Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football had one of its most competitive seasons in 2013.
Moriah (7-5) reached the NYSPHSAA Class D semifinals, while Beekmantown (6-5) made an appearance in the state’s Class B quarterfinals.
Saranac Lake (5-5) defeated Saranac (4-5) by a two-point margin in the Section VII Class C championship, while Ticonderoga (6-3) was a league frontrunner throughout.
AuSable Valley (1-7) clawed its way through a rebuilding year, but has championship aspirations in 2014.
The all-star teams and awards were selected by CVAC coaches.
Coach of the Year
Bob Sutphen, (Ticonderoga)- Sutphen, in his ninth season with the Sentinels, helped Ticonderoga to a 6-3 overall record, including a second-place finish in the league. The Sentinels reached the Section VII Class D championship, dropping a 6-0 decision to rival Moriah.
Co-Offensive Playersof the Year
Blake Altizer (Peru) and Zane Bazzano (Peru)- Altizer and Bazzano were a deadly one-two combination for the Indians. The junior and senior also made a First-Team appearance on offense at quarterback and wide receiver, respectively. Altizer tossed 1,265 yards and 20 touchdowns on 77 completions. Bazzano recorded 495 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, while totaling 395 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Bazzano was also recognized as a First-Team outside linebacker and the league’s top kick returner. The two helped Peru reach the Section VII Class B championship where it fell to Beekmantown, 33-28.
Defensive Player of the Year
Taylor Avanzato (Peru)- Avanzato, also a First-Team inside linebacker, anchored an Indians defense that surrendered 116 points on the year. Peru surrendered single-digit points in four of its six league games played. In addition to Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team inside linebacker, Avanzato was also honored as a First-Team guard.
Lance Ackerson (Saranac Lake)- In his senior go-around, Ackerson rushed 93 times for 547 yards and five touchdowns. He also slipped out of the backfield, catching five catches for 47 yards and one touchdown. Ackerson finished his varsity career with 1,050 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. The senior was also named a First-Team outside linebacker on the defensive side of the football.
John Maye (Saranac)- Maye helped the Chiefs to a runner-up finish in Class C. The senior running back led the CVAC in rushing yards (1,214) and rushing touchdowns (17), while finishing second in scoring with 110 points.
Cameron Wright (Ticonderoga)- Like Maye, Wright was a frontrunner in league rushing throughout the course of the season. The bruising back totaled 134 carries for 657 yards and six touchdowns for the Sentinels. Playing for Moriah and Ticonderoga, Wright finished his varsity career with 1,982 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Anthony DuShane (Ticonderoga)- DuShane’s season was highlighted by a game-winning catch in overtime against Beekmantown in Week 8. The senior hauled in six catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns on the year, belonging to a Sentinels offense that recorded 189 points.
Tyler Pratt (Moriah)- Pratt had a stellar senior season, helping the Vikings reach the NYSPHSAA Class D semifinals. Pratt snagged 31 catches for 680 yards and five touchdowns, good for a 21.9 yards per catch average. Pratt’s best game was a 152-yard performance against Tupper Lake in the regional semifinals. The senior was also recognized as a First-Team cornerback, finishing second in the league with four interceptions.
Jordan Robinson (Peru)- Robinson led an offensive line that helped record 2,799 yards of total offensive, including 1,326 through the air and 1,473 on the ground. In addition to being named a First-Team tackle, Robinson was recognized by the league’s coaches as a First-Team defensive tackle.
Zach Daniels (Saranac)- Daniels played an integral part in Maye’s success on the ground, opening off-tackle holes. Daniels helped the Chiefs to 2,311 yards of total offense.
Joseph Atkinson (Saranac Lake)- Atkinson paved the way for the Red Storm offense, helping Saranac Lake to 169 points and 2,201 yards of offense, including 430 plays from scrimmage.
Jesse Wilson (Ticonderoga)- Wilson was a force for the Sentinels and their dynamic and well-balanced offense. Ticonderoga racked up 1,239 rushing yards and 872 passing yards.
Tyler Clement (Peru)- At defensive end, Clement gave opponents fits with his speed. He helped the Indians surrender just triple digits in rushing yards (775) and passing yards (825) on the season.
