VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: WOOD REPEATS AS FOOTBALL 'PLAYER OF THE YEAR;' ATHENS' PERNASELLI, YOUNG, WAVERLY'S BEEMAN, TIOGA'S WILLIAMS EARN OTHER TOP HONORS (2021-07-27)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — The 2020-21 football seasons was like no other we’ve ever seen, but one thing that was the same: Tioga junior Emmett Wood was unstoppable and repeats as the Valley Sports Report “Player of the Year.”
Athens senior Ben Pernaselli was the “Defensive Player of the Year,” while Tioga senior Cole Williams was the “Lineman of the Year,” Waverly sophomore Ty Beeman was the “Newcomer of the Year,” and Athens’ Jack Young was the “Coach of the Year.”
Due to Covid cancellations, Athens played just six regular-season games, while Sayre was limited to just three. Meanwhile, Waverly and Tioga bother played spring football (well, the season actually started in the winter), and were able to get in six games.
Wood, who is also the “Offensive Player of the Year, has a rare mixture of size, speed, and power for Class D football. He ran for 1,280 yards and 13 TDs. Wood also led the Tigers in tackles on the other side of the ball.
Pernaselli proved nearly unblockable at defensive end for the Wildcats. He had the ability to pressure the quarterback, and also keep opposing backs from getting to the corner.
Williams, a second-team all-state offensive lineman as a junior, cleared the way for a Tioga offense that averaged more than 300 yards per game on the ground. He was also a force on the defensive line, demanding double teams on nearly every down.
Beeman stepped in and made an immediate impact for the Wolverines, anchoring the offensive line at center, and also ranking among the team leaders in tackles at linebacker.
Young directed a dramatic Wildcat turnaround in 2020. Athens posted a 1-10 record in 2019 — one of the marks in program history — but bounced back with a 5-1 record in the regular season.
2021 ALL-VALLEY FOOTBALL TEAM:
QB — Mason Lister, sophomore, Athens
RB — Emmett Wood, junior, Tioga
RB — Shayne Reid, junior, Athens
RB — Gavin Godfrey, junior, Tioga
WR — Karter Rude, junior, Athens
RB / WR — Caden Wheeler, senior, Waverly
OL — Ian Wright, senior, Athens
OL — Connor Sindoni, senior, Athens:
OL — Cole Williams, senior, Tioga
OL — Ryan Rockwell, senior, Tioga
OL — Zach Belles, senior, Sayre
OL — Ty Beeman, sophomore, Waverly
TE — Ben Pernaselli, senior, Athens
DL — Ian Wright, senior, Athens:
DL — Zach Belles, senior, Sayre:
DL — Hunter Rando, senior, Waverly
DL — Cole Williams, senior, Tioga
LB — Tanner Dildine, senior, Athens:
LB — Cayden Turcsik, senior Waverly
LB — Emmett Wood, junior, Tioga
LB: — Zack Garrity, sophomore, Sayre
DB — Karter Rude, junior, Athens
DB — Shayne Reid, junior, Athens:
DB — Caden Wheeler, senior, Waverly
DB — Gavin Godfrey, junior, Tioga
KICKER: Gavin Fisher, freshman, Tioga.
PUNTER: Lucas Horton, sophomore, Sayre.