Jake Adams' picks for the 2017 All-Sentinel Football Team, including Players of the Year, Coach of the Year, First Team and Honorable Mention selections.
Note: Because of the number of quality players in Cumberland County and nearby, The Sentinel chose to place each player at only one position. Where those players had noteworthy stats in another facet of the game (offense, defense, special teams), they were mentioned to give credit to all of their contributions.
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: Offensive Player of the Year
Onasis Neely, sr., RB, East Pennsboro
Perhaps nobody has been more deserving of this title in recent years than "Nas," a 2,400-yard runner and dangerous kick returner who also mixed it up at DB this year. Neely, who just committed to Temple on Tuesday, finished the year with 2,464 yards (9.8 yards per carry) and 33 total touchdowns, including six 200-yard games, a 320-yarder and five games with at least four scores. Few in recent memory blended his combination of size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds), power, speed and elusiveness. His coach, who has been roaming sidelines for nearly two decades, said he's arguably the top player he's ever coached, if not at least in the top 5. Despite playing just three years of varsity, Neely, who was All-Sentinel First Team last year, finished with 4,825 yards and 67 TDs.
From coach Todd Stuter: "We used that number, I thought he could get 2,500. ... His leadership that he brought this year as a senior, maturing into that role, it was a special thing to be a part of. ... Just watching him develop his strength, his ability to run and cut. ... It's like that big reward [seeing him get a Division I scholarship], because they become your own children. It's like seeing them graduate magna cum laude — they're going to the big time."
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: Defensive Player of the Year
Charlie Katshir, sr., DB, Cumberland Valley
He's projected to play linebacker at Penn State, but the three-star recruit has been a menace for years roaming the field at deep safety, corner and even in-the-box safety. Few cover as much ground as Katshir, who has battled shoulder injuries for two years but still made an impact in nearly every game. He recorded 45 tackles and four interceptions (giving him 24 for his career) and was the team's kickoff specialist. He could make first team offense here, too, what with his 715 yards, seven TDs and 37 receptions at receiver and his 53 carries for 366 yards and eight scores. He had 1,489 total yards this year. Katshir was All-Sentinel First Team last year.
From coach Mike Whitehead: "Since day one, Charlie has been a team player and a leader. He always wanted the ball but he was equally happy when his teammates were successful on the field. He always came to practice to get better. He played hurt the last two years at times but never made excuses. In my 25 years of coaching, he is probably the best all-around player that I have coached."
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: Coach of the Year
Todd Stuter, East Pennsboro
There were plenty of expectations this season for the Panthers (9-3, 5-2 Capital), but a rebuilt defense threatened to derail those plans. Stuter and his staff got that ship righted in plenty of time as East Penn soared to a District 3 Class 4A semifinal appearance. Having Onasis Neely, Trent Fries and a loaded senior class sure makes the job easier, but Stuter put the puzzle together and guided the team well. Also considered were Mechanicsburg's Billy Furman and Northern's Bill Miller.
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: First Team Offense
QB Dominic Salinetro, sr., West Perry — Leading an offense predicated on quick passes to playmakers, Salientro's 57.8 percent completion percentage was among the best in the Mid-Penn. He also became the first Mustang to throw for 2,000 yards, finishing with 2,003, 17 TDs and seven interceptions. Few teams had the stable of receivers he had and Salinetro made the most of them, leading WP to a 4-6 record, the team's best in coach Bob Boden's four years.
RB Kyle Swartz, so., Northern — Swartz started a bit slow this season as the P-Bears' offensive line got its footing, but he finished with seven straight 100-yard games and two over 200. A bruiser who knows how to fall forward for more yards, he finished with 1,351 yards on 211 carries, scoring 18 times. Swartz, an All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year, even added nine receptions for 109 yards and a score.
RB Ryan Adams, sr., Big Spring — Every season leaves us with "what ifs," but Adams may be the biggest of 2017. What if "Mighty Mouse" hadn't battled an injury half the season? Surely he would've cracked 1,500 yards or more and the Bulldogs would've been bigger playoff threats. Alas, limited to 144 carries, he still averaged 8.9 yards and finished with 1,278 and 15 TDs, also going 8-121 and a score as a pass catcher. At DB, where his speed and fluidity were a big asset, Adams, an All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year, had 41 tackles and a fumble recovery.
