GCL South Announces 2020 Football All-Star Teams

11/11/2020

Posted on 11/11/2020 at 11:30 a.m.

St. Xavier’s Clifford, La Salle’s Branam, Elder’s Ramsey Share Player Of Year Honor
 
It has been quite a football season for the Greater Catholic League South Division, with St. Xavier and La Salle high schools trying to continues their respective paths to winning state championships for the second time in five years this week.  The Bombers play Friday in the Division I state final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Football Tournament, while the Lancers play that same night in the DII state semifinals as they attempt to defend their state title.

The result is a talent-laden list of league all-star football teams and special award winners for the 2020 season that is being released today.  First- and second-team members of this prestigious team, along with winners of the categorical awards, were voted on by league coaches at a special meeting last Sunday.

St. Xavier senior receiver Liam Clifford, a Penn State University commit and the school’s all-time leading receiver and the GCL South leader in receiving yards, with 1,084; La Salle senior quarterback Zach Branam, who will likely finish this season with 2,000-plus yards combined rushing and passing; and Elder versatile junior Drew Ramsey, who finished third in the league in rushing and receiving yards with a total of 22 touchdowns, shared GCL South Player of the Year honors.  St. Xavier’s Steve Specht, who is looking to win his fourth state championship and led his team to a perfect GCL South record this season, is the Coach of the Year.

Clifford, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior, is enjoying a record-setting season that includes leading the league in receptions, with 68, yards receiving, 1,084, and touchdowns, with 12.  In the Bombers’ victory against Lakota West in the regional final, Clifford because the school’s career leader in receptions.  He now has 162 catches for  2,532 yards and 30 touchdowns at the varsity level. Clifford’s biggest game of the season came in the Bombers’ 62-37 victory against Cleveland St. Ignatius on the final day of the regular season, when he hauled in 12 passes for a single-game record 300 yards and a pair of TDs.  He will join his older brother, Sean, at Penn State – where the 2017 St. Xavier graduate is the Nittany Lions’ starting QB.  Sean Clifford helped lead the Bombers to the 2016 state crown during his senior season.
 
Branam has been the leader of the La Salle offense the last two seasons, leading the team in rushing and passing both years.  This season, the 5-10, 200-pounder is the GCL South leader in rushing 1,025 yards on the ground and 14 TDs.  He also has thrown for 1,387 yards and 10 scores to rank third among passing leaders.  More importantly, though, is his consistent play – especially in the postseason.  With Branam at the helm, La Salle enters Friday’s state semifinal game riding a nine-game winning streak in the state playoffs.  This year, Branam has rushed for 10 TDs and thrown six TD passes in the Lancers’ dominant run to date in the DII state playoffs.  In last week’s 35-10 win against Winton Woods in the regional final, Branam rushed for 209 yards and four scores while also throwing a TD pass.

Ramsey was as versatile a player as there is in the league and likely in Greater Cincinnati, posting impressive receiving and rushing numbers, many times taking the direct snap from center.  He also is the Panthers’ punter and was even used on defense in the backfield in necessary situations. Ramsey finished third in both rushing and receiving yards in the league, carrying for 721 yards and 14 scores while also catching passes for 762 yards and eight TDs.  In Elder’s first-round playoff win against Fairfield, Ramsey rushed for 188 yards and four TDs while also catching six passes for 120 yards to help  the Panthers rally from 11 down in the fourth quarter for a 42-39 victory.  Elder advanced to the regional semifinals before losing to St. Xavier.

Specht, who led St. Xavier to state titles in 2005m 2007 and 2016, has his team one win away from the school’s fourth crown in football.  The Bombers are perfect this season against Ohio teams, posting a x-x record, with its lone defeats coming to a pair of Indiana state powers in Brownsburg, 30-24, in week one in a game that was televised live by ESPN, and Indianapolis Cathedral, 25-22, a few weeks later.  Cathedral has been the top-ranked team in the Hoosier state all season.  St. Xavier ended the season ranked No. x in the final Associated Press DI state poll.

Here is a look at the all-league teams, with the players listed in alphabetical order by school, position, class, height and weight.  Special award winners are listed after the all-star teams.
 
