Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Nov. 21 newspaper on Page B1.
The OPSWA released its all-district list on Friday as players from the four area schools received honors as some of the top players in the southeast Ohio.
In Division III, the undefeated Jackson Ironmen were richly rewarded as Jayden Spires was named Offensive Player of the Year, while brothers Brice and Anthony Parks were named as Co-Defensive Players of the Year.
Spires, who was also named Frontier Athletic Conference Player of the Year, has ran for more than 1,200 yards and scored 20 touchdowns.
Anthony Parks has been a force on the defensive line as he’s racked more than 90 tackles along with 11 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. Meanwhile Brice, who was named Defensive Player of the Year last season, has made 67 tackles on the season.
They’re joined on first team by Grant Mastin, Jared Icenhower, Ty Ruckel and Treylan Davis.
From his linebacker position, Mastin finished the regular season has the Ironmen’s leading tackler with over 100 on the season alongside 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
On the offensive line, Ruckel has led the charge up front for a team that has ran for just under 3,000 yards, averages 293 yards on the ground per game and scores 40.5 points per game.
Davis as the team’s tight end was mainly used for blocking purposes, but made the most of his catches to the tune of 196 yards (49 yards a catch) with a touchdown. He additionally caught two touchdown passes against Centennial.
Icenhower paved his way onto the first team list as the team’s punter. He served up 18 punts on the season and averaged 36.2 yards per kick with his longest punt being 52 yards.
Jackson coach Andy Hall was named Co-Coach of the Year alongside Sheridan’s Paul Culver III.
On the honorable mention list for Jackson in Division III was Joey Richison and Tristan Prater.
Representing Vinton County on the all-district list in Division IV was Jacob Wells and Zack Radabaugh.
Wells served as the team’s feature back and ran for 933 yards on the season alongside nine touchdowns. Radabaugh was used all over the field as he racked up 645 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns offensively.
Defensively from his safety position, he finished with a team-high 75 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions for the 5-5 Vikings.
Making the special mention list for the Vikings was Nick Pittman and Jonathan Vanover.
Waverly’s Payton Shoemaker and Gallia Academy’s Cade Roberts were named as Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in Division IV.
In Division V, Wellston had four players earn honors as first team all-district, starting with standout running back Rylan Molihan.
He finished the season with more than 1,200 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, additionally throwing two touchdown passes for the 7-4 Golden Rockets.
He was joined by Josh Bodey, Brock Eggers and Hunter Smith.
Bodey was the anchor on the offensive line that spent all season opening holes for Molihan, R.J. Kemp and others to run through and averaged 24.7 points per game.
Eggers was a part of that offensive line as a starting guard, but it was from his linebacker position where he made the biggest impact.
He was constantly in on tackles, racking up more than 70 of them on the season as he led a defense that gave up just 15.4 points per game in the regular season.
Smith was the top threat on the outside as he routinely used his 6-foot-5 frame to out-jump defensive backs, making one big play after another. He finished the season with over 500 yards receiving and 10 touchdown catches, including the touchdown catch in their playoff game against Ironton.
To cap off the area selections from Oak Hill was Keaton Potter, Triston Diltz and Flint Barger.
Diltz was the Oaks’ feature back as he bulldozed his way to 1,062 yards on 190 carries and scored 12 times.
Barger was part of the crew up front creating holes for Diltz and company to run through, but it was on the defensive side where he made his presence felt the most.
Routinely finding ways to get into the backfield, he finished the season with 72 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
Potter, who hadn’t played football since his freshman year, came back and put together a well-rounded season. He ran for 653 yards and six touchdowns offensively, while collecting 72 tackles and picking off three passes, including one for a touchdown.
Wellston coach Mike Smith was named Tri-Coach of the Year alongside Ironton’s Trevon Pendleton and Portsmouth’s Bruce Kalb.
On the special mention list for Wellston was R.J. Kemp and Jon Garvin while Austin Campbell and Cameron Kerns earned honors from Oak Hill.
Portsmouth’s Talyn Parker and Ironton’s Reid Carrico were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year for Division V.