Wellman, Farley named all-state captains
HUNTINGTON -- The testament of a great player is when every team's eyes are fixated on stopping a particular athlete and that player still manages to see unparalleled success.
That was the plight of George Washington running back Ryan Switzer this year.
Despite having all Class AAA eyes across the state geared toward stopping him, Switzer finished with just under 3,000 all-purpose yards (2,961 to be exact) and 40 touchdowns.
Switzer finished with 2,379 yards and 32 touchdowns rushing while averaging 11.5 yards per carry and added four touchdowns receiving, three on interception returns and one on a punt return.
It's that versatile production which has him verbally committed to play football at the University of North Carolina, and those same numbers have him penciled in as the offensive captain of the Class AAA all state first team as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Switzer and the Patriots advanced to the Class AAA semifinals, where they fell to eventual champion Martinsburg.
The Martinsburg Bulldogs placed four selections on the first team -- three offensive. Martinsburg selections were offensive lineman Eugene German, utility player Justin Clinton, wide receiver Cedric Brown and defensive lineman Dildeep Dhatt.
Cabell Midland, who Martinsburg defeated in the state championship, had three selections with running back David Gaydosz, offensive lineman Josh Baisden and defensive lineman Gage Gould.
Morgantown also finished with three selections: running back Chazzy Thomas, offensive lineman Adam White and linebacker Jalen Thomas.
Three teams had two selections each: George Washington, Huntington High and Spring Valley.
Spring Valley's pair of selections included Elijah Wellman, who was voted defensive captain of the first team after a year in which he finished with 124 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.
Wellman, who is committed to West Virginia University as a running back, also finished with 1,676 rushing and 18 touchdowns.
He said the 2012 season was a banner year for talent across the state.
"This is probably the most D-I (NCAA Division I) caliber players that we've had come out of the state this year," Wellman said. "There are teams with multiple D-I kids. With so much talent as this year, teams had to really work hard to be able to compete. It was a lot of fun this year."
Spring Valley offensive lineman Trevor Stacy joined Wellman on the first team.
Huntington High also had a pair of representatives in offensive lineman Toney Kitts and defensive back Clark Wilson.
The first-team quarterback was Musselman's Caleb Dembeck and Oak Hill's Jalen Jones was named as a first-team running back. South Charleston's Kevin Forrest joined Brown at first-team wide receiver and University's Billy Kinney was the first-team kicker.
First-team defensive members included Lewis County defensive lineman Wilson Harvey and Wheeling Park linebacker Geremy Page.
Joining Huntington's Wilson at defensive back were Woodrow Wilson's Andrew Johnson, Capital's Davon Tyson and Parkersburg South's Logan Cox.
Parkersburg's Adam Lindamood was named first-team defensive utility while Shady Spring's Houston Syverton was the first-team punter.
Cabell Midland led the way with four second-team representatives, led by fullback Lowell Farley, who combined with Gaydosz to finish with more than 4,100 yards (Gaydosz 2,331, Farley 1,813) and 55 touchdowns (Gaydosz 31, Farley 24).
In addition to Baisden, offensive lineman Cody Ballangee -- a second-team selection -- helped anchor an offensive line that finished with more than 5,500 yards rushing on the season.
Cabell Midland's other second-team selections were linebacker Nick Boone and kicker Chris Molina.
Hurricane's Austin Hensley was named as the second-team quarterback while Elkins' L.J. Lawrence joined Farley as a second-team running back.
In addition to Ballangee, second-team offensive linemen include Morgantown's D.J. Summers, Musselman's Andru Trenary, Oak Hill's Brandon Williams and South Charleston's Dominic Orcutt.
Second-team wide receivers were Nitro's Ethan Clark and Wheeling Park's Bryce Ingram, who was joined on the second-team offense by teammate Bryce Ingram at utility.
Across the front of the second-team defense was Parkersburg South's Mack White, University's Jon Lewis and Ripley's Daryl Hicks.
Joining Boone at linebacker was Huntington High's Payton Johnson, George Washington's Zach Malone and Martinsburg's Jared Sartin.
Morgantown's Shane Commodore led the second-team defensive backs and was named as the second-team defensive captain. Elkins' Clayton Collett, Lewis County's Skyler Carlton and Washington's Colin Gustines joined Commodore in the defensive backfield on second team.
Capital's KaShaun Haley was named as the second-team defensive utility player while Parkersburg's Kyle Foster was named as the second-team punter.