Fredonia/Brocton sweeps trio of Class B-3 football awards
Though the fantastic football season has been long over, the Fredonia/Brocton Hillbillies are still taking on awards and accolades.
The Hillbillies swept the Section VI Class B-3 awards that were announced earlier this month as Joell Colon was named Offensive Player of the Year, Jacob Skinner was named Defensive Player of the Year, and head coach Greg Sherlock was named Coach of the Year.
The season alone was impressive enough for Fredonia/Brocton, as the team had a perfect regular season before winning a tough matchup against Maryvale in the first round of the Class B playoffs. Falling short of making it to New Era Field is obviously a tough pill to swallow for much of the Fredonia/Brocton faithful, but there’s no taking away what was accomplished this year, and this only solidifies it.
Colon, a senior running back, had a phenomenal season, taking 145 touches for a total of 1,295 yards while scoring 16 total touchdowns. Colon’s biggest game of the year came against Eden/North Collins when he took just six carries for 242 yards while scoring three touchdowns. Colon even had to battle through injuries midway through the season after helping lead his team back against Cassadaga Valley/Falconer.
“I think Joell’s season could’ve been even much better than it was if it wasn’t for the injures,” said Fredonia/Brocton head coach Greg Sherlock. “People don’t realize the amount of work he put in the offseason. He was a rock. Gained probably 20 pounds of muscle and got faster. He was dedicated to this season.”
Skinner, a junior middle linebacker, was a force up the middle of the stingy Fredonia/Brocton defense, who shut down offenses all year long, making 71 tackles on the year. Skinner and the Hillbillies’ defense was highlighted when the Orange Bowl reopened against Tonawanda on Oct. 5, as they shut out the Warriors for a 22-0 victory. Skinner will return next season to lead the Hillbillies, but it’ll be all business once next season gets going.
“Jake was a huge part of our team this year playing both sides of the ball,” said Sherlock. “He did everything for us. When people saw where he lined up on defense they tried to run the play away from him. He asks a lot of questions and that’s because he wants to be the best he can be.”
For Sherlock, this season was more than just a lot of wins and success, it was about helping turn a lost program back around and pointing it in the right direction. Sherlock was hired in 2017 to be the Fredonia head coach after serving as an assistant for almost 30 years in the Jamestown area. Now, Fredonia/Brocton is viewed as the team to beat for years to come.
“That simply means I had a good team and some good coaches around me,” said Sherlock when asked what the honor meant. “It isn’t about me — it represents these student athletes, their parents and where they come from. This is just a great group of kids all around.”
Fredonia/Brocton had others named to the Class B-3 first team defense, including defensive end Nate Shuart, linebackers Dalton Gardner and Keith Piper, and safety Gio Russo.
Not only was Fredonia/Brocton honored for their individual accomplishments this season, but Dunkirk racked up first team honors after finishing their season with a 6-2 record.
Offensively, running back Quantavis Kleckley was named to the first team offense. Kleckley was a dominant player for the Marauders at times this season, rushing for 1,190 yards on 126 carries while scoring 14 touchdowns. Helping Kleckley rack up those offensive totals was senior lineman Anthony Ortiz, who was also named to the first team offense for the Marauders.
“[Quantavis] was a quiet leader,” said Dunkirk head coach Mike Sarratori. “He was pretty much bigger and stronger than most the kids he faced. He had a knack for getting north and south with the ball and when he did that, he was very hard to stop.”
Defensively for Dunkirk, defensive linemen Conrad Thomas, Zac Cooper and Koty Leeper were all named to the first team defense. Also quarterbacking the middle of the defense was linebacker Peyton Moreland, who also earned first team honors.
“Those kids all have played varsity football for 2 to 3 years and their experience showed,” said Sarratori. “They were very aggressive and had quick feet, and that’s what defense is about.”
Fredonia/Brocton quarterback Trey Swartz and Dunkirk quarterback Phil Messina were both named to the second team offense along with Fredonia/Brocton offensive lineman Alex Christy and Dunkirk linemen Devin Land, Joel Burgos and Eric Zasucha.
On the defensive second team, Fredonia/Brocton’s Yaniel Acevedo, Tanner Haas, Dom Gullo and Lucas Green were named while Dunkirk’s Gabe Vega and Rocky Radcliffe also received honors.