To some it might seem early but as players begin hitting lifting PR’s and getting in shape- the season has never quite ended.  The chase for a trip to Wheeling never ends, and we are taking Fridays in the current offseason to highlight the top five players returning per position in AAA and AA/A (combined).  Not on the list?  Good thing it’s not even preseason yet.  Prove us right or prove us wrong.



Without further ado…



Honorable Mention

Derek Richardson (University) 2019

Devon Matzdorff (Wayne) 2019

Ethan Travis (Oak Glen) 2019



#5 Elijah Barner


School: Mount View

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’9 / 225 lbs

Barner typically plays more of a runningback role for Mount View and is also an all-state linebacker but his Mike Alstott-esque running has him here.  On their schedule, he may never go down just by one defender.  He’s stout, proportioned, and can move.  He could have a banner year for a Golden Knight looking to take another step towards the playoffs.  We’re excited to see some truck sticks for sure.



#4 Channing Carr


School: James Monroe

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 6’2 / 200 lbs

Carr was underrated part of a talented Maverick offense the last two years.  He’s lanky and can play off the line or out wide.  His grittiness allows for him to survive in the trenches.  At tight end, he will be an important target under a new head coach and new full-time quarterback.  We expect a phenominal year for Carr as he has all the physical and mental tools to be a top all-stater.



#3 Dakota Cosby


School: George Washington

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 6’1 / 230 lbs

Cosby was one of our favorite players to watch on film this offseason.  He is a definite star on defense and would be on the linebacker watch lists if we didn’t think he was also such a good fullback-tightend combo.  He’s tall but also a very big kid with large hips and a powerful upper body.  His 100+ tackle counts indicates he can move which results in head-splitting hits on both sides.  Cosby is a player you feel days after the game.



#2 Isaac Howard


School: Spring Valley

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’11 / 215 lbs

On a team with star players littering each position and class, the fullback can often times be overlooked.  The Timberwolves bread and butter is the run game, and Howard has been a constant performer here.  Spring Valley fans and players know his worth but the state should too.  He’s well-sized, has that hustle to beat linebackers to the position, and then has the grit to seal them off.  A stellar player.



#1 Bryce Damous


School: Huntington

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 6’3 / 230 lbs

If the Highlanders can develop a consistent passing game with a brand-new skill crew, Damous could put up Gronk numbers.  He’s a tall and slender but the closer you get the more you realize how muscular he is.  Add in the fact that he moves well too, and there might not be really anyone in the state who can guard him 1v1 without a lot of safety help over the top.  An incredible tool that stretches the field.  He will be a beast again this year.



Who did we miss?  Let us know!  We never shy away from people telling us we’re missing out on kids!  Our next Feature Five Friday we will take on the top kickers and punters in the state!  Let us know who should be in there!

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