Sunday, December 21, 2014

D6SN 2014 All-Area Team

Andrew Berger 6'3" 255 Senior OT/DT Bishop Guilfoyle
Highlights 19.5 Sacks/25 QB hurries/42 Solo Tackles/3 fumble recoveries

Andrew Berger was the catalyst for both lines for the Bishop Guilfoyle attack this season. The senior lineman helped pave the way for  brilliant seasons by the Maruaders' ball carriers - Sam McCloskey and Brandon Chadbourn.  Berger also doubled up as one of the most dominant and disruptive defensive linemen in Pennsylvania. He posted some mind-boggling numbers highlighted by an impressive 19.5 sacks. The senior defensive tackle came up with a solid seven tackle performance in BG's state championship victory over Clairton.  Berger is being recruited by several FCS level teams at this point in time. 

Brandon Chadbourn 6'0" 192 Senior QB/S Bishop Guilfoyle
Highlights 1,614 Passing yards. 16 Touchdowns. 1,123 Rushing yards. 13 Touchdowns. 

Brandon Chadbourn was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the state this season, and led his team to a state championship. The senior play caller achieved the rare feat of eclipsing 1,000 yards in both passing and rushing. Chadbourn helped guide his team over mighty Clairton with a touchdown run just before the half to take the lead in the state championship game. Chadbourn was an All-State safety last season, and continued to be a strong player on that side of the ball in 2014.  Brandon will be advancing his career at Villanova University next season. He will be moved to wide receiver for the Wildcats, which is a consistent program at the Division One FCS level. 

Braden Fochtman 5'8" 170 Junior RB/CB Berlin
Highlights 2,064 Rushing Yards. 30 Touchdowns. 18 Solo Tackles. 4 interceptions

Berlin's Braden Fochtman just turned in his second consecutive 2,000 yard rushing season, and he is only a junior. With 4,621 career yards heading into his senior season, some records could definitely be dropping.  The sensational back for the Mountaineers led his team to a district five championship this year, the school's second in three seasons.  Following that title, in a showdown with heavily favored Clairton, Fochtman torched the vaunted Bears' defense for 242 rushing yards, his highest total of the season.  Fochtman is a dynamic football player, and one of the state's most explosive open field runners.  He had a memorable junior season, and has the chance for a special run in 2015. 

Kareem Gibson 5'10" 170 Senior CB/WR Greater Johnstown
Highlights 27 catches 353 yards 3 Touchdowns. 23 tackles. 1 interception. 2 return touchdowns

Kareem Gibson was one of most explosive players in the area, and it helped land him a scholarship to play for the University of Virginia in the ACC. Gibson is electric with the ball in his hands, and he came up with some big returns and offensive plays this season.  The star for the Trojans played a big role in the return game and on offense, but his future is at corner at the next level, and he had a good year there also.  Gibson has the speed and athleticism to be a very good player in college, and he showed that many times on the field this season.  

Jake Heiple 5'11" 175 RB Junior RB/CB Somerset
Highlights. 1,583 rushing yards. 26 Touchdowns. 56 total tackles. 3 interceptions. 3 return TD's

Jake Heiple helped lead Somerset to some uncharted waters this season, which included a district title, two state playoff wins, and an appearance in the AAA state semifinal.  The Golden Eagles relied heavily on Heiple on both sides of the ball and even special teams. He was their workhorse player, and he was very dependable.  Heiple had numerous big runs on offense and played great defense in the secondary while scoring two touchdowns off interceptions. Heiple was also a dynamic return man, and took three the distance this year.  He is a rare talent that can impact the game on every play. He will be back to help Somerset chase a repeat district championship. 

