It has been a fantastic fall season for the local contingent of football teams and players.
Earlier this month a trio of programs — Batavia, Attica and Oakfield-Alabama/Elba — came away with their respective Section V titles. For the Batavia and the Aggies, it was their second straight block, while Attica erased years of close calls with the first sectional championship in program history.
While OAE fell in the Class D Far West Regional final on Monday, Batavia stopped Iroquois in Class B and will be playing in the state semifinals for the second time in program history this weekend. Attica played Section VI’s Lackawanna on Tuesday night for a chance to advance to the Class C semifinals.
Recently, Section V announced its annual Players of the Year and a plethora of local stars earned the honors, five in all, including both the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in Class D.
In helping lead Batavia to its second straight Class B block, senior quarterback Ja’Vin McFollins was named the Section V Class B Offensive Player of the Year.
In his first and only varsity season under center, McFollins was outstanding as he went 89-of-126 (a completion percentage of 71) for 1,724 yards and 21 touchdowns against only three interceptions. McFollins also added 150 yards on the ground with seven rushing touchdowns, while he was also a key member of an impressive Batavia defense.
“Ja’Vin is extremely deserving,” Batavia head coach Brennan Briggs said. “He has been tremendous all year long and more importantly he has been an unbelievable leader on this football team. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Batavia will take on Section IV’s Maine-Endwell in the Class B state semifinals on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Union-Endicott High School.
In Class C, it was multiple-time Player of the Week selection Case Hill from Attica who picked up the Defensive Player of the Year honor after an impressive season.
A junior middle linebacker, Hill was the leader of an impressive Attica defense as he finished with 91 total tackles, three sacks, two interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — and a fumble recovery.
“I am very happy for Case,” Attica head coach Jeff Cusmano said. “He has an excellent work ethic, leads by example and is a great teammate.”
With a win over Lackawanna, Attica would meet Section III’s General Brown in the Class C semifinals on Saturday at Union-Endicott High School at noon.
In Class D, a pair of local players swept the honor in Oakfield-Alabama/Elba’s Noah Currier and Alexander’s Kaden Lyons.
A senior running back, Currier stepped right into the shoes of the graduated Ty Mott and Gaige Armbrewster and ran with the opportunity, earning the Class D Offensive Player of the Year award. Throughout Section V play, Currier ran for 1,579 yards and 30 touchdowns on just 117 carries, averaging 13.5 yards per carry. Currier also had four catches for 85 yards and two more touchdowns, while he added a 60-yard fumble return for a touchdown on defense.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Noah and the senior season he had,” OAE head coach Tyler Winter said. “He’s very deserving of this award. Every time our team took the field, it was a comfort knowing we had the most dynamic athlete in the game in our colors. This is a byproduct of all the hard work he put in with his lifting and conditioning to set himself up for a memorable senior season. I’m glad he was able to do exactly that.”
The season for the Aggies ended on Monday night with a 42-26 loss to Section VI’s Randolph at Brockport High School.
A senior linebacker, Lyons was the defensive signal caller for an amazing Trojans defense that allowed just 29 points during the regular season as he picked up the Class D Defensive Player of the Year selection. Lyons finished the season with 38 solo tackles, including six for a loss, to go with a blocked punt returned for a score on special teams. Additionally, he added nine touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball.
“Kaden had a tremendous senior season,” Alexander head coach Tim Sawyer said. “He has been our defensive signal caller all season. He would appear to be an undersized inside linebacker on the surface. However, his speed, incredible strength, and his trust in the ‘reads’ have allowed him to have great success. He has achieved all of this despite not playing his Junior year due to an injury. Winning the Class D Defensive Player of the Year award is very fitting.”
After falling in the Class D title game to OAE, Alexander still advanced to the state quarterfinals via an at-large bid but dropped a tough one on Sunday in the snow and wind to Section II winner Cambridge/Salem, 12-7.
Last but not least, Pembroke junior running back Tyson Totten was absolutely outstanding on both sides of the ball and he picked up the 8-Man Offensive Player of the Year honor.
Setting numerous program records along the way, Totten ran for 2,123 yards at 13.7 yards per carry with 30 rushing touchdowns. Totten didn’t fumble once on the season and added two receiving scores and a passing touchdown, while he finished with 2,331 all-purpose yards.
Totten also led the Dragons’ defense with 73 total tackles on the season.
After winning the Section V championship and stopping Morrisville-Eaton in the NYS Regional Semifinal, Pembroke will now meet Section IV’s Groton for the 8-man Regional Championship on Friday at Union-Endicott High School at noon.
Other Players of the Year included Monroe’s Jayden Ferrell winning the Class B Defensive Player of the Year, Penn Yan/Dundee’s Carter Earl taking the Class C Offensive Player of the Year and Bolivar-Richburg’s Trent Sibble earning the 8-man Defensive Player of the Year honor.