FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Senior Polar Bears rode a stout defense all the way to the Class AA state championship game this season, and leading the group that allowed an average of 16 points per game was Class AA first-team All-State defensive captain Jake Abbott, as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
The Polar Bears’ starting linebacker and quarterback accounted for 97 solo total tackles and 39 assists this season with 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, something FSHS coach J.L. Abbott, Jake’s father, attributes to his dedication to the game and hard work.
“He was probably in the best shape of his life coming in,” J.L. Abbott said. “He understands the game. He’s always watching film, and he has pretty good technique.”
While Jake Abbott may not be a dominating physical presence at 6-foot and 210 pounds, his coach saw him make up for any lack of size with speed.
“I don’t know how many times he was able to get over blocking linemen just from athletic ability and speed,” J.L. Abbott said. “I attribute all of that to his success.”
While his numbers all accounted for team highs, Abbott was far from alone on the FSHS defense, with both Darius and Dante Stills earning first-team Class AA All-State honors as well.
Darius Stills finished the season with 64 solo tackles, 19 assists, 24 tackles for loss and nine sacks, while Dante Stills finished the season with 50 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
While the FSHS defense carried the Polar Bears to the state championship game, their opponent in the contest and eventual state champion, Mingo Central, was led by quarterback Jeremy Dillon, who accounted for 60 total touchdowns this season and earned the distinction of Class AA first-team All-State offensive captain.
Dillon led a Miners’ offense that scored 46.2 points per game by running for 1,205 yards and 24 touchdowns while completing 189 of 299 passes for 2,852 yards, 37 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
“He’s a good football player,” Mingo Central coach Danny “Yogi” Kinder said following the state championship game. “He’s a good athlete. He’s tough, and it’s hard to get those quarterbacks like that.”
At running back on the first-team offense are seniors Tyler May (Roane County), Cody Enrietti (Weir) and J.T. Harris (Bridgeport).
May rushed for 2,039 yards and 24 touchdowns with three passing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown this season. Enrietti ran for 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns with 63 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Harris accounted for 1,044 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with 176 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Senior wide receivers Carter Sebert-Sweeney (Nicholas County) and Chase Riley (Lincoln) each earned first-team All-State honors.
Sebert-Sweeney caught 32 passes for 830 yards and 17 touchdowns this season to go along with 193 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Riley caught 71 passes for 1,328 yards and 11 touchdowns.
First-team offensive linemen include Seth Stewart (Point Pleasant), Garrett Burnside (Roane County), Thomas Minnear (Winfield), Skyler Eastman (Liberty-Harrison) and Peyton Carey (Herbert Hoover).
Chance Brown (Sissonville), Latrell “Mookie” Collier (Bluefield) and Bryson Gilbert (Fairmont Senior), all juniors, were each selected to the first team as utility players.
Brown ran for 1,755 and 22 touchdowns and caught nine passes for 158 yards and a score. Collier ran for 863 yards and 12 touchdowns on 84 carries while catching 40 passes for 546 yards and five touchdowns. Gilbert accounted for 21 total touchdowns this season, two of which were defensive, to go along with 855 rushing yards and 475 receiving yards.
Bridgeport’s Koby Kiefer, a junior, was selected as the first-team kicker with eight field goals and 42 made extra-points.
Joining the Stills brothers on the first-team defensive line are senior Jordan Allen (Weir) and junior Chapin Murphy (Bridgeport).
Allen, a returning first-teamer, had 43 solo tackles, 26 assisted tackles, 15 sacks, 25.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions, while Murphy recorded 20 solo tackles, 17 assists and 17.5 tackles for loss.
First-team linebackers along with Abbott are Tripp Shiflet (James Monroe), Mackenzie Holmes (Bridgeport), Caleb Lester (Mingo Central) and Colton Faber (Sissonville).
Shiflet recorded 169 total tackles, 88 of which were solo, to go along with 17 tackles for loss and five sacks. Holmes had 42 solo tackles, 41 assists and 7.5 tackles for loss. Lester recorded 47 solo tackles with 37 assists and 16.5 tackles for loss while Faber recorded 145 total tackles, 86 of which were solo with 25 tackles for loss.
Brady Ours (Keyser), Markus Guy (Independence) and Dylan Smith (Chapmanville) were selected as first-team defensive backs.