Aleic Hunter 5'7" 150 Senior RB Tyrone
Highlights.   1,932 rushing yards. 26 Touchdowns. 17 catches. 243 yards. 1 touchdown

Aleic Hunter put in his time through the years, and when he earned the starting running back job this season for Tyrone - he ran with it.  The 5'7" senior put the Golden Eagles on his back at times, and the moment never seemed too big for him. Hunter averaged 138 yards per game on the ground, and helped lead the Golden Eagles to their record setting 9th District Six AA championship in school history. Perhaps the most memorable game this season for Hunter was a dominating 304 yard 5 touchdown game against Mt. Union in the district six championship game at Mansion Park.  

Caleb Kephart 5'8" 175 Senior RB/LB Portage
Highlights.  2,501 Rushing Yards. 34 Touchdowns. 12 catches 275 yards 2 TD's 75 Tackles. 

Caleb Kephart wrapped up a brilliant career with his best season yet in 2014. The senior back rushed for over 2,500 yards and had an astounding 6 games with at least 200 yards or more.  Kephart paced a Portage offense that went the whole way to the district final, and even gave heavily favored Bishop Guilfoyle one of their closest games of the year.  Kephart shined bright on the big stage with 174 yards, including a 68 yard touchdown against the Marauders stout defense. Kephart also put together another solid campaign at linebacker, and was third on the team in tackles. Kephart eclipsed the 5,000 yard mark in his career this season, and will go down as the best Mustangs of all-time. 

BJ Loner 5'11" 150 Senior RB/DB Mt. Union
Highlights. 1,359 rushing yards. 25 touchdowns.28 receptions. 620 yards. 11 touchdowns. 8 Ints.

BJ Loner may have been the most exciting player in the entire area this season, and Mt. Union rode his play-making ability the whole way to the district six AA final before bowing out to Tyrone.  Loner was a big time player in all facets, and came up with huge highlight reel plays all season long. Loner came up with over 2,400 all purposes yards and 38 touchdowns.  He led the Trojans in rushing and receiving, and also was a big time defensive player as he came up with 8 interceptions. Mt. Union had with of their most successful seasons in a long time, and Loner played quite a big role in that.  

Sam McCloskey 5'11" 185 Senior RB/S Bishop Guilfoyle
Highlights. 2,168 rushing yards. 41 Touchdowns. 18 catches. 407 yards. 5 Touchdowns. 

Sam McCloskey put together one of the best seasons of any player in the state this season, and he could garner a few awards for his year-long performance. The senior back led his team to the school's first state championship in their history. McCloskey was a dynamic runner all year long, and really paced a potent offensive attack. McCloskey had some memorable games down the stretch like 235 yards and 4 touchdowns in the district six championship, 301 yards in the state quarterfinal, and two big touchdowns against Clairton in the state championship. He is on his way to play for Lehigh next season in the FCS, as a safety.  McCloskey's impressive offensive numbers sometimes overshadowed that he was a big part of the Marauders' defense. 

Austin Montgomery 6'1" 205 Junior QB Bedford
Highlights. 1,747 Passing Yards. 16 Touchdowns. 491 Rushing Yards. 11 Touchdowns. 

Austin Montgomery led Bedford to an impressive 9-2 season in 2014.  In a year that featured a lot of talk about Bishop Guilfoyle and Somerset in the LHAC, Montgomery did his part to keep Bedford near that conversation.  The junior quarterback threw for 1,747 yards and 16 touchdowns, and remained a threat on the ground with 11 rushing scores. Sometimes overlooked, Montgomery served as the team's place kicker and converted 43 extra points, while handling kickoffs and punting as well.  In his signature game, Montgomery accounted for seven touchdowns (3 passing/4 rushing) in a 50-36 shootout win over Johnstown on the road.  He will return to lead a Bedford team that will return 20 starters. With 17 wins in the past two years, many feel Bedford can take that next step in 2015, and Montgomery is a big reason why. 

Bryce Mostoller 6'3" 235 Senior TE/DE Somerset 
Highlights. 36 Catches. 584 Yards. 6 Tocudhowns. 45 solo tackles.13 Sacks. 3 Forced Fumbles.

