From Staff And Wire Reports
With all the attention Malik Boatwright gets as an offensive force for Greenbrier West, it can be easy to forget how good he is on defense.
The West Virginia Sports Writers Association remembered, naming Boatwright captain of the Class A first-team all-state defensive team as released today.
Boatwright, a defensive back, was the first-team all-state defensive utility player last season.
The 5-foot-4 Boatwright,also the team’s quarterback, had nine tackles in the state championship game against Madonna and had 65 on the season, along with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three passes broken up.
His 53-yard interception return for a touchdown spearheaded the Cavaliers’ 18-0 win over St. Marys in the state quarterfinals.
He was joined on the all-state defense by his brother, and teammate, Marquis Frazier. The 6-1, 191-pound junior had 11 tackles in the championship game and finished the season with 95 tackles, 22 sacks and 24.5 tackles for a loss of yardage.
“No doubt they were both a big part of our success this season,” Greenbrier West coach Lewis McClung said. “Malik has been a playmaker for us the last two seasons. On offense and defense, he just continued to make plays when we needed him.”
“It’s an honor to be named, especially since I didn’t get to finish the season last year,” said Frazier, who broke an ankle in week eight last season. “We had a great run this season. We just came up a bit short in the final game.”
Also chosen for first-team honors was Meadow Bridge’s Jake Parker. The senior led the state in rushing, finishing with 2,505 yards and 33 touchdowns on 283 carries. It was his second straight 2,000-yard season. In his final two seasons, he rushed for 4,920 yards and 62 TDs.
The offensive captain is senior quarterback Ross Comis of state champion Magnolia.
The 6-2, 215-pound quarterback rushed for 2,037 yards — a state record for QBs — and 35 touchdowns. Comis has also passed for 1,731 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Comis, a utility selection because of his versatility, was named captain two days after the Blue Dons’ 24-14 victory against Greenbrier West in the Class A championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Comis, the first-team quarterback last year, finished his career with 4,839 yards rushing and 71 touchdowns — both state records — and passed for 4,416 yards and 49 touchdowns.
Comis was joined on the first team by teammates Eliott Nero (running back), Josh Martin (offensive line) and Will Bowser (defensive back). Nero rushed for 1,858 yards and 27 touchdowns (and 36 overall), Martin made headlines as a 7-foot-2 two-way lineman and Bowser had two touchdown receptions and five tackles in the state championship game.
Bishop Donahue’s Jesse Padlow was named the quarterback of the first team. Padlow led the state in passing yards with 2,468 (completing 153 of 264 passes) with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions in leading the Bishops to the second round of the playoffs.
Magnolia running back Drew Keller (283-1,832-22) led his team to the Class A semifinals, where it lost to Greenbrier West.
Along with Martin, first-team offensive linemen were Noah Schultz of St. Marys, Cole Seckman of Magnolia, Isaac Britton of Doddridge County and Wesley Harrison of Wahama.
The wide receivers were Gilmer County’s Austin Ratliff (68 receptions, 875 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Bishop Donahue’s Lavonte Hampton (45-723-11).
Garrett Furr of St. Marys was the kicker. Furr kicked the game-winning field goal in an 11-9 win over Magnolia and was 31 of 37 PATs this season.
Other first-team defensive linemen were Tyler Davis of St. Marys (84 tackles), Chris Vani (19 sacks) of Bishop Donahue and Colton Neal of Wahama.
Linebackers include Magnolia’s Kage Rodge, a repeat first-team performer from last season, Wil Schoonover from Moorefield and Joe John from Wheeling Central.
Williamstown’s Jake Tracewell, Madonna’s Bowser, and Wahama’s Hunter Bradley join Boatwright at defensive back, while Kane Roush of Wahama is the defensive utility player and Pocahontas County’s Devin Rose is the punter.
Clay-Battelle’s Tristan Haught (1,332 yards passing and 18 touchdowns) was named captain of the second team offense and Madonna defensive lineman Matt Guio was named captain of the second team defense.
Austin Cunningham is quarterback of the second team with Notre Dame’s Santana Cava, Valley-Fayette’s Keyshawn Payne and Wheeling Central’s C.J. Burch at running back.
Offensive linemen are Fayetteville’s Hunter Pullens, Clay Battelle’s Hunter Six, Williamstown’s D.J. Kerns , Madonna’s Garret Bever and Moorefield’s Seth Stickley.
Man’s Trace Jones and East Hardy’s Tyler Smith are the receivers with Trace Elder of Williamstown at kicker.
On defense, Corey Cox of Greenbrier West, Bradon Riggleman of Moorefield and Magnolia’s Kyle Ritz join Gio on the defensive line.
Linebackers are Doddridge County’s Wyatt Ford, Tyler Consolidated’s Jacob Hughley, Williamstown’s Dakota Watson and St. Marys David Gray.
Defensive backs are Valley-Fayette’s Raeshawn Breckenridge, Buffalo’s Jordan Tucker and Austin Zirk of Tucker County.
Local special mention selections were Meadow Bridge’s Kyle Killen and Valley’s Steven Mitchell and Casey Stewart.
Honorable mention picks included Meadow Bridge’s Todd McClanahan, Midland Trail’s Dallas Miller and Evan O’Dell, and Fayetteville’s Tasheem Saunders.
assistant sports editor Gary Fauber and Wheeling Intelligencer sports writer Dave Morrison contributed to this story