New York’s Finest

Derek Ecklund’s POY Selection Headlines Area All-State Honorees

Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Derek Ecklund, seen carrying the football at the New York State Public High School Class D championship game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, rushed for 1,277 yards and 17 touchdowns in helping the Wolfpack to their first state title in program history. P-J file photos

SYRACUSE — The Clymer/Sherman/Panama football team officially ended its season Sunday with a banquet at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville.

Or so it thought.

Less than 48 hours later, however, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D champions added a boatload of entries to their bulging 2018 resume when the New York State Sportswriters Association announced its Small School (classes B, C and D) All-State teams Tuesday morning.

For the record, 10 area football players from The Post-Journal circulation area earned first-team honors, headlined by Clymer/Sherman/Panama senior Derek Ecklund, who was named the Class D Player of the Year.

“It all kind of started in the offseason,” said Ecklund, a running back/linebacker. “I told Coach (Ty Harper) that I was going to get right to work, but it’s not just me, man. It’s my team. I’m grateful to them. They pushed me.”


The numbers show how well that synergy worked.

Offensively, Ecklund rushed for 1,277 yards on 194 carries and 17 touchdowns, while catching 18 passes for 186 yards and three more TDs. Defensively, he made 69 tackles, including 16 for loss, while recording two quarterback hurries.

But those numbers tell only a portion of Ecklund’s story as a member of the Wolfpack. In fact, he holds program records for rushing TDs in a season (17) and a career (27); rushing yards in a season (1,277) and a career (1,978); rushing attempts in a career (282); total yards in a season (1,753) and a career (2,702); and points in a season (122) and a career (190).

Ecklund would like to continue playing football in college and, at this point, he has SUNY Brockport, Alfred State and Utica on his radar.

“Ever since I was in midgets, I kind of fell in love with football,” he said. “It’s always been my favorite sport and it’s always been the sport I wanted to be successful at.”


Speaking of success, Ecklund has plenty of local company among the state’s best.

In Class D, the other area first-teamers are junior quarterback Gerrit Hinsdale, junior wide receiver Cameron Barmore, senior all-purpose player Michael Beatman and senior linebacker Robert Overton, all of Clymer/Sherman/Panama; and senior defensive back Easton Tanner of Maple Grove.

Meanwhile, in Class C, the first-team honorees are seniors Cole Snyder and Alex Card of Southwestern; senior Andrew Bernard of Randolph/Frewsburg; and senior Robbie Penhollow of Cassadaga Valley/Falconer.

Following is a breakdown of each of the remaining first-team choices:

¯ Hinsdale completed 134 passes for 2,038 yards and 23 touchdowns, while running for another four TDs. In the state semifinal game against Tioga, he completed 21 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns. A week later, in the state final against Moriah, he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.


¯ Barmore caught 46 passes for 966 yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, he made 47 tackles, including two for loss, and intercepted three passes.

¯ Beatman rushed for 902 yards and scored 11 touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 176 yards and a TD. Defensively, he was credited with 77 tackles, including nine for loss, and had three sacks and four interceptions.

¯ Overton, the Class D Defensive Player of the Year, made 77 tackles, including 20 for loss, and had three sacks, two quarterback hurries, broke up two passes, forced four fumbles and recovered three fumbles.

¯ Tanner rushed for 834 yards on 134 carries and scored 10 touchdowns, and caught 47 passes for 766 yards and 11 more TDs. Defensively, he was credited with 35 tackles, broke up four passes, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble.

¯ Snyder completed 140 of 222 passes for 2,069 yards and 37 touchdowns while also running for 482 yards on 105 carries, including another six TDs. Defensively, the Rutgers-bound signal caller was in on 63 tackles, including three for losses, while he also intercepted a pass and broke up three more.


¯ Card caught 66 passes for 1,103 yards and 16 touchdowns, returned 13 kickoffs for 296 yards, 16 punts for 266 yards and a touchdown, and kicked 45 extra points as well as three field goals. On defense, he made 23 tackles and had one interception.

¯ Bernard anchored an offensive that helped the Cardinals gain 3,061 yards, including 2,767 on the ground. Defensively, he made 99 tackles, recorded six sacks and forced a fumble. He’s headed to Mercyhurst University in the fall.

¯ Penhollow was in on 111 tackles, including two sacks, picked off two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one. On offense, he rushed for 1,094 yards on 167 carries and 15 touchdowns, caught 24 passes for 446 yards and three TDs, kicked two extra points, ran for three 2-point conversions and caught a 2-point conversion pass.

Second-team selections from the area are senior offensive linemen Steven Ryan and Jordan Smouse of Clymer/Sherman/Panama; and junior defensive lineman Jake Tomlinson of Maple Grove in Class D; and junior offensive lineman Cooper Pannes of Southwestern; senior defensive lineman Luke Szumigala of Silver Creek/Forestville; and senior defensive back Connor Crabtree of Cassadaga Valley/Falconer in Class C.

In Class B, junior linebacker Jacob Skinner of Fredonia/Brocton was chosen to the third team, while teammate Joell Colon, a running back, was selected to the fifth team.


Receiving honorable-mention honors are senior lineman Mason Bestine, senior linebacker Chance Meeder, sophomore all-purpose player John Swabik and senior kicker Garrett McClelland, all of Clymer/Sherman/Panama; senior quarterback Carson Crist of Maple Grove; and running back Ira John of Salamanca in Class D.

Rounding out the honorable-mention selections are senior defensive back Faizan Munir of Southwestern in Class C and senior running back Quantavis Kleckley of Dunkirk in Class B.

The all-state teams in Class AA and Class A will be announced next week.






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