Johnson, Strange, Martin, Gossett Earn Post-Season Honors for MSAC, All-State Teams
Two Parkersburg Big Reds , senior Nick Johnson and freshman Brenton Strange, have earned second team All-Mountain State Athletic Conference honors for the 2015 season.
Two other PHS players were picked as part of the team with junior Easton Martin making honorable mention and senior Issiah Gossett making special honorable mention.
Johnson was also selection special honorable mention all-state and Martin was named honorable mention all-state.
Devin Stapleton of Cabell Midland was MSAC Player of the Year and his coach, Luke Salmons (former Ravenswood and Marshall player) was named Coach of the Year.
The all-conference team was selected by the coaches.
Johnson was selected as a defensive back and that was fitting since he led the Big Reds in numerous defensive categories including most tackles (93) , solo tackles (51), tackles for loss (6), forced fumbles (4) and fumble recoveries (3). He also contributed with two interceptions.
Offensively, Johnson was a return threat with a punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown while averaging 18.4 yards on nine punts and just under 20 yards on 12 kickoffs.
Strange made the second team as a wide receiver where he caught 24 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing 55 times for 249 yards and three scores. On defense he had 56 tackles and an interception from his safety position.
Gossett had 44 tackles on defense from his line position, including leading the team with 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
Martin led the team with 906 all-purpose yards with 59 tackles and six passes broken up. He had 542 yards rushing (8.6 average) with five touchdowns on the ground and caught 27 passes for 364 yards and one score.
The 2015 Parkersburg High School Big Red football banquet was held Sunday night at the Grande Pointe Conference Center in Vienna and head coach Don Reeves bid farewell to 19 seniors as well as passing out various awards.
Award winners were:
Carroll Jett Team Award Noah Weaver
Russ Parsons Defensive Player Award Issiah Gossett
Ross McHenry Scholar Award - Tyler Greathouse
Ed Forshey Big Red Award Brannon Turner
Mason Roberts Heart Award Zach Blosser
Tom Brock Special Teams Award Nick Johnson
Buddy James Offensive Player Award Easton Martin
Receiving MaxPreps Awards were: Special Team (Dakoda Sims), Defense (Noah Weaver), Offense (Easton Martin), Overall (Nick Johnson).
Captains Greathouse, Johnson, Turner and Weaver as well as Chiefs Blozzer and Gossett gave brief speeches and the following seniors were recognized: Blosser, Gossett, Greathouse, Johnson, Sims, Turner, Weaver, Joel Carty, Jared Evans, Ethan Farinash, Henry Hickman, Kendell Leary, Andrew Lebo, Jesse McGrew, Chase Minnite, Michael Osborne, Stevie Scholl, Anthony White and Jarrid Winters.
Foutty, Gilkeson Lead Way As South Runs Past PHS, 33-20
Gage Foutty and Garrett Gilkeson ran for nearly 300 yards as Parkersburg South posted a 33-20 win over visiting Parkersburg High in the 49th meeting of the two city rivals.
Each team scored three touchdowns but South converted all three two-point conversions and Walker Riddle kicked field goals of 35, 27 and 21 yards to provide the difference in a game that saw a combined 833 yards in total offense by the two teams.
Foutty scored twice and gained 153 yards on 23 carries while Gilkeson had the other touchdown and rushed for 144 yards on 15 plays. South had 17 plays of double digit yardage with the biggest being a 55 yard run by Gilkeson. They had a total of 402 yards rushing and added 90 passing with Gilkeson completing eight of 15 with seven of those completions being to Cole Day.
PHS also had a lot of big plays as the Big Reds amassed 242 yards passing and 99 rushing. They had 10 plays covering 10 or more yards with the biggest being a 64 yard pass play to Karson Snyder and a 59 yard touchdown pass from Bradley Craig to Brenton Strange. Strange, only a freshman, scored twice for PHS while Snyder had the other on a 17 yard reception.
But the Big Reds had four turnovers and converted just two of 11 third down plays.
PHS started off well, going 51 yards in just six plays with Craig finding Snyder wide open over the middle for the final 17 yards just 2:12 into the contest. But the extra point kick was blocked.
