TVL honors 11 Tigers, Indians
Kameron Kline, Wade Moore get 1st team nod
LEWISTOWN — The Tri-Valley League’s football all-star team features plenty of local flavor in the selections.
Juniata placed six on the first, second and honorable mention squads, while East Juniata had five selected.
The Indians, 8-4 this season, saw first-team offensive and defensive nods go to senior Wade Moore at center and defensive tackle, respectively. Moore finished with 92 tackles and eight sacks from his defensive line spot. He was the anchor of the Juniata offensive line.
“I was very pleased he was selected first-team offense and defense,” Juniata coach Gary Klingensmith said. “As a center, he’s been so consistent for us. He never got out of position and was a three-year starter. He was very aggressive on defense. He shut down the run up the middle and was good at getting after the quarterback. I’m very pleased he made first team.”
East Juniata junior Kameron Kline made the first team as a kick returner after a spectacular 2017 campaign. Kline averaged 34.9 a return on kickoffs and 14.6 yards on punt returns with two touchdowns.
“Kameron is an explosive player who led the Tri-Valley League in return yardage with 839 total return yards. He’s a junior athlete with potential to have a great senior year,” East Juniata coach George Miskinis said.
Junior Owen Zechman made second-team offense at tight end and second team defensive end for the Tigers, who closed out their final campaign with a 4-6 mark.
Zechman caught 14 passes for 189 yards and three scores, while on defense he collected 57 tackles with 18 of those for a loss, and nine sacks.
“Owen had an outstanding junior season moving from guard to tight end. Defensively he played inside linebacker and end for us and was second on the team in tackles and QB sacks. He played the last three games with an injury. Owen is a hard worker who has a big upside,” Miskinis said.
Juniata had senior defensive end Ben Lauver and junior inside linebacker Bryson Clark make second team defense. Lauver had 65 tackles and 10 sacks, and Clark collected 94 tackles, four sacks, and four interceptions.
The duo also had honorable mention selections on offense with Lauver catching 22 passes for 446 yards and nine touchdowns from his tight end spot. Clark ran for 476 yards and eight touchdowns from his fullback position.
“On defense, Ben was dominating. He moves well and makes big plays. He’s a rangy, quick defensive end. He is a great athlete. He’s going to make someone a very good college player,” Klingensmith said. “Offensively, he was one of the better all-around ends we’ve had in years because of his ability to catch the ball, and he’s a great blocker.
“Bryson is a three-year starter as a junior. He’s the backbone of our offense and defense from his middle linebacker and fullback spots. He led the team in tackles. Bryson is a great athlete, very smart, and he rarely makes a mistake. He’s an all-around great player and we look forward to having him back next year.”
The Tigers received a second-team selection at kicker from senior Blake Sheaffer, who was 4-of-5 on PATs and made a field goal.
“Blake averaged 44.1 yards a kickoff and did a great job of directional kicking to help limit the other teams’ return yardage. He made 4-out-5 PATs and was 1-for-1 on field goals. He has the East Juniata record for a 38-yard field goal as a sophomore,” Miskinis said.
Other offensive honorable mention selections for the Indians include senior running back Zac Piper (440 yards, three touchdowns) and senior offensive tackle Nathan Bodley. On defense, Piper (91 tackles, 13 sacks) and senior corner Bryce Leonard (eight interceptions) made honorable mention on defense.
“Zac Piper is one of the most exciting players we’ve ever had here. He was the smallest guy on the field but the most courageous and dynamic. I really enjoyed coaching this boy because of the excitement he brought to the game,” Klingensmith said. “Our defense became much better when we put him at defensive end. His 13 sacks are up there with the most ever at Juniata. Even when he didn’t get the sack, he pressured the quarterback. He deserved to make the all-stars.
“Nathan worked hard to overcome injuries in his career. He spent a lot of time in the weight room to build himself back up. I couldn’t be happier for him. He worked through his problems and became a great player. Bryce Leonard switched from linebacker to corner this year and it was one of the best moves we made this year. He has a great nose for the ball and was our best in one-on-one coverage. He was a ball hawk and very smart.”
For East Juniata, junior tackle Bryce Fawver and senior punter John Moyer were honorable mention selections on offense and special teams.
“Brice was our most consistent blocker who played left tackle. Most of our rushing yardage came from following him. He’s a hard worker, coachable and getting better each season. A junior who has potential to play at the next level,” Miskinis said. “John averaged 30.7 yards per punt with a long of 56 yards and 15 punts inside the 20-yard line. John was asked to directional punt during the year which limited his punting average.”
Williams Valley swept TVL Offensive Player of the Year (Dylan Rabuck), Defensive Player of the Year (Devon Rabuck), and Coach of the Year (Tim Savage) honors.