The seniors will be missed
Action shots (by Richard Sayer) of some of the seniors on the 2022 Oilers: (clockwise from top left) center Jake Van Wormer (59) knows Ethen Knox is gone, Brayden McFetridge (52), school record-holder for TFLs, puts pressure on the Slippery Rock signal caller, QB Dane Ley (8) explodes for sizable yardage with Logan Suttle (70) coming off a block and four-year starter Cam Crocker (88) takes a turn in harassing William Mokel. The Oilers are also saying so long to Colin Zerbe, Carl Chelton, Kobe Hart and Mason Teeter. Chelton: 455 all-purpose yards, 53 tackles, 10 TFL and an INT in eight games before being injured.
LaVerde's son joins Knox on Max Preps
Small Town All-America team
Oil City's Ethen Knox on Jan. 13 was named to the Max Preps Small Town All-America team where he was joined by none other than Philip LaVerde, son of former Oiler Tiger LaVerde.
This team is for players who come from towns with a population of 10,000 or less and schools with an enrollment of 1,000 or less.
Three other Pennyslvanians were on the first team with Knox: QB Jeff Hoenstine of Martinsburg Central, APB Braeden Wisloski of Southern Columbia and DB Quinton Marton of Belle Vernon. DL Matt Scicchitano of Mount Carmel made the second team.
Phil LaVerde, a senior linebacker, made 161 tackles and 27 TFLs and registered six sacks for the highly successful Kirtland, Ohio, program coached by Tiger, a 1991 OCHS grad.
Pictured are Phil LaVerde (Brian Fisher photo) and Knox (Richard Sayer.)
Hard to Believe but...
Max Preps on Jan. 10 published a list of top single-game performances for 2022, and Ethen Knox was hardly on it.
The Oiler junior had six 400-yard games with a high of 444. That wasn't good enough for the top 10. Dylan Lee of Williams Field in Gilbert, Ariz., is No. 1 with a 518-yard outing. Two players are tied for 10th with 454.
And for those of your who were freaking out over Knox's games of 54 and 53 carries, a couple of other players had even more. Jayden Mason of Calvary Christian in Columbus, Ga., led the nation with 61. Tevita Valeti of Springville, Utah, was No. 2 with 58. Knox's 54-carry game ranks No. 3 and the 53-attempts outing ties Tate Youtsey of Penney in Hamilton, Mo. for fourth
Oilers look forward to next year
after 7-3 finish in 2022
Have no fear: the Oilers should be pretty good again next season. Ethen Knox will be back along with a number of his classmates snd sophomores, including FB/LB Kevin Pearsall; large linemen Henry Milford, James O'Dell, Tanner Kightlinger; Arik Kutchravey, Tim Walentoski and A.J. Bucholz; LBs Jon Hargenrader, Noah Sanchez, Justen Dunkle, Ben Garland and Hayden Wilson; and CBs Danny DeLong Gavin Stephens.
Defensively, freshmen Brayden Buzzard, Elijah Knox, Troy Marsh and Zander Black along with sophomore De'Vaughn Griffin all found their way into the opponents' backfield this season.
As for quarterback, Stephens started two games there. Coach Dan York spoke highly of freshman Cole Findlay (5-9, 130 this season) at QB. Another ninth-grader, Steven Heise, played well in junior high games before this season.
Pesrsall (170) tackles and Knox (149) have a chance for the 200 career tackles list. Knox has seven career interceptions in addition to all his yards and tackles.
And know knows who will rise among other sophs and freshmen as well as junior high players?
Knox now holds all the school records for carries -- game, season, career...His 3,705 yards this season is fourth all-time in Pa. history and a record No. 1 nationally over 10 games...
The 2023 season could see Gavin Stephens (1) taking the snaps from center.