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Region 4’s finest

6 Dragons named to all-star team

Warren senior Alan McAlister, making a tackle, was named a Region 4 all-star on both the offensive and defensive lines. Times Observer Photo by Cody Elms

Four of Warren’s six all-region all-stars represent a strong senior class, according to head coach Mark Morelli.

Among Dragons voted to the First Team by Region 4 coaches are senior wide receiver Cayden Wright, junior quarterback Eric Dippold and senior offensive lineman Alan McAllister on offense, and senior linebacker Nick Pennucci on defense.

Warren was also represented on the Second Team by junior all-purpose back Tommy Nyquist and senior running back Ethan Senz on offense and McAlister (line), Senz (linebacker) and Nyquist (defensive back) on defense.

“Generally, if you have a strong senior class, they should lead the way,” said Morelli of the 5-5 Dragons. “We have been fortunate that our last two senior classes have been exceptional in terms of getting our team pointed in the right direction. Four of them are our captains, our team leaders, and they obviously deserve to be selected. Your leaders set the team culture, they control the locker room, and the younger players look up to them. Nick Pennucci, Alan McAllister, Cayden Wright and Ethan Senz are four key mainstays with our football team. Eric Dippold and Tommy Nyquist lead in their own way, by example with their actions on the field.”

“Team player, told our coaches, ‘play me where you need me,'” Morelli said of Pennucci. “He stepped in to fill a void on the offensive line, but where he really made his presence felt was by being the quarterback of our defense. He had over 100 tackles, led our team in tackles two straight years, is smart, instinctive, and one of the best linebackers I have ever been around.”

Warren senior Cayden Wright (2) was named a Region 4 first-team all-star at wide receiver. Times Observer Photo by Cody Elms

“A four-year starter on the line, not an easy thing to do especially at a large school,” Morelli said of McAllister. “This is his second time making the regional all-star team. He was the anchor that kept our line together.”

“We were looking for a big-play threat to replace Ben White,” Morelli said of Wright. “Cayden’s work during the offseason paid off as he compiled 35 receptions for 542 yards, averaging 15.5 yards a catch.”

“A workmanlike player,” Morelli said of Senz. “(He) goes about doing his job, but what a job he did on both sides of the ball, including 593 yards rushing, five touchdowns, 20 catches for 294 yards, and 239 yards on kickoff returns put him over 1,000 yards in all-purpose yards, plus another 28 tackles on defense. He gave us a nice one-two threat along with Tommy Nyquist.”

“This is his second year in row making the all-region team, and threw for over 1,000 yards for the second year in a row as well,” Morelli said of Dippold. “He has thrown for 29 touchdowns in two years and has 2,767 yards passing for his career. He is closing in on several Warren football career passing records.”

“1,556 total yards on offense, 1,028 rushing, 528 yards receiving, and 12 touchdowns, yet somehow was only voted as a second team all-purpose back,” Morelli said of Nyquist. “Throw in another 375 yards he had on special teams and he accounted for 1,931 yards. The voters missed the boat on this one; show me another player in all of D-10 who can match those numbers.

“Both Eric and Tommy, along with Sam Harvey, will be the three key core players we need to build around for next season,” Morelli said. “Our challenge is going to be replacing the production that Ethan Senz and Cayden Wright gave us on offense. We also need to rebuild our line on both sides of the ball. Make no mistake about it, Eric and Tommy are two of the top returning starters in all of D-10, but they can’t do it alone; our underclassmen have to put the time in and work hard in the off-season. We need to have players step up to fill some big shoes. Of course, we are always open to having more kids out for football. We also have an outstanding coaching staff that always seems to find a way to coach up our athletes to improve.

“Each year, a team starts fresh, and you hope the players have bought in and understand the culture that has been established from previous years as to what is expected,” added Morelli. “Nick Pennucci meant so much to this team, unselfish, had a burning desire to win, studied film, and the hope is his work ethic rubbed off on our younger players. Alan, Cayden and Ethan were also very much team players and each of them had their shining moments this past season.

“We had some memorable moments,” Morelli continued. “Gavin Rex’s winning kick to beat Conneaut, a 12-0 win over playoff-bound Mercyhurst Prep, wins over Girard, Franklin and Titusville put us at the doorstep of reaching the playoffs. We had a 16-15 lead and came within 14 minutes versus General McLane of reaching our goal, but we could not keep our momentum going and that, coupled with an early season loss to Fairview, left us on the outside looking in come playoff time. For me personally, I will be forever in debt to the senior class to allow me to be part of their football memories in securing my 100th win, their efforts on the field meant a lot to me, but it is not about me, it is about the Warren Dragons — 5-5 is a success, but as the head coach, I want our program to strive higher. My six years here, we are 29-29 with two playoff appearances. We are stuck in a .500 rut season after season. Is it an improvement before I was named as head coach? Yes. Perhaps we should be happy with that, but from where I come from and with Warren’s rich football tradition and history, we need to push to achieve more.”

REGION 4 ALL-STARS

FIRST TEAM

Offense

Jordan Young Meadville 12 TE

Cole Buckley Franklin 11 WR

Nic Williams Meadville 11 WR

Cayden Wright Warren 12 WR

Eric Dippold Warren 11 QB

Khalon Simmons Meadville 12 RB

Ethen Knox Oil City 11 RB

Brock Covell Titusville 12 AP

Ruric Douglas Meadville 12 OL

Cam Crocker Oil City 12 OL

Alan McAlister Warren 12 OL

Hunter Graham Meadville 12 OL

Justice Esser Meadville 11 OL

Rhoan Woodrow Meadville 12 OL

Special Teams

Nate Pfennigwerth Franklin 11 K

Nate Pfennigwerth Franklin 11 P

Defense

Cam Crocker Oil City 12 DL

Ruric Douglas Meadville 12 DL

Justice Esser Meadville 11 DL

Rhoan Woodrow Meadville 12 DL

Brayden McFetridge Oil City 12 DL

Brady Walker Meadville 12 LB

Amarri Lewis Meadville 12 LB

Nick Pennucci Warren 12 LB

Carl Chelton Oil City 12 LB

Cole Buckley Franklin 11 DB

Khalon Simmons Meadville 12 DB

Brock Covell Titusville 12 DB

Ethen Knox Oil City 11 DB

SECOND TEAM

Offense

Alex Wible Franklin 11 TE

Kameron Mong Titusville 10 TE

Ian McDonald Titusville 10 QB

Brady Walker Meadville 12 RB

Jaxon Covell Titusville 10 RB

Ethan Senz Warren 12 RB

Tommy Nyquist Warren 11 AP

Ryan Green Conneaut 12 OL

Henry Milford Oil City 11 OL

Joey Saxton Titusville 12 OL

Tanner Kightlinger Oil City 10 OL

Alex Latta Titusville 12 OL

Special Teams

Owen Reib Titusville 12 K

Brad Walker Meadville 12 P

Defense

Alan McAlister Warren 12 DL

Ryan Green Conneaut 12 DL

Jordan Young Meadville 12 DL

Henry Milford Oil City 11 DL

Brighton Anderson Meadville 11 LB

Ethan Senz Warren 12 LB

Kevin Pearsall Oil City 11 LB

Dawson Osborn Conneaut 12 LB

Logan Groover Conneaut 11 LB

Ethan Stright Conneaut 12 DB

Nic Williams Meadville 11 DB

Tommy Nyquist Warren 11 DB

Connor Perrye Conneaut 12 DB

Ryan Reichel Meadville 11 DB

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