Three Wildcats prove hard work pays off
After a coaching change a month before the season, the Edison Wildcats and first-year coach Nate Moses turned to the team’s seniors, and one of them was running back Seth Cade.
Cade’s efforts were recognized Tuesday when he was named one of three Wildcats to make the first-team Eastern District All-Star list. The senior put up 825 yards and four touchdowns on 164 carries during his final season in a Wildcat jersey, adding 139 yards and two more touchdowns on 11 catches. On the defensive side of the ball, he contributed with 66 tackles (three for a loss) and a sack.
“He was a leader on and off the field,” Moses said. “He ran the ball hard, and he led on both sides of the ball. He’s definitely a deserving recipient of that honor. We’re really happy for a kid like Seth because it didn’t end up being the year that we wanted, but he still had a good year and he ran hard and did everything that we asked him to do.”
The other first-teamers came on the defensive side, starting with junior linebacker River Pappas. He led the team with 139 tackles, eight for a loss, six forced fumbles, five sacks and an interception in nine games. He added 143 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries, while hauling in four catches for 28 yards as the Wildcats fullback.
“We’re really proud of River,” Moses said. “That is not a surprise by any means. He was our leader on the defensive side. He made all the calls, got to the ball, led our team in tackles and led our team in sacks. We’re really happy for him, and he’s really deserving of that honor. With River being a junior, we’ll look to him as a leader as we move forward next year.”
The final first-teamer was another junior in defensive back Bryce McAfoose. He compiled 90 tackles, second to only Pappas on the team, with an interception. On offense, he hauled in hauled in a team-high 13 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, adding another 168 yards as a kick returner on special teams.
“That’s really good for Bryce; we’re really happy for him,” Moses said. “We know the kind of kid he is and the kind of family he comes from. He had a real good year for us. He was probably our leader in the (defensive) backfield. We asked Bryce to do a lot of different things, depending on what we were doing that week and the injuries that we had. Anything that we asked Bryce to do, he did and he excelled at it.”
Another area team, the Buckeye Local Panthers, had two players relieve special mention honors in Division V in senior wide receiver Josh Dulesky and senior running back John Marelli.
Quarterbacks: Kolton Alexander, West Lafayette Ridgewood, 6-3, 190, sr.; Cameron Blair, Magnolia Sandy Valley, 6-0 170, fr.; Mason Ramsay, Bellaire, 6-2, 188, sr.
Running Backs: Braden Lucas, Belmont Union Local, 5-9, 165, sr.; Seth Johnson, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley, 5-7, 195, sr.; Seth Cade, Richmond Edison, 5-10, 170, sr.; Ben Howell, Belmont Union Local, 5-7, 150, sr.
Ends: Zach Wright, West Lafayette Ridgewood, 5-11, 170, sr.; Bryce Kelly, Magnolia Sandy Valley, 6-6, 210, jr.; Gabe Rejonis, Bellaire, 5-10, 176, sr.; Cory Bennett, Martins Ferry, 5-8, 174, sr.
Linemen: Hunter Bodkin, Martins Ferry, 5-8, 235, sr.; John Evin, West Lafayette Ridgewood, 6-1, 210, so.; Ben Mikulik, Coshocton, 6-5, 210, sr.; DeAndre Pugh, Martins Ferry, 6-4, 300, jr.; Lucas Donley, Belmont Union Local, 6-3, 250, sr.; Cody Ray, Belmont Union Local, 6-0, 190, sr.
Placekicker: Keith Claxon, West Lafayette Ridgewood, 6-0, 175, jr.
Linemen: Seth Schwab, West Lafayette Ridgewood, 6-0, 180, sr.; Joseph Zagales, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley, 5-9, 171, sr.; Demetrius Dokes, Martins Ferry, 5-10, 211, sr.; Zack Greene, Belmont Union Local, 6-0, 170, sr.
Linebackers: Dalton Hoover, Martins Ferry, 5-11, 223, sr.; Trace Sechrest, Bellaire, 6-0, 195, so.; River Pappas, Richmond Edison 5-8, 175, jr.; Matt Burnett, Zanesville West Muskingum, 6-0, 175 sr.; Cameron Woods, Magnolia Sandy Valley, 6-0, 180, jr.; Ian Schwab, West Lafayeet Ridgewood, 6-0, 180, sr.; Noah Love, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley, 5-9, 170, so.; Drake Dobson, Martins Ferry, 5-11, 182, jr.
Backs: Ethan Love, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley, 6-0, 160, jr.; Bryce McAfoose, Richmond Edison, 5-10, 180, sr.; Jarett Slusser, West Lafayeet Ridgewood, 6-4, 185, sr.; Dante Tucci, Magnolia Sandy Valley, 6-2, 170, jr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Braden Lucas, Belmont Union Local.
Defensive Player of the Year: Dalton Hoover, Martins Ferry.
Coach of the Year: Bruce Stiles, Belmont Union Local.
Grant Murrey, Zanesville West Muskingum; Tristin Tesch, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley; Luke Herron, Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley; Hayden Shook, Coshocton; Cole LaRoche, Bellaire; Grant Gheen, Bellaire; Cole Porter, Bellaire; Thor Duffy, Bellaire; Cal Kildow, Belmont Union Local; Ty Kildow, Belmont Union Local; Zane Thompson, Belmont Union Local; RayQuan Prayear, Martins Ferry; Jacob Probst, Martins Ferry; Shaun Jeter, Martins Ferry; Brad Smith, Magnolia Sandy Valley; Kaden Smith, West Lafayette Ridgewood; Isiah Lamneck, West Lafayette Ridgewood; Josh Dulesky, Rayland Buckeye Local; John Marelli, Rayland Buckeye Local.