By TIM BIRNEY / Valley Sports Report
(Waverly, NY) — After a historic 2021 football season, Waverly had five players honored with New York State Class C all-state recognition by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Sophomore quarterback Joey Tomasso and junior placekicker Ryan Clark were second-team selections, while sophomore wide receiver Jay Pipher and junior defensive lineman Ty Beeman were third-team picks. Senior wide receiver Brady Blauvelt received honorable mention recognition.
“It’s great for our program to get this type of recognition,” said coach Jason Miller, whose team had five honored despite not getting out of Section IV. The Wolverines did start the season at 10-0 for the first time in program history.
“I don’t want to sound greedy, but I’m a little disappointed D.J. Shaw didn’t get recognized,” noted Miller. “As well as we played defensively this season, and the fact he averaged about 14 tackles per game, I would think that merits at least an honorable mention.
“But, it is good to have five boys honored, and four of them will be back next year,” added Miller.
Joey Tomasso, sophomore, QB:Tomasso completed 55 percent, completing a school-record 149 passes in 273 attempts for 1,847 yards and 18 TDs, with just five interceptions. (The passing attempts was also a school record, and the yardage was second-best all-time.)
A dual-threat, Tomasso also led the Wolverines with 552 rushing yards and 13 TDs.
“You throw for 1,800 yards and run for nearly 600, that’s a really good year,” said Miller. “It ranks up there with any quarterback we’ve had.
“He’s on the verge of becoming our all-time passing leader in just about every category … he’s going to break most of our records,” noted Miller. “He’s also the first sophomore we’ve had to make second team.
“He’s a really good, level-headed kid, and understands what we’re doing,” added Miller. “He continues to get better and better, and is getting to the point where he can make a lot of throws he couldn’t necessarily make his freshman year.”
Ryan Clark, junior, PK: Clark, whose kick-offs often helped Waverly gain an edge in field position, connected on 35 of 42 extra-point attempts, and was 4-for-4 on field goals, including a long of 37 yards.
“Ryan’s season started with him recovering his own on-side kick,” laughed Miller.
“He really works hard, and embraces his role on the team,” noted Miller. “He’s an incredible weapon, and has the potential to play at the next level, and this will get him on some teams’ radar early.
“He works hard at all the different kicks … most people don’t realize that he kicks with both legs,” continued Miller. “He can start to his left, and it looks like an onside kick, but he kicks it deep with his right.
“He’s really talented, and whatever challenge we give him, he works hard at it on his own,” added Miller. “We certainly understand his value, and we’ll continue to make sure he’s a huge part of what we do.”
Jay Pipher, sophomore, WR: Fast and extremely dangerous after the catch, Pipher had 42 receptions for 666 yards, and six TDs. He also rushed 118 yards and one TD on 18 carries.
“He has really developed into a good slot receiver,” said Miller. “He can catch ball down the field, he can catch the ball in the middle of the field, and especially when he catches the ball in the flats, he’s able to make people miss. He can do a lot with the football.
“He’s come a long way since his freshman year, which was his first year playing in a long time,” noted Miller. “He’s improved his route-running … he seemed to improve every game, and he was able to do a lot of things he couldn’t do as a freshman due to his lack of experience; that’s a testament to his wrk ethic.
“A lot of that is the trust between he and (QB) Joe (Tomasso), too” added Miller. “It’s not just that they’re friends, but they trust each other on the field. A quarterback needs that, he needs to have a go-to guy, and Jay is that guy.”
Ty Beeman, junior, DL: Extremely athletic with a non-stop motor, Beeman recorded 142 tackles, including 28 solo stops, and one QB sack on the season.
“He’s very explosive off the ball when his hand is down,” said Miller. “For a kid who is 215 pounds, he’s very athletic, and we were able to create mismatches up front with him.
“He’s a good pass rusher, and excellent at getting rid of blockers — he’s tough to block,” noted Miller. “At the end of the year, a lot of teams started double-teaming him and he was still able to make plays.
“He challenges everybody (in practice) every day, and that makes everybody better up front.
“Later in the season, he had to move to linebacker because of injuries and he did a very good job there, too,” added Miller. “And, that’s very different than playing with your hand down.”
Brady Blauvelt, senior, WR: A big target with sure hands, Blauvelt had 46 catches for 561 yards, and six TDs.
“He’s another guy who made a huge improvement from his junior year into his senior year,” said Miller. “He came out in his junior year, after not playing since 7th-grade when he was a quarterback.
“He was long and was really dangerous catching the ball, especially on out-routes,” noted Miller. “He was able to get in position and make a lot of catches for us downfield.
“He really worked at it,” added Miller. “He never missed a workout, and developed into a very good receiver. It’s great to see him get honored.”
This story was posted with permission of the Valley Sports Report.