2008 DAILY STAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brendan Pidgeon, Oneonta Senior RB/LB
Hard-worker led Yellowjackets to a 4-5 record, including major victories over Chenango Forks and Norwich. ... Rushed for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns on 161 carries. ... Had season-best 156 yards and two scores in 32-12 win over Norwich on Oct. 24. ... Also had an interception return for TD in that game. ... Finished with team-high 115 tackles, including 76 solos. ... Had two sacks and made two interceptions. ... "There were games that you saw where he took over the game, both defensively and offensively," Oneonta coach Adam Hoover said. ... Harvard and Syracuse are among possibilities for college.
2008 DAILY STAR COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Hoover, Walton 33rd season
Possibly one of the finest coaching seasons Hoover has had. ... Lost bulk of team from last year's Class D state championship squad, but kept team focused and ready. ... Walton won its first 11 games and held the state's top ranking until a loss to eventual state champion Maple Grove in a state semifinal. ... Loss also snapped Walton's 24-game winning streak. ... Warriors outscored opponents, 522-104. ... "It was a very satisfying year," Hoover said. "I don't think a lot of people expected us to be 11-0 and No. 1 in the state at that time." ... Earned Daily Star honor for record 10th time. ... Improved Section Four all-time winningest record to 266-62-1.
2008 DAILY STAR FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Luke Burns, Delhi Senior QB
Area's top receiver a season ago made smooth transition to become a calming influence for Delhi offense. ... Speedy with a strong arm. ... Completed 47 of 98 passes for 674 yards and seven touchdowns. ... Intercepted five times. ... Also rushed 47 times for two touchdowns and 155 yards. ... Had four interceptions as defensive back. ... "We thought he did a great job on the running and his accuracy was right up there," Delhi coach Dave Kelly said. "He led by example. People respected him and what he did." ... First-team selection last season.
Phil Hanley, Walton Junior RB
Speedy back got better as the season went on for 11-1 Walton. ... Rushed for an area-best 1,278 yards and 21 touchdowns on 121 carries. ... Twice rushed for more than 200 yards, including a season-best 231 and three touchdowns in a 32-7 victory over Groton in the Section Four Class D final. ... Scored four times and ran for 216 yards in a victory over Harpursville. ... "When we needed yardage, he got it for us," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "He was pretty good all the way through, but he got better and better."
Bryant Mead, Walton Junior RB
Fullback-style runner in a halfback's body. ... Hard-hitting with breakaway speed. ... Finished season with 791 yards and 15 touchdowns on 83 carries. ... Strong defender in the secondary for the Warriors, who reached the state semifinals for the second straight year. ... Ran for 203 yards and two scores in 30-0 win over Seton Catholic on Sept. 20. ... "He was banged up a bit, but he played hurt a lot," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "He's very explosive offensively and quick. He did a lot of good things defensively. He's hard-nosed football player."
Dustin Ross, B-G Senior RB
Speedy senior became more physical this year. ... Rushed for 1,012 yards and 10 touchdowns in helping Bainbridge-Guilford reach the Section Four Class D playoffs. ... Ran for a season-high 233 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in a 36-15 win over Oxford on Sept. 12. ... Rushed for more than 100 yards six times. ... Had 2,099 yards over the past two seasons. ... "His ability to create space and seams for himself was great," B-G coach Tim Mattingly said. "He read blocks, hit seams and was tough to catch." ... First-team selection last year.
Jack Fletcher, Delhi Sophomore FB
Became Delhi's premier back midway through the season. ... Rushed for 988 yards and 14 touchdowns on 161 carries. ... Had a season-best 255 yards in a 41-8 victory over B-G on Oct. 10 in a key Division VIII game. ... Solid linebacker finished with 70 tackles (54 solo) and one interception. ... "The more he played, the better he got," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "We felt if we played them in the (sectional) final, he was the guy we would have needed to stop."
Brad Ashford, Cooperstown Senior WR
Athletic receiver with good hands. ... Caught 22 passes for 443 yards and seven touchdowns. ... Had two games with 100 or more yards receiving. ... Had a season-best 129 yards in a 40-21 win over Little Falls on Oct. 18, when he had five catches and three TDs. ... Being looked at by several Division III schools for football. ... "He brought stability to our offensive game," Cooperstown coach Steve Pugliese said. "He is quick and he has tremendous hands. But what makes him stand out is he's smart _ he knows what to do and how to do it."
Jon Lancto, Oneonta Senior OL
One of Oneonta's top linemen, played bigger than his 6-foot, 165-pound frame. ... Adapted well to several offensive positions. ... OHS coach Adam Hoover said team noticed how important Lancto was when he missed a practice and the offensive line struggled without him. ... "He did a real good job for us," Hoover said. "We knew he had the ability to help us. ... He was probably one of the most, if not the most, consistent linemen on our offensive line. ... He was kind of the anchor of our offensive line."
