7 local standouts receive All-Ohio honors
Six of the seven will never play high school football again, but all capped this season with high honors.
Columbian senior offensive lineman Isiah Moore and Clyde junior linebacker Kade Long gained Division III first-team honors Tuesday when The Associated Press released the All-Ohio football teams for Divisions III, IV and V.
Moore, a 6-foot-4, 305-pounder, anchored an offensive line that helped the Tornadoes win 10 games in a row before bowing out in the regional semifinals.
It was the second first-team honor in as many years for the left tackle.
“He’s been the anchor of our line. Two years in a row we’ve rushed for over 2,000 yards, and a good portion of that has been behind him,” TC coach Brian Colatruglio said.
Moore has committed to play at Bowling Green State University, and Colatruglio expects the future Falcon to continue to shine.
“He’s the total package. He’s dominant in the run game, he’s also athletic enough to reach people and protect and get out in screens and pull,” he said. “He’s going to be playing Division I football some day. That’s how talented he is.
“We brought him up as a freshman. He didn’t start, but he practiced with the varsity, he was that good,” Colatruglio said. “He’s always been big. He’s always had the size and the athletic ability. From his sophomore year to his junior year, he made a big jump – maturity wise, just growing up – and he turned himself into a good football player.”
Long recorded 10 tackles for loss during the regular season and was the spark for a solid defense that helped the Fliers upset Toledo Central Catholic, the 2012 Division II state champion, in this year’s Division III regional finals.
“He’s one of those special kids. Our defense was very good this year and he was our leader this year, no doubt about it,” Clyde coach Ryan Carter said of his team captain. “Just had a great year as far as tackles go and leading us on defense.
“He really dissects the game, he sees the game well. He’s able to see plays before they happen,” he said. “For him being a junior and leading our team, he had a fantastic year.”
Both teams also each had as senior second-teamer on offense, with Ryan Lynch making it as a running back for Columbian and lineman Konner Garcia doing so for Clyde.
Lynch often followed the blocks of Moore, running for 1,376 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“There were some games early in the season where he was pretty much our offense,” Colatruglio said.
“He was the guy everyone schemed on and tried to stop. He put up tremendous numbers and was our workhorse. He averaged 20 carries a game and played defense, too,” he said. “He was a real warrior for us.”
Garcia showcased his versatility for the Fliers along the line, with his example showing the way on and off the field.
“One of the biggest strengths of Konner was he could play any position on offensive line. He was our backup center,” Carter said. “He started the year at tackle, but we had some injuries and we had to move him to guard.
“He was another captain for us, a leader up front, on and off the field. Great classroom guy, great work ethic. Kind of a quiet guy, he just went and did his job,” he said. “He wasn’t blessed with great size, but worked his tail off and was our leader up front.”
Clyde senior Derek Gray was the other local player to make the Division III list, gaining special mention honors.
The first-year player primarily saw time as a wide receiver, catching 13 TD passes and utilizing his speed and athleticism, Carter said.
“I think a lot of time guys get recognition off past years. He didn’t have that to draw from. People didn’t know him from years past,” Carter said.
“Just one of those special, special athletes. Just wanted to see if he could do it,” he said. “Just one of those guys that wasn’t overly big, but really used his speed and quickness to his strength and really became a good football player.”
Upper Sandusky’s Tylor Pritchard and Jevon Thiel picked up their All-Ohio honors in Division IV.
Pritchard made the list as a third-team linebacker, he second-straight appearance there. He tallied 109 tackles, four tackles for a loss and two interceptions.
Coach Jake Moyer said the senior’s back-to-back honors came from more than just numbers.
“The first thing he brings, he bring a lot of intensity. He brings a lot of intelligence. He brings a lot of experience,” Moyer said. “You combine those three things and you’ve got a heck of a player.
“He’s a three-year starter both ways. Plays through hurts and bruises and bumps and still comes out firing, both sides of the ball, which makes him quite unique,” he said. “Schools are talking to him about both sides of the ball, which is quite a feather in his cap.”
Thiel, who mostly played defensive end and filled in some at offensive guard, was a special mention selection. He turned in 25 solo tackles, 51 total tackles, 17 tackles for losses and four sacks. He also recovered two fumbles and was named his team’s defensive MVP.
“Jevon has come a long, long way since his younger years, especially his freshman year when he broke his leg,” Moyer said. “Worked very hard this past year to get in the best shape of his life.
“Jevon is quite an intelligent young man as well. Quite coachable,” he said. “He really showed flashes of quickness from chasing the running backs down from behind, more than I thought, which shows he was well-coached and took to that coaching as well.”