Ours recorded 42 solo tackles and an interception. Guy had 51 solo tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception and four pass breakups to go along with four punt-return touchdowns and Smith 33 solo tackles, 25 assists, a sack and three interceptions.
Brody Thomas (Herbert Hoover), Grant Safford (Point Pleasant) were named first-team defensive utility players with Evan Beasley (James Monroe) being selected as a utility/punter.
Thomas had 62 solo tackles with nine coming for loss this season.
Lincoln quarterback Kobie Carpenter was selected as All-State second-team offensive captain after completing 223 of 368 passes for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Nicholas County linebacker Tate Mays was selected as second-team defensive captain with 42 solo tackles, 14 assists, nine tackles for loss and two interceptions.
West Virginia Sports Writers Association
Class AA All-State Football Team
QB — Jeremy Dillon, Mingo Central, Jr. (captain)
RB — Tyler May, Roane County, Sr.
RB — Cody Enrietti, Weir, Sr.
RB — J.T. Harris, Bridgeport, Sr.
WR — Carter Sebert-Sweeney, Nicholas County, Sr.
WR — Chase Riley, Lincoln, Sr.
OL — Seth Stewart, Point Pleasant, Sr.
OL — Garrett Burnside, Roane County, Sr.
OL — Thomas Minnear, Winfield, Sr.
OL — Skyler Eastman, Liberty-Harrison, Sr.
OL — Peyton Carey, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
UTIL — Chance Brown, Sissonville, Sr.
UTIL — Mookie Collier, Bluefield, Jr.
UTIL — Bryson Gilbert, Fairmont Senior, Jr.
K — Koby Kiefer, Bridgeport, Jr.
DL — Jordan Allen, Weir, Sr.
DL — Darius Stills, Fairmont Senior, Sr.
DL — Dante Stills, Fairmont Senior, Jr.
DL — Chapin Murphy, Bridgeport, Jr.
LB — Jake Abbott, Fairmont Senior, Sr. (captain)
LB — Tripp Shiflet, James Monroe, Sr.
LB — Mackenzie Holmes, Bridgeport, Sr.
LB — Caleb Lester, Mingo Central, Sr.
LB — Colton Faber, Sissonville, Sr.
DB — Brady Ours, Keyser, So.
DB — Markus Guy, Independence, Sr.
DB — Dylan Smith, Chapmanville, Sr.
UTIL — Brody Thomas, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
UTIL — Grant Safford, Point Pleasant, Sr.
UTIL/P — Evan Beasley, James Monroe, Sr.
QB — Kobie Carpenter, Lincoln, Jr. (captain)
RB — Joe Hunt, Mingo Central, Sr.
RB — Noah Adams, Independence, Sr.
RB — Grant Mohler, James Monroe, Jr.
WR — Nate Frazier, Lewis County, Sr.
WR — Drew Hatfield, Mingo Central, Fr.
WR — Brett Mays, North Marion, Sr.
OL — Grant Dickson, Winfield, Jr.
OL — Gino Messenger, Robert C. Byrd, Sr.
OL — Logan Muncy, Independence, Jr.
OL — Jacob Biser, Keyser, Sr.
OL — Dalton Fields, Mingo Central, Jr.
UTIL — Andrew Huff, Winfield, Jr.
UTIL — Kyle Elliott, North Marion, Sr.
K — Bunky Schultz, Point Pleasant, Sr.
DL — Ian Smith, Clay County, Jr.
DL — Dom Murphy, Weir, Sr.
DL — Bubba Ellis, Lincoln, Jr.
LB — Tyler Grimmett, Mingo Central, Sr.
LB — Michael Toothman, Fairmont Senior, Sr.
LB — Kellar Jenkins, East Fairmont, Sr.
LB — Tate Mays, Nicholas County, Sr. (captain)
LB — Matt McKinney, Independence, Jr.
DB — Cason Payne, Point Pleasant, So.
DB — Anthony Kellar, Lincoln, Sr.
DB — Colten Rollyson, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
DB — Broderick Lantz, Liberty-Harrison, Jr.
UTIL — Jacob Bailey, Liberty-Raleigh, Sr.
UTIL — Austin Cook, Sissonville, Sr.
P — George Triplett, Elkins, Jr.
