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THE SPORTS REPORTS: TOWANDA'S VANDERPOOL TOPS BAKER'S DOZEN AS ALL-REGION 'BOYS NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR' (2022-07-09)

The Sports Reports
Towanda freshman Riley Vanderpool launched his high school career in tremendous fashion on the gridiron and wrestling mat, and headlines The Sports Reports All-Region Baker’s Dozen as the “Boys Newcomer of the Year.”

In the fall, Riley was one of the most versatile two-way players in the area for a young Black Knight football team.

Vanderpool tallied nearly 800 yards in total offense, and was one of Towanda’s top defenders on the gridiron.

Vanderpool rushed for 248 yards and one TD, caught 20 passes for 224 yards and one TD, and added 293 return yards. He even threw a 42-yard TD pass.

Defensively, Vanderpool recorded 54 tackles, including 24 solo stops, 1 tackle-for-loss, 1 QB sack, and one fumble recovery.

This winter, Vanderpool posted a 31-6 record, including pins in Towanda’s matches against Canton, Wyalusing, and Athens. He was also 4-0 at the District 4 Duals.

Vanderpool won the North Section championship, and finished seventh at the District 4 Championships.

On the diamond this spring, Vanderpool was plagued by injuries. He hit .265, including some timely at-bats, including a game-winning hit against Athens. He had five RBI and four runs scored.

The focus for the year-end awards is on three-sport athletes, but there are some athletes recognized who thrive in two sports. Occasionally, someone will make the grade for just one sport.

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The 2021-22 Baker’s Dozen All-Region “Boys Newcomers of the Year”
Riley Vanderpool, freshman, Towanda:
See above.

Drew Macumber, sophomore, Tioga: Macumber was a starter on the Tioga wrestling and baseball teams, and saw a lot of time on both sides of the ball for the state championship football team.

This winter, Macumber was practicing with the basketball team, but decided to wrestle at the last minute. Three months later, Macumber qualified for States with a second-place finish at the Section IV Championships. On his way to a 20-9 record, Macumber won an IAC Championship, and the Section IV, Qualifier A title. Six of his nine loss came to state qualifiers.

Macumber was a key component in Tioga’s state duals title, and team championship at the New York State Division3 Wrestling Championships.

On the gridiron, Macumber had 52 tackles (sixth on the team), including 20 solo stops, to go along with two QB sacks, and one tackle-for-loss,  Offensively, he rushed for 273 yards (8.0 yards per carry) and two TDs.

Tioga  also won the Class D state football championship.

On the diamond, Macumber hit .345 (19 hits in 55 ABs) with 17 runs scored, six doubles, 13 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA, and  21 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched. The Tigers won the overall IAC Small School title.

Alex Davis, freshman, NP-Mansfield: Davis saw action for the Tigers in all three seasons, but made his biggest impact on the diamond this spring.

Davis had a .438 batting average, .509 on-base-percentage, 21 hits, 10 doubles, one home run, 17 runs scored, 24 RBI, 11 stolen bases, five walks. He also went 1-1 on the mound, throwing 13 innings with a 3.23 ERA and eight strikeouts.

In the fall, Davis recorded 72 yards in total yards, the vast majority of it coming on kick returns.

On the basketball hardwoods, Davis averaged 6.3 points and 1.8 rebounds for a young and talented NP-Mansfield team.

Ashton Bange, sophomore, Corning: Bange won the Section IV Championship, and was fourth at States, and he did all this in his first year of cross country.

He was consistently one of the best  runners in the State all season, helped Corning capture the state title, and was a main cog in a team that swept the top five spots at both the STAC Championships and the Section IV Championships. He finished 17th at the Eastbay Regional cross country meet.

Clayton Smith, sophomore Troy: Smith was a major contributor for the Trojans on the gridiron and baseball diamond this year.

Smith was one of the Troy’s two primary ball carriers on the gridiron before a season-ending injury. His highlight game was running for 276 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Loyalsock. He was on pace to top 1,000 yards.

On the diamond, Smith hit .338 with eight doubles, 22 runs scored, and 10 RBI. He also made some big plays in centerfield for the Trojans.

Holden Ward, freshman, Canton: Ward made a major impact on the diamond and the wrestling mat for the Warriors, and also flashed his potential on the gridiron.

