Former football standouts still shine

Published 1:33 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

Like the Energizer Bunny, these players’ careers are going on and on and on …

A lot of area fans are aware that Ironton’s Marcus Williams and Rock Hill’s K.C. Christian are playing at the college level.

Williams, who is on special teams, and Christian are both members of the Ohio State Buckeyes as walk-on selections. But there are several other players suiting up on Saturdays.

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Former Ironton first team All-Ohio selection Andy Colegrove is a redshirt freshman for the Youngstown State Penguins.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Colegrove has been moved from tight end to backup center. He made the travel team to the opener at Ohio State and played in the past two games including last week’s 32-24 upset of ranked North Dakota State.

John Paul Pemberton, also a first team All-Ohio selection for Ironton, was in the same graduating class as Colegrove and he is the starting nose guard for Tiffin Univeristy.

Two local players are playing for the Otterbein Cardinals.

Shayne Willis, a 6-4, 270 sophomore from Coal Grove, is an offensive tackle and was one of only three freshmen to letter for Otterbein last season.

Willis is expected to play this season for the Cardinals who are off to a 2-0 start.

Roach, a 5-11, 230-pound defensive lineman, is a sophomore and he also played on the same Ironton team as Colegrove and Pemberton. Roach is currently playing for the junior varsity unit.

Another former Coal Grove lineman is at Pikeville (Ky.) College. An All-Ohio defensive lineman who played in the North/South All-Star Game, Dustin Harmon (6-3, 280) is a freshman who has been moved to the offensive side of the football.

Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Ky., is playing its first varsity football season. Several local players are on the roster including Ironton lineman Felipe Beach and wide receiver Bub Johnson, and South Point receiver Heath Bridges.

Red Storm rising

The Rio Grande University Red Storm have a new volleyball coach, Billina Donaldson, formerly of Jackson High School, and she is having an impact on the young squad that does not have a senior.

Former Ironton three-sport standout Rachel Walker has moved into a starting role on the front line and last week against West Virginia Tech had a career-high 10 kills.

The 6-foot sophomore with outstanding leaping ability is also one of the team’s top blockers.

Last spring, Walker threw discus and hammer for the Rio Grande track team and also ran the anchor leg on the 4×100 relay team.

The Red Storm throwing coach is former Gallipolis state champion and Rio Grande All-American Burt Wood who just happened to win “split the pot” at the Ironton vs. Gallipolis game a few weeks ago.

It was the second time Wood won the “split the pot” at Ironton. He also took home the prize at and Ironton vs. DeSales game several years ago.