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Chris Masse presents the 4th Annual Sun-Gazette coverage area Top 50: 50-41

Pictured: Muncy’s Dylan Wilt intercepts a ball intended for South Williamsport’s Austin Nash during the game Friday at Muncy High School. KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette


For the next four Mondays we will bring you Chris Masse’s 4th Annual Sun-Gazette coverage area Top 50, broken up in segments of ten. Today we present numbers 50-41:


 

No. 50: Austin Nash, South Williamsport: A quality receiver and defensive back, Nash enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 and helped South go 9-2 and win the HAC-III championship. Tied for team-high 3 interceptions, returning one 102 yards for TD. One of 4 returning dbacks for South. Nash also is a good receiver who could help stretch the field this season and build on last year’s season when he had 11 catches for 197 yards and 3 TDs. Expect him to be a major player for South as it tries to continue winning tradition

No. 49: Aiden Gair, Loyalsock: A player you likely will hear a lot about this fall, Gair started making a big defensive impact late last season and his 60-yard pick 6 clinched a hard-fought win at Montoursville and he made 8 tackles in a state playoff game against Scranton Prep. Gair could become the team’s primary ball-carrier and has good speed and explosiveness. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry last season. He will play a big role for the defending D4 AAA champs

No. 48: Hunter Shearer, Montoursville: A first-time starting sophomore last fall, Shearer faced a tall order as the Warriors were one of the district’s youngest teams and played maybe the toughest D4 schedule. He handled it well and made nice strides as season went on, throwing for 1,047 yards. Shearer made better decisions as year progressed and topped 100 yards passing in 5 of his last 6 games. Shearer threw for 184 yards against Lewisburg and had 305 yards and 2 touchdowns in his last 2 games

No. 47: Hunter Herr, Hughesville: one of the more exciting freshmen to play last fall, Herr really came on strong as the season continued and appears poised for bigger things. Herr is a very

good linebacker who averaged 8.3 tackles over his last 4 games. He had 11 tackles against Central Columbia and 9 more against Warrior Run. He will be one of Hughesville’s top play makers this season and also has a lot of offensive potential, averaging 7 yards per carry and scoring TD in season-ending win against Muncy

No. 46: Blake Cannon, Bucktail: A four-year, 2-way starter, Cannon was having an excellent season before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 6. He’s an excellent fullback who blocks well, runs hard & catches well. Is also standout on defense. Blake ran for 335 yards, 2 TDs, was 2nd in receptions. Cannon has been the leading or 2nd leading rusher in each season at Bucktail. He’s also a very good linebacker who has 9 sacks over the last 2 seasons. Has a good nose for the football. Ran for 102 yards and TD in season-defining win at CMVT last year. Part of loaded backfield

No. 45: Jaxon Dalena, Montoursville: A standout catcher in the spring, Dalena also had a big breakout year in football last fall, leading Montoursville in tackles and developing into one of the area’s better defensive backs. Dalena averaged team-best 6.9 tackles per game, had career-high 12, helping spark defense as it held Danville to 7 pts in Week 3. Dalena had 10 tackles vs state champ Southern Columbia & 2 of his 3 interceptions came in Montour wins. He could make big offensive impact as well

No. 44: Donovan Diehl, Muncy: An outstanding 2-way starter who has helped Muncy win District and league championships in the last 2 seasons. Diehl a good center who has helped Muncy impose its will throughout the last 2 seasons. He paved the way for 1,000-yard QB and RB last year. Diehl is a hard-nosed player who provides energy and leadership on both sides of ball, an aggressive middle linebacker who averaged 6 tackles last season, 2nd among returning Muncy players. Had 12 tackles in D4 semis. Provides good foundation for Muncy to build upon

No. 43: Derek Gee, Loyalsock: One of the premier safeties in the area, Gee was having a big breakthrough season before breaking his thumb in Week 6 last year and missing rest of season. Gee averaged 6.1 tackles per game and made big strides from a breakout sophomore season. Gee can be like a security blanket in the secondary and had 5 interceptions as a sophomore. Also an excellent punter who averaged 34.4 yards per punt last year. Can return kicks and could be a player to watch at receiver this season. One of the defense’s leaders

No. 42: Zane Gee, Hughesville: A talented 2-way lineman, Gee will be one of Hughesville’s most valuable players this season. The 6-1, 240-pounder had a team-high 5 sacks and also can be a good run stuffer, valuable on offensive line as well. Gee had five or more tackles in four of his last 6 games, making nice strides as season progressed. Had sacks in 5 different games and was part of the o-line that helped Hughesville roll up a season-high 426 yards in thrilling season-finale win against Muncy

RB Tanner Riggle, Bucktail

No. 41: Tanner Riggle, Bucktail: The senior workhorse was dominant throughout the 2nd half of last season and only an injury prevented him from topping 1,000 yards. He did fabulous job when fantastic freshman Gage Sutliff and Blake Cannon were injured. Ran for 968 yards, 9 TDs. Riggle ran for 293 yards and 4 TDs in a 48-27 win over St. Joseph’s and 208 yards and 3 TDs in a playoff-clinching win vs CV, helping Bucktail reach districts despite dressing as few as 14 players at 1 point. Averaged 7.8 yards per carry and strong defensively with 4 sacks. Riggle is part of what could be a potent backfield as he, Cannon and Sutliff are all back. A lot of optimism for the Bucks who had outstanding season last fall

 

 

 


Next Monday, July 16: Players 40-31

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