Special Honorable Mention
Zack Bratton, Winfield; Braxton Goff, Logan; Bryce Taylor, Sissonville; Donavan Spencer, Weir; Tyler Komorowski, Weir; Stevie Cool, Oak Glen; Zach Payne, Nicholas County; Austin Dawson, Nicholas County; Chase Mills, Independence; Connor Gibson, Independence; Dylan Kincell, East Fairmont; Charles Barta, North Marion; Zach McIntire, North Marion; Brendan Megna, North Marion; Tanner King, North Marion; Zach Frazier, Fairmont Senior; Jarrette Zopp, Elkins; Kevin Roberts, River View; Dalton Westfall, Liberty Harrison; Devonta Johnson, Keyser; Seth Friel, Bridgeport, John Merica, Bridgeport; Gage Jackson, Robert C. Byrd; Drew Kinder, Roane County; Cordell Click, River View; Josh Kirkendoll, Scott; Jamal Minter, Logan; Tayton Stout, Braxton County; Terrell Bush, Keyser; Hunter Mason, Philip Barbour; Sam Murray, Grafton; Ghovan Davidson, Robert C. Byrd; Zach Wamsley, Point Pleasant; Cody Southerly, Petersburg; Jacob Hartman, Petersburg; Devin Johnson, James Monroe; Kaleb Gannon, Lewis County; Dustin Marks, Lincoln; Justin Hughes, Lincoln; Luke Petrice, Elkins; Talon Miller, Fairmont Senior; Adam Vance, Chapmanville; Ryan Stewart, Clay County; Reese Nichols, Clay County; Cody Fuller, Bluefield; Ben Fincham, Braxton County; Dalton Sheppard, Mingo Central; Thomas Harman, Mingo Central; Cameron Simpson, Man; Brock Muncy, Man; Jeremiah Reed, Liberty Harrison; Nate Strietbeck, Frankfort; C.J. Ryan, Berkeley Springs.
Austin Beane, Herbert Hoover; Ryne Byrne, Poca; David Early, Logan; Jacob Huff, Winfield; Jay Poindexter, Nitro; Matt Smith, Sissonville; Chase Stover, Herbert Hoover; Hunter Thomas, Sissonville; Lance Collins, Oak Glen; Dakota Price, Oak Glen; Josh Morgan, Westside; Ralph Wilson, Westside; Mikah Vines, Shady Spring; Jason Edwards, Bluefield; Jon Sawyers, Shady Spring; Adam Daniels, Independence; Trey Milam, Nicholas County; Cameron Dillon, Liberty Raleigh; Austin Conaway, North Marion; Hunter Corley, Fairmont Senior; Jimmy Allison, Bridgeport; Shantez Matthews, Logan; Ben Price, Westside; Gordon Swiger, Bridgeport; Andrew Slusser, East Fairmont; Andrew Rollins, Westside; Adam Cowden, Weir; Ethan Myers, Roane County; Aiden Marino, Robert C. Byrd; Robert Arnold, Robert C. Byrd; Gage Gibson, Point Pleasant; Keyshawn Stover, Point Pleasant; Jordan Hartman, Petersburg; Christian Lively, Oak Hill; Tyler Hawkey, James Monroe; Colton Bradley, James Monroe; Hunter Thomas Sissonville; Kaleb Hurley, Mingo Central; Thomas Hogan, Lewis County; Andrew Potter, Lewis County; Hunter McGary, Lincoln; Hunter Moore, Lincoln; Christian Ravenscroft, Keyser; Stephen White, Keyser; Sam Nestor, Elkins; Zach Shreve, Elkins; Evan Willis, Chapmanville; Ryan Burdette, Clay County; Joel Cruikshanks, Clay County; Arnold Martin, Bluefield; Kaylin Parris, Bluefield; Heath Cottrill, Braxton County; Lucas Bonnett, Braxton County; Andrew Barker, Bridgeport; Robbie Daniels, Mingo Central; Isaac Fox, Mingo Central; Jaden Rollyson, Liberty Harrison; Chandler Gibson, Liberty Harrison; Trevor Cayton, Grafton; Rob Shanabarger, Philip Barbour, Zach Roy, Philip Barbour; Kayne Brown, Man; Seth Osborne, Man; Jacob Asbury, Man; Austin Bragg, Man; Garrett Ware, Grafton; Cole Collins, Grafton; Michael Hovermale, Berkeley Springs; Cody Howdershelt, Frankfort; Evan Rose, PikeView