Bryce Mostoller was one of the most dominant defensive players in the area.  He helped lead the Golden Eagles the whole way to the AAA state semifinal behind stellar play from his defensive end spot.  Mostoller was a constant presence in opposing backfields with 13 sacks, and a reported 31 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.  Mostoller was also the area's best tight end, and led Somerset in receiving yards and catches, while hauling in six touchdowns. Mostoller is undecided where he will be playing next year, but was drawing interest from a number of FCS and Division II teams.

Austin Myers 5'11" 190 Junior RB/LB Conemaugh Township
Highlights.  2,021 Rushing Yards. 19 Touchdowns. 58 Solo Tackles. 

Imagine the other team knows you are getting the ball every play, and you are still able to rush for 2,000 yards in 11 games.  That's exactly what Austin Myers accomplished this year. The junior back for Township carried the load all season long, and even found himself in the top ten nationally in rushing attempts on Maxpreps. So for durability alone, Myers was a very reliable runner for the 4-7 Indians. In the final game of the regular season that sealed a playoff berth for Township, Myers rushed for 330 yards and 4 touchdowns against North Star in a convincing 42-8 win.  He will be back next season for his senior year, and he could be poised for another 2,000 yard season.  

Deion Robinson 5'11" 180 Senior RB/DB Blairsville
Highlights. 1,606 Rushing Yards. 28 Touchdowns. 14 catches. 167 yards. 2 Touchdowns. 

Blairsville had a memorable season with a perfect 10-0 regular season, and an outright Heritage Conference championship.  In the district semifinal against Portage, Blairsville had all the momentum and the lead, but Deion Robinson was injured, and the whole complex of the game changed and Blairsville bowed out to the Mustangs.  Robinson was that important to the Bobcats' success. He scored 30 touchdowns in 11 games, and was one of the more dynamic and exciting running backs in the area. He finishes his career with 3,525 rushing yards and 54 touchdowns.  

Will Seymour 6'1" 220 Senior QB/LB Central Cambria
Highlights 1,654 Passing Yards. 15 Touchdowns. 1,130 Rushing Yards. 11 Touchdowns.

Will Seymour was the offense for Central Cambria this season, and there is no other way to put it.  The senior quarterback had an excellent passing year by going over the 1,000 yard mark, throwing for 15 scores to throwing just four interceptions.  Seymour was also a bruising runner, and led the team in rushing with 1,130 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Seymour is built more like a fullback than a quarterback, and it was a treat to see him run over defenders in the open field. Seymour rallied the team after a tough 0-3 start, to go 5-2 down the stretch, but they narrowly missed the playoffs. He was a player that improved all three years as a starter, and he leaves Central Cambria as one of their better players in recent memory. 

Eric Sherkel 5'11" 185 Junior QB/DB Moshannon Valley
Highlights. 1,323 Passing Yards. 15 Touchdowns. 1,130 Rushing Yards. 9 Touchdowns. 3 Ints

Eric Sherkel had a big junior season, and he led the Knights back into the postseason in 2014. Sherkel improved on his passing from last season and tossed 15 touchdowns in his junior campaign.  He also remained a dangerous runner with nearly 1,000 rushing yards.  Sherkel is a very dangerous open-field runner and turned some interceptions and special teams returns into big plays with his deceptive running style.  He will be back next season and will have Moshannon Valley in the ICC title hunt all year long.  

Chantz Swartz 6'0" 178 Junior RB/LB Juniata
Highlights. 1,593 rushing yards. 26 touchdowns. 15 catches. 500 yards. 7 touchdowns. 

Chantz Swartz may be the best player you never heard of in district six. Swartz plays for Juniata out the outskirts of the district, and had an incredible junior season while doing it all for the Indians.  Swartz rushed for 26 touchdowns and nearly 1,600 yards. He used his speed and athleticism to double up as a tremendous receiver for Juniata as well. He looked very comfortable lining up on the outside and in the backfield. His play-making had Juniata hosting a home playoff game with a 9-2 record. With him returning next season, Juniata could be a dark-horse to win district six. 