South answered with a 53 yard kickoff return by Zane Hinzman and ran the ball the rest of the way on eight plays with Foutty going over right tackle with 6:05 on the first period clock. Gilkeson passed to Day for the conversion.
Foutty started the second quarter off with a 34 yard run to the PHS 13 yard line but three penalties forced Riddle to come on and kick a 35 yard field goal with 9:24 showing in the second quarter.
The Big Reds got a kickoff return of 26 yards to near midfield by Nick Johnson and a 28 yard pass to Brannon Turner gave the visitors the ball on the South 14. Four plays later Strange went over the left side to score from a yard away. Craig then passed to Turner for the two-point conversion to give PHS a 14-11 lead.
But once again South moved the ball with ease, going 89 yards in nine plays with Gilkeson and Day doing most of the damage with their legs and hands. Day had an 18 yard run and receptions of 16 and 17 yards from Gilkeson, who had a 12 yard run on the drive. The touchdown came on a one yard run by Foutty with 3:56 left in the half. Day caught a pass for the conversion to put the home team up 19-14.
PHS had to punt on its following possession and a 15 yard facemask penalty after an 18 yard run by Gilkeson set the Patriots up on the Big Red 36. Four plays later Gilkeson faked a pass one way, ran the other and bulled over the final PHS defender for an 18 yard scoring play with 1:36 on the clock. Gilkeson's conversion run made it 27-14.
A fumble early in the third quarter gave South the ball on the PHS 41 and Riddle wound up kicking a 27 yard field goal with 7:47 on the clock to make it 30-14.
The Big Reds ran off 14 plays late in the third quarter but ran out of downs on the South 36 just a minute into the fourth quarter. A 30 yard run by Gilkeson set up Riddle's third field goal to make it 33-14 with 7:17 left in the game.
PHS took just two plays to score on a 59 yard completion to Strange. The two-point conversion failed with 6:43 remaining to leave the score at 33-20.
A successful onside kick by the Big Reds was wiped out by a penalty called because a PHS player ran behind the kicker past the 35 yard line at the time of contact, thus erasing Craig's recovery of the kick on the South 42.
The Big Reds had two more possessions but an interception at the South 30 ended the first with 3:25 remaining in the contest. Nick Johnson stripped the ball and gave PHS another life with 2:11 remaining but that final threat ended on the Patriots' 10 yard line with 32 seconds left despite a 64 yard completion to Snyder.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total Parkersburg Big Reds (4-6) 6 8 0 6 - 20 Parkersburg South (5-5) 8 19 3 3 - 33 Qtr Time Scoring play
1st 09:48 PHS - Karson Snyder 17 yd pass from Bradley Craig (Chase Minnite kick blocked), 6-51 2:12
06:05 SP - Gage Foutty 8 yd run (Cole Day pass from G. Gilkeson), 8-36 3:28
2nd 09:24 SP - Walker Riddle 35 yd field goal, 7-29 2:36
06:33 PHS - Brenton Strange 1 yd run (Brannon Turner pass from Bradley Craig), 6-51 2:43
03:56 SP - Gage Foutty 1 yd run (Cole Day pass from G. Gilkeson), 9-89 2:32
01:36 SP - Garrett Gilkeson 18 yd run (Garrett Gilkeson rush), 5-69 1:08
3rd 07:47 SP - Walker Riddle 27 yd field goal, 7-32 3:23
4th 07:17 SP - Walker Riddle 21 yd field goal, 9-59 3:47
06:43 PHS - Brenton Strange 59 yd pass from Bradley Craig (Bradley Craig rush failed), 2-65 0:28 .
Buttrey, Anderson Complete 2015 Hall of Fame Class
The final two inductees for 2015 into the Parkersburg High School Football Hall of Fame were famous for being two timers, one as a coach, and the other as a player.
Bernie Buttrey, the only coach in PHS history to win back-to-back state championships, and Fred Anderson, a two-time all-stater and state wrestling champion, complete the Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
Both also played football at Marshall and were inducted during pre-game ceremonies on Oct. 9 at Stadium Field prior to the St. Albans game.
Charles Bernie Buttrey was a 1970 graduate of St. Marys High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and track. He was at Marshall on the freshman football team when the fatal plan crash wiped out the Thundering Herd football team. He played two years at Marshall before transferring to Glenville State and lettering there for two years. At GSC he was the Most Valuable Lineman and played on the NAIA semifinals.