Austin McKiernan (Moriah)- For a defense that prided itself on physicality, McKiernan provided quickness off the edge. He helped Moriah hold Ticonderoga to 188 yards of total offense in its Section VII Class D championship victory.
Brennan Pelkey (Beekmantown)- According to coach Jamie Lozier, Pelkey was very athletic and quick for his size. He was a big, strong kid that was always respectful and worked hard in the weight room during the offseason. He was one of the Eagles’ most important team leaders on and off the field. Throughout the year, Pelkey was a player that Beekmantown could turn to for a big play and helped create productive practices. “Brennan will be missed as he continues his football career in college,” Lozier said.
Hayden Fernandez (Moriah)- Fernandez played an integral role on the Vikings’ defensive front. He helped Moriah hold opponents to less than 252 yards of total offense on four occasions.
Rivelino Hendricks (Peru)- Hendricks’ athleticism made him a reliable member of the Indians’ secondary. Peru surrendered less than 150 passing yards in four games.
Derek Thurber (Saranac Lake)- Thurber roamed the middle of the field, becoming a force to be reckoned with within the league. He helped the Red Storm reach the regional semifinals where it fell to Ogdensburg Free Academy, 27-19.
Anthony Gallo (Peru)- Along with Bazzano and Hendricks, Gallo added depth to the Indians’ secondary during his junior campaign. While catching passes at the wide receiver position, he grabbed three interceptions on the defensive side of the football.
QB: Blake Altizer (Peru)
FB: Lance Ackerson (Saranac Lake)
RB: John Maye (Saranac)
RB: Cameron Wright (Ticonderoga)
TE: Anthony DuShane (Ticonderoga)
WR: Zane Bazzano (Peru)
WR: Tyler Pratt (Moriah)
T: Jordan Robinson (Peru)
T: Zach Daniels (Saranac)
G: Taylor Avanzato (Peru)
G: Joe Atkinson (Saranac Lake)
C: Jesse Wilson (Ticonderoga)
Offensive Players of the Year: Blake Altizer (Peru) and Zane Bazzano (Peru)
DE: Tyler Clement (Peru)
DE: Austin McKiernan (Moriah)
DE: Brennan Pelkey (Beekmantown)
DT: Hayden Fernandez (Moriah)
DT: Jordan Robinson (Peru)
S: Rivelino Hendricks (Peru)
OLB: Zane Bazzano (Peru)
OLB: Lance Ackerson (Saranac Lake)
ILB: Taylor Avanzato (Peru)
ILB: Derek Thurber (Saranac Lake)
CB: Anthony Gallo (Peru)
CB: Tyler Pratt (Moriah)
Defensive Player of the Year:Taylor Avanzato (Peru)
QB: Cole Gaddor (Moriah)
FB: Justin Stevens (Beekmantown)
RB: Jarryn Granger (Ticonderoga)
RB: Devin Fessette (Beekmantown)
TE: Rainier Garnica (Moriah)
WR: Cameron Garceau (Beekmantown)
WR: Anthony Gallo (Peru)
T: Tyler Clement (Peru)
T: Hayden Fernandez (Moriah)
G: Austin McKiernan (Moriah)
G: Mike LeBeau (Saranac)
C: Tom Rancour (Moriah)
DE: Brennan Pelkey (Beekmantown)
DE: Zach Daniels (Saranac)
DT: Colby Russell (Saranac)
DT: Gavyn Noonan (Beekmantown)
S: Devin Fessette (Beekmantown)
OLB: John Maye (Saranac)
OLB: Cole Gaddor (Moriah)
ILB: Cameron Wright (Ticonderoga)
ILB: Dillon Savage (AuSable Valley)
CB: Cameron VanNatton (Beekmantown)
CB: CJ Raymond (Moriah)
CB: Shane Douglass (AuSable Valley)
Kick Returner: Zane Bazzano (Peru)
Punter: Mike Graney (Ticonderoga)
Place Kicker: Ty Denno (Ticonderoga)
Coach of the Year: Bob Sutphen (Ticonderoga)
Ray Holmes Sportsmanship Award: Saranac Lake