Peterstown’s QB Chad Johnston (1991) by Todd Stringer (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
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We believe that the history of prep football in West Virginia is unique and is a story worth telling. For this, C&C has spent the last two off-seasons dedicated to selecting an official all-decade team for each decade. However, we are not the ones making the decisions. Instead, we have compiled committees of legendary coaches from the time to cast their vote. Below you can see our past all-decade teams completed and the committee for the 1990s. Thank you for all who helped.
1990s Class “A” Committee
Johnston was one of the best athletes of the 1990s. He was an all-state wide receiver and defensive back before becoming quarterback his senior year. They lost the state title game in 1989 and 1990 before Johnston led them to the title in 1991 with a notorious late touchdown pass to defeat Matewan 26-21. He would go on to play for West Virginia, being a three-year starter and winning two bowl games.
Fisher was a catalyst that helped kickstart one of the greatest dynasties in class A history, earning him captain honors for the all-decade team. He was apart of the 1995 team that reached the quarterfinals for only the second time in school history. As a record-setting quarterback, he led the Yellow Jackets to the title in 1996 (16-14 over Valley-Wetzel) and in 1997 (15-12 over Big Creek). He would sign to play for Marshall.
Chandler was nothing short of prolific during his time as a Yellow Jacket. With his speed and playmaking, he helped lead Moorefield to their first state title in school history, incepting an unmatched run in Class A. He accumulated over 5,000 yards and 70 touchdowns, earning first-team all-state honors twice including being named captain as a senior in 1996.
Taylor was considered one of the most complete players of the decade. After losing in the semifinals as a junior, he helped lead one of the statistically greatest seasons for any class A team ever. The Wonders would go unblemished, defeating Valley-Wetzel 44-0 in the title game. It would be the last title in an illustrious school history; Taylor finished as the all-time scoring leader with 263 points. He would play for West Virginia Tech.
Jackson was among the highest-voted players of the entire 1990s. The 6’8″ powerhouse of a wide receiver was a key factor in Peterstown’s prolific offense that appeared in three title games, winning it all in 1991 (his senior season). Being ultra-talented, he would end up playing collegiate basketball at Virginia Tech, where he was a notable standout.
Evans was the definition of an all-purpose weapon. As a junior, he set the state record for touchdown receptions. As a senior, he was moved to runningback where he tallied over 1300 yards rushing, earning him first-team honors. During his time, he helped extend the Cougars’ longest playoff run in school history. Evans would play college at Bridgewater.
Justice was an incredible 6’8″ 300-pound athlete that dominated on both sides of the football. He helped lead Gilbert to consecutive playoff appearances while also being voted first-team all-state multiple times. Justice would go on to have a successful career at West Virginia, being a multi-year starter. He would also find success as a college coach at Concord; he now serves as the offensive line coach at SMU.
Allara will be remembered as one of the all-time greats at Matewan and of the decade. A multi-time first-team all-state pick, he was a key part in their 1993 state title and 1994/1995 semifinal runs. In 1995 he was voted as the winner of the Hunt Award (modern-day Stydahar). Allara would go on to play for West Virginia. He tragically passed away in 1999.
Williams was a powerhouse of a lineman, especially on the defensive side. During his tenor, he helped lead Moorefield to their fourth straight state title. As a senior, he was voted as the Hunt Award (modern-day Stydahar) winner for his efforts blocking and a defensive stat line that tallied 84 tackles, 6 sacks, and four fumble recoveries. Williams would go on to play for West Virginia.
Saunders was a strong, athletic two-way lineman at 6’0″ 260-pounds. He led the Wonders to a narrow loss in the semifinals before being the captain of one of the best Class A teams ever. In 1994, Ceredo-Kenova had one of the most dominating seasons ever- winning the title while undefeated. Saunders was selected as captain of the all-state team and went on to play for Marshall.
Goodson was a beast of a lineman- being 6’4″ 265-pounds with the ability to move. After losing in the quarterfinals as a junior, he helped lead Fayetteville to their only championship in school history in 1992. Goodson finished runner-up for the Hunt Award but was unanimously voted first-team all-state. 19 years later, his son, Atticus, would win the Kennedy Award as a runningback for Independence.
Sherman was an electric player at quarterback for the Cougars. During his time, he was named all-state three years, twice being first-team, and once as the captain. As a senior he set the state record for passing touchdowns in a season. His play led East Hardy to their first playoff appearance ever, going twice more before he graduated. Sherman would play at Glenville State.
When Justice arrived at Duval, it had been nearly decade since they had been in the postseason. The 5’11” 195-pound runningback was a key piece in their historic 1990 run that saw them go 13-0 and capture the third and final state championship in school history. They would lose in the semifinals the next year and move to AA in 1992. Justice was named all-state every season.
Washington was a well-known player years prior to the start of the Moorefield dynasty. The 6’8″ 295-pound tackle captained a line that reached the first consecutive postseasons in school history. He was a two-time first-team all-state honoree. Washington would play his collegiate career at West Virginia, making 19 career starts.
Newsom was a unique talent of the era. At 6’2″ 250-pounds, opposing offenses feared him as a linebacker- a position he was named first-team all-state and captain of the defense as a senior. His first two years saw him recognized as the best kicker in Class A. Newsom was positively a key player in the Mustangs’ great stretch that saw them reach four quarterfinals and a semifinal.
Parker was a considerable force in his time with the Mustangs. At 6’3″ 245-pounds, he doubled as an elite blocker and pass rusher. He led Mount Hope to two quarterfinals and one semifinal in his career. Parker was crowned with the Hunt Award (modern-day Stydahar) his senior season and captained the all-state team. He would go on to have a notable career at Marshall.