This spring, Ward was Canton’s’ top pitcher, with a 2.06 ERA and a team-high 45 strikeouts. He hit .323 (20 hits in 62 ABs) with 25 runs scored, four doubles, six RBI, and 15 stolen bases.

On the mats, Ward was a 20-match winner, and North Section champion, helping the Warriors to a third-place finish at the District 4 Duals.

He also saw some action on the football field, showing potential running the ball, but was stuck behind some strong backfield starters.


Kam Hills, freshman, Waverly: A three-sport athlete, Hills excelled on the gridiron and on the wrestling mats in his freshman season.

Hills didn’t wrestle a match until after Christmas, but he made up for lost time, and ended up qualifying for States by winning a Section IV title. He missed the early season because he was busy dropping 60 pounds to make the 285-pound weight class.

After a 3-3 start, Hills finished the season with a 22-8 record. In total, five of his losses came to state place-finishers, and two of losses came to Marathon’s Logan Jamison, who lost in the blood round at States. He also beat Jamison in the finals of the IAC Championships, and in the semifinals of the Section IV Championships.

As a freshman, Hills earned a starting job on the offensive and defensive lines. Defensively, Hills had 30 tackles, including three solo stops.

He was a thrower on the track & field team in the spring, and placed in several meets.

Gavin Fisher, sophomore, Tioga:
Fisher was a first team all-state placekicker on Tioga’s state championship football team, and was a big contributor on the resurgent Tiger basketball team.

Fisher was 55 of 66 in extra-point attempts — including going 7-for-7 in the state semifinals, and also hit a 33-yard field goal. He also featured a strong leg on kickoffs, often driving the ball inside the 10-yard line.

The 6-3 Fisher, who can score in the paint and from behind the 3-point arc, got better and better as the hoop season progressed. He averaged 8.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

Ousmane Duncanson, sophomore, Tioga: A state champion on the wrestling mat, where he’s been a standout for several years, Duncanson showed he is not a one-trick pony by being a major contributor on Tioga’s state championship football team, and part of their record-breaking 400-meter relay team in his first season in those sports.

Defensively, Duncanson made a big impact for the Tigers at linebacker. He was second on the team with 95 tackles, including 26 solo stops, six tackles-for-losses, four QB sacks, one interception, and one fumble recovery. Offensively, Duncanson carried the ball for 18 times for 196 yards (10.8 yards per carry) and three TDs. He also caught four passes for 134 yards and two TDs.

In the spring, Duncanson was part of Tioga’s school record-breaking 4-by-1 relay team, and also consistently placed in the 100-meter dash.

Timmy Freeman, freshman, Cowanesque Vally / Williamson: Freeman was a major contributor for a resurgent CV football team, and had a solid first season on the mats and on the track.

On the gridiron, Freeman rushed for 1,136 yards and 13 TDs, and also had 92 receiving yards. Defensively, he had 49 tackles, and one interception.

This winter, Freeman posted a 13-18 record on the mats, and finished fourth at the North Section Tournament.

This spring, he tried a little of everything, hurdles, sprints, and jumps before suffering a season-ending injury.

Jack Wheaton, freshman, Towanda: Wheaton was a three-sport contributor — soccer, basketball, and baseball — for the Black Knights.

On the pitch, Wheaton was a double-digit scorer, including a five-goal game.
 
He battled through injuries during basketball season to be a solid role player off the bench, spotting up for jumpers.

On the diamond, he batted lead-off for the baseball team, scoring a team-high 15 runs. He also solidified the centerfield spot.

Fletcher Good, freshman, Cowanesque Valley / Williamson: Good had a good freshman year, contributing in all three sports — football, basketball, and track.

On the gridiron, Good caught 10 passes for 148 yards, and two TDs.

On the hardwoods, he averaged 4.6 points per game.

This spring, Good finished 15th at Districts in the high jump, and was on the 4-x-100 meter relay that won an eighth-place medal at Districts.

Isaiah Henderson, sophomore, Corning:
A 6-4 walking mismatch, who also happens to be one of the best shooters in the section. Henderson scored 18.7 points a game this year, shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc, and 83 percent from the free throw line this year. He made almost three 3-pointers per game.


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