COLUMBUS - Today is a great day in Liberty Center, and Gibsonburg.
Great doesn't do justice to what kind of day it must be in McComb.
Liberty Center's Troy West|hoven was named offensive player of the year in Division V by the Associated Press based on recommendations from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. And, Rex Lingruen shares coach of the year honors in that division.
Gibsonburg running back Dave Mason made the first team in Division VI.
But McComb dominated the Division VI team with three first-team selections and two second-team selections, and Kris Alge was one of five coaches sharing that top honor.
One family almost dominated.
Quarterback Dusty Aldrich and his twin brother Rusty, a receiver, both made the first team. They are juniors at McComb.
Also named to first team was senior defensive lineman Travis Clark.
Named to the second team were receiver Bryan Swain and offensive lineman Derek Coker, both seniors.
Alge's wild and wide-open California-style offense resulted in a 10-0 regular-season record and a number of passing and receiving records.
Dusty Aldrich hit 175 of 272 regular-season passes for 3,014 yards and 44 TDs with just four interceptions.
Also named first-team in Division VI was Fostoria St. Wendelin senior defensive lineman Jake Frankhart.
In Division VI, Evergreen running back Terry McIntosh was named to the first team, which inluded 10 running backs.
Westhoven, a 6-foot, 185-pound senior, rushed for 1,934 yards and 22 touchdowns as Liberty Center went unbeaten during the regular season and captured the Division V poll title. Lingruen had 18 members of the 1999 team graduate, but still formed a 10-0 team.
Sharing the coach of the year award with Lingruen was Bainbridge Paint Valley's Pete Hollon.
Hollon transformed a 3-7 Paint Valley team in 1999 into a 9-1 powerhouse in his fifth season.
Isaac Smolko, a big, bruising lineman out of New Middletown Springfield, grabbed defensive honors in Division V. Smolko is headed for Penn State and has been a Big Ten-sized player for Springfield. He totaled 108 tackles with 12 sacks and five other hits for negative yardage this season. He also caused three fumbles.
Bedford Chanel, the team that beat Liberty Center Saturday in a 31-30 squeeker, placed six players on the first team. Chanel takes on defending champion Amanda-Clearcreek on Saturday afternoon at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in the division title game.
Amanda-Clearcreek had two first-team all-staters.
In Division VI, Williamsburg's Jason Bainum, who topped 3,000 yards in rushing for the season, is the top offensive player while Delphos St. John's back Randy Grothaus was named top defensive player.
Four shared the coach of the year award with Alge: Toronto's Bob Morris, Ron Hurst of Strasburg Franklin, Shadyside's Ty Fleming, and Al Martin of Cuyahoga Heights.
Bainum, a 6-1, 210-pound junior, was at the controls of Williamsburg's wild offense, taking a shotgun snap on every play out of a single-wing formation.
In addition to rushing for 3,043 yards and 33 touchdowns, he passed for 621 yards and eight scores.
Grothaus stood out on team that won a state record 57 consecutive games and three state championships in a row. He set a school record with 10 interceptions. When he wasn't picking off opposing passes, he was shutting down ball carriers with 54 tackles.
St. John's placed four players on the first team - more than the combined total for the two finalists in this week's state title game.
Marion Local, represented on the first team only by wide receiver Brian J. Wolters (32 catches, 590 yards, 19 touchdowns in the regular season) takes on Mogadore in tomorrow morning's title game at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Mogadore is represented on the first team by offensive lineman Tony West and linebacker Robbie Custer.
The coach of the year honorees all followed a similar script.
Morris took Toronto to a 10-0 record and the playoffs; Hurst had 18 players at Strasburg Franklin but transformed a 3-7 team into an 8-2 squad that made the playoffs for the first time; Shadyside went from 2-8 in 1999 to 9-1 this season under Fleming; and Martin led Cuyahoga Heights to its best season ever (10-0).
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