From 1976-83 he was the head coach at West Preston High School before becoming an assistant and eventual head coach at Williamstown, where he took the Yellowjackets to the state semifinals in 2002. He had a 24-10 record at WHS.
He became the head coach at PHS in 2002 and went on to compile a 66-30 record, the third best in Big Red history. He finished with a 12-5 playoff record (second best in school history) and became the only back-to-back state champion coach in 2006 and 2007. He was the state Coach of the Year in 2006 and won three MSAC championships while earning Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Anderson played four years of Big Red football, earning all-state honors in 1959 and 1960. He was a state champion wrestling in 1960 and finished third on the mat in 1961. He was also a two-year member of the track team.
The burly tackle was heavily recruited his senior football season by eight different schools including one Big Ten team before deciding to attend Marshall. In 1964 he suffered a serious neck injury and was unable to play for a year but came back and finished his collegiate gridiron career with the Thundering Herd. After college he played for the Wheeling Ironmen of the Continental Football League and also played for the independent Wood County Raiders. He attended summer camp with the Dallas Cowboys for a year and a half.
Anderson was an assistant coach with Gene Alkire in 1967 at Parkersburg Catholic High School. He passed away in 1997.
2015 Marks 100th Anniversary of Big Reds' Nickname
The 2015 season will be the 100th anniversary of PHS adopting the Big Reds as their official mascot nickname.
Frank Wray was the coach from 1913-1915 and the team won only seven games with 17 losses and one tie.
But he, or rather his assistant Ralph Jones, did give Parkersburg High School something which will always be remembered the school nickname. Jones had come to Parkersburg from Denison College, whose team name was the Big Red. Since PHS had no official name, Jones started calling them the Big Reds and by the third game of the 1915 the name Big Reds appeared in the newspaper for the first time.
Also, at one time prior to that the PHS school colors were black and white.
PHS Returns To 7th Place In All-Time Win Rankings
The Parkersburg High School football team has returned to seventh place in the official national high school all-time win rankings.The six victories earned by the 2014 team pushed the PHS all-time record to 805 victories and moved the locals back into a seventh place tie on the all-time list with the Canton McKinley (Ohio) Bulldogs, who won just three games last season. The official rankings are published by the National Federation of State High School Associations.PHS which will be celebrating the 100th year of Big Reds football this year, is 86 victories behind all-time leader Valdosta, which nipped the city of Parkersburg in the ESPN "Titletown" competition a few years ago. In 1915 the Parkersburg High School football team adopted the nickname Big Reds for the first time.
Commemorative t-shirts and bracelets are available and donations can now be made online here at the football web site by clicking on the PayPal icon under the t-shirt photograph on the left side of the page. Online contributions will be added to the sponor lists if the amount is sufficient.Contributors are reminded that tax deductible checks will be accepted. They should be made out to PHS Stadium Committee.
Sponsors are being sought with 10 levels of donations - Seat Named $200, Bronze $500, Silver $1,000, Gold $2,000 and Platinum $2,500, Team Captain $5,000, Reserved Seat Row $10,000, White $15,000, Team Spirit $20,000, PHS Big Red $50,000. Sponsors will have three years to honor their pledges. Sponsors meeting any of the pledge levels will be listed on a plaque to displayed prominently in the Stadium.
Donations from fans and alumni who are proud of Stadium Field and its storied 93 year history may also be sent to Parkersburg High School in care of Charlotte Potter, Stadium Field Committee, 2101 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101.
The home side finished product!
History of Stadium Field
In the spring of 1923 a group of men got together to form a stadium committee whose sole intent was to build a stadium for the newly constructed Parkersburg High School.
Those men included John S. Echols, President of the Board of Education, C.M. Martin, Sherman Dils, J.H. Biddle, C.T. Hitshaw, Herbert Smith, John Randolph, and Paul L. Summers. The committee was incorporated on July 14, 1923 and became known as the Parkersburg High School Corporation. The process of forming a corporation was necessary because the bonded indebtedness of the Board of Education was then at the peak permitted by law. Also serving on this committee was Fayette Smoot, H.L. Martin, Edward Doesch, H.R. Debussey and W.O. Holiday. The corporation leased the back campus from the Board of Education. It was impossible, according to the law of the time, for such a corporation to build any structure on land owned by a board of education. Therefore, the board had to turn over the land known as Stadium Field, on a 99-year lease to this corporation. The bonds were then released. The money for the bonds was to be recovered through football games and other activities held at the stadium.
