PARKERSBURG-When the WVSSAC's reclassification came out last spring the new numbers not only had an effect on the three classifications (AAA, AA, A) that is utilized to determine state champions in the Mountain State, it also had a ripple effect that trickled down to the Little Kanawha Conference's All-LKC football squad.
After five years of selecting both a Class AA and Class A All-LKC squad, administrators and coaches of the 14-team league elected to return to the 2006 format of one squad that included players from both divisions.
"It (the All-LKC team) was in jeopardy of being watered down with the two squads," said LKC president Lynn Stalnaker, the Director of Athletics at Braxton County High School. "Plus, faced with only having five teams in Class AA and the rest in Class A, we just felt like it was better to return to having only one team representing all 14 schools."
Faced with that dilemma all 14 coaches met at The Parkersburg News and Sentinel on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Earning repeat selections to the first team offense was Wirt County's Scott Lowe, Williamstown's Avery Goff and Garret Butler, Ritchie County's Sam Hall and Parkersburg Catholic's Mitch Davis while named to the defense for the second year in a row was the Yellowjackets' Chris McDuffy, St. Marys' Derek Barnhart and Andrew Cosper as well as Doddridge County's Daniel Plaugher.
Chosen as the LKC's Coach of the Year was St. Marys' Jodi Mote.
"Words can not express how I feel," said Mote. "It is a special honor to be named the Coach of the Year in the LKC with so many outstanding coaches. It is not only an honor for me, but my entire staff and the kids who have worked so hard this year to make us the team that we are."
Named as the conference's Player of the Year on offense was Roane County junior Hunter Bradley while his counterpart on defense is Ravenswood's Brad Titus.
Bradley used both his arm and legs to help the Raiders return to the Class AA playoffs, completing 72-of-142 attempts for 1,131 yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing 163 times for 754 yards and nine scores.
Titus etched his name into the record book at Ravenswood as the senior linebacker ended up with 369 career tackles, breaking the old mark of 148 set by Jonas Jelich in 2009. His 23 tackles in a loss to St. Marys tied former-WVU play Joe Jelich's performance against Stonewall Jackson in 1974.
All first team selections as well as league champions Ritchie County (Class AA) and St. Marys (Class A) will receive their all-LKC medallions at the league's annual banquet in May.
First Team Offense
Joining Lowe, Goff and Hall on the front line is St. Marys' Allen Pratt and Braxton County's Wyatt Lucas. All five players are seniors.
The receivers are Tyler Consolidated's Alex Doak and Roane County's Tyler King while the running backs are the Blue Devils' David Gray, Jessie Hilvers from Ritchie County, Trace Hart of Williamstown, and Devon Crews from Ravenswood. Bradley is the first team quarterback with Butler as the placekicker and Davis at the utility position.
King led the LKC with 46 catches for 785 yards and 7 touchdowns while Doak finished close behind with 41 receptions for 797 yards and 11 scores. Crews finished second only to Braxton County's Jacob Yanero-a first team selection at linebacker-in rushing with 974 yards and 15 touchdowns on 143 attempts while Gray rushed 147 times for 916 yards and 15 scores.
Rounding out the group is Hilvers (118-757, 5 TD) and Hart (99-795, 6 TD).
Butler, a first-team all-state soccer selection by the coaches, was one of the Yellowjackets' deadliest weapons with 32 extra points and six field goals and Davis was Mr. Everything for the Crusaders as the senior rushed for 764 yards and three touchdowns on 124 carries, caught 20 passes for 239 yards and three scores, completed 3-of-12 passes for 48 yards and punted the ball 45 times for a 28 yard average.
First Team Defense
Joining McDuffy on the defensive line is Braxton County's Rick Hammon, who was second in the conference with 7.5 quarterback sacks, Wirt County's James Ellison and Trenton Hart from Ritchie County.
The linebackers include Titus, Barnhart and Yanero as well as Roane County's John Ash.
Barnhart, who was selected to the first team offensive line as a junior, amassed 113 tackles (30 solo) and had three quarterback sacks for the Blue Devils while Yanero finished with 90 tackles to help the Eagles reach the Class AA playoffs this season.
The secondary includes Cosper, who led the Mid-Ohio Valley and the LKC with eight interceptions, Plaugher (3 interceptions), South Harrison's Ben Aylestock and Alex Lipscomb of Ritchie County.
Chosen as the first team punter was South Harrison's Spencer Shriver while the Silver Knights' Hunter LeMasters (4 interceptions) was selected as the unit's utility player.