Area high school football all-state total hits 27
Williamsport is going to need a bigger wall.
A school that hangs pictures of its all-state sports selections outside its gymnasium, might need a separate wing just for this year’s all-state football selections.
An area-record six Millionaires earned 2016 Pennsylvania Football Class 6A All-State Team honors Tuesday. Williamsport led the state in all-state picks in any classification and highlighted a huge day for the area as 17 players became all-state selections.
Ten area players were picked Monday across Class A, AAA, and AAAAA. Twenty-seven of the nearly 240 chosen across all six classes statewide this week were from the Sun-Gazette’s coverage area.
Williamsport’s record haul puts a big exclamation point on a remarkable two-year turnaround in which the Millionaires went from 2-8 to 12-2, district champions and state quarterfinalists. Before Ross Stebbins earned all-state honors last year, Williamsport had gone 13 years without having an all-state player. Look at the Millionaires now. Talk about bringing back the glory.
Stebbins, quarterback Isaiah Hankins, running back Treyson Potts, tight end Jalen Jackson, offensive lineman Kurt Danneker and athlete Elliott Walker joined Williamsport’s all-state club and were joined by three Jersey Shore players, two Hughesville players, two South Williamsport players, two North Penn-Mansfield players and two Wellsboro players. Like Williamsport, Jersey Shore has undergone a football renaissance and become one of the district’s elite teams. Its trio of all-state selections a month after winning another district championship drives that point home.
The following is a brief look at this year’s area all-state honorees. Read more about some of these players Sunday when the Sun-Gazette unveils its 2016 all-star team, Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Kurt Danneker, Williamsport: The junior guard combined strength and quickness to become the anchor on a fantastic offensive line that paved the way for a state-best 519 yards and 48 points per game. The 310-pound, three-year starter often manhandled defenders and also helped solidify the defensive line late in the season.
Isaiah Hankins, Williamsport: Look at the Williamsport passing record book and one will find Hankins at the top of nearly every category. The senior quarterback put together a dazzling finale season, throwing for 2,560 yards and 27 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also ran for 919 yards and 14 scores, breaking the Wyoming Valley Conference record for career touchdown passes (64).
Jalen Jackson, Williamsport: The senior tight end was a highly-skilled two-way threat who probably would have had much bigger numbers on a team that was not as loaded with so many playmakers. Jackson gave defenses yet another weapon to think about, catching 32 passes for 481 yards and three touchdowns. He also was an excellent blocker and leader.
Treyson Potts, Williamsport: The sophomore has made a huge impact in just two years and ran for 2,017 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading District 4 in both categories. Potts became Williamsport’s first 2,000-yard rusher since 2002 and already has run for 2,911 yards and scored 52 touchdowns in his first two seasons.
Ross Stebbins, Williamsport: The most valuable player on a vastly improved defense, Stebbins becomes Williamsport’s first two-time selection since Darrell Blackman in 2001-02. Playing both defensive end and defensive tackle, Stebbins made a huge impact and elevated his performance in the playoffs, making 19 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and adding two sacks and 17 hurries.
Elliott Walker, Williamsport: An explosive player in all facets, Walker was chosen in the athlete category and with good reason. The senior receiver is the only area player to ever top 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in a career. He caught 41 passes for 755 yards and 13 touchdowns while also intercepting five passes, leading the team in return yardage and punting as well.
Todd Sanford, Jersey Shore: Despite tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus and playing just seven weeks, Sanford still established himself as one of the state’s best receivers and was leading the state in most categories at the time of his injury. The brilliant route runner with good hands, caught 60 passes for 791 yards and nine touchdowns while also becoming the program’s all-time leading receiver.
Elijah Shemory, Jersey Shore: Shemory shined in his first year starting, breaking program records for yards (2,657) and touchdowns (33). Shemory led an explosive offense, grew better as the season progressed and shined in the postseason, throwing for 325 yards and four touchdowns in the state tournament against Johnstown.
Dominic Williams, Jersey Shore: The junior linebacker was a big reason a young Jersey Shore team came so far and won a second district championship in four seasons. Also a first-time starter, Williams made 103 tackles and intercepted a district-high seven passes, returning two for touchdowns. He also had four sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
Robert Brown, Wellsboro: The sophomore linebacker has made a huge impact in his two seasons and helped spark one of the area’s all-time defenses. Brown made 114 tackles, including 22 in the district semifinals against South Williamsport, and also had three sacks and four forced fumbles as Wellsboro allowed just 3.3 points per game.
Josh Dauberman, Hughesville: One of the most valuable players on a team that reached districts for a third straight year, Dauberman anchored an offensive line that had Hughesville ranked among the area’s best by season’s end. Dauberman often overpowered opponents and helped Hughesville average more than 25 points and 335 yards per game.
Garrett David, North Penn-Mansfield: Only a sophomore, David burst onto the scene and averaged a district-best 12.7 tackles per game. David made 140 tackles and topped 10 tackles in nine of 11 games as the Panthers went 8-3. David also made 20 tackles in districts against Line Mountain, 18 against 11-win South and 17 against 11-win Wellsboro.
Gideon Green, South Williamsport: Also an outstanding linebacker, Green finished second in District 4 with 1,958 yards and 23 touchdowns. A workhorse who never tired, Green led the district in carries and topped 100 yards 10 times in 12 games. The junior already has eclipsed 3,000 career yards and helped South reach the district final.
Landon Henry, Hughesville: The senior leader became one of Hughesville’s all-time best quarterbacks the past two seasons and was a dual threat who guided the Spartans back to the postseason. Henry threw for 1,535 yards and 22 touchdowns while also running for a team-high 790 yards and eight touchdowns. He broke program records for career yards (3,889) and touchdowns (52) while also going over 1,000 career rushing yards.
Parker Jones, Wellsboro: A two-time all-stater, Jones was the leader on a suffocating defense that shutout seven opponents and allowed just 33 regular-season points. Jones fought off double teaming to make a team-high seven sacks and add 22 hurries. Jones also averaged near 10 tackles per game and had 14 sacks the last two years.
Connor Rutan, South Williamsport: An all-state selection for a second straight season, Rutan was the anchor on a superb line that often imposed its will on opponents. Rutan often dominated opponents and helped South run for 245 yards per game. A three-year starter, Rutan helped South win 33 games and league championships each season.
Joel Whitteker, North Penn-Mansfield: A year after earning all-state honors as a wide receiver, Whitteker showed how good an athlete he is by becoming a selection at defensive back. An excellent strong safety, Whitteker was second on the team with 73 tackles and also intercepted a team-high five passes.