2018-19 The Berkshire Eagle All Stars: Football
Player of the Year
Conner Noyes, Wahconah, Senior
Conner Noyes put together an all around dominant senior season for the Warriors, culminating with a state semifinal appearance in Division VII and the Angelo Bertelli Award, presented by the Western Massachusetts chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, as the MVP for all of Western Mass. football. Who are we to argue?
Whether on offense or defense, Noyes made his presence known. As a running back, Noyes carried the ball 163 times in 2018 for 1,413 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 8.7 yards per carry. No teammate with more than 10 rushing attempts averaged more per carry. He rumbled for 262 yards and five touchdowns in the team's 48-25 win over Minnechaug. He also rushed for 203 yards against West Springfield, and in the Western Mass. D-VII championship game against South Hadley, he ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the team's 46-14 blowout.
He was also an outlet for Tim Clayton, this year's Offensive Player of the Year, in the receiving game. Noyes hauled in six passes this year for 98 yards.
On defense, Noyes was an anchor for the team at the linebacker position, busting into the backfield for tackles and helping keep opposing offenses from getting much going. The Wahconah defense pitched three shutouts during the year, while holding four other opponents to two or fewer touchdowns in games.
Offensive Player of the Year
Tim Clayton, Wahconah, Senior
The senior quarterback repeats as Offensive Player of the Year after captaining Wahconah back to the state semifinals. Clayton tossed the ball around like a hot potatoe this season, amassing 1,553 yards through the air. He went 108 for 198 in 11 games this season, averaging 7.8 yards per completion. He thre for three scores in three games this year, and also tossed for four touchdowns in a win over Putnam — accounting for all four Wahconah touchdowns in the win. Ten different receivers caught balls from Clayton during the year, showing the vision and patience Clayton had in the pocket. Clayton went for over 100 yards in 10 of his team's games this season, including a 180-yard, three-touchdown performance over South Hadley in the Western Mass. Division VII championship game.
Defensive Player of the Year
Justin Meczywor, Hoosac Valley, Senior
Often times during the season, the Hoosac Valley bench could be heard yelling "juice!" after big plays. No, the team wasn't thirsty — they were cheering on Justin Meczywor. Meczywor helped lead his team to the state semifinals in Division VIII this year, and did it by being the most versatile player for Dayne Poirot's defense. From game to game, Meczywor would find different ways to line up on defense, depending on what his team needed. Meczywor led the team with 57 tackles on the year, including three for losses. He also picked off one pass, forced a fumble and recovered one. Keep in mind, he did all of this while also quarterbacking the team, and he returned kicks and punts for good measure. Wherever the Hurricanes needed Meczywor in 2018, he was there.
Coach of the Year
Gary Campbell, Jr., Wahconah
Campbell has been a fixture on the Wahconah sideline throughout its dominating run through Western Mass. over the last half-decade, and this year's coaching job earned him the Coach of the Year nod. Campbell's biggest task since the change in divisions in Western Mass. is getting his Warriors ready to compete as the smallest school, in terms of enrollment, for any team in the Suburban South. The team's lone league loss was to East Longmeadow, and outside of that 35-8 loss the Warriors racked up some big wins. The team shut out Berkshire County rival Taconic twice — including in the Western Mass. Division VII playoffs — and handed Northampton a 49-7 loss in the Route 9 Rumble. The Warriors won their third straight Western Mass. championship by beating South Hadley, before bowing out in the state semifinals against Blackstone Valley Tech.
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