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December 25, 2013

Talent in abundance on All-Wabash Valley football team

TH North leads way with nine selections

TERRE HAUTE — The longest postseason run in high school football history for Terre Haute North resulted in the Patriots having the most representatives on the All-Wabash Valley team announced today by the Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association.

Coach Chris Barrett’s team wasn’t the only successful one in the fall, however, so spots on this team were hard to come by due to a similar postseason run by Linton, postseason dreams hampered by injuries in the case of South Putnam and North Vermillion, postseason hopes squashed by an unfortunate sectional in the case of Greencastle and a first-in-a-while playoff run for Mattoon. There was also a season-long top-10 team in North Central and an Illinois playoff team from Robinson.

How hard was it to make the team? Casey, a Class A final four team in Illinois, isn’t represented on the first or second team.

North is represented by nine players in all, seven on the first team, with Class 5A all-state selections Ricky Brookins, Lucas Comer, Wyatt Stoelting and Kai Stratten leading the way.

Brookins, who erased several Anthony Thompson records during his senior year, is among first-team offensive selections along with Comer, one of his blockers, and quarterback Chris Barrett II, the team’s at-large offensive pick. Zach Potter of North is also the first-team kicker.

Stoelting and Stratten, who helped a hard-hitting Patriot defense from linebacker and defensive back spots respectively, are joined on the first team by defensive tackle Ricky Scank. Second-team Patriots are center Forrest Lowery and safety Austin Massey.

Linton has two first-team selections in defensive lineman Wyatt Franklin and punter Dane Rupska, although Rupska’s value to the team could have come at several other positions on either side of the ball as well. The Miners’ four second-team picks — offensive lineman Zach Riddell, running back Zane Hayden, receiver Grant Stamm and defensive at-large pick Cody VanWinkle — gives them six all-Valley players overall, the second-best representation.

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