2020 ALL-GCL SOUTH DIVISION FOOTBALL TEAMS
 
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
NAME, SCHOOL, POSITION, CLASS, HEIGHT, WEIGHT
Zach Branam, La Salle, QB, Senior, 5-10, 200
Liam Clifford, St. Xavier, WR, Senior, 6-2, 190
Cameron Collins, St. Xavier, OL, Junior, 6-4, 260
Landon Fickell, Moeller, OL, Senior, 6-5, 270
Paul Haywood, La Salle, OL, Junior, 6-3, 322
Josh Kattus, Moeller, TE, Junior, 6-4, 245
Charles Kellom, St. Xavier, RB, Junior, 6-0, 183
Brogan McCaughey, St. Xavier, QB, Junior, 6-1, 185
Scott Nieman, Elder, WR, Senior, 6-6, 215
Brian Parker, St. Xavier, OL, Junior, 6-5, 276
Jalen Patterson, St. Xavier, WR, Senior, 6-1, 193
Austin Rack, La Salle, OL, Junior, 6-1, 270
Drew Ramsey, Elder, WR, Junior, 6-1, 200
Ryan Reynolds, La Salle, OL, Junior, 6-2, 275
TJ Rotello, Moeller, RB, Senior, 5-11, 195
Cole Schneider, La Salle, TE, Senior, 5-11, 169
 
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
NAME, SCHOOL, POSITION, CLASS, HEIGHT, WEIGHT
Gio Albanese, St. Xavier, DL, Senior, 6-0, 278
Sam Buerkle, St. Xavier, DL, Junior, 6-4, 246
Arron Byrd, La Salle, DL, Senior, 5-10, 207
Wyatt Bullock, Moeller, DL, Senior, 6-2, 270
Gabe Dubois, St. Xavier, DB, Senior, 5-9, 165
Matthew Devine, St. Xavier, LB, Senior, 6-0, 220
Jaylen Johnson, La Salle, DB, Senior, 6-3, 210
Jaymar Hargrove-Mundy, La Salle, DB, Senior, 5-10, 200
Eli Kirk, St. Xavier, DB, Junior, 6-0, 184
Grant Lyons, St. Xavier, LB, Junior, 6-2, 220
Gaillin Mitchell, Elder, DL, Senior, 6-1, 230
Nate Pabst, Moeller, DL, Senior, 6-5, 255
JJ Ruffin, La Salle, LB, Junior, 6-3, 227
Aden Seger, La Salle, DL, Senior, 6-1, 225
Devonta Smith, La Salle, DB, Senior, 6-0, 220

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
NAME, SCHOOL, POSITION, CLASS, HEIGHT, WEIGHT
Drew Beckenhaupt, Elder, OL, Senior, 6-4, 285
Tennel Bryant, Moeller, WR, Sophomore, 5-7, 140
Ben Hambelton, Elder, QB, Junior, 6-1, 190
Cooper Johnson, Elder, RB, Senior, 5-8, 185
Daylon Fischer, La Salle, OL, Senior, 6-0, 260
Joe Folzenlogen, Elder, OL, Senior, 6-3, 240
Brody Koch, St. Xavier, OL, Junior, 6-2, 250
Gi’Bran Payne, La Salle, RB, Junior, 5-10, 200
Gavin Robbins, La Salle, OL, Senior, 6-3, 275
Fredrick Sturgis, Moeller, OL, Senior, 6-3, 275
Jack Tucker, Elder, OL, Senior, 6-2, 250

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
NAME, SCHOOL, POSITION, CLASS, HEIGHT, WEIGHT
Ivan Anderson, Moeller, LB, Junior, 6-0, 204
Ryan Anderson, Moeller, DB, Senior, 5-8, 170
Max Roberto-Bailey, La Salle, LB, Senior, 6-2, 215
Deago Brumfield, La Salle, DB, Senior, 5-9, 172
Nicholas Paff, Elder, LB, Junior, 5-9, 180
Deuce Shaw, Moeller, LB, Senior, 6-0, 205
Andrew Spinney, Elder, LB, Junior, 6-0, 210
Austin Wandstrat, Elder, DB, Senior, 6-0, 190
Michael Whitehouse, St. Xavier, DL, Senior, 6-4, 227

SPECIAL AWARDS
 
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Zach Branam, La Salle
Liam Clifford, St. Xavier
Drew Ramsey, Elder
 
COACH OF THE YEAR
Steve Specht, St. Xavier
 
OFFENSIVE SKILL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Scott Nieman, Elder

TIGHT END OF THE YEAR
Josh Kattus, Moeller
 
ALL-PURPOSE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Devonta Smith, La Salle
 
CO-OFFENSIVE LINEMEN OF THE YEAR
Landon Fickell, Moeller
Brian Parker, St. Xavier

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR
Gio Albanese, St. Xavier
 
LINEBACKER OF THE YEAR
Matthew Devine, St. Xavier
 
CO-DEFENSIVE BACKS OF THE YEAR
Jaylen Johnson, La Salle
Jaymar Hargrove-Mundy, La Salle

KICKER OF THE YEAR
Mason Rohmiller, St. Xavier

PUNTER OF THE YEAR
Logan Forcum, La Salle