McKenrick's arm lifted Wildcats

All-County Football Offense

All-County Football Offense

December 12, 2009|By MARK KELLER

All-County Football Defense

All-County Football Coach of the Year

When one looks at Casey McKenrick's accomplishments as Williamsport's quarterback in 2009, it's hard to believe two facts about the senior:

First, he wasn't the Wildcats' first option at quarterback;

And second, he hadn't played a single down of high school football prior to this season.

Neither of those facts had a negative effect on McKenrick, who almost single-handedly forced his coach to change his offensive philosophy by throwing for 1,466 yards and 13 touchdowns and helping Williamsport break a string of nine consecutive losing seasons.

McKenrick is The Herald-Mail's 2009 Washington County Football Offensive Player of the Year.

"I couldn't be prouder of a kid than I am of Casey this season," Williamsport coach Randy Longnecker said. "I could coach maybe another 30 years and not have a story like him."


McKenrick only got the opportunity to shine in 2009 when incumbent quarterback Blake Bandeff, a good friend of McKenrick, broke his arm in an ATV accident shortly before summer training camp began.

"We really didn't have any other alternatives," Longnecker said. "Blake had a nice summer and really worked hard. We had Casey there, but he really didn't look good. His mechanics were not very good.

"But he realized the situation we were in and was just so coachable. Every day he got better."

McKenrick threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns in Williamsport's season opener, a 26-20 loss to North Carroll.

Longnecker, who admits to being conservative offensively, suddenly found himself leaning the other way.

"I expected us to run more than pass, at least 60-40 running the ball," Longnecker said. "Casey ran a two-minute drill against North Carroll and from there we really evolved into more of a spread offense. We weren't really big up front and couldn't pound the ball, so we had to spread out and find the gaps."

Curiously, three of McKenrick's best games this season came in Williamsport losses. In addition to the North Carroll game, he threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-21 loss to Boonsboro and 150 yards and two scores in a 26-21 loss to Smithsburg.

Longnecker also found himself in a predicament when Bandeff was cleared to return to the field: Stick with McKenrick or go with Bandeff?

"I really cared for both of them and I know how hard Blake had worked, but I could not take Casey out," Longnecker said. "We had good chemistry and when you have a good field general out there, you never want to mess with the chemistry.

"And to Blake's credit, he came on as a strong defensive player for us when he could have pouted and not played as well. Both of them handled the situation well."

Joining McKenrick on the All-County First Team Offense:

Drew Lowery, Boonsboro: Senior running back ran for 802 yards and eight touchdowns before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Branden McLean, Boonsboro: Other half of the Warriors' 1-2 punch, the senior running back rushed for 1,044 yards and seven touchdowns and added three return TDs.

Reggie Russ, Williamsport: Junior running back emerged as a solid multipurpose threat, rushing for 533 yards and four TDs and catching 28 passes for 205 yards and two scores.

Anthony Winter, North Hagerstown: Junior running back led the county with 1,226 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He set North's single-game record for rushing yards twice this season.

Eli Souders, Hancock: Junior receiver led the Panthers with 28 catches for 346 yards and four touchdowns.

Joey Sutch, Williamsport: Senior running back/receiver had 27 catches for 275 yards and rushed for 532 yards and two touchdowns.

Avery Wilmore, Saint James: Sophomore receiver caught 28 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns.

Dylan Dopson, North Hagerstown: Sophomore tackle has quickly become anchor of the Hubs' offensive line. First-team MVAL Antietam.

Zach Eppard, North Hagerstown: Junior center helped open holes for Winter. First-team MVAL Antietam.

Scott Haupt, Boonsboro: Senior guard made room for Lowery and McLean, the county's top running tandem. First-team MVAL Antietam on offense and defense.

Casey Rowland, Smithsburg: Senior tackle was top vote-getter on offensive line in MVAL Antietam voting.

Zacch Wooten, Saint James: Freshman tackle showed good mobility for a big man.

Jake Gouff, Smithsburg: Senior was 10-for-12 on PATs and converted his lone field goal attempt.

Second Team offense

QB, Jamie Peterson, Saint James, Junior

RB, Ben Daniels, Smithsburg, Junior

RB, Mike Etzel, Clear Spring, Junior

RB, Xavier Richardson, South Hagerstown, Senior

RB, A.J. Staley, North Hagerstown, Junior

WR, Sam Adams, Clear Spring, Junior

WR , Derek Black, North Hagerstown, Junior

WR, Darius Smith, Williamsport, Senior

OL, Cody Haines, Boonsboro, Senior

OL, Ethan Martin, Hancock, Senior

OL, Peter Martin, Williamsport, Senior

OL, Brandon Mullins, Clear Spring, Junior

OL, Ed Waltz, Smithsburg, Senior

K, Tommy Wagner, Saint James, Junior

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