The stadium was the first of its kind (concrete) in West Virginia and must have been the first of its kind to be built for the use of tax-supported institution without the investment of a single tax dollar.
The plans were to build one side of the stadium in 1923 and to build the other side the following year. The end of the U-shaped stadium was to be completed in the third year. When finally, completed it was to seat about 13,000 people. The end or bowl section of the stadium was never completed according to plans. The total cost of construction for the two sides was $104,000.
In just one day after the meeting in which the stadium plan was revealed, a total of $33,000 worth of bonds was sold.
In September of 1923 the first concrete was poured for the West stands of the stadium and on Oct. 4, 1923, the first game in the new stadium was played between the Big Reds of Parkersburg High School and Athens, Ohio. The Big Reds won by a 14-13 score. Ticket prices were 25 cents for student seating, 15 cents for student standing room. For the general public, the price was season ticket was $5 for seats and $4 for standing room.
In 1925 the stadium was officially dedicated. As part of the dedication, a race from Parkersburg to Marietta was held.
The installation of the stadium lights during the fall of 1940 made it possible for football games to be played at night. Until that time, most games were played on Saturday afternoon. The lights were installed by the Parkersburg Junior Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $7,000.75. The electric bill for the use of the lights was $3.25 per hour or about $10 for each game.
The lights were put in for the dual purpose of protecting the health of the players from the intense heat and to increase attendance. Among other reasons cited for the lighting was so that persons who worked Saturday afternoon could see the Big Reds play and so that the Stadium could be used for the purpose of holding other outdoor events such as political rallies or church events. Businessmen also felt that by playing Friday night games, Saturday afternoon business would be bolstered.
The first night game at PHS Stadium was Sept. 6, 1940 with the Big Reds beating Grantsville 50-0.
During the 1984-85 football season part of the stadium stands were closed for safety reasons. On June 13, 1988 it was recommended that both sides of the stands be closed. On June 14 the Board of Education accepted that recommendation.
During the summer of 1988 temporary bleachers were purchased and put up. Remodeling was done with funding help from C.O. Erickson and began in 1992. It was totally completed in 1994 with structural steel and concrete used to repair the stands.
In 1995 PHS qualified for home playoff games. After beating North Marion in the first round, the Big Reds were scheduled to host Wheeling Park. The Patriots protested the playing conditions at Stadium Field (no grass and nothing but mud) and a state inspection committee upheld the protest moving the game to Tyler Consolidated High School. PHS won that game 28-7 and got to host the semifinal game after much work was done to repair the turf. But Hedgesville won the game 18-0 and the drive to install artificial turf on Stadium Field began in earnest.
The Stadium Renovation committee had its first planning session on Jan. 4, 1996 with more than two dozen members. In almost no time there were plans for an artificial surface to be added to the football field along with an 8-lane Eurotan track surface, new sidewalks, asphalt parking lot and refurbished concession stands.
On Aug. 30, 1996 the first game was played on AstroTurf Xl surface between Parkersburg South and Wheeling Park. On Sept. 6 the Big Reds played host to Hurricane on the new turf.
The cost of the new surface and renovations came to $1.25 million dollars which included $400,000 worth of in-kind services, $400,000 for advertising signs, $250,000 in donations and five bank loans of $400,000.
New light standards were installed in 1998. In 1999 new locker rooms were built in the Mary Lou Hague Memorial Sports and Arts complex at a cost of $536,390. In 2005 the restoration of the concrete stands was done at a cost of $129,356. In 2006 the turf was replaced at a cost of $295,000 with ProGrass artificial surface. In 2009 a new concession stand and restrooms were built on the home side at a cost of $195,000. The track was resurfaced in 2010 at a cost of $75,000 and in 2012 handrails were installed at a cost of $68,090.
In 2013 the home side bleachers were replaced in time for the second home game of the season. New seats were also installed with backs for the reserved seat section. The visiting bleachers still need to be replaced and contributions are still being taken.