The three primary weapons in Marietta's offensive arsenal - quarterback Cody Westbrook, wide receiver Sean Munfield and running back Perry Wheeler - were among seven Tigers recently honored with selection to the 2008 All-Southeastern Ohio Athletic League Conference Football Team.
Westbrook and Munfield, heralded as Marietta's "Dynamic Duo" in the preseason, did not disappoint as both finished the year by surpassing single-season milestones and set career records as well.
Westbrook, a lanky 6-3, 160-pounder, finished the season with over 2,327 yards passing and 14 touchdown throws. He ended up the MHS statistical leader in several passing categories, including completions, attempts and yards (over 4,500). During one stretch, he had seven straight games where he threw for 200 yards or more.
"He got better as the season went on," Marietta first-year head coach Andy Schob said of Westbrook. "He led by example and he was a great leader. He stayed calm at all times and our kids fed off that."
The 6-0, 160-pound Munfield finished with 598 receiving yards this season and logged over 1,200 receiving yards for his Tiger career. He finished as Marietta's all-time leader in receptions and TD receptions.
"He did a good job of catching the short ball and turning them into big plays," Schob said of Munfield.
Munfield also had been an impact player on defense as well at safety.
"Sean built himself up for a phenomenal senior year," Schob said. "He read well and would hit you with some force when he got to you."
Munfield had been an honorable mention selection on the 2007 All-SEOAL Football Team and was one of seven All-SEOAL repeaters.
Wheeler emerged as Marietta's most dominant running back and was highly effective taking direct snaps and hitting the hole quickly. The 6-0, 185-pound junior logged 1,037 rushing yards and scored 19 touchdowns. He also had over 213 receiving yards and one TD as well.
"In adding that dimension (as an outlet receiver), Perry took a lot of pressure off Cody," Schob said.
In addition to Westbrook, Munfield and Wheeler, two other MHS players - senior wide receiver/kicker Zane Eschbaugh and junior offensive guard/linebacker Ryan Offenberger- were named to the All-SEOAL squad, while sophomore Conner Hess and senior Jared Ross were honorable mention.
Eschbaugh, a 6-1, 195-pound senior "was incredible consistent for us all season," Schob said.
Eschbaugh finished as the third MHS receiver to surpass the 1,000-yard milestone for his career. He also equaled Justin Estes' record with a 52-yard field goal.
"Zane can thank Garrett Kerr for that," Schob said. "It was supposed to be a 47-yard field goal attempt when Garrett ran onto the field and got flagged for illegal participation. It was cold and we were playing on grass, but Zane's kick was right down the middle and could have been good from even further out."
Offenberger, at 5-11, and 205 pounds, developed into Marietta's steadiest offensive lineman and finished as the team's leading tackler at linebacker.
"He just got better and better," Schob said.
Overall, Marietta finished 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the SEOAL after defeating Gallia Academy at Gallipolis in the season finale.
Hess was the lone sophomore selection on the 2008 All-SEOAL Football Team.
Schob appreciates his versatility.
"He's got great size, speed and strength," he said. "He was one of the best defensive linemen on the team and was also versatile as a running back for us."
Ross was one of the emotional leaders on the defensive unit and finished the season as the Tigers' second leading tackler behind Offenberger.
six on squad
Warren placed four individuals on the All-SEOAL first team in senior offensive lineman Ben Johnson, junior linebacker Kaleb Wolfe, senior defensive tackle Jacob Lemon and junior linebacker Kyle Pritt with seniors Andrew Coffman and Andrew Dunfee earning honorable mention.
Johnson, a 6-0, 204-pound senior, impressed head coach Jim Pifer with his quickness, intelligence and leadership.
"Ben's one of the best wing-T guards I've seen in a long time," Pifer said. "His technique on pulling and getting it out on the corner is the best I've seen, and he has good foot speed and he knows who to block. He makes all the calls on the line. Whenever we come to the line of scrimmage, if they shift one way or another, he makes the live calls so everybody else knows who they're supposed to block."
