Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Clay-Battelle lands 4 players on All-State honorable mention

Clay-Battelle landed four players on the Class A All-State honorable mention list. Maverick Gum, Braden Pnceroff, JC Spears and Zac Hall all received the honor.

Gum led the Cee-Bees with 93 tackles this season while also rushing for 367 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ponceroff led the team with 35 receptions for 667 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had three interceptions on defense.

Spears threw for 1,553 yards and 14 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
Hall had a team-high 824 rushing yards, was second with 420 receiving yards and scored 16 total touchdowns.

Williamstown’s dual-threat quarterback Max Molessa made a career out of the Super Six Championships and Wheeling Island Stadium was his personal playground.

In three Class A state championship games Molessa rushed for 564 yards and nine touchdowns (120-2 as a sophomore, 273-5 as a junior and 171-2) and in the last two, both Williamstown victories, he completed 13 of 14 passes for 154 yards and touchdown.

That’s a lot of heavy lifting in what is the final football game of the season in the Mountain State.

And he put together equally impressive seasons, and this year was no exception as he completed 83 of 119 passes for 1,261 yards and 22 touchdowns with just two interceptions and he rushed for 1,813 yards on 169 carries with 32 touchdowns.

Those numbers added up to another Class A all-state selection for Molessa, who signed to play baseball at West Virginia University last month.

Molessa, a utility first-team player a year ago who led his team to 37 wins over the last three years, was tabbed quarterback on this year’s team and added captain of the team to his title.

He is joined on the first team offense by teammate Aidan Corbett, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior.

Tucker County’s Ethan Rosenau is the other Class A quarterback. The Mountain Lions signal caller completed 181 of 251 passes for 2,444 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Like Molessa, and typical of Class A football, many of the top stars in Class A are dual-threat players.

The running backs on the first team are Tyler Consolidated senior Sean Winfrey who had 1,717 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns and 389 yards receiving and two touchdowns and Wirt County senior Chase Lowe who had 1,607 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.

Ryan Oliveros of Summers County and Maddox Anderson, Rosenau’s top receiver at Tucker County, were the two receivers.

Oliveros, a junior who spent time as the Bobcats QB for the first half of last year, had 66 receptions and 1,177 yards (both school records) and 10 touchdowns and he added 501 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Anderson had 55 receptions for 747 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Along with Corbett on the offensive line are James Monroe junior Brady Baker (6-2, 284), St. Marys senior Ben Wagstaff (6-0, 260), Tug Valley senior Luke Bartram (6-2, 240) and Midland Trail senior John Bowman (5-11, 200).

Utility player Chaz Boggs really was a do-it-all threat for James Monroe, who played Williamstown in the title game in 2022. The senior had 46 receptions for 609 yards and 12 touchdowns and 78 carries for 658 yards and five touchdowns.

Wahama quarterback Sawyer Van Matre and Cameron quarterback Colson Witcherman (63-111 for 1,297 yards and 18 TD and 114 carries for 1,199 yards and 18 TD) were both threats passing and running the ball.

The kicker is Wheeling Central senior Eli Tucker, who was 31 for 31 on PATs and 4 for 4 on field goal attempts.

Defensive captain Ethan Holliday of Greenbrier West was a dual-threat player on both sides of the ball.

He was Greenbrier West’s leading receiver, played in the backfield and even moved to wildcat quarterback and scored three touchdowns in a 27-7 semifinal win over James Monroe.

And he was a hybrid linebacker, and he led his team’s defensive unit in tackles the last two years as the Cavaliers posted 14 shutouts over those 26 games.

This year he had 124 tackles and 23 tackles for a loss and four interceptions, all team highs as well as a fumble recovery and he was credited with a safety.

Not surprisingly Greenbrier West was well represented on the Class A defense.

Defensive lineman Jacob Whitt and Cole Vandall (who broke nearly every school passing mark this season as the Cavaliers’ quarterback) were selected. Whitt had 47 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery and Vandall, a state champion wrestler last winter, had 52 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

Other defensive linemen were East Hardy senior Justin Parker (73 tackles, 17 TFL, five sacks and two safeties), St, Marys Ty Watkins (54 tackles, three tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery) and Tug Valley senior Buddy Marcum.

The other linebackers include Williamstown junior Lynken Joy who was the second-leading tackler with 84 stops and seven tackles for a loss, St. Marys senior Josiah DeMoss, who had 93 tackles and seven interceptions and Cameron junior Klypson Wallace who had 42 tackles, four for a loss and two sacks. All those players were standouts at skill positions on offense as well.

The defensive backs were Man sophomore Trey Ward (34 tackles, four interceptions, one returned for a touchdown), Wahama junior Connor Lambert and Tug Valley sophomore Bryson Elia.

James Monroe senior Cooper Ridgeway, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher for the Mavericks was injured part of the season but still played on defense because of his importance at the linebacker position and Tucker County junior Jared Reall.

Louis Goodnow, who had a 59-yard touchdown run in the state championship victory against Greenbrier West and set the school record with 14 touchdown receptions and had six interceptions was the punter. He punted 19 times for 33.3 yard per kick with eight inside the 20.

Captains of the second team are Wheeling Central junior running back Braden McWreath (1,220 rushing yards, 14 TD and 592 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns) on offense and Summer’s County junior Tyson Adkins (124 tackles four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two sacks and two interceptions), on defense. Adkins is now a three-time second-team all-state linebacker.

Wooden plaques in the shape of West Virginia that include the player’s name, school, licensed WVSWA logo, and year of the honoree are available to all-state first team, second team and honorable mentions and can be purchased from the Bear Wood Company through or

BY Dave Morrison/For the WVSWA

First Team

QB – Maxwell Molessa, Williamstown (Sr.) (CAPTAIN)
QB – Ethan Rosenau, Tucker County (Sr.)
RB – Sean Winfrey, Tyler Consolidated (Sr.)
RB – Chase Lowe, Wirt County (Sr.)
WR – Ryan Oliveros, Summers County, (Jr.)
WR – Maddox Anderson, Tucker County (Sr.)
OL – Aiden Corbett, Williamstown
OL – Brady Baker, James Monroe (Jr.)
OL – Ben Wagstaff, St. Marys (Sr.)
OL – Luke Bartram, Tug Valley (Sr.)
OL – John Bowman, Midland Trail (Sr.)
K – Eli Tucker, Wheeling Central (Sr.)
UTL – Chaz Boggs, James Monroe (Sr.)
UTL – Sawyer VanMatre, Wahama (Sr.)
UTL – Colson Wichterman, Cameron (Sr.)
DL – Jacob Whitt, Greenbrier West (Sr.)
DL – Justin Parker, East Hardy (Sr.)
DL – Buddy Marcum, Tug Valley (Sr.)
DL – Ty Watkins, St. Marys (Sr.)
DL – Cole Vandall, Greenbrier West (Sr.)
LB – Ethan Holliday, Greenbrier West (Sr.) (CAPTAIN)
LB – Lynken Joy, Williamstown (Jr.)
LB – Josiah DeMoss, St. Marys (Sr.)
LB – Klypsan Wallace, Cameron (Jr.)
DB – Connor Lambert, Wahama (Jr.)
DB – Trey Ward, Man (Soph.)
DB – Bryson Elia, Tug Valley (Soph.)
P – Louis Goodnow, Williamstown (Sr.)
UTL – Cooper Ridgeway, James Monroe (Sr.)
UTL – Jared Reall, Tucker County (Jr.)

Second Team

QB – Brandan Isaac, Summers County (Sr.)
RB – Ashton Boron, St. Marys (Sr.)
RB – Braden McWreath, Wheeling Central (Junior) (CAPTAIN)
RB – Jake Pate, Greenbrier West (Sr.)
RB – Kaiden Sims, Meadow Bridge (Jr.)
WR – Garrett Wilfong, Tucker County (Jr.)
WR – Tucker Lilly, Greenbrier West (Jr.)
OL – Ethan Cross, Doddridge County (Sr.)
OL – Thaddeus Dempewolf, Cameron (Sr.)
OL – Jacob Hall, James Monroe (Sr.)
OL – Lucca Ferrera, Wheeling Central (Sr.)
OL – Shane Bates, Tyler Consolidated (Sr.)
K – Hayden Ridgeway, Greenbrier West (Sr.)
UTL – Gavin Derby, Valley Wetzel (Jr.)
UTL – Trey Lester, Sherman (Soph.)
DL – Ashton Evans, James Monroe (Sr.)
DL – Kolton Toler, Wirt (Jr.)
DL – Calob James, Doddridge County (Soph.)
DL – Gunner Henrie, Williamstown (Sr.)
LB – Tyson Adkins, Summers County (Jr.) (Captain)
LB – Joey Baker, Paden City (Sr.)
LB – Chase Parsons, Wirt County, (Sr.)
LB – Colton Hall, Gilmer County, (Sr.)
DB – Trevor Kennett, Montcalm (Sr.)
DB – Brandon Jones, East Hardy, (Sr.)
DB – Landon Dodrill, Williamstown (Sr.)
DB – Layton Dowdy, James Monroe (Jr.)
P – Lucas Rush, South Harrison (Sr.)
UTL – Chase Littleton, Madonna (Sr.)
UTL – Jackson Danielson, River View (Sr.)

Honorable Mention

Clay Arbaugh, Petersburg; Dusten Baisden, Man; Tyler Barnhouse, Richwood; Josh Biggs, Petersburg; Ayden Britton, Hundred; Caden Campbell, Ritchie County; Logan Carver, Montcalm; Seth Cover, Wheeling Central; Seth Currence, Tygarts Valley; Ashton Davis, Tug Valley; Brysen Dixon, Doddridge County; Houston Ellis, Man; Jake Endicott, Man; Maverick Gum, Clay-Battelle; Caleb Hall, Gilmer County; Zac Hall, Clay-Battelle; Lukas Haney, Man; Braiden Haught, Ritchie County; Skylar Hulse, Gilmer County; Jaxson Johnson, Sherman; Dalton Kessinger, Van; Owen Knotts, Tucker County; Adam Landes, Moorefield; Will McGraw, Midland Trail; Gavin Mullenax, Tucker County; Hunter Oates, Magnolia; Jackson Phipps, James Monroe; Brandon Poticher, Greenbrier West; Levi Price, East Hardy; Chase Owens, Pendelton County; Braden Ponceroff, Clay-Battelle; Jonah Pugh, Summers County; Brady Rush, South Harrison; Brody See, Moorefield; Adam Slone, Tug Valley; Dillon Smith, Pendelton County; Talyn Snyder, Doddridge County; JC Spears, Clay-Battelle; CW Sturgill, Greenbrier West; Bryce Taylor, Summers County; Owen Taylor, Calhoun County; Landon Thomas, Doddridge County; Cane Thompson, Tug Valley; Rayden Triplett, Webster County; Delbert Van Tassell, Cameron; Dakoda Walker, Tug Valley; Chris Williams, Buffalo; Jaylen Younger, Montcalm