Glenn Innes, Unatego Senior OL
Do-it-all player filled several holes for Spartans throughout the season. ... Two-way starter spent time at defensive end and linebacker. ... A strong force on the offensive line where he opened holes and protected passers in helping the Spartans to a 5-4 record. ... "He was the heart and soul of our team," Unatego coach Art Rigas said of the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder. "He could have played any position on the field. Offensively, he was our top lineman. He was committed and put the time in."
Chris Skovira, Delhi Senior OL
One of the anchors to Delhi's offensive front. ... At 6-foot and 220 pounds, Skovira's size allowed him to push around opposing players. ... Heady player had a knack for creating space for runners. ... Also played on the defensive line and finished with 26 tackles (six solo). ... Helped Bulldogs win Division VII title and reach sectional semifinals. ... "He put on a little bit of weight and did a very strong job for us offensively and defensively," Delhi coach Dave Kelly said. "We looked to him and Marty (Cole) to move the (line) when we had to have yards."
Kenny Reynolds, Walton Senior OL
Reliable lineman filled needs for Section Four champion Warriors. ... Played center and tackle at various times. ... Part of an offensive line that created space for a Walton rushing game that finished with 3,894 yards. ... Also a guard on defense and finished with 32 tackles, including 16 solos. ... "He knew all the offensive positions," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "He was a good pulling, trapping guard. He did a good job overall."
Mike Guerriere, Sidney Senior K
First-year varsity player made big impact for Warriors. ... Long kickoffs often left opposing teams in poor field positions. ... Had 22 extra points and kicked field goals of 47 and 48 yards. ... Sidney's all-time leading scorer in soccer, Guerriere rushed for 864 yards and 11 touchdowns on 95 carries. ... Rushed for a season-high 171 yards on 17 carries in loss to Susquehanna Valley on Oct. 18. ... Had seven catches for 116 yards. ... "He impressed me," Unatego coach Art Rigas said. "He's fast and has moves. For someone who didn't play football, he was one hell of a football player."
2008 DAILY STAR FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Marty Cole, Delhi Junior DL
Used all of his 6-foot-2, 285-pound frame to control opposing players. ... Quick and agile player often penetrated into backfields, pestering quarterbacks and running backs. ... Finished with 37 solo tackles and 13 assists. ... "He's one of the faster big men we've had recently," Delhi coach Dave Kelly said. "He does a nice job. He can play two gaps, which is a big thing. He's inside and centrally located. When things go on in there, he can make the play."
Kyle Ray, Unatego Senior DL
One of Unatego's dominant players, combined with Chet Davis to give Unatego a powerful 1-2 punch on both sides of the line. ... Hard-hitting player used speed to his advantage. ... Difficult to block in one-on-one situations. ... Finished with a team-high eight sacks. ... First-team defensive lineman last season. ... "He was exciting to watch," Unatego coach Art Rigas said. "He had the speed and is intense. He loves to play the game of football. He could deliver the big pop. ... He was all over the place."
Chet Davis, Unatego Senior DL
Other half of tandem with Kyle Ray. ... Speedy with a strong knowledge of the game. ... Also doubled as the team's top wide receiver, as well as a strong blocking tight end. ... Finished with 393 yards and four touchdowns on 21 catches. ... Unatego coach Art Rigas said Davis' disciplined approach to life carried over to football field. ... "He was our leading receiver," Rigas said. "He could make catches and run with it. ... Teams would try and run away from his side of the (field)."
Dalton Smith, Oneonta Senior DL
Powerful two-way player anchored OHS' line and doubled as a fullback. ... Fearless player never shied away from contact. ... Speed helped him get into opponents' backfield. ... Finished with 38 tackles (18 solo) and three sacks. ... Rushed for 247 yards and two touchdowns on 78 carries. ... "He's a tough guy to block on the defensive line," Oneonta coach Adam Hoover said. "A bunch of times he had big sacks for us, or if he didn't get the sack, he'd get to the quarterback and force a bad throw."
Chris Mead, Walton Senior DL
One of the area's finest all-around players, filled spots all over the line for Section Four champion Warriors. ... Played linebacker as well and led team with 90 tackles, including 35 solos. ... Also the Warriors' starting guard, Mead has varsity since freshman season. ... "He's just one hard-nosed football player," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "It was rough to keep him off the field. He was always in the other team's backfields. He really was a running back that was turned into a guard early and stayed there. He's a heck of an athlete." ... Younger brother Bryant also a first-teamer.
