Prep football: Rogalski continued dominance in new classification
WHEELING, W.Va. -- Class AA or Class A, it didn't matter. Stephen Rogalski was in a class by himself.
His football coach at Magnolia High School saw it from the very beginning, too.
"When we first saw him come on the field, we knew he was a special player," said Magnolia Coach Mark Batton, who led the team to a Class AA state championship in 2010.
"What a contribution he's made to the program as a whole," Batton said. "He's a very special player."
The West Virginia Sports Writers Association agreed, and named the speedy wide receiver the offensive captain of the Class A All-State team.
"He was the emphasis of a lot of opposing defensive coordintators, that's for sure," Batton said. "While we may have struggled a few times getting him the ball, that just opened things up for other players.
"He worked hard to get open, and we worked hard to get him the ball."
Despite being double-teamed on a regular basis, the 5-foot-11 senior hauled in 62 passes for 898 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. His yardage total was exactly what it was in 2011, when he caught 59 passes.
"We always knew he had the ability," Batton said. "You could see that in the way he carried himself. He was a special person to coach."
A three-time All-State pick, Rogalski wasn't a one-trick pony. Batton utilized him on kicks, as well. This season he returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns. He also rushed for 294 yards and four more scores.
Defensively, Rogalski made 35 tackles and had one interception.
Clearly, Rogalski, who played in three state semifinal games, was the complete package.
"Stephen came to practice every day prepared," Batton said. "He was a leader, a vocal guy ... always upbeat.
"He provided great leadership. I know the younger guys respected him."
One of those "guys" was junior Drew Keller, one of three first-team running backs.
Keller, the latest in a stellar group of family members to play at Magnolia in recent seasons, rushed for a hair more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes for 348 yards.
Meadow Bridge junior running back Jake Parker leads the All-State backfield after rushing for a whopping 2,211 yards and 28 touchdowns. Wahama's Kane Roush rounds out the runners after churning out 1,543 yards and 22 scores in helping lead the White Falcons to the Class A state championship.
The team Wahama beat in the thrilling title game, Madonna, had the first-team quarterback, junior Ross Comis.
Comis was a dual threat, rushing for more than 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns and throwing for a shade more than 1,000 and 12 scores.
Joining Rogalski at wide receiver is East Hardy's Josh Parker, who caught 53 balls for 1,287 yards.
Wheeling Central junior C.J. Burch was selected as the offensive utility player. Thrust into the role of quarterback because of a preseason injury to starter Parker Henry, Burch shined in the role. He carried the ball 251 times for 1,637 yards and 21 touchdowns and threw for 763 yards and nine more scores.
Providing protection up front are Wahama's Zack Killingsworth, Clay-Battelle's Tyler Menas, St. Marys' Alan Pratt, Wirt County's Scott Lowe and Greenbrier West's Zack Johnson.
Williamstown's Garrett Butler, last week named an All-State selection in soccer, is the first-team kicker. He was 33 of 34 on extra-point attempts and converted six field goals, including a school-record 50-yarder.
The defense is captained by Wahama's Zack Wamsley. He made 91 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks and picked off a pair of passes from his linebacker spot. His field goal against Magnolia sent his team to the title game.
"He's been our leading tackler for three years," Wahama Coach Ed Cromley said. "He's held our defense together. He's been a great leader."
The other linebackers are Magnolia's Kage Rohde (93 1/2 tackles), St. Marys' Derek Barnhart (75 1/2) and Tucker County's Mike Adkins (137).
Wheeling Central's Braxton Nolte, a repeat selection, and Madonna's Nate Guio help comprise a defensive line that also includes Tug Valley's Isaac Parsley.
Nolte made 97 stops for Central, while Guio had 66 tackles. Parsley registered 93 stops and had seven sacks for the Panthers.
Tyler Consolidated's Hunter LeMasters rode 99 1/2 tackles to a first-team defensive back spot. Joining him are Buffalo's Levi Jordan, Tucker County's Derek Nestor and Doddridge County's Daniel Plaugher. Jordan helped anchor a defensive unit that allowed an average of 76 passing yards per game. Plaugher had 90 tackles and three interceptions.
Greenbrier West's Malik Boatwright is the defensive utility player. He made 45 tackles, averaged 22 yards per punt return, nearly 30 yards per kickoff return and rushed for 1,650 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Midland Trail's Jake Grimmett is the punter. He averaged 40.4 yards per boot, including a long of 60 yards.