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Huskies’ Pelegreen earns first team all-Ohio

November 28, 2012
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor , The Herald-Star

Harrison Central senior Nick Pelegreen has been selected to the first-team defense of the Division IV all-Ohio Associated Press football team.

"He deserves it," Huskies coach Justin Kropka said. "He had a heck of a year and a heck of a career. We'll miss him - to say the least."

Pelegreen, who was named the Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year two weeks ago, finished his career as Harrison Central's all-time leading tackler.

"He is everything you want in a young man, and that has nothing to do with his football ability," said Kropka, who led the Huskies to their second postseason appearance in school history this year.

"Nick is someone you want representing your school, your community and your program. He's a good player, good student and good kid and that's what high school football is supposed to be all about."

Teammate Maurtice Hython was selected first-team all-Ohio running back.

The senior tallied 1,803 yards on 231 carries with 19 scores in the regular season on his way to becoming one of the area's all-time career rushing yard leaders.

"He's been the anchor of our offense for three years," said Kropka." "We leaned on him heavily. His stats are impressive, but more impressive is that everybody we played for the last two years was focused on trying to stop him.

"That's a credit to him and our linemen."

Earning all-Ohio special mention status are Harrison Central seniors Rashaen Mitchell, Rhett Kuryn, Tyler Rose and Josh Moore.

"Let's just say we have some big shoes to fill for next year," said Kropka.

"I have been very fortunate since I got here that our best players have always been our hardest workers.

"Eventually, there comes a point in the season when it becomes their team. It's still my program, but it's their team.

"The kids have to set the example to the rest of the kids in the program - not the coach.

"It's a lot easier to coach when the kids who took the reigns are your best players."

It was the first time in school history that six Harrison Central football players were recognized on the state level.

"To me, when you get those kids to be recognized, it really shows how far our program has come," said Kropka, "that we have that much respect. People respect them as good players and that makes me very proud and happy for our kids. When you see things like that happen, you realize that people do respect what we're doing out here and that they know how good they are.

"It's nice that people are looking our way. I'm a perpetual junior - I get to keep coming back. I hope every football player gets everything out of Harrison Central football they possibly can."

Indian Creek senior quarterback Alex Young and Steubenville Big Red running back Dashon Redmon have been selected to the Division III all-Ohio third team.

Young had a tremendous regular season, completing 60 of 128 attempts for 887 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He rushed for 360 yards on 65 carries with eight more scores as well. He also returned two punts, a kickoff and an interception for touchdowns while kicking 17 extra points and two field goals.

"We took a very athletic kid and asked him to go from wideout to quarterback," said Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor. "His maturity from game to game got better and better. He was the spark that made us go. He developed into a very good quarterback. I thought he made a lot of big plays for us."

Redman carried the ball 140 times for 758 yards and scored eight touchdowns in the regular season. He also led the team with 60 tackles from his linebacker position.

"Dashon was put in a tough position on offense and defense this year," Big Red head coach Reno Saccoccia has said of Redmon.

"On defense he moved into the Mike linebacker position. It's hard for a senior to be a first-year starter at Mike linebacker because you have to progress from three keys and you have to be able to see more of the field.

"He wasn't able to spend two or three years improving his eyesight in that regard. On offense he had to move from fullback to tailback and it took time to adjust there. He did a great job adjusting to both positions."

Earning Division III all-Ohio special mention status are Steubenville's Luke McCourt and Indian Creek's Levi Flesher, Montel McClelland and Shane Winland.

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