Workman was a notably hard-nosed lineman during his time for the Bulldogs. At 6’4″ 335-pounds, he was a complete game changer for opposing offensive lines. Unfortunately, for the other team, he also played fullback and scored a bevy of touchdowns. His junior and senior year were the best record Marsh Fork posted in the final decade of the school. His efforts won him the Hunt Award (modern-day Stydahar) as a senior. He currently coaches Liberty-Raleigh, the school Marsh Fork consolidated into.
Ford was a cornerstone in the greatest stretch in Matewan’s school history. The 6’2″ 225 lineman played in three state championships, winning it all in 1993 with a 21-12 defeat of Valley-Wetzel. He was recognized as a multi-time all-state honoree and went on to play for Marshall. Ford is currently the head coach of Tug Valley.
Cordell made an unforgettable name for himself hailing from one of the smallest public schools in West Virginia. The 6’5″ 275-pound defensive standout was honored with all-state honors all three years of his career and was the first player in school history selected to the North-South All-Star Classic. Cordell would prove himself further in college, becoming a starting defensive tackle at Marshall.
Eye was considered not just an excellent linebacker but an overall phenomenal athlete. At 6’5″ 205-pounds, few offensive players could handle his blend of size and speed. Eye would captain a defense that won three straight championships with a stretch that combined to give up less than nine points per game from 1997-1999. He was recognized as captain of the all-state team his senior season.
Yoho was apart of the class that cemented Valley’s presence as a powerhouse in the 1990s. During his career, he appeared in two title games, almost winning in 1993 against Matewan but ultimately falling 21-13. The 6’0″ 200-pound athlete appeared all over the field for the Lumberjacks during his time and was also a great runningback. He would captain the all-state as both a junior and senior.
Joplin was a key piece for Matewan during their greatest stretch in school history. As runningback and linebacker, he led the program to a record of 38-3 with three state championship appearances and one championship in 1993. Joplin received first-team all-state honors at both runningback and linebacker, going down as one of the most complete players of the decade.
Cunningham captains the all-decade defense and with great reason. His athletic prowess started a dominating run for Matewan. In 1991, his senior year, he surpassed 2,000 yards rushing, winning several state player of the year awards. Cunningham would receive an offer to play for Marshall where he had a Hall of Fame career, earning All-American honors as a defensive back.
Balwanz was a dual-purpose star for the Lumberjacks during his time. At 6’0″ 165-pounds, he starred on offense as runningback as well as in the secondary. His career record at Valley finished with 38 wins to only 3 losses. That included three straight title game appearances, losing in 1995 and 1996 by a combined ten points. Balwanz was recognized as all-state every year and would go on to play for Marshall.
Ellis will be remembered as one of the most impactful players in the storied history of Gilbert. After disappointing playoff runs in 1993 an 1994, Ellis helped lead them to their best season in school history. The 6’0″ 200-pound runningback/defensive back captained Gilbert to a 28-20 defeat of Valley (Wetzel) to claim the school’s only state championship. After being recognized as first-team all-state for the second straight year, he would go on to play for West Virginia.
McClintic had a fantastic career for Meadow Bridge. After first round losses in 1991 and 1992 (both to Fayetteville), he led them to defeat the defending champions, Fayetteville, before an overtime loss in the semifinals to Valley (Wetzel). As well as playing quarterback, McClintic recorded an incredible 14 interceptions during his senior season.
Biggs was the second half of one of the most dominant frontline duos of the decade. At 6’6″ 285-pounds, he was as athletic as he was strong, making him a force on both sides. He helped lead the Mustangs to a 30-6 record with a semifinal appearance during his career, finishing as a multi-time all-state selection. Biggs would go on to have a notable career for Marshall.
Fitzsimmons could be argued for as one of the founders of the Wheeling Central dynasty. After a semifinal run in 1999, he led the Maroon Knights on both sides to the 2000 state championship. They would win seven of the next eleven. Fitzsimmons was named first-team all-state for the second straight year and went on to play college football at Cornell.
Workman was apart of the final class in the history of Clear Fork. He provided them a high point, helping them reach the postseason for only the third time in school history. Along with being a notable defensive back, he was also a considerable dual-threat quarterback. Workman was voted all-state, including first-team twice, every year from 1989-1991.
Metheny was a career player for the Yellow Jackets. Achieving all-state as a quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back during his three seasons- he found success in every phase. His play in the skill positions helped Moorefield to their first two titles in school history. He took over at quarterback as a senior and led his team to a 13-0 state championship season, earning first-team all-state captain honors. He played collegiate baseball at James Madison.
Drummond is widely considered one of the fastest players of the decade regardless of class. During his time with the Cadets, he tallied over 3900 yards and 70 total touchdowns, leading Linsly to an undefeated season his senior year. He would go on to play for Penn State, having a prolific career. Drummond made it to the NFL where he would become an all-pro returner for the Detroit Lions.
The 1990s saw a bundle of legendary coaches. Matewan’s Yogi Kinder had an 89-31 record that included one state title, two runner-ups, two semifinals, and three quarterfinals. Valley-Wetzel’s Tom West posted an incredible 100-27 record, appearing in five state championships and one more semifinal. However, Alan Fiddler of Moorefield earned coach of the decade after winning four titles from 1996-1999. After taking over an up-and-down program, he transformed them completely into a powerhouse. His run continued into the 2000s and no other Class A program has yet matched that stretch of domination.
The highest vote-getters on both sides will retroactively be added to the all-decade team. Additions will be revealed in the 2022 WV Prep Football Insider available for digital download and physical order on July 24, 2022. Vote now!