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Devenney, Fry, Geib named All-State by PA Football News
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
Warwick’s linebackers no doubt appreciated Tom Devenney this year.
With the senior defensive lineman attracting a lot of attention from the Warriors’ opponents in the fall, that opened the door for them to make a lot of tackles.
As it turns out, his efforts didn’t go unappreciated by the Pennsylvania Football News either. Early last week when the PFN released its All-State picks from the 2012 season, Devenney received Honorable Mention accolades at defensive tackle among Quad-A selections.
Overall, the Lancaster-Lebanon League had 21 players receive All-State honors from the Pennsylvania Football News. In Triple-A, Manheim Central junior tight end Taylor Geib (First-Team) and junior quarterback Colin Fry (Honorable Mention) were also recognized.
For Warwick, Devenney’s selection was the first time that they had a player honored by the Pennsylvania Football News since Jon Resch and Zach Snyder took home Honorable Mention and First-Team laurels, respectively, following the 2007 season.
Warriors’ coach Bob Locker was excited for his star lineman to be recognized.
"I think he certainly is physically talented enough and statistically-speaking had done enough to merit consideration," Locker said. "I actually was hopeful that he would get above Honorable Mention."
"I think it was a pretty great honor," Devenney said, "especially because our team didn’t do this year. I was pretty excited to hear it, and I just felt really good for coach Locker. With all these awards, he has definitely a huge role in them. So I felt really good for him that he had another positive out of this season."
Devenney recorded 94 tackle points, with 21 solos, for a Warriors’ team that finished 3-7 overall last fall. That tied him for second place on the team with Ryan Gruett, not far behind team-leader Albert Powell. Both Gruett and Powell played at linebacker.
"Defensively, the thing he brought was a necessity for people to double team him constantly," Locker said. "It makes the linebackers have free realm and defensively, that’s what we were looking for. But he still managed to make a great number of tackles."
At 6-foot-3, 278 pounds, Devenney was able to capitalize on his strength and quickness to make his presence known on both sides of the line for the Warriors. He was a First-Team All-Section One selection at both guard and defensive tackle for the Warriors last fall, and he was named the Section’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
"North-south, he’s pretty quick for being a good-sized football player," Locker said. "He’s just really strong. He’s got tremendous strength. And he’s got a pretty good motor."
That strength comes from a devoted work ethic that he maintains throughout the year, even as a three-sport athlete at Warwick. According to Locker, Devenney is routinely in the school’s weight room at 5:30 a.m. three days a week.
"Amazing," Locker said of Devenney’s work ethic. "I can’t tell you a time I’ve ever seen him miss a morning lift. In-season, out-of-season, and even right now during wrestling season, he’s in trying to maintain his strength. He’s got a great work ethic."
At this point, Princeton University and Penn State University are at the top of Devenney’s list as possible destinations for him to continue his football career starting in the fall of 2013. He plans to study engineering in college.
"Both academically and football traditions, they’re great places to go for what I want to do," Devenney said. "So I’m pretty excited with the choices that I have."
Time will tell which schools end up pursuing Geib and Fry from the Barons. But their accolades from the Pennsylvania Football News certainly won’t hurt them in the recruiting process. Geib also received First-Team honors from the Pennsylvania Sports Writers late in December.
"It’s pretty awesome," Barons’ skipper Mike Williams said of Geib and Fry earning honors from the PFN. "Taylor got First-Team All-State, so that’s not too surprising that the Football News (selected him). It’s great for Colin, he had a good year too. He was over 2,000 yards in passing and over 20 touchdowns, so he had a pretty impressive year for a first-year quarterback."
Geib, meanwhile, finished the season with a team-high 1,063 receiving yards on 53 catches (20.1 avg) and 11 touchdowns, while helping to lead the Barons (9-3 overall record) to the District Three Triple-A playoff quarterfinals.
Williams ranks Geib’s hands right up there with those of former MC star Graham Zug, who went on to play at Penn State University.
"Taylor has exceptional hands," Williams said. "Maybe his hands are even better than Graham’s. For Taylor, his hands are his biggest asset. But he also turned out to be a pretty good blocker as the season progressed, and we also could use him not only as tight end, but we could also split him out."
That versatility was a big plus for the Barons in keeping the opponent’s defense off-balance.
"We didn’t have to give anything away," Williams said, "so that was a pretty special thing. But Taylor’s hands were really exceptional and anything that he got close to, he usually came down with it, especially in crucial situations."
Geib played this fall with a 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame, but the Barons are hopeful that he will still grow a bit prior to the 2013 season.
Asked how his current size translates to playing at the next level, Williams said, "Tight ends today in Division-I are all 6-4, 6-5, 240 pounds, so we’re hoping Taylor will at least put on some weight. I think he’ll probably play next year at maybe 220, 225, and if he grows an inch, that should be good. We also think he could be a pretty good linebacker on defense and maybe if he’s not big enough to play that tight end position, he’ll certainly fall back on that linebacker spot."
The Barons were able to fall back nicely on Fry at QB this year after losing Caleb Walton to graduation following the 2011 season. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound junior directed the Barons’ offense to an average of 412.8 yards per game in his first year under center.
Williams described Fry’s Honorable Mention selection by the PFN as being "pretty special."
"Pennsylvania always produces a lot of quarterbacks," Williams said, "so even though Colin had great stats, you think, ‘Well, there’s other ones out there too.’ But that’s great, and the good thing is both (Colin and Taylor) are returning next year, so hopefully they’ll be able to do some great things again next year."
In 2012, Fry completed 126 of 217 attempts (58 percent) for 2,114 yards. He connected with his receivers for 22 touchdowns, while throwing eight interceptions. He also ran 79 times for 373 yards (4.7 avg) and 14 TD’s.
"Colin turned out to be a good leader," Williams said. "He’s not overly flashy, he’s not overly big, he’s not overly fast, but he’s smart enough to know his limitations and what he can do. And really his strength was making decisions on the field — making decisions about when to throw the ball, where to throw it, when to run and when to not run. So he’s a good leader and very smart, intelligent. Really, he kinda surprised us. We never really expected him to be that guy who could throw for over 2,000 yards in a season for being his first year. Hopefully with his leadership and the knowledge that he already has from this past season, he should make a lot of those great decisions (in 2013). That’s what our offense is based on — decision making and I think he’s got a good start on it to be pretty fine by next year." More ALL-STATE, page B-8