MOUNT VERNON — It could be argued that the Fredericktown Freddies had the most impressive football team in the area, on both offense and defense.
So it’s only fitting that Fredericktown players receive the two highest All-Area football honors.
Running back Matt Smith has been named All-Area Offensive Player of the Year, while teammate Austin Hoeflich is Defensive Player of the Year, as voted on by writers and editors of the Mount Vernon News.
Smith totalled 2,281 yards on 270 carries this year, scoring 26 touchdowns. He used his speed to slip through holes created by Fredericktown’s dominant offensive line.
Smith was named Second Team All-Ohio, the only sophomore in Division V to earn that honor.
“That offensive line gives (Smith) a little crease, and he’s off. He’s fast, he’s explosive and he’s powerful. He can cut on a dime,” Fredericktown head coach Brian Baum said.
Hoeflich, a senior, was named Central District Defensive Player of the Year and Mid-Buckeye Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and was named First Team All-Ohio. Hoeflich had over 240 tackles in his extended season. He was also an offensive threat, accumulating 640 yards on 104 carries in the regular season as a fullback, scoring 11 times.
“(Hoeflich) is who you want to build a team around. He is all over the field. He’s the perfect type of football player. He’s a leader, and he’s one of the main reasons for our success on defense. Every defense should have an Austin Hoeflich,” Baum said.
On the offensive side, the News selected Jason Hoar as the All-Area quarterback. The Utica senior led the area with 1,685 passing yards and 20 touchdowns.
At running back, Mount Vernon’s Leevi Stump, Danville’s Heath Buckingham and Highland’s Artie McAndrew are honored.
This year’s All-Area receivers are Utica’s Scott Cline, Fredericktown’s Tony Lybarger and Centerburg’s Logan McGovern. Highland’s Matt Stooksbury is named All-Area tight end.
The All-Area offensive line consists of: Logan Awwiller and Steven Wagner of Fredericktown, Jason Beltz of Highland, Connor Mulligan of Utica and Travis Day of Mount Vernon.
Fredericktown’s Branden Smith is this year’s All-Area kicker.