Sabres' Willis makes second all-state first-team appearance
Schalmont football star Devon Willis has been named to the all-state Class B first-team offense for the second year in a row.
The junior runnng back is joined on the New York State Sportswriters Association Class B first team by Lansingburgh running back Anthony Walker and Glens Falls’ Mike LaNoir, an all-purpose selection.
Despite playing in two fewer games than his sophomore season, Willis surpassed his 2011 totals with 1,632 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns. The Class B West Div-ision Player of the Year and Daily Gazette All-Area first-teamer set a school record with 352 yards in the season-opener against Glens Falls, two other times ran for over 200 yards, and on five occasions went over 100.
“He only played two full games because we were putting up such big numbers,” said Schalmont coach Joe Whipple. “If he played all the way, he would have had 2,000 yards.”
Willis led the Sabres to their fifth straight West Division championship and fourth consecutive Section II title-game appearance. He scored five touchdowns three times and also has a four-touchdown effort in topping the 19 he produced in 2011. In that season, Willis rush for 1,588 yards, and Schamont won its third area title in as many years.
“He was more difficult to tackle this year because of his commitment to the weight room,” said Whipple. “He was stronger. He ran with authority.”
Schalmont defensive end Mike Famolaro also earned all-state honors as a second-team choice. The senior was tabbed the Class B West Division Defensive Player of the Year.
Quarterback Billy Pine and running back Brad Burns of Hoosick Falls were selected the Class C Co-Players of the Year after leading the Panthers to the state championship and a 13-0 record.
Mechanicville linebacker Nate Hatalsky made the first-team Class C defense after piling up 126 tackles, including 27 in a win against Tamarac.
RB, Devon Willis (Schalmont), 6-1, 185, Jr. (first team); RB, Anthony Walker (Lansingburgh), 5-10, 170, Jr. (first); AP, Mike LaNoir (Glens Falls), 6-2, 205, Sr. (first); RB, Joe McMahon (Glens Falls), 6-2, 200, Sr. (third); OE, Darrien White (Albany Academy), 5-8, 165, Sr. (third); OL, Alex Soutiere (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk), 6-1, 290, Sr. (third).
DL, Mike Famalaro (Schalmont), 6-2, 275, Sr. (second); DL, Raekwon Ward (Lansingburgh), 6-2, 300, Sr. (second); LB, Lee Girard (Glens Falls), 6-2, 200, Sr. (second); DB, Shane Lyon (Schuylerville), 6-4, 175, Sr. (second); DB, Cam Girard (Glens Falls), 5-10, 155, Sr. (third).
RB, Brandon Winchell (Hudson Falls); L, Alex Buchanan (Albany Academy); L, Harry Procter (Schuylerville); L, Jesse Ross (Schalmont); L, Sam Sax (Glens Falls); LB, Ian Bennett (Albany Academy); LB, Nick Gallo (Schalmont); LB, Dylan Keyer (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk).
Co-Players of the Year
QB, Billy Pine (Hoosick Falls), 5-11, 180, Sr.; RB, Brad Burns (Hoosick Falls), 5-10, 195, Sr.
OE, Randy Tutunjian (Hoosick Falls), 6-0, 165, Sr. (second); OL, Tyler Cranker (Fonda-Fultonville), 6-4, 260, Jr. (third).
LB, Nate Hatalsky (Mechanicville), 6-1, 215, Sr. (first); DL, Lance Rice-Wilder (Hoosick Falls), 6-1, 240, Sr. (second); LB, Al Kelly (Chatham), 5-10, 190, Jr. (second); Bryan Sherman (Hoosick Falls), 5-6, 150, Sr. (third).
RB, Liam Kane (Stillwater); RB, Jesse Whiteman (Chatham); OE, Shawn McNeil (Stillwater); L, James Gallup (Corinth); L, Will Turner (Fonda-Fultonville); DB, Kevin Twardzik (Fonda-Fultonville).
RB, Josh Hoagland (Whitehall), 5-11, 190, Sr. (first); AP, John Barnes (Greenwich), 6-2, 190, Jr. (first); RB, Matt Parmenter (Cambridge), 5-5, 167, Sr. (second); RB, Seth Butler (Rensselaer), 6-0, 220, Sr. (second); OE, Brandon Butler (Rensselaer), 5-10, 165, Jr. (second); OL, Will McFee (Greenwich), 6-2, 280, Sr. (second).
LB, James Stevens (Rensselaer), 6-2, 185, Jr. (second).
QB, Steven Harwood (Rensselaer); L, Bryant Gibbons (Cambridge); LB, Tyler Brockway (Fort Edward); Tyler Morris
(Salem); Brandon Steves (Whitehall); DB, Isaac Isom (Salem).
Griffin to join Danes
Daily Gazette All-Area first-team running back Ryan Griffin of Shaker has decided to continue his football career at the University at Albany.
Griffin was the offensive leader for the first-time Section II champions with 1,099 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, 18 of them coming on the ground. Griffin ran for over 100 yards in six of Shaker’s last seven games, and scored at least one touchdown in every game for the 10-1 Blue Bison.
Griffin was selected the Class AA Liberty Division Player of the Year after his senior campaign. As a junior, he was tabbed the Liberty Division Defensive Player of the Year for his superb performance as a linebacker. His role with the Great Danes is to be determined.
Torncello makes five
Shaker’s reigning Section II champion girls’ lacrosse team recently increased its Division I-bound cast to five when junior Eva Torncello gave a verbal commitment to play for Towson University in Maryland.
Torncello was among the defensive standouts last spring in Shaker’s 5-4 double-overtime loss to Penfield in the state Class A semifinals. Shaker (17-2) was 14th in the nation in goals allowed at 4.84.
Shaker seniors Maddie Devine (Siena) and Maddy Smith (Holy Cross), and juniors Julia Lennon (Harvard) and Sarah Cheney (Georgetown) previously committed to Division I colleges.
Towson has won two straight Colonial Athletic Association championships and earned automatic NCAA tournament berths. Last season’s team went 16-4 and finished with a No. 9 national rank.
Niskayuna No. 1
Niskayuna edged Shenendehowa for the top spot in the final state Class A rankings for girls’ swimming and diving teams.
Niskayuna, which went 7-1 in dual meets and won the Section II Division 1 championship, scored 5,462 points to Shenendehowa’s 5,363. Shenendehowa went 10-0 in duals and placed second at the sectionals.
Section II’s other ranked Class A teams are Saratoga Springs (No. 6, 4,789), Bethlehem (No. 17, 3,993) and Ballston Spa (No. 18, 3,949). Section II’s ranked Class B teams are Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (No. 6, 4,083) and Glens Falls (No. 9, 2,873).
National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association Power Point scores and dual meet results are among the factors in the rankings.
Mekeel Christian Academy senior Caleb Stewart scored a career-high 37 points in a 75-70 win against Berne-Knox-Westerlo on Dec. 14. Tuesday’s High School Notes incorrectly stated that Stewart’s 32 in a 95-80 opening-round win over Amsterdam at the Gloversville Holiday Tournament last week were a career-best.