WHEELING - With the roster and coaching staff announced, Ohio head coach Ron Pobolish began sorting his players into their positions.
The Buckeyes' head coach for the annual Rudy Mumley Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Charity Football Classic has named his quarterback and running back candidates for the Sunday, July 25th game.
"We picked a lot of quarterbacks because it was one of those years where a lot of teams' best player was their quarterback," Pobolish said. "We're going to have to take a look at them when we get to camp, but we know some of the guys who played quarterback for their teams are going to be playing at other spots."
The three primary considerations for quarterback are Monroe Central's Derek-London Dierkes, Martins Ferry's Marco Ricchetti and Barnesville's Dalton Smith.
Running back is another spot with depth for the Buckeyes, but with former Bellaire head coach Gregg Bonar directing the offensive ship, the game should be more wide open.
"We're going to have to be able to run the ball some," Pobolish said. "We think we've got several guys who can play, but again, it's going to come down to camp and who we think fits in well."
Ticketed for the running back spots are Buckeye Local's Brandon Bartrug, Edison's Scott Peach, Indian Creek's Doren Thomas and Steubenville Central's Mickey Bednar.
Here's a capsule look at each player:
DOREN THOMAS (Indian Creek): This speedster tailback had a brilliant career despite a senior season which was plagued by injuries.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder became Indian Creek's all-time leading rusher this past season and also holds the school record for longest run.
Thomas was named all-Buckeye 8 and all-OVAC during his career.
Doren, who is unsure of his college plans, is the son of Evelyn Davis of Wintersville.
MICKEY BEDNAR (Steubenville Catholic Central): This talented tailback was a go-to player for Coach Gregg Bahen's team the last few seasons.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder was named honorable mention all-Ohio twice and first-team all-Eastern District.
He was a Big 22 Player of the Year nominee and was twice named first-team all-OVAC.
Along with football, Bednar was a standout in basketball and baseball for the Crusaders.
Mickey, who is unsure of his future plans, is the son of Mike and Tammy Bednar of Wintersville.
SCOTT PEACH (Edison): This former Wildcat was a standout on both sides of the ball for Coach Mike McKenzie's club.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder saw time at both running back and defensive back. As a tailback, he ran for 1,890 yards in his career.
On the defensive side, Peach made six interceptions. All told, he scored 14 touchdowns.
Peach was named to the all-OVAC team and second-team all-Eastern District.
Scott, who will continue his career at Washington & Jefferson, is the son of Ron and Tonya Peach of Toronto.
BRANDON BARTRUG (Buckeye Local): This former Panther defined hard- nosed for Pobolish's Panthers.
The 5-foot-7, 160-pounder was the fullback for the Panthers and ran for more than 1,600 yards in his career. He scored 14 touchdowns and ranks as the school's fourth leading rusher. Defensively, he was solid at linebacker with 103 tackles and four sacks.
Bartrug was named first-team all-Buckeye 8, all-OVAC and all-Eastern District. He was also a standout in the classroom, earning all-Ohio Academic recognition as well as McDonald's Scholar Athlete and was a finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman.
Along with football, Bartrug was a four-year letterman in wrestling, a two-year letterman in baseball and he earned a track letter.
Brandon, who plans on entering pre-law at the University of Akron, is the son of Jack and Linda Bartrug of Mt. Pleasant.
MARCO RICCHETTI (Martins Ferry): This former Purple Rider made the most of his one season as the signal caller for coach Dave Bruney's team.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder passed for 1,052 yards, ran for 416 yards and accounted for 13 touchdowns. He was also a standout in the defensive backfield where he earned first-team all-Ohio honors. He had two interception returns for touchdowns and finished his career with 17 picks.
For his fine season, Ricchetti was named Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year, all-OVAC, all-Buckeye 8, all-Valley and was a finalist for WTOV-9's defensive player of the year.
Ricchetti, who plans on attending West Liberty University, was also a letterman in basketball and baseball.
Marco is the son of David and Teresa Ricchetti of Dillonvale.
DALTON SMITH (Barnesville): This former Shamrock was brilliant on both sides of the ball for coach Luke Johnson's Shamrocks.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder passed for 1,505 yards and 13 touchdowns. On the ground, he accumulated 464 yards and two touchdowns.
He was also a standout on defense where he eventually earned first-team all-Ohio honors. He was in on 56 tackles and had seven interceptions.
Along with all-Ohio, Smith was named first-team all-Eastern District and all-OVAC.
Dalton, who plans on attending Muskingum University, is the son of Tyson and Anne Smith of Barnesville.
DEREK-LONDON DIERKES (Monroe Central): This former Seminole re-wrote all of the passing records at his alma mater.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder capped his prep career by passing for 1,054 yards and 11 touchdowns in leading the Seminoles to the OVAC Class AA title as well as the Division V playoffs.
Dierkes was named first-team all-Eastern District, all-Ohio, all- Valley and all-OVAC.
Dierkes, who was a member of the National Honor Society, will continue his football and academic career at Bucknell University.
Derek-London is the son of Scott and Misty Dierkes of Woodsfield.
(Staskey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)