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Rogalski Captains Class A Team

Magnolia’s jewel given well-earned recognition

December 11, 2012
By RICK THORP, Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Class AA or Class A, it didn't matter. Stephen Rogalski was in a class all by himself.

His coach at Magnolia High School, Mark Batton, saw it from the very beginning.

''When we first saw him come on the field we knew he was a special player,'' said Batton, who guided the Blue Eagles to a Class AA state crown in 2010.

Article Photos

Magnolia RB/WR Stephen Rogalski (5) has been selected to captain the Class A all-state team.

"What a contribution he's made to the program as a whole," Batton said. "He's a very special player."

Members of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association thought so, too, and today named the Magnolia speedster the offensive captain for the Class A all-state football team.

"He was the emphasis of a lot of opposing defensive coordinators, that's for sure," Batton said. "And while we may have struggled a few times getting him the ball, that just opened things up for other players.

"He worked hard to get open and we worked hard to get him the ball."

Despite being double-teamed on a regular basis, the 5-foot-11 senior hauled in 62 passes this fall for 898 yards and six touchdowns. The yardage total is the same as 2011 on three more receptions.

"We always knew he had the ability," Batton said. "You could see that in the way he carried himself. He was a special person to coach."

Rogalski wasn't a one-trick pony. Batton utilized him on kicks, as well. This season he returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns. He also rushed for 294 yards and four more scores.

Defensively, Rogalski made 35 stops and picked off a pass.

Clearly, Rogalski, who played in three state semifinal games, was the complete package.

"Stephen came to practice every day prepared," Batton said. "He was a leader, a vocal guy ... always upbeat.

"He provided great leadership. I know the younger guys respected him."

One of those guys was junior Drew Keller, one of the first-team running backs.

Keller, the latest in the stellar group of family members to play at Magnolia recently, rushed for a hair more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He also caught 25 passes for 348 yards.

Meadow Bridge's Jake Parker leads the running back corps after rushing for a whopping 2,211 yards and 28 TDs.

Wahama's Kane Roush rounds out the runners after churning out 1,543 yards and 22 TDs in helping lead the White Falcons to the Class A championship.

The team Wahama beat in the thrilling title tilt, Madonna, had the first-team quarterback in Ross Comis.

A junior, Comis was dual threat, rushing for more than 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns and throwing for a shade more than 1,000 and 12 scores.

Joining Rogalski at receiver is East Hardy's Josh Parker, who caught 53 balls for 1,287 yards.

Wheeling Central's C.J. Burch is the utility player.

Thrust into the role of Maroon Knights quarterback because of an injury to Parker Henry, Burch shined. He carried the ball 251 times for 1,637 yards and 21 TDs and threw for 763 yards and nine more scores.

Providing protection up front are Wahama's Zack Killingsworth, Clay-Battelle's Tyler Menas, St. Marys' Alan Pratt, Wirt County's Scott Lowe and Greenbrier West's Zack Johnson.

Williamstown's Garrett Butler, last week named an all-stater in soccer, is the kicker. He was 33 of 34 on extra-points and converted six field schools, including a school-record 50-yarder.

The first-team defense is captained by Wahama's Zack Wamsley. He made 91 tackles and 4.5 sacks and picked off a pair passes. His field goal against Magnolia sent his team to the title game.

"He's been our leading tackler for three years," Wahama coach Ed Cromley said. "He's held our defense together. He's been a great leader."

The other linebackers are Magnolia's Kage Rohde (93.5 tackles), St. Marys' Derek Barnhart (75.5 tackles) and Tucker County's Mike Adkins (137 tackles).

Wheeling Central's Braxton Nolte, a return selection, and Madonna's Nate Guio help comprise a defensive line that also includes Tug Valley's Isaac Parsley.

Nolte made 97 stops for Coach Mike Young, while Guio had 66 tackles. Parsley registered 93 stops and seven sacks.

Tyler Consolidated's Hunter LeMasters rode 99.5 tackles to a first-team defensive back spot. Joining him are Buffalo's Levi Jordan. Jordan who helped anchor a unit that allowed an average of 76 passing yards per game.

Doddridge County's Daniel Plaugher (90 tackles, three interceptions) and Tucker County's Derek Nestor are the other DBs.

Greenbrier West's Malik Boatwright is the utility player. He made 45 tackles on defense, averaged 22 yards per punt return, averaged nearly 30 yards per kickoff return and rushed for 1,650 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Midland Trail's Jake Grimmett is the punter. He averaged 40.4 yards per boot, including a long of 60 yards.

Madonna's Eliott Nero is captain of the second-team offense at the utility spot. He excelled at rushing, receiving and kick returns.

''His offensive numbers aren't what they would be if he was the featured back,'' Blue Dons coach Doug Taylor said. ''Add up all of his yardage on offense, defense and special teams and he had close to 1,100 yards.'

Madonna's Josh Martin was selected as an offensive lineman, along with Wheeling Central's Chance Siebieda.

Wheeling Central's Bradley Cottrell is the kicker, while Tyler Consolidated's Alex Doak is a receiver.

The second-team defense is captained by Bishop Donahue linebacker Jordan Bonar.

''With his versatility and athleticism we played him at safety some, too,'' Bishops coach John Durdines said. ''He has that nature ability and great instincts.''

Madonna's Garrett Hypes joins Bonar in the linebacking corps.

Magnolia's Kyle Ritz is a defensive lineman.

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