WR Terrance Quaker, jr., West Perry — The Mustangs built their offense around quick throws and Quaker, a converted back, was exceptional at making the most of his 58 receptions. He accounted for nearly half of his QB's yards, going for 935 stripes and six touchdowns. He even added a kick return TD. Quaker was All-Sentinel Honorable Mention at running back last year.
WR Tayven Kelley, jr., Boiling Springs — Sure, the Bubblers went 0-10, but Kelley established himself as a truly dangerous weapon who teams will have to key on next year. With 46 receptions for 807 yards and 10 touchdowns, he was among the most productive players regardless of position. And he did it on a team bereft of weapons around him. Kelley closed the season with two games where he averaged 10 receptions, 211 yards and three TDs.
TE Zack Kuntz, sr., Camp Hill — The future Penn Stater (he enrolls in January), Kuntz really should be considered a WR at this point. His 40 receptions were fourth in the area, but his 1,057 yards (26.4 average) easily topped our leaderboard. Add in eight touchdowns and you see why he's been an All-Sentinel first teamer every year (last year at defensive end). Speaking of defense, Kuntz could be first team at DE again with 53 tackles, a sack, four interceptions and a pick-six.
OL Jacob Fetterolf, sr., Cumberland Valley — That Wing-T sure was mean this year, and elder statesman Fetterolf was a big reason why. The veteran big man was a first team OL/DL in the Commonwealth this year, and for good reason. Few pushed defenders out of harms way better, and on defense he filled space at DT while still picking up 24 tackles and a forced fumble. Fetterolf was All-Sentinel First Team on defense last year.
OL Matthew Manchon, sr., Cumberland Valley — Another quality lineman for the area's best running team. Commonwealth Second Team pick Manchon is 6-foot, 200 (a few inches and 75 pounds lighter than his teammate) but used sound technique to help the Eagles (10-3) bully their way to 3,504 rushing yards and 42 TDs on 590 carries, a win short of the District 3 Class 6A title.
OL Ben Gregory, jr., Cedar Cliff — Coach Colin Gillen praised a few of his linemen, including Ian McCauley, but Gregory really helped the offense find a rhythm in the second half of the season, especially in the ground game. A Keystone Second Team pick, Gregory was the unit's best blocker all year and helped Mike Dubas rip off several 100-yard games late after struggling to crack the mark early on.
OL Garrison Shields-Seelig, sr., East Pennsboro — Far from the biggest line in the Mid-Penn and District 3, the Panthers certainly did their jobs opening up holes for their star back. His teammate, McGee Schnarrs, might have been the better lineman on both sides of the ball, but Shields-Seelig was a crucial blocker who provided comfort and familiarity at center with QB Payton Morris. It's hard to imagine Onasis Neely, even with all his talents, nearing 2,500 yards without this guy.
OL Nick Lerew, sr., Northern — By the middle of the season, the Polar Bears offense was mowing down defensive fronts and giving Swartz plenty of room to get a head of steam. Northern's center was critical to that effort, picking up Colonial First Team honors in the process. The P-Bears don't make a late playoff push without Lerew, an All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year, and his linemates.
ATH Quinn Buffington, sr., Camp Hill — Yes, he was exclusively a quarterback. But Buffington, a surprising snub in Mid-Penn Capital voting, did plenty with his left arm and legs. Even despite an undersized line in front of him, the future East Tennessee State baseball player finished 118-of-251 for 2,097 yards (most in Cumberland County), 20 scores and 10 picks. he was also second on the team with 75 carries, 321 yards and five TDs. Without the elusive Buffington, the Lions (4-6) struggle more than they did.
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: First Team Defense
DL Joe Crocenzi, sr., Red Land — A monster in the Keystone who recorded 11.5 sacks, Crocenzi was one of the most physically imposing (6-foot-1, 225 pounds) defenders in Cumberland County. He missed a game but still finished with 12 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles (and a recovery) and 75 tackles. His best game by far was a five-sack effort in the finale at Mechanicsburg. Crocenzie, All-Sentinel First Team last year as well, finished his career with 20 sacks and 190 tackles.