The 6-0, 197-pound Wolfe finished the season as Warren's top tackler with 111.5 stops. He had 59 solo tackles and caused four fumbles and recovered five fumbles. He also deflected two passes and intercepted two throws.
Lemon, a 5-11, 240-pounder, also had a knack for being around the ball, recording 43.5 tackles with three sacks and one fumble recovery.
"Jacob has good size and good foot speed," Pifer said. "He's really quick for a big guy. He made a lot of tackles down field because he knew how to pursue."
Pritt, at 5-11, 183 pounds, emerged as one of Warren's best linebackers. He made 92 tackles, including 51 solo stops. He caused one fumble and had two interceptions.
Coffman and Dunfee also contributed to Warren finishing 4-6 on the season. The four wins was the most since 2001 for the Warriors.
Individually, Logan's Patrick Angle and Chillicothe's Caleb Knights, both standout quarterbacks, were tabbed the Most Valuable Players of their respective SEOAL divisions.
Logan's Dale Amyx was selected the 2008 SEOAL Coach of the Year by his peers. It's the fifth straight year that Amyx has been the recipient of the award. Logan went undefeated in the regular season and has won 29 straight SEOAL games and five straight league championships.
Zanesville did not have a representative at the selection meeting.
2008 All-SEOAL Football Team
Drew Basil, Chillicothe, PK, Jr.; Caleb Knights, Chillicothe, QB, Sr.; Curt Smith, Chillicothe, OG, Sr.; Ron Smith, Chillicothe, WR, Sr.; Eric Young, Chillicothe, RB., Sr.; Jared Gravely, Gallia Academy, FB, Jr.; John Kyger, Gallia Academy, OG, Sr.; Beau Whaley, Gallia Academy, SR, Sr.; Chance Freeman, Ironton, RB, Sr.; Mike Lamb, Ironton, TE, Sr.; Lukas Morris, Ironton, WR, Sr.; Tony Murphy, Ironton, OG, Sr.; Cody Huff, Jackson, RB, Sr.; Ryan Hughes, Jackson, T, Sr.; Zach Adams, Logan, LB, Sr.; Patrick Angle, Logan, QB, Jr.; Cary MacLaughlin, OG, Sr.; Mason Mays, WR, Jr.; Clay Morgan, RB, Sr.; Zane Eschbaugh, Marietta, WR, Sr.; Sean Munfield, Marietta, WR, Sr.; Ryan Offenberger, Marietta, OG, Jr.; Cody Westbrook, Marietta, QB, Sr.; Perry Wheeler, RB, Jr.; Aaron Montgomery, Portsmouth, LB, Sr.; John Prior, Portsmouth, T, Sr.; Ben Johnson, Warren, OG, Sr.; Jacob Lemon, Warren, DT, Sr.; Kyle Pritt, Warren, LB, Jr.,; Kaleb Wolfe, Warren, LB, Jr.
Shay Netter, Chillicothe, LB, Jr.; Danny Russell, Chillicothe, OL-DL, Sr.; Nate Allison, Gallia Academy, RB, Jr.; Quintin Nippert, Gallia Academy, LB, Sr.; Sam Cramblit, Ironton, T, Jr.; Jon Schweickart, Ironton, QB, Sr.; Josh Brown, Jackson, QB, Sr.; Lukas Lindamood, Jackson, SE, Sr.; Jaushua Huntsberger, Logan, WR, Sr.; Seth Sigler, Logan, NG, Sr.; Conner Hess, Marietta, FB, Soph.; Jared Ross, Marietta, LB, Sr.; Jason James, Portsmouth, DE, Jr.; Brandon Malone, Portsmouth, DB, Jr.; Andrew Coffman, Warren, RB-DB, Sr.; Andrew Dunfee, RB-DB, Sr.
North Division Player of the Year - Patrick Angle, Logan.
South Division Player of the Year - Caleb Knights, Chillicothe.
Coach of the Year - Dale Amyx, Logan.