The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 19, 2013

High school football: Valley players among state's best

Two Ironmen, Green Dragon recognized

Daily Item

---- — By Brian Holtzapple

For The Daily Item

Danville fifth-year head coach Jim Keiser and his Ironmen had to deal with a lot of adversity and injuries during the 2013 football season.

But there were two players who Keiser could rely on week in and week out to get the job done: senior linebacker Eric Haney and junior placekicker Shayne Riley.

Haney and Riley were two of three Valley players who were named to the Pa. Football Writers' Class AA All-State Team, which was released Wednesday.

Joining the two Ironmen on the all-state team was Lewisburg junior safety Drew Newcomb.

A 6-foot, 210-pound inside linebacker, Haney made his second straight appearance on the Class AA defensive first team after totaling 140 tackles this year to set the school record for career stops at 442.

"I think both (Eric and Shayne) are very deserving of the honor. Eric won last year, and for him to get it again is very special," said Keiser. "He did a great job for us the last four years. He holds the school record for tackles and he's the glue for our defense. Haney was one of six Class AA repeat selections.

"I think it's a great way for Eric to end his career. He has been a great player and I feel sorry for the kid who has to step in and replace him," Keiser added.

For Riley, his first-team nod could solely be made on his point production. He connected on 43 of 47 extra points and 9 of 12 field goals during the season, with a long field goal of 45 yards.

However, Riley's kickoff prowess shouldn't be overlooked. His deep kickoffs and a touchback against Loyalsock in their District 4 semifinal helped pave the way for Danville's 28-21 win.

"Shayne was outstanding for us. It was nice to have a weapon like him -- for when you get inside the 30 and you know you can get points on the board," said Keiser. "There are not many kickers around here who can do that. He did it for us last year, and he did it again this year, and his kickoffs were huge against Loyalsock.

"It means a lot to our program (to have two players named All-State). It means a lot to me because it says our kids are being recognized for their work at Danville," Keiser added.

The 6-1, 185-pound Newcomb had an outstanding junior season for the Green Dragons. He had nine interceptions, 35 total tackles and a fumble recovery from his safety position.

Joining Newcomb in the Class AA first team defensive backfield is Loyalsock's Kyle Datres, a 6-1, 185-pound junior.