By Gary Henery News Managing Editor
November 26, 2013
While it was not the season the Golden Eagle seniors wanted to end their high school career with, Joe Weaver’s 15 seniors never gave in, rallying Big Walnut to season-ending Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division victories over Olentangy Orange and Franklin Heights to put an end an 8-game losing streak.
Of the seven Big Walnut postseason honorees at the Saturday, November 9 Football Awards Banquet held at BWHS, six were seniors who mounted the podium for the final time to be honored with special postseason awards after playing one of the toughest schedules in school history. Six of the Golden Eagles’ eight losses came against teams with a combined 54-6 record who were all ranked in the final OHSAA Computer Rankings. As a result, with a 2-8 overall record, Big Walnut had its first losing campaign in 16 seasons.
Running back/linebacker Grant Burks was the recipient of the coveted Golden Eagle Award. He was joined at the podium by wide receiver/defensive back Chase LaVeer (Most Valuable Offensive Player), running back/linebacker Alec Eisnnicher (Most Valuable Defensive Player), tight end/linebacker Austin Crow (Most Valuable Defensive Player), wide receiver/linebacker Joseph Steller (Special Teams Most Valuable Player) and offensive/defensive lineman Austin Hale (Iron Eagle Award). Junior tight end/linebacker Alex Evans was presented with the Most Improved Player Award.
Big Walnut finished with a 2-5 record in the OCC Capital Division. Five Golden Eagles earned All-OCC Capital recognition led by Eisnnicher who was a First Team selection. Crow and LaVeer were named Second Team while Hale earned Honorable Mention and sophomore running back/defensive back Isaac Lucas was named Special Mention.
Fifteen Golden Eagles were selected to the 2013 All-Delaware County Team led by Eisnnicher who was named the Defensive Player of The Year. First Team selections included Hale (OL) and LaVeer (WR) on offense and Eisnnicher (LB) and Isaac Lucas (DB) on defense. Named to the Second Team were Joe Muench (WR) and Jordan Wall (ATH) on offense with Crow (LB) and Joel Windle (DB) on defense. Honorable Mention selections were Grant Burks, Austin Carr, Christian Johnson, Blake Marioth, Tyler Satterfield, Brayden Shepherd and Sean Williams.
All 15 Golden Eagle seniors lettered, led by Logan Perry, Windle, Burks, Carr and Eisnnicher who received their Senior Blanket as four-year lettermen. Seniors earning their third varsity letter included Lloyd Huffer, Austin Thomas, Crow and Hale. Second-year letter recipients included seniors Ryan Grieser, David Hernandez, Christopher Thomas, LaVeer, Steller and Williams.
Weaver presented Senior Plaques to Burks, Carr, Crow, Eisnnicher, Hale, Huffer, Perry, Thomas and Windle.
Sixteen juniors lettered, led by two-year letter winners in Mohammed Firewick, Tyler Martin, Justin Richards, William Smith, Darrin Taylor, Evans, Johnson, Marioth, Satterfield and Shepherd. Earning their first letter were Conner Fry, Jacob Lucas, Joseph Spaulding, Cole Stark, Christopher Wall and Muench.
Eight sophomores were presented with their first varsity letter, including Chukwuka Akusoba, Donovan Chhuom, Thomas Fleser, Ethan Hale, Chester Klinedinst, Isaac Lucas, Justin Nelson and Jerry Williams.
Earning Junior Varsity awards were juniors were Guy Hatfield, Mark Lewis, Joseph Mazzi, Jacob Pickrell, Colin Siders and Benjamin Wright along with sophomores Jarrett Adkins, Hayden Bowmar, Larry D’Amico, Ryan Duncan, Dalton Edwards, Samuel Edwards, Tyler Hogg, Joseph Kontul, Richard Kuts, Wayne Lambert, Anthony Pisano, Joseph Schooley, Joshua Seabrook, Michael Sensi, Nicholas Shisler, Jason Trainer, Jacob Trott, Andrew Wood, Aaron Zieg, Daniel Zitello and Michael Blackburn.
Thirty-seven freshmen earned their Freshman Numerals, including Bradyn Anderson, Spencer Baisden, William Bell, Samuel Boyd, Thomas Coates, Seth Daniels, Lane Davis, Evan Garcia, Harrison George, Ilya Geraci, Garrett Gollihugh, Caleb Hahn, Matthew Halbakken, Christopher Hale, Joshua Kem, Kaleb Kocak, Luke McCarrell, Noah McKinney, Andrew Minor, Michael Murphy, Damian Osornio, Joshua Parker, Cody Priestas, Zachary Pruyn, Philip Roberto, Tyler Ronk, Tyler Shaw, Sandy Smith, Luke Starkey, Kobe Swackhammer, Isaac Swartz, Jeffrey Tutorow, Nicklas Ulery, Tyler Vojtush, John West, Drake Wilson-Hobart and Parker Wooton.
Big Walnut’s head athletic trainer Lori Siegel recognized sophomore student athletic training aides Brandy Pace and Heather Stimmel, recognizing each with the presentation of second-year varsity letters.
Led by Burks, who was named both an OCC Scholar Athlete (3.50 Grade Point Average, Senior) and a Big Walnut Scholar Athlete (3.20 Grade Point Average, Varsity Letter Winner), 24 squad members were recognized for academic excellence.
Joining Burks as a BW Scholar Athlete were Akusoba, Carr, Chhuom, Evans, Fleser, Fry, Grieser, Austin Hale, Ethan Hale, Hernandez, Johnson, Klinedinst, LaVeer, Martin, Muench, Perry, Richards, Smith, Stark, Steller, Jerry Williams, Sean Williams and Windle. Pace was also recognized as a Big Walnut Scholar Athlete.