SCIOTO COUNTY — A year ago, Scioto County could stake the claim to its lengthy list of all-Southeast District football repeaters.
And, this season’s Scioto County connection can say three three-peaters punched their tickets.
That said, with the annual release of the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association all-Southeast District unit on Saturday, the county once again has a player AND coach capturing top honors —as ALL of Scioto County’s selections are among those in the smallest three divisions of V, VI and VII.
Leading the way, for the third time in four years actually, it was a Portsmouth Trojan taking home at least a share of the Division V Offensive Player of the Year award.
That would be standout senior quarterback Drew Roe, who was named the Offensive Co-POY with Piketon gun-slinging signal-caller Levi Gullion.
As a junior and in nine games, Roe threw for over 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing for another 225 yards, and repeated to the Division V list —climbing to first team after a Special Mention selection.
He repeats to the first team (quarterback) as a five-foot seven-inch and 151-pound senior, having led the Trojan offensive aerial assault — with exactly 10 passing yards shy of 2,200.
He completed 181 of his 266 passes for a 68-percent completion rate, with 28 of those strikes resulting in touchdown tosses.
In rushing the football, he carried 104 times for 494 yards and 11 TDs —and was the ever-dangerous dual threat which propelled Portsmouth to a 7-3 regular-season record, and a state playoff victory over Zane Trace.
That opening-round playoff win was the Trojans’ first, in fact, since 2002.
Roe joins Talyn Parker, the former PHS star running back and the school’s all-time rushing leader, from 2018 AND 2019 as Offensive POYs for four-year head coach Bruce Kalb.
It was a Trojan turnaround campaign from last year’s 2-7 slate —as the other Titan-ic turnaround was indeed that of the Notre Dame Titans in Division VII.
Notre Dame went winless two years back, but improved to 3-4 last fall —before going a solid 7-2 and earning an opening-round home playoff bout.
The Titans’ game against Green was canceled, and they only played nine regular-season contests.
That upward trend though, with only three seniors, helped veteran head coach Bob Ashley earn outright Coach of the Year honors in the smallest division.
For the fifth 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.
Ashley, as a district-award winning coach, is automatically nominated for the Division VII state Coach of the Year honor.
There were two other three-peaters to the list —with Wheelersburg senior placekicker Braxton Sammons (6-0, 175) repeating as a Division V first-team placekicker, after making the Division V first team two years ago as a punter.
The difference you ask?
The placekicking position is an offensive one, while the punting position is considered a defender.
The other all-district three-peater is Valley senior linebacker Chase Morrow (5-11, 190) —who was also in the discussion for Division VI Defensive Player of the Year.
Morrow made first-team linebacker as a sophomore, before being named Special Mention last season — amid an injury-impacted year.
Other Division V repeat first-team selections include Reade Pendleton (WR) of Portsmouth, Carson Williams (LB) and Josh Clark (DB) of Wheelersburg, and Ryan Sissel (RB) of West.
Sissel, as a sophomore, was a first-team linebacker.
There were several Division V first-time first-team honorees — Trenton Zimmerman (WR), Devin Parker (QB) and Hunter Pendleton (LB) of Minford; James Thurman (LB), Dariyonne Bryant (WR) and Brenden Truett (DL) of Portsmouth; Aaron Penn (DL) and Alex Bear (OL) of Northwest; Gabe Myers (OL) and Ashton Klaiber (LB) of West, and Caleb Miller (OL) and Josh Boggs (DL) of Wheelersburg.
Klaiber was a Special Mention pick last season —as Wyatt Brackman of Northwest, Amare Johnson of Portsmouth and Mitchell Irwin of West were all repeat Special Mentions.
The other Special Mentions for Division V include Austin Newman of Northwest; Jeffery Bishop of West; Beau Hammond of Portsmouth; Jeffrey Pica, Hayden Henthorn and Ethan Connally of Minford; and Eric Lattimore and Brock Brumfield of Wheelersburg.
Valley is the county’s only Division VI club —as Morrow was joined on the first team by first-timers Bryson Spencer (OL), Chase Ruby (PK) and Justin Moore (DL).
Lakota Davis was named Special Mention.
Notre Dame’s Carter Campbell was a Division VII repeat first-teamer — along the defensive line with Titan teammate, fellow bookend end and first-time first-teamer Dominic Sparks.
The Titans’ two offensive first-teamers were all-purpose performer Dylan Seison and running back Gavin Hart.
Seison was a Special Mention choice a year ago — as this year’s Titans to that list include Cody Metzler, Nolan Heiland and Wyatt Webb.
Leviticus Justice, the only East senior, joined Seison as an all-purpose pick for first-team offense —as he was a Special Mention selection last year.
East’s other first-teamer is first-timer Keagan Jackson at defensive line, as repeater Landehn Pernell and first-timer Tyell Baker were Special Mention Tartans.
Rounding out the Division VII Special Mention list was Ethan Hayslip of Green.
As Ashley was the Division VII COY, the top players honors went to Trimble’s Tabor Lackey (Offensive) and Blake Guffey (Defensive).
Waverly won the top players awards in Division IV, with Wade Futhey (Offensive) and J.T. Barnett (Defensive), while —like Gullion and Roe —there were Co-Defensive Players of the Year in Division V.
But, they are an Ironton Fighting Tigers’ tandem —defensive lineman Nate Cochran and linebacker Angelo Washington.
That shared award gives the Fighting Tigers three consecutive Defensive POYs — as linebacker Reid Carrico, the runner-up for Mr. Football a year ago, was a two-time top state award winner.
Ironton amassed a district-best baker’s dozen selections, including a hefty nine on the first team.
Tyler Gullion of Piketon, Levi’s father, was the outright Coach of the Year in Division V.
The Division VI Coach of the Year was Symmes Valley’s Rusty Webb —as J.D. Brumfield for Fairland (Defensive) and Drew Carter for Nelsonville-York (Offensive) were the top players.
Both Gullion and Webb guided their teams to undefeated regular-season records (Piketon 9-0 and Symmes Valley 9-0), and outright conference championships (Piketon in SVC and Symmes Valley in SOC I).
The entire 2021 all-Southeast District football list appears in Tuesday’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 [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved