The Herald, Sharon, PA .

The season's finest local players, as chosen by The Herald's sports staff


(Note: These are longer bios than what appeared in the print edition)


Go to profiles
2nd page

Erik Adams

» By the numbers: 5-11, 185 Sr. TB.

» At a glance: The latest in the long line of the Trojans' tradition of tailbacks, he rushed for 1,347 yards on 195 carries (6.9 yards/carry, 134.7 yards/game), fourth-best among county running backs. Also amassed 150 points by tallying 24 TDs, including scoring sprints of 22, 48, 23 and 34 yards; caught TDs of 66 (McDowell) and 37 (Titusville) yards, and returned an interception 48 yards to highlight a 6-touchdown performance against Northwest Conference rival Titusville. Also doubled as the Trojans' punter and averaged 32 yards/kick. Finished career with more than 3,000 yards rushing.

» 2000 honors: Selected to the All-NWC first team as a running back. Named a Heralded 22 pick for the second straight season.

Clint Buckwalter

» By the numbers: 6-0, 290, Sr. OG-DT.

» At a glance: Served as the foundation upon which the Greyhounds' ground game was built, and Wilmington won a dozen games and advanced to the PIAA-AAA Final Four by amassing 456 points (32.57/game) and 4,167 total yards (297.64/game), including 3,350 yards rushing. Also played a part in the 'Hounds Hammer defensive unit.

» 2000 honors: Was named as a first-team All-Mercer County Athletic Conference first-team, 2-way tackle.

Alan Claiborne

» By the numbers: 5-7, 195 So. FB-LB.

» At a glance: Emerged as one of the leaders of a ground-oriented offense by churning for 744 yards on 124 totes (6 yards/carry, 67.6 yards/game) and 8 TDs, highlighted by a 19-carry, 119-yard, 3-TD performance against Western Beaver. Had scoring sprints of 54 and 60 yards in a rout of Union. Was also one of the team's top defensive player.

» 2000 honors: Was chosen as a WPIAL All-Big 8 Conference selection on offense and defense. The lone sophomore selected to this year's Heralded 22.

Justin George
Kennedy Christian

» By the numbers: 6-0, 180 Sr. TB-CB-P.

» At a glance: Rushed for 1,551 yards on 213 carries, an average of 7.3 yards/carry and 141 yards/game, third-best among countians. Also scored 32 touchdowns and a half-dozen 2-point conversions for 204 points, second-best in county annals. Posted scoring sprints of 26, 32, 58, 38, 39, 84, 25, 53 and 44 yards and also had an 89-yard run from scrimmage against Sharpsville in the D-10 title tilt. Also caught TD tosses of 45, 61 and 20 yards; returned punts of 85, 85 and 58 yards for scores, and added a 55-yard interception return for a TD (Brookfield). Finished career with an estimated 4,000-plus yards.

» 2000 honors: Selected as the Mercer County Athletic Conference's (Small School) offensive player of the year, as well as second-team Associated Press all-state (Small School) punter. Being recruited by various schools.

Kevin Harris

» By the numbers: 6-6. 240 Sr. OT-DT.

» At a glance: Helped pave the way for 2000-yard rusher Carmone Parchman and a Tigers' ground game that amassed 521 points (37.2 ppg.), 2,767 yards rushing (197.6/game) and 4,265 total yards (304.6/game). Also played a pivotal part in a defense that yielded only 1,568 yards rushing (112/game) and 2,096 total yards (149.7/game).

» 2000 honors: Named to The Associated Press' first-team all-state (Small School) defense and as a 2-way All-Mercer County Athletic Conference tackle. Committed to the University of Pittsburgh.

Ronnie Haywood

» By the numbers: 5-9, 170 Jr. FB-LB.