Grant Syster 5'10" 196 Senior RB/LB Purchase Line
Highlights. 2,533 Rushing Yards. 33 Total Touchdowns. 

Grant Syster set the Indiana County all-time rushing record in a single season with 2,533 yards.  Syster was spectacular and finished the year with 218 total points, when you take into consideration his touchdowns and conversions, that's an impressive feat.  Syster opened the year in a big way with a SEVEN touchdown game, and he did more of the same all season long. Syster helped guide Purchase Line to a 6-4 record, but they ultimately fell short of a playoff berth despite their winning record. Syster finished his career as the Purchase Line all-time leading rusher with 4,314 yards. 

Daniel Taylor 5'10" 160 Senior RB/LB Tussey Mountain
Highlights. 1,348 rushing yards. 18 touchdowns. 15 catches. 307 yards. 7 touchdowns. 3 ints. 

Daniel Taylor followed up a big junior season with another impressive campaign in 2014. His two years as a featured back for the Titans resulted in a 20-6 record, which included a district five championship last season.  Taylor is a versatile back and showed that with his receiving abilities the past two seasons.  Taylor was a workhorse back that went over 1,300 yards in 2014. He also proved his worth on defense this season with 35 solo stops and 3 interceptions.  Taylor finished his career with nearly 5,000 all-purposes yards during one of Tussey Mountain's more successful stretches in recent memory. 

Jon Wagner 6'0" 175 Junior RB/DB Huntingdon
Highlights. 1,365 rushing yards. 19 touchdowns. 2 receiving touchdowns. 34 solo tackles.

Jon Wagner had a very big junior season, and helped take Huntingdon the whole way to the district six AA semifinals.  Wagner paced the Bearcats' rushing attack with 1,365 yards and 19 scores. He saved one of his best games for the playoffs, with 239 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns against Juniata in a 28-21 win in the first round.  Wagner also led the team in tackles. Wagner came up with three kickoff returns for a touchdowns as well. With Wagner returning, Huntingdon could be a factor in the district six AA race in 2015. 

Matt Wiley 6'3" 205 Senior FB/LB Chestnut Ridge
Highlights. 945 rushing yards. 12 touchdowns. 102 total tackles. 2 sacks. 1 interception.

Matt Wiley took Chestnut Ridge to their third straight District Five AA championship. Wiley was the heart and soul of a a very stout defense that pitched four shutouts in their 10 wins, and held teams to under 20 points in their other six wins. Wiley was the leading tackler, and at 6'3" 205 pounds was athletic enough to make plays everywhere, and physical enough to stick his nose in the middle of plays. Wiley was also a physical fullback that led the Lions in rushing in 2014.  His presence will be sorely missed by Chestnut Ridge next season. 

This list is compiled of the twenty best players in the area, and they are listed alphabetically.  We included both Districts 5 and 6 with teams from Class A through AAA.  Unlike other all-area teams, this was not done the traditional way that features position by position. Our coverage area is too wide to narrow it down to just one quarterback or one running back, this list simply features the 20 best players in the 2014 season.

Obviously we could not include every great player in the area, as we had to narrow it down to just 20 players from 53 different teams throughout the region.  It was not an easy task, but I feel this is a fair list that spans all reaches of both districts.

Coming soon, we will announce our individual awards.  We will be naming an offensive player of the year for both districts, along with a defensive player award.  We will also name the top head coach for both districts based off of this season.

As always, thank you for following along with us this season.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter @D6SN and like us on Facebook at D6 Sports Network. We would like to say thank you to all of the fans, coaches, athletic directors, and fellow members of the media for all your help this season. And most importantly, thank you to the players for having another memorable season of local high school football, and it is one I do not think we will be forgetting anytime soon.

Year three is in the books with the D6 Sports Network.  We hope to see you next year with some new ideas and content, while keeping our local football known throughout the great state of Pennsylvania.

Thank you once again,
Jim Hammett, D6SN Editor/Co-founder. 

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