Chaney's McElroy and Dykes earn honors
They shared offensive and defensive honors, respectively, as Division IIdistrict players of the year.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
Ed McElroy and Keilen Dykes give the 2002 Northeast Inland All-District football team a City Series flavor.
The Chaney High seniors were named players of the year in Division II on a district team selected by a media panel and released Wednesday.
McElroy shared the offensive honor with Louisville quarterback Gary Whaley, while Dykes shared the defensive honor with Louisville's Curtis Elsass and Ravenna's Chris Allen.
A 5-foot-10, 175-pound tailback, McElroy gave opposing defenses fits all season. He rushed for 1,582 yards and 25 touchdowns as the Cowboys, coached by Ron Berdis, went 7-3, won the City Series title and advanced to the playoffs.
Dykes, a 6-4, 260-pound defensive end who committed to West Virginia University, was a four-year starter for Chaney. He had 26 solo tackles and 19 assists this season, with 9 1/2 sacks, while also playing tight end.
Poland senior Sean Clayton was named offensive player of the year in Div. III.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback totaled over 4,000 yards of offense in his two years as the Bulldogs' starter.
This season, Clayton, who was being recruited by several Div. I colleges, led Poland to a 7-3 record and a berth in the playoffs. He passed for 1,662 yards and 18 touchdowns, with just four interceptions.
Coach Paul Hulea said that Clayton was the reason Poland was 18-6 over the past two seasons, with two playoff appearances.
East Palestine and Ursuline highlight the Div. IV team.
Bulldogs senior quarterback Smitty Kendrew shared offensive player of the year honors with Irish senior tight end Louis Irizarry. East Palestine's Brian Blevins was named coach of the year.
Kendrew (6-2, 195), who played with a shoulder injury for most of the season, passed and ran for nearly 1,000 yards. He threw for seven touchdowns and ran for 13 more.
The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Irizarry, who committed to Ohio State, was Ursuline's top receiver with 25 catches for 660 yards and eight touchdowns.
In his third year at East Palestine, Blevins led the Bulldogs to a 9-1 regular-season record and the school's first Tri-County League title since 1975. They also won their first playoff game, over Sullivan Black River, before losing to Ursuline.
In addition to Blevins, the area had three other coaches of the year -- Warren Harding's Thom McDaniels (Div. I), Canfield's Mike Pavlansky (Div. II) and Lowellville's John Protopapa (Div. VI).
McDaniels shared coach of the year honors with Hudson's Tom Narducci and Brunswick's Rich Nowak. The three teams finished unbeaten in the regular season.
McDaniels has guided the Raiders to a 30-5 record in his three seasons, including a Steel Valley Conference title and 12-0 mark this year. Harding, the state's top-ranked team, also has won 20 straight games at home.
In his second year at the helm, Pavlansky led Canfield to a Metro Athletic Conference title and its first unbeaten regular season since 1959. He shared the honor with Louisville's Paul Farrah.
Protopapa led Lowellville to the Inter-County League title and an unbeaten regular season. He has guided the Rockets to a 24-9 record in three years and two straight playoff berths.
East Canton coach Dan Patterson was named with Protopapa.