By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY With the college football bowl season about to wrap up and the first round of the National Football League playoffs complete, football is still on the minds of many Sullivan County sports fans.
Of course, the 2008 high school gridiron season provided many memorable moments, as well. As a result, the Democrat recently contacted the coaches of the five Sullivan County varsity teams Eldred, Liberty, Livingston Manor/Roscoe, Sullivan West and Tri-Valley which competed this past autumn. The coaches were asked to nominate some of their own players, as well as players from the other county teams for the 2008 Democrat All-Star Football Team.
Today, we highlight the players who were selected for the Democrat All-Star Team’s Offense. (Please see Friday’s issue for the 2008 Democrat All-Star Football Team’s Defense).
Quarterback: Brad Reimer, Senior, Sullivan West
Reimer passed for more than 1,300 yards last fall in leading the Bulldogs to the Section IX Class C regular season title. He also scored 39 TDs (rushing and passing) on the season.
Running Back: Troy Correa, Freshman, LMR
Correa led the Devilcats last fall with 1,047 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He completed the season with 1,653 all-purpose yards to help LMR record its first victories since the 2005 season.
Running Back: Nick Mootz, Senior, Sullivan West
In the Section IX Class C semifinal between the Bulldogs and Tri-Valley Bears on Oct. 31 in Middletown, Mootz gained 98 yards on just 10 carries to help lead SW to victory. Mootz was also one of the Bulldogs’ team captains in 2008.
Running Back: Dan Byrne, Junior, Tri-Valley
Byrne rushed for 690 yards last autumn. He also averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored five touchdowns.
All-Purpose Back: Dan Figueroa, Senior, Sullivan West
Figueroa was one of the Bulldogs’ key players, whether he was running the ball or catching it. In SW’s season-opening win over Ellenville, he had 108 yards receiving and 52 yards rushing. He helped the Bulldogs cap an undefeated regular season with 99 rushing yards against Tri-Valley on Oct. 24.
Wide Receiver: Claude Davis, Senior, LMR
Davis caught four TD passes last autumn. One of them was a nice leaping catch in the corner of the end zone in the Devilcats’ final regular season game against Spackenkill.
Tackle: John Whittaker, Senior, Sullivan West
Whittaker was one of the Bulldog captains last fall and helped the Bulldogs gain more than 2,000 total yards.
Guard: Mark Tesseyman, Junior, Sullivan West
Tesseyman was one of the most consistent linemen during the season, whether he was protecting Reimer or throwing a key block for one of the Bulldogs’ running backs.
Center: Andrew Yager, Senior, Tri-Valley
Yager anchored the Bears’ offensive line from the center position for the past three seasons. He also served as one of the team captains for the 2008 season.
Guard: Kirk Daroci, Senior, Tri-Valley
Daroci was one of the Bears’ senior leaders last fall.
Tackle: Robert Fiedler, Senior, Tri-Valley
When Bears’ quarterback Dustin Van Lieu dropped back to pass, Fiedler protected Van Lieu from opposing defensive ends who were charging in with the hopes of sacking the QB.
Placekicker: Bobby Warden, Junior, Eldred
Warden often capped a Yellowjackets’ drive to the end zone by calmly booting the football through the uprights for the extra-point.