By: Brian Fees | Towanda Daily Review | December 26, 2013 | Photo courtesy Brian Fees
It was a year to remember for area football fans, meaning plenty of hard choices for this years's The Daily & Sunday Review All-Region football team.
With the Tioga Tigers reaching the state final four for the third straight time in N.Y. and the Troy Trojans winning their first District 4 title in 25 years in Pennsylvania there were plenty of great moments during the season.
Those two weren't the only teams to accomplish big things as the Wellsboro Green Hornets went undefeated in the regular season to win the NTL title and Waverly reached the Section IV, Class C final, falling to the eventual state champion Chenango Forks.
The big years for the teams came thanks to some magical moments from players, led by what Michael Pietropola did for Wellsboro.
The junior quarterback threw for 2,755 yards and 39 touchdowns, against just six interceptions. Pietropola broke school, and league, passing marks and earned all-state honors. For his achievements Pietropola is this year's All-Region Player of the Year.
While Pietropola earns player of the year honors, Troy's Jed Wright is the offensive player of the year.
The Trojans senior quarterback ran for 1,629 yards and 20 scores and threw for 488 yards and nine touchdowns this year to help lead Troy to the district title.
Troy's coach Jim Smith is this year's coach of the year.
Normally people talk about Tioga's Jesse Manuel for his accomplishments on offense where he ran for 2,241 yards and 25 touchdowns. But, Manuel also is standout on the defensive side of the ball and he is the defensive player of the year. The Tioga sophomore intercepted nine passes this year, tops among anyone in the region.
Manuel's teammate Carter Jackson was an anchor on the line for the Tigers this year. He helped pave the way as Tioga had two backs over 1,000 yards on the year, with Manuel over 2,000. Defensively he helped a line that allowed less than 70 rushing yards a game and he had 64 tackles on the year. For his work Jackson is the lineman of the year.
Jackson is the lone player on this year's team to make All-Region on both offense and defense. In order to allow more people onto the All-Region squad players are chosen for either their play on offense and defense, however the major award winners are considered on both sides of the ball and some years one player will make it on both offense and defense.
Waverly sophomore Peyton Miller stepped into the role of starting quarterback this year and threw for 1,542 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions all year. Miller also ran for 441 yards and nine scores. Miller is the newcomer of the year.
The first team offense has Pietropola at quarterback and Waverly's Dylan Perry, Notre Dame's Derek Marshall and Wellsboro's Brandon Owlett at receiver.
Perry caught 47 passes for 805 yards and 13 scores this year, while Marshall was among the area's leaders in receiving with 50 catches for 967 yards and five touchdowns, and Owlett caught 45 passes for 1,126 yards and 17 touchdowns. Owlett broke Wellsboro receiving records and was named all-state at receiver.
The running backs are Wyalusing's Lucas Jennings and Sayre's Jeremy Kyc, with Notre Dame's Tom Agan at fullback back.
Agan ran for 974 yards and 15 touchdowns in just eight games leading the Crusaders to the sectional semifinals. He was also a threat in the passing game, with 21 catches for over 500 yards and six touchdowns.
Jennings ran for a 1,685 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore and Sayre senior Kyc ran for 1,483 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Jackson and teammate Jake Howland are on the offensive line, along with North Penn's Isaiah Compton, Canton's Connor Route and Troy's Dylan Brennan.
Brennan helped pave the way for Troy to run for 4,727 yards and he earned all-state honors, while Compton helped pave the way for a 1,000 yard rusher and Route anchored the Warriors offensive line.
Wright and Miller are the athletes on the first team offense and Troy's Josh MacClaren is the kicker. MacClaren connected on 11 field goals, with a long of 50 yards, and 56-of-57 extra points.
On defense Jackson and teammate Dylan Babcock are on the defensive line along with Towanda's Nick Place and Wellsboro's Kieron Smethers.
Babcock had 67 tackles and helped Jackson key four shutouts and hold teams under 70 yards a game rushing. Place had 56 tackles and nine tackles for a loss and Smethers had seven sacks on the year.
Troy's Nick Stephani and Kyle Schucker are at linebacker along with Wellsboro's Brian Doty and Towanda's Dakoatah Manning. Stephani had 111 tackles, 73 solo, Schucker had 92 tackles, 58 solo, Doty had 106 tackles, 64 solo and Manning had 96 tackles, five for a loss. Doty was an all-state selection as well.
Manuel is in the secondary with Towanda's Noah Huff and Tony Daniello and Troy's Brandon Mattocks.
Mattocks had five interceptions, Daniello had 103 tackles and Huff had 42 tackles. Wyatt Covert of Wellsboro is the athlete on the first-team defense after recording 110 tackles, 69 solo. Troy Stivason of Athens is the punter. He averaged 36.5 yards a punt with a long of 51 and 14 inside the 20 on 42 attempts. He also hit 5-of-6 field goals with a long of 46 yards and connected on 17-of-19 extra points.
The second-team offense has Notre Dame's Hunter Thomas at quarterback and Cowanesque Valley's Brandon Whitesell and North Penn's Bryce Zaparzynski at running back, while Tioga's Brad Jump is at fullback.
Wellsboro's Dylan Prough and North Penn's Dayton Wood are the receivers, while Tioga's Josh Kitchart is at tight end.
The second-team offensive line is Waverly's Jeff Klossner; Towanda's Jeremy Sheets; Troy's Caelen Taylor; Wyalusing's Dustin Voda and Sayre's Gabe Nobles. Canton's Chase Pepper is the punter and teammate Tyler Cole is the athlete on the second team offense.
