with top honors.
But there were nine first-team repeaters from a season ago, and two others which were Special Mention choices last year — but bumped up to first-team offensive performers this year.
In addition, three individuals are three-time all-Southeast District selections —including three-time first-teamer Matthew Risner of Minford in Division V.
For the fourth football season in a row, the all-Southeast District teams were selected under the OPSWA umbrella — as the Associated Press is no longer affiliated with choosing all-district or even all-Ohio teams.
Still, ALL first-team honorees are automatic — AT LEAST — Special Mention all-Ohio, as the players of the year in each of Ohio’s seven districts are automatically first-team all-state.
That will be Risner for the third and final year, as he was a first-team all-district defensive back the previous two seasons.
This year, Risner —the five-foot, 10-inch and 175-pound senior —registered first-team offense in the all-purpose category, as he ran the ball, caught the ball, returned kickoffs and punts, and was again a top-flight defensive back.
Had he not been named as an all-purpose player, he would have made the first-team unit again as a DB.
Risner’s teammate, senior quarterback Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis (5-10, 185), repeated to that Division V first-team position —as he made Special Mention two years ago.
The only other three-time honoree is Notre Dame senior Logan Emnett (5-11, 190), who is a Division VII first-team running back this season — after back-to-back years as a Special Mention pick.
The other Division V first-team repeaters are Northwest senior Caleb Crabtree as an offensive lineman, Northwest sophomore Brayden Campbell as a running back, Northwest sophomore Evan Lintz as a linebacker, Portsmouth West senior Luke Bradford as a defensive back, and Wheelersburg junior Braxton Sammons as a placekicker.
Crabtree, Campbell, Lintz and Bradford repeated to those same positions, while Sammons last year was a first-team punter —a defensive spot compared to the placekicker on offense.
Other repeat first-teamers from last season are Valley sophomore wide receiver Ty Perkins in Division VI and Green senior all-purpose honoree Ethan Huffman in Division VII.
Huffman was a first-team wideout last year.
Portsmouth junior quarterback Drew Roe, who threw for over 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing for another 225 yards, repeated to the Division V list —climbing to first team after a Special Mention selection last season.
Valley’s Chase Morrow (linebacker), Minford’s Drew Skaggs (wide receiver) and Portsmouth’s Christian Keys (linebacker) all made first team last year, and were Special Mention choices this year.
There were several Division V first-time first-team honorees — including Reade Pendleton (WR) of Portsmouth; Matthew Miller (WR), Blake Richardson (OL), Carson Williams (LB) and Josh Clark (DB) of Wheelersburg; Eli Tilley (DL), Ryan Sissel (LB) and Luke Wroten (OL) of West; and punter Dakota Secrest of Northwest.
Secrest was also nominated for first-team placekicker, which went to Sammons and Ironton senior Jimmy Mahlmeister.
The other Division V Special Mention choices included Connor Lintz and Wyatt Brackman of Northwest; Mitchell Irwin and Ashton Klaiber of West; Amare Johnson of Portsmouth, Tate Walker of Minford; and Gage Adkins and Jake Gregg of Wheelersburg.
Only Adkins is a repeat Special Mention pick.
In Division VI, besides Perkins and Morrow, Valley was represented by first-time first-teamers Devin Wiley (LB) and Nick Bowles (OL).
George Arnett, the Indians’ primary running back, earned Special Mention.
Besides Emnett and Huffman, Notre Dame’s Carter Campbell was a Division VII first-teamer — a first-timer along the defensive line.
The Titans’ two Special Mention selections were Dylan Seison and Caleb Nichols, while Sciotoville East amounted three for Special Mention — Leviticus Justice, Austin Baughman and Landen Pernell.
Sheridan in Division III, Waverly in Division IV, Ironton in Division V and Trimble in Division VII all swept the top honors —as Ironton senior Reid Carrico indeed claimed a Southeast District first.
Carrico, as a linebacker on defense and a running back on offense, was selected as the Player of the Year on both sides.
Carrico repeated as the Division V Defensive Player of the Year —an honor he also captured at the state level last year.
Carrico, with Ironton in the Division V state semifinals for the second consecutive season tonight (Saturday, Nov. 14), is considered the frontrunner for Ohio’s prestigious Mr. Football award —of which former Athens quarterback and current Cincinnati Bengals starter Joe Burrow received in 2014.
Ironton’s Trevon Pendleton, who shared the Coach of the Year award with Portsmouth’s Bruce Kalb and Wellston’s Mike Smith in 2019, was the outright winner this time.
The Fighting Tigers are the defending Division V state runners-up, and are off to a perfect 10-0 and state semifinal start to this campaign.
Ironton amassed a district-best dozen selections, including a hefty nine on the first team.
Speaking of 10-0, Waverly — which won the Southern Ohio Conference Division II title for the first time since that 2006 season —won the Offensive POY (Haydn’ Shanks), the Defensive POY (Zeke Brown) and the COY (Chris Crabtree).
Logan is the only Southeast Division II club, as there were co-players of the year in Division VI.
On offense — and both from the Ohio Valley Conference — Gavin Hunt from Fairland and Austin Stapleton of Coal Grove garnered top honors, while Nelsonville-York’s Colton Snyder and Adena’s Preston Sykes shared the defensive award.
The Division VI Coach of the Year was Adena’s John Penwell.
The entire 2020 all-Southeast District football list appears in today’s edition of The Portsmouth Daily Times and online at www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved