COLUMBUS — For the second straight season, a Danville football player was awarded the Central District’s highest honor.
Bryce Staats was voted the Division VI Offensive Player of the Year by sports writers and editors throughout Central Ohio.
Staats’ numbers are undeniable. In 2012 he became the first player in Knox County history to throw for 2,000 yards (2,057) and rush for 1,000 (1,066) in one season. Staats threw for 21 touchdowns while rushing for 10 more. As quarterback, he led the prolific Blue Devils to a 9-1 record, including a 7-0 record in Mid-Buckeye Conference play, a top seed in Region 23 and a spot in the regional championship game.
But Staats didn’t do it alone.
Danville landed a remarkable six players on the All-District First Team. Corey Geog, Staats’ top receiver, caught 46 passes in the regular season for 728 yards. Jamarcus Hershberger earned a spot as an offensive lineman, though he excelled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, Conway Baldridge (10 1/2 sacks), Andy Payne (30 solo tackles, three sacks) and linebacker Kyle Shultz (95 solo tackles) were also named First Team.
Highland had two players named to the Division II First Team. Shawn Gray (60 tackles) earned a spot on the defensive line, while Shawn Beltz (58 tackles) was honored as a defensive back.
Centerburg earned three spots on Division III’s First Team. Brock Cutlip, who led the Trojans both on and off the field, earned a spot as a defensive lineman. Jeremy Sesma (three interceptions) was named First Team as a defensive back. And Brett Sockman earned his second straight First Team nod as the team’s nearly-flawless placekicker.
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