By Josh Brown
MIAMI COUNTY — Covington won the regular season state poll championship in Division VII.
Troy Christian hosted a playoff game for the first time.
Thursday afternoon, Division VII’s football teams were the last to be honored this week as the 2016 All-Ohio teams were announced, with four Buccaneers and five Eagles being honored, as well as a pair of Lehman Cavaliers and one Bradford Railroader.
Three of the Buccaneers that were named All-Ohio came in already boasting various Player of the Year awards. Covington had a pair of first team All-Ohio selections in Nathan Blei and Deron White, while Seth Thomas and Branden Robinson were both named second team.
Blei, a 6-foot, 165-pound senior quarterback, was the All-Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year. In addition, White, a 5-8, 165-pound linebacker, was the All-Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year. And finally, Thomas, a -0, 260-pound offensive lineman, was named the All-Cross County Conference Lineman of the Year. The 5-10, 170-pound Robinson was named All-Ohio second team as a defensive back. All four of Covington’s All-Ohio selections were seniors.
The Buccaneers recorded an undefeated regular season and won the CCC championship outright, the team’s second straight conference title. They finished as the No. 1 seed in the Division VII, Region 28 playoff standings and finished the regular season as the top-ranked team in the Ohio state coaches’ poll, winning a first-round playoff game before finally falling in the regional semifinals to Fort Recovery.
Troy Christian enjoyed one of its best seasons, as well, finishing the regular season 9-1 — with its only loss being a one-point defeat at the hands of Covington — and finishing as the No. 2 ranked team in D-VII, Region 28. The Eagles hosted a playoff game for the first time, falling to Upper Scioto Valley in the first round.
All five of Troy Christian’s All-Ohio selections were seniors, and four of them — Jacob Calvert, Jacob Brown, Seth Douglas and Caleb Salazar — were named second team, while quarterback Hayden Hartman earned special mention.
Calvert was the Eagles’ primary rushing threat, a 6-1, 200-pound running back, while Brown was the team’s primary threat through the air as a 6-3, 165-pound receiver. Douglas earned his spot as a 6-0, 290-pound offensive lineman and Salazar as a 5-10, 195-pound linebacker.
The Lehman Cavaliers, who also qualified for the playoffs at 7-3 before falling to Minster in the first round, had two All-Ohio selections. Sophomore kicker Michael Denning, a 6-1, 180-pounder, was named third team, while Brandon Barhorst earned special mention.
The 5-5 Bradford Railroaders also had one All-Ohio selection, as Josh Phillips earned special mention.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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