To start, Peters Township senior Nick Wilcox is the O-R Boys Player of the Year, while classmate Emily Correal earned her third consecutive O-R Girls Player of the Year distinction. I feel very confident in both selections.
Wilcox performed at a consistently high level throughout the year, was the area's best offensive player in addition to being a strong rebounder and defender. His closest competition was Wash High senior Nick Bryant.
Correal is one of the most accomplished girls high school players this area has seen. Her offensive ability is what put Correal ahead of Wash High senior Jocelyn Floyd.
Here's a glance at the O-R All-District teams, which was broken into big school and small school for the first time in 12 years and without the honorable mention for the first time:
Big school boys
Dave Bassi, Ringgold; Kiante Davis, Canon-McMillan; Steve Radke, Peters Township; Nick Wilcox, Peters Township; Craig Wolcott, Peters Township
Matt Czulewicz, McGuffey; Chad Hagan, Canon-McMillan; Phil Horensky, Peters Township; Sean McKnight, Trinity; Josh Valentic, Trinity
Small school boys
Robert Anderson, Washington; Zach Bellhy, Fort Cherry; Nick Bryant, Washington; Mike Lamberti, South Fayette; Troy Wilson, Washington
Mike Burroughs, South Fayette; Ian McCombs, Carmichaels; Ryne Niemiec, Beth-Center; Eli Obade, Charleroi; Joe Silko, South Fayette
Big school girls
Emily Correal, Peters Township; Danielle Gilmore, Trinity; Samantha Higgins, Peters Township; Emily Schartner, Ringgold; Elise Schober, McGuffey
Jennie Affinito, Ringgold; Emily Hansen, Canon-McMillan; Chelsea McWreath, Trinity; Ashley Morran, Trinity; Marissa Pattison, McGuffey
Small school girls
Jordan Duke, Carmichaels; Jocelyn Floyd, Washington; Marissa Miles, Fort Cherry; Megan Sowers, Beth-Center; Joelle Yamber, Avella
Chelsea Evans, Washington; Kaitlyn Novak, Mapletown; Aly Lee, Charleroi; Paige Uram, South Fayette; Sidney Walter, Fort Cherry
- My starting five for boys would be Wilcox, Bryant, Lamberti, Wilson and Wolcott.
- My starting five girls would be Correal, Floyd, Schartner, Miles and Gilmore.
- Selecting the girls teams was a difficult process this year. Season-ending injuries to Ringgold's Alina Selby and Peters Township's Lexi Kamphaus before the first game took away two talented players and two previous all-district selections.
- Had Niemiec played in more than nine games, it would have been interesting to see where he landed on the all-district team and where Beth-Center would have been seeded in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.
- With Correal, Floyd and Schartner (all Division I players) graduating, who will become the area's next crop of great girls players? If I had to pick a frontrunner for next year's Girls Player of the Year, it would be Selby if she comes back healthy.
- When it comes to Boys Player of the Year in 2010, the early favorites have to be Wilson and Lamberti. Count Wolcott among that group is Peters Township remains competitive and Davis if Canon-McMillan improves.