DL Stone Huffman, jr., Cumberland Valley — D-linemen don't get a ton of attention in the CV defense, usually. They serve many times as space eaters. But Huffman, an impressive run-blocking tight end as well, shrugged off that presupposition. The junior had a team-high four sacks and was fourth in tackles with 55. A menace who could get to the backfield regularly (eight tackles for loss), Huffman was named Commonwealth Second Team on both sides of the ball.
DL McGee Schnarrs, sr., East Pennsboro — The Panthers struggled on defense early in the year before rounding into shape before the playoffs. Schnarrs was a big reason why. The Capital first-teamer was second in Cumberland County with seven sacks, including three in the season opener against Big Spring. He also had 33 tackles (13.5 for loss), three pass defenses and two forced fumbles for the District 3 Class 4A semifinalists.
DL Zarrick Jordan, sr., Northern — Jordan must be impressive, because he was named Co-Defensive MVP in the Colonial along with Waynesboro terror Mason Frampton. Jordan led a gutsy defense that got better as the year progressed, finishing with six sacks and 77 tackles for the Polar Bears, who were a win short of the District 3 playoffs. Jordan, an All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year, also recorded two picks, a fumble and recovery, and even worked as a short-yardage back (28 carries, 85 yards).
LB Donovon Ball, jr., Cedar Cliff — A Keystone First Team pick, Ball was one of the few defenders in the entire conference to reach 100 tackles. He finished with 102 (seven for loss) and picked up four sacks, four pass defenses, three caused fumbles and one recovered. A smart player who could cover ground quickly, he helped the Colts hold the opposition to less than 5 yards per rush and 6 yards per pass attempt. Ball was All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year.
LB Trent Fries, sr., East Pennsboro — The Panthers defense was, shall we say, porous to start the season. But boy did it come around late in the year to help fuel that District 3 run. Fries, the heart of the team, helped spearhead the turnaround. After losing his mother in the offseason, Fries led East Penn with 60 tackles (8.5 for loss) and picked up three sacks. It wasn't just at the line he did his damage, he also picked off three passes, swatted away three more and recovered a fumble. Fries was All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year.
LB Christian Arrington, sr., Cumberland Valley — Arrington, a Commonwealth first-teamer, fed off the space granted him by his line. He displayed excellent range all over the field (especially in the flat), recording 74 tackles (12 for loss), two sacks, two interceptions and a 99-yard fumble return for a score. Arrington was All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year.
LB Luca Colestock, sr., Camp Hill — There were a couple talented 'backers in the Capital that drew consideration, but Colestock, a division first team pick, gets the nod. He recorded 75 tackles (six for loss) and one of the Lions' few sacks on the year. Also had a pick and fumble recovery. He didn't fill the stat sheet like some teammates, but Colestock, an All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year, commanded the unit.
DB Bobby Whalen, jr., Cedar Cliff — More than worthy of a spot on offense if not for some of the talent already there, Whalen is one of the best pure athletes in the Mid-Penn. "I don't know that I have seen a weapon on offense as versatily as Bobby Whalen," coach Colin Gillen said. The future Louisville baseball player had one pick as teams avoided throwing to him. Also had 38 tackles. On offense Whalen, All-Sentinel Honorable Mention at WR a year ago, had 646 yards and seven TDs passing, 427 yards and 10 TDs rushing, and 226 yards receiving.
DB Cole McCoy, sr., Cumberland Valley — Teams feared throwing against these Eagles, and McCoy was part of the reason why. A repeat All-Sentinel first-teamer, he picked off a pair of passes and recorded 43 tackles for the area's top defense. McCoy, a Commonwealth Second Team selection, shut down half the field most nights, pairing nicely with esteemed teammate Charlie Katshir.
DB Gavyn Barnes, sr., Carlisle — Went back and forth on where Carlisle's Swiss army knife should go. He played WR, QB, KR, DB and rumor has it OL as well. Undersized most of his career, he's gifted with speed, agility and more guts than most. Barnes, an All-Sentinel First Team kick returner last year, had 53 tackles, three interceptions, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble for the 5-5 Thundering Herd. And on offense he ran for 337 yards, threw for 582 and caught 368, accounting in some way for 16 offensive TDs.
