7 Wildcats, head coach earn all-district honors
“I’m glad Braden’s on our team.”
That’s what Waterford High head football coach Eric McCutcheon said after junior running back Braden Bellville rushed for 176 yards on 15 carries and three touchdown runs of 32, 10, and 14 yards, and caught an 84 TD pass from quarterback Peyten Stephens in the Wildcats’ 56-8 homecoming win against South Gallia in early October.
With Waterford playoff-bound for the second straight year and compiling a 9-2 overall record, the 6-foot, 190-pound Bellville finished the fall campaign with 1,853 yards on the ground and 27 touchdowns. He also had four receiving TDs.
“There’s no slowing him down,” said Stephens after the Waterford at Frontier game in late September.
Recently, Bellville was honored as the Southeast Ohio Division VII All-District Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team running back selection.
“The line this year is phenomenal,” said Bellville after the homecoming game. “They did phenomenal tonight, and I give a lot of credit to them, people like Bryce Rohrer, Johnny Winkleman, Colin Jackson, Haydon Reynolds, Dylan Ours and Brock Hayes.”
Joining Bellville on the all-district first team were Rohrer and Stephens, who passed for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On defense, Waterford senior Teddy Smith was named the district’s Defensive Player of the Year and a first-teamer. The 5-foot-8, 180-pounder was one of the Wildcats’ most versatile performers on the gridiron. Not only did he excel at noseguard with a Mid-Ohio Valley-high 13 sacks, but he also played center and was a blocking back for Bellville.
Joining Smith on the first team was 6-1, 285-pound lineman Winkleman.
Waterford senior wide receiver/DB Noah Huffman and junior center Colin Jackson each was a special mention.
McCutcheon, in his second year at the helm, was named Coach of the Year. Last year, he guided the Wildcats to their first-ever playoff appearance.
In Division III, three Tigers earned SE Ohio All-District honors.
Both Dominic Vanfossen, a 5-10, 205-pound senior running back, and Tyler Warner, a 6-3, 200-pound senior lineman, made the first team.
Devon Moss, a 5-6, 175-pound RB/linebacker, was a special mention.
Vanfossen finished the season with 1,356 rushing yards on 211 carries and 14 touchdowns. Last season, he gained 1,077 yards on 153 carries and 14 TDs, and in 2015, he 1,515 yards on 215 carries and 15 six-pointers.
He owns both the single season and career rushing records at Marietta.
In Vanfossen’s last game as an MHS football player against Zanesville, he rushed for 246 yards on 52 carries in a Tiger win.
Marietta finished the season 5-5.
This past year, Vanfossen participated in the nationally known Blue-Grey football recruiting combine. At the Canton Super Regional at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field, he excelled and will be competing in the All American Football Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., in January of 2018.
Also earning special mention in the D3 SE district was Warren senior Ronnie Hill, QB/WR/LB.
In Division VI, Belpre senior Bailey Sprague was a first-team all-district punter, while teammates’ RB Tojzae Reams and sophomore QB Brandon Simoniette each was a special mention.