HUNTINGTON — Ironton High School junior linebacker Reid Carrico is the Ohio Division V high school football defensive player of the year.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior led the Fighting Tigers (13-1) to Saturday’s state championship game. Ironton will take on Kirtland (14-0) at 8 p.m. at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton.
Carrico is the fourth Fighting Tiger to earn such an honor. In 1975, Ken Fritz was the Class AA lineman of the year. In 1988, quarterback Mark Lutz was the Division III offensive player of the year. In 1993, running back Jermon Jackson was named Division III offensive player of the year, and in 2000 linebacker Reggie Arden was named defensive player of the year. Fritz, Jackson and Arden played at Ohio State University, where Carrico has committed. Lutz played at Marshall University.
Carrico was joined on the all-state team by six teammates. Senior defensive end Seth Fosson was named to the first team. quarterback Gage Salyers, committed to Youngstown State University, and kicker Avery Book, both seniors, were named to the second team. Defensive tackle Junior Jones was named to the third team. Tackle Noah Davidson and linebacker Cameron Deere earned special mention.
Running backs Portsmouth Talyn Parker of Portsmouth and Makya Matthews of Wheelersburg were named first-team all-state. Wheelersburg offensive lineman Gavin Welch was named to the second team and the Pirates’ Evan Horsley was named to the third team as an all-purpose player. Wheelersburg punter Braxton Sammons also was named to the third team.
Also earning special mention honors were Chesapeake running backs Kamren Harless and Will Todd; Fairland running back Michael Stitt, defensive end Jordan Williams and linebacker J.D. Brumfield; Rock Hill offensive lineman Tucker Carpenter and defensive lineman T.J. McGinnis; South Point offensive lineman Grant Gifford; and Meigs quarterback Coulter Cleland.
The offensive player of the year honor was shared by Gabe Jones of West Jefferson, Ethan Wright of Akron Manchester and Cameron Blair of Magnolia Sandy Valley. Akron Manchester’s Jim France was named coach of the year.
In Division IV, several Gallia Academy players were honored. Junior offensive lineman Riley Starnes was named second-team all-state. Senior running back James Armstrong was named to the third team. Quarterback Noah Vanco. defensive end Brayton Easton and punter Andrew Toler earned special-mention honors.