ATH Dante Manetta, jr., Trinity — Struggled with the final alignment of this defense, as several athletes could be justified first team spots here. Manetta warrants a nod as the Shamrocks' leading tackler (91, 15 for loss), but also because he displayed impressive wheels with two kickoff return touchdowns. The OLB did a little of everything, recording two sacks and a pick. Also showed heady play to beat Annville-Cleona when he took a blocked extra point into the end zone for a two-point conversion. Officials announced a day later it shouldn't have counted, but Manetta gets props for not quitting on the play.
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: First Team Special Teams
K Caleb Richwine, jr., Carlisle — Richwine, our All-Sentinel Honorable Mention last year, was the only Cumberland County kicker to connect from 40 yards out and the only one to make five field goals (out of seven). He finished 26-of-27 on PATs for 41 total points, third in the area behind kickers with higher-scoring offenses. He's getting some collegiate interest already and will be a big weapon again next year.
P Noah Wilk, sr., East Pennsboro — Wilk took over for Robert Cupp and immediately excelled. The Capital Second Team punter booted 10 of his 31 attempts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and averaged 37.9 yards per punt, one of the highest averages in the county. Few pinned opponents inside the 20 more than 10 times in the Mid-Penn.
KR/PR Joseph Bruno, so., Mechanicsburg — Four kick returns went for a touchdown. And Bruno did all of that in the season's first four games, returning a pair against Northern in Week 3 and another against mighty State College a week later before teams all but stopped challenging him. Usually the fastest player on the field, Bruno almost single-handedly helped the 3-7 Wildcats get win No. 2 over Northern with his returns and a six-carry, 95-yard rushing performance that included a 60-yard TD. He ended the season with 170 rushing yards and 284 receiving.
2017 All-Sentinel Football Team: Honorable Mention
QUARTERBACKS: Jared Plessinger, jr., Cumberland Valley; Payton Morris, sr., East Pennsboro; Tommy Kirchhoff, sr., Trinity; Carter Van Scyoc, sr., Shippensburg.
RUNNING BACKS: Trystin Sulich, so., Carlisle; Jake Palmer, sr., Cumberland Valley; Mike Dubas, sr., Cedar Cliff; Adam Houser, jr., Shippensburg; Kenyon Johnson, so., West Perry.
RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: Joe Mastrangelo, sr., Carlisle; Nic Nugent, sr., East Pennsboro; Nik Karoly, jr., East Pennsboro; Jermaine Hull, sr., Mechanicsburg; Cain Fridinger, sr., Shippensburg; Joey Reisinger, jr., West Perry.
LINEMEN: Gavin Pritchard, so., Big Spring; Mike Kutzmonich, jr., Big Spring; Alex Metzger, sr., Boiling Springs; Drew Nickel, sr., Boiling Springs; Robert Angell, jr., Carlisle; Ian McCauley, sr., Cedar Cliff; Justin Resto, jr., Cedar Cliff; Tyson McDonald, sr., Cedar Cliff; Blake Sanchez, sr., Northern; Trevor Coulson, sr., Northern; Christian Boarts, sr., Shippensburg; Hunter Becker, sr., Trinity.
LINEBACKERS: Zach Hasco, jr., Big Spring; Sam Adgie, sr., Carlisle; Nick Yarnevich, sr., Cedar Cliff; A.J. Lodovici, jr., Northern; Ethan Stouffer, jr., Shippensburg; Colby Rigg, jr., Trinity.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Joey Yaukey, sr., Big Spring; Peyton Bechtold, sr., Big Spring; Nick Black, sr., Big Spring; Jake Walker, sr., Boiling Springs; Nate Becker, sr., Camp Hill; Mitch Wagner, sr., Northern.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Charles Bowers, sr., Big Spring; Owen Mostoller, sr., East Pennsboro; Reed Bertram, sr., Cedar Cliff; Jake Coover, sr., Northern; Chris Barrett, jr., Northern; Matt Moody, jr., Red Land; Zach Quaker, jr., West Perry.