Cody Reed, Walton Senior LB
Arguably the area's most intense player. ... Speed and vision always seemed to have him around the football. ... Strong wrestler as well and some of his tackles looked like takedowns. ... Finished with 37 tackles (21 solo). ... Also rushed for 502 yards and five touchdowns on 62 carries. ... "He's such a hard worker," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "Probably one of the hardest-working players on the team. ... He came on in the end in a couple real tough games. He stepped up and played great."
Tyler Newman, Unatego Senior LB
Possibly one of the most improved players in the area, Newman became one of the top all-around players for the Spartans. ... Moved from defensive back last season to a hard-hitting linebacker who covered a lot of ground. ... Became one of Unatego's go-to running backs, finishing with 588 yards and seven touchdowns on 94 carries. ... Also served as team's kicker. ... "When we had to move people around, he stepped in," Unatego coach Art Rigas said of Newman's ability to play several positions.
Brad Hurlburt, Bainbridge-Guilford Senior LB
One of the keys to B-G's season, which included a trip to the Section Four Class D playoffs. ... Defensive leader's anticipation helped him get to the football. ... Doubled as B-G's fullback, gaining 499 yards and five touchdowns on 90 carries. ... "He's a tough kid and had a nose for the football," B-G coach Tim Mattingly said of the 5-foot-8, 170-pounder. "He seemed to always find the ball. He isn't a real big kid, but he's tough and tenacious. He pursued well and played very physical. He played bigger than his size."
Matt Marcewicz, Oneonta Senior DB
Speedy back had season end with two games to play when he broke a bone in his left leg against Windsor. ... Returned an interception for a touchdown in Oneonta's 18-15 upset victory at Chenango Forks on Sept. 27. ... As a running back, gained 513 on 85 carries and scored four touchdowns. ... "He was explosive both sides of the ball. He wasn't afraid to hit," Oneonta coach Adam Hoover said. "We saw it the first day of practice when we went full pads. I remember him putting a pretty good lick on some of our own guys because he was so excited to be able to hit."
Chad Gardepe, Walton Senior DB
Cerebral player who always seemed to dissect the game as it went along. ... Doubled as Walton's quarterback and helped lead Warriors to their second straight Section Four Class D title. ... Finished with 19 tackles and three interceptions. ... Completed 11 of 36 passes for 262 yards and two TDs. ... "He's a very smart player," Walton coach Jim Hoover said. "He could read the route and jump in and pick things out. He was another three-year starter for us and played real well. Very smart and intelligent on a football field." ... First-team selection last year.
Dylan Umbra, Sidney Sophomore DB
Second-year starter played quarterback and emerged as one of Sidney's top defenders. ... Powerful hitter became a strong force in the defensive backfield. ... Completed 42 of 100 passes for 685 yards and seven touchdowns. ... Intercepted eight times. ... Also rushed for 202 yards. ... "I think the kid is a stud," B-G coach Tim Mattingly said. "He's a heck of a football player. He put Sidney on his back in our game and took it over. Not only his ability to throw, but for a young kid, his poise and leadership is unbelievable."
2008 DAILY STAR SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB _ Cody Renwick, Sr., Unatego
RB _ Evan Kiss, Jr., Unatego
RB _ Aaron Wood, Jr., Sidney
RB _ Jay Lloyd, Sr., UV/E
TE _ Cody Endress, Sr., Walton
C _ Austin Boice, Jr., Walton
OL _ Dustin Babcock, Sr., Sidney
OL _ David Schulte, Jr., Oneonta
OL _ Adam Finch, Sr., Walton
OL _ Tyler Mason, Sr., Sidney
OL _ Patrick Wright, Jr., Sidney
2008 DAILY STAR SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL _ Jed Rowley, Jr., Cooperstown
DL _ Ian Kelley, Sr., Oneonta
DL _ Rich Ennist, Jr., Delhi
DL _ Tommy Harris, Jr., Sidney
DL _ Ethan Mazzarella, Jr., B-G
LB _ Tanner Niedzialkowski, Jr., Cooperstown
LB _ Andrew Auriemma, Sr., Cooperstown
LB _ Phil Wright, Sr., Oneonta
LB _ Justin Borggreen, Jr., Oneonta
LB _ Justin Pepper, Jr., B-G
DB _ Davionne Price, Sr., Delhi
DAILY STAR COACHES OF THE YEAR
ONEONTA '" Area football coaches named Coach of the Year by The Daily Star sports department since 1983. Year followed by coach's name, team and overall record.
DAILY STAR PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
ONEONTA '" Area football players named Player of the Year by The Daily Star sports department since 1983. Year followed by player's name, team and position.