At long last, the New York State Sportswriters Association has released its annual All-State football team for the 2021 season, with a number of local players receiving the honors this fall.
Section V Class B champion Batavia leads the way this season with four overall selections (one honorable mention) to the Class B team, while Class D New York State semifinalist Oakfield-Alabama picked up three selections. In Class C, Le Roy grabbed a pair of all-state members this season, as did Section VI Class C champion Medina (who also had an honorable mention selection as well).
In Class B, there were players named from the first through fifth teams, while Class C had just three teams for this season and Class D just two.
Here is a look at the local players who were named to their respective All-State teams.
Leading the way in Class B this fall was Batavia senior quarterback Jesse Reinhart, the Section V Class B Offensive Player of the Year, who picked up a second-team selection. On the year, Reinhart finished 86-of-136 through the air for 1,495 yards and 23 touchdowns against just three interceptions, while he also rushed 33 times for 247 yards and four more scores for the high-powered Blue Devils offense. Reinhart added 20 tackles and an interception on defense.
The Blue Devils also picked up a pair of third team selections in senior defensive lineman Matthew McWethy and junior wide receiver Ja’vin McFollins. McWethy was second on Batavia in total tackles with 56 and led the team with 14 tackles for a loss, while he also added an interception. A versatile weapon on offense, McFollins was the team’s leading receiver with 17 receptions for 499 yards and nine touchdowns, while he also ran for a touchdown and finished 10-of-15 through the air for 129 yards and two more TDs. On defense McFollins finished with 21 tackles — two for a loss — a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Blue Devils senior linebacker Kaden Marucci also picked up an honorable mention selection. Marucci led Batavia with 104 tackles and was second on the team with 12 tackles for a loss, while he had three interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown as well.
Making the fifth team in Class B was Albion senior linebacker/lineman Jahmeek Riley. Riley was third on the 6-3 Purple Eagles with 40 total tackles, including seven tackles for a loss, while he added three sacks. On offense Riley finished with 14 catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns to go with 72 yards rushing and two more scores.
This class saw a pair of local athletes earn second-team selections in Le Roy senior lineman Zach Vanderhoof and Attica senior linebacker Jeremiah Donohue. In just nine games and finishing the season injured, Vanderhoof had 44 total tackles, including 13.5 tackles for a loss, to go with a sack, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Donohue was the top defender for a solid Blue Devils defense as he finished with 88 total tackles, including five tackles for a loss, to go with a sack. On offense Donohue ran 80 times for 396 yards and three touchdowns.
Making the third team in Class C was another Le Roy standout in junior linebacker Jack Tonzi. Tonzi was the leading tackler for a stout Oatkan Knights defense with 62 total stops — with 11.5 coming for a loss — to go with three sacks and a fumble recovery. Tonzi also had 11 receptions for 257 yards and four touchdowns with a rushing touchdown as well on offense.
The contingent of Medina players begins on the third team in Class C with senior quarterback Xander Payne and junior running back Noah Skinner taking the honors. Payne, the Section VI Class C North Player of the Year, finished the season going 103-of-178 through the air for 1,635 yards and 22 TDs with just four interceptions, while he also ran 50 times for 417 yards and seven more touchdowns. Skinner was the leading rusher for the Mustangs with 84 carries for 740 yards and 11 TDs, while he also caught eight passes for 76 yards. On defense Skinner led Medina with 73 total tackles — with four coming for a loss — to go with six sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Medina senior defensive back Greg Thompson picked up an honorable mention selection, ending the season with 26 tackles and five interceptions. Thompson added 39 carries for 559 yards and five TDs with 24 catches for 494 yards and six more scores.
Letchworth/Warsaw/Perry junior defensive back/quarterback Chris Shearing also earned an honorable mention nod in Class C.
This year’s only two local first-team selections came from Oakfield-Alabama/Elba in senior lineman CJ Gottler and senior defensive back/running back Gaige Armbrewster. Gottler was the Section V Class D Defensive Player of the Year as he finished with 110 tackles — including 26 for a loss — five sacks and three fumble recoveries. Armbrewster led the Aggies out of the backfield with 157 carries for 1,513 yards and 18 total touchdowns, while he added two interceptions and a forced fumble on the defensive end.
O-A/Elba sophomore quarterback Bodie Hyde earned a second-team selection in helping lead the Aggies to the Far West Regional title. Hyde ran the ball 100 times for 725 yards and 13 TDs, went 42-of-70 through the air for 801 yards and 12 more TDs and also added 90 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble on the defensive end.
Also making the second team was Alexander senior linebacker/quarterback Nick Kramer. Kramer had 88 carries for 531 yards and 10 TDs and was 47-of-77 passing for 571 yards and nine more TDs, while he added 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles on defense.
Talented Avon senior running back Thomas Welch was also a second-team Class D selection this fall after being named the Section V Class D Offensive Player of the Year. For the Class D finalist Braves, Welch was the leading rusher with 193 carries for 1,170 yards and 13 touchdowns, while he also caught 21 passes for 228 yards and three TDs. On defense Welch had 63 total tackles — 4.5 for a loss — and an interception.
Getting an honorable mention selection in Class D was Avon senior quarterback Andrew Rowland. Rowland was 83-for-148 passing for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns, while he also ran for 1,004 yards and a team-high 16 touchdowns on 159 carries. On defense Rowland had 58 tackles — 2.5 for a loss — and four interceptions.
The only local 8-man selection was Pembroke sophomore running back Tyson Totten. Totten led the Dragons with 1,203 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns to go with 133 receiving yards and a receiving TD and 34 tackles on defense.