» At a glance: Although an underclassmen, emerged as one of the leaders of a surprising Sharpsville squad that advanced to the PIAA-A Final Four before bowing to Rochester. Despite missing parts of three games due to a concussion, rushed for 844 yards on 169 totes (4.9 yards/carry) and tallied 8 TDs, including the lone score, a 13-yard run, in a 7-0 PIAA playoffs opening-round win over previously-undefeated Curwensville. Top outings included a 30-carry, 147-yard regular-season outing against Hickory, a 22-tote, 158-yard playoff performance against Union City, and a 14-carry, 100-yard effort in the final versus Rochester. A leader on the Blue Devils' defense which permitted only 133 points (11/game) and 1,905 yards (158.8/game) prior to the season-ending setback.

» 2000 honors: Tabbed as the Mercer County Athletic Conference's Small School defensive player of the year, and was a 2-way, first-team All-MCAC choice.

Blaise Iorio


» By the numbers: 6-2, 270, Jr. C-DT.

» At a glance: While Sharpsville shocked county, distict and state-wide foes en route to a 10-win season, he was the principal, 2-way interior force on a team that outgained (264.4 to 158.8) and outscored (25.3 to 11.0) opponents before being eliminated by Rochester in the PIAA western regional title tilt. The Blue Devils, led by Haywood, Eric Major and Bill Stiger, outrushed their first 12 foes by a 2,447-1,157 margin, due in large measure to the paths he cleared and the gaps he filled.

» 2000 honors: Named as a 2-way All-Mercer County Athletic Conference small school choice.

Marlin Jackson


» By the numbers: 6-1, 185, Sr. WR-CB.

» At a glance: Was credited with 84 tackles, broke up 11 passes and pilfered 5 passes, as teams chose not to throw to his side of the field. Offensively, caught 28 passes for 628 yards (22.4 yards/catch).

» 2000 honors: Named to All-USA Today first-team defense; USA Today's Pennsylvania player of the year; Associated Press first-team all-state (Small School) defense, and Mercer County Athletic Conference defensive player of the year. Chosen as one of 75 players who competed in a national all-star game in Dallas on Dec. 30. Verbally committed to the University of Michigan

B.J. Jarrett
Kennedy Christian

» By the numbers: 6-0, 250, Sr. OG-DT.

» At a glance: Helped pave the way for an offensive unit that averaged 291.2 yards and 30.3 points per game, while aiding a defense that yielded only 204.9 yards and 12 ppg. Consistently graded out in the low-90s on offense throughout the season by Kennedy's coaching staff and was a defensive run-stopper, as Kennedy yielded only 1,316 yards rushing in 11 contests (119.63 yards/game).

» 2000 honors: Named first-team All-Mercer County Athletic Conference (Small School) first-team offensive guard and defensive tackle. Considering colleges.

Josh Kniess
Slippery Rock

» By the numbers: 5-8, 163 Sr. RB-DB.

» At a glance: Became first rusher to average better than 200 yards per game (206.9). Also holds four of the top 15 single rushing games in county history, including posting a new single-game record two times with 419- and 387-yard games in 2000. Also posted games of 318 and 270 yards in senior campaign. That four-game span alone gave him 1,394 yards for an average of 348.5 per game. Finished 12th on county's all-time career rushing list with 3,584 yards. Was third-highest in the county in scoring with his 31 TDs and 186 points. Was the region's top rusher with 2,069 yards in 10 games on 259 carries, averaging 7.9 yards per carry.

» 2000 honors: Named a first-team All-Mercer County Athletic Conference (Big School) running back. Was also a Heralded 22 pick in 1999.

Mike Maluk

» By the numbers: 6-1, 240 Jr. TE-DE

» At a glance: Was a pivotal part of the D-10 Class AAA runner-up Trojans on both sides of the ball. Was an integral part of the Greenville group that fielded the third best team defense in the area, allowing just 8 points per game through 10 contests, and yielded a fifth-best 162.7 yards per game. On offense, he helped open running lanes and draw coverage for a Trojan attack that averaged a second-best 38.1 points per game and the top offensive output in the region at 363.1 yards per game. Also hauled in six passes on the season, including a season-high 31-yard hook-up.

» 2000 honors: Named first-team All-Northwest Conference at tight end and second-team defensive tackle.

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