The second-team defense includes Tioga's Mike Melella; Towanda's Garrett Mosier and Troy's Levi Smith and Walker West on the line. Wyalusing's Dylan Otis; Waverly's Brandon Ellers; Athens' Zane Vargason and North Penn's Brad Pequignot are the linebackers.
Wellsboro's Jermain Brooks; Towanda's Dayton Wickwire; Tioga's Ryan Vergason and Waverly's Josh Mastrantuono are the defensive backs, while Canton's Brian Jannone is the kicker.
The third team offense has North Penn's Bo Burleigh at quarterback with Troy's Diante Jones and Athens' Brandon Sturzenegger at running back and Towanda's Dan Leljedal at fullback.
Waverly's Tim Sutton is the tight end, while Jesse Lattimer of Canton and Troy's Ryan Reeves are the receivers.
The line is North Penn's Zack Andrews; CV's Kaleb Rice; Wellsboro's Blake Gamble; Towanda's Logan Terry and Canton's Tanner Machmer. Towanda's Tyler Vanderpool is the punter and Notre Dame's Joe Prunier is the athlete.
The defense has Canton's Mark Grzella and Notre Dame's Eric Brennan, North Penn's Ryan Turner and Towanda's Jim Tice on the line.
Sayre's Damon Bidlack, Waverly's Joe Peters, Towanda's Dylan Bates and North Penn's Noah Corwin are the linebackers.
The defensive backs are Troy's Isaac Havens, Sayre's Jay Green, Tyler Forbes of Athens and Ryan McFarland of Waverly. Jack Chambers of Wellsboro is the kicker.
Player of the year: Michael Pietropola, Wellsboro
Offensive player of the year: Jed Wright, Troy
Defensive player of the year: Jesse Manuel, Tioga
Lineman of the year: Carter Jackson, Tioga
Newcomer of the year: Peyton Miller, Waverly
Coach of the year: Jim Smith, Troy
QB: Michael Pietropola, Wellsboro
WR: Dylan Perry, Waverly
WR: Derek Marshall, Notre Dame
WR: Brandon Owlett, Wellsboro
RB: Lucas Jennings, Wyalusing
RB: Jeremy Kyc, Sayre
FB: Tom Agan, Notre Dame
OL: Dylan Brennan, Troy
OL: Connor Route, Canton
OL: Jake Howland, Tioga
OL: Carter Jackson, Tioga
OL: Isaiah Compton, North Penn
Athlete: Jed Wright, Troy
Athlete: Peyton Miller, Waverly
K: Josh MacClaren, Troy
DL: Dylan Babcock, Tioga
DL: Carter Jackson, Tioga
DL: Nick Place, Towanda
DL: Kieron Smethers, Wellsboro
LB: Nick Stephani, Troy
LB: Kyle Schucker, Troy
LB: Brian Doty, Wellsboro
LB: Dakoatah Manning, Towanda
DB: Jesse Manuel, Tioga
DB: Noah Huff, Towanda
DB: Brandon Mattocks, Troy
DB: Tony Daniello, Towanda
Athlete: Wyatt Covert, Wellsboro
P: Troy Stivason, Athens
QB: Hunter Thomas, ND
RB: Brandon Whitesell, CV
RB: Bryce Zaparzynski, North Penn
FB: Brad Jump, Tioga
WR: Dylan Prough, Wellsboro
WR: Dayton Wood, North Penn
TE: Josh Kithcart, Tioga
OL: Jeff Klossner, Waverly
OL: Jeremy Sheets, Towanda
OL: Caelan Taylor, Troy
OL: Dustin Voda, Wyalusing
OL: Gabe Nobles, Sayre
P: Chase Pepper, Canton
Athlete: Tyler Cole, Canton
DL: Mike Melella, Tioga
DL: Garrett Mosier, Towanda
DL: Levi Smith, Troy
DL: Walker West, Troy
LB: Dylan Otis, Wyalusing
LB: Brandon Ellers, Waverly
LB: Zane Vargason, Athens
LB: Bradley Pequignot, North Penn
DB: Jermain Brooks, Wellsboro
DB: Dayton Wickwire, Towanda
DB: Ryan Vergason, Tioga
DB: Josh Mastrantuono, Waverly
K: Brian Jannone, Canton
QB: Bo Burleigh, North Penn
RB: Diante Jones, Troy
RB: Brandon Sturzenegger, Athens
FB: Dan Leljedal
TE: Tim Sutton, Waverly
WR: Jesse Lattimer, Canton
WR: Ryan Reeves, Troy
OL: Zack Andrews, North Penn
OL: Kaleb Rice, CV
OL: Blake Gamble, Wellsboro
OL: Logan Terry, Towanda
OL: Tanner Machmer, Canton
P: Tyler Vanderpool, Towanda
Athlete: Joe Prunier, Notre Dame
DL: Mark Grzella, Canton
DL: Eric Brennan, Notre Dame
DL: Ryan Turner, North Penn
DL: Jim Tice, Towanda
LB: Noah Corwin, North Penn
LB: Damon Bidlack, Sayre
LB: Dylan Bates, Towanda
LB: Joe Peters, Waverly
DB: Isaac Havens, Troy
DB: Jay Green, Sayre
DB: Ryan McFarland, Waverly
DB: Tyler Forbes, Athens
K: Jack Chambers, Wellsboro