The Fairchester Athletic Association honored its top football players recently and eight local players were among the selections.
Co-league champ Hackley, which finished 7-1, placed five players on the first team. That included a pair of juniors who are set to return next season. Rye Country Day, which went 4-4, had three of its seniors named to the first team.
Here’s a look at the eight local players who were honored by the Fairchester league:
Mustafaa Dais, Hackley – The explosive 6-foot-1 junior was McDermott’s top option and a major threat on kick returns. He led the team with 35 receptions for 632 yards, which was good for an 18.1 average. He caught seven scores, including three during a 185-yard day against Kingswood-Oxford. Dais even had three interceptions on defense.
Tyler Fernandez, Rye Country Day – The junior was a multidimensional threat. He was second on the team in rushing with 406 yards, first in receiving with 354 yards and totaled nine touchdowns. He also forced a team-best five fumbles at defensive back.
Henry Heller, Rye Country Day – The 6-foot-1, 211-pound senior captain helped a new group of linemen break in as the only returning starter up front on either side of the ball.
Ben Jurcic, Hackley – The senior captain gave Hackley something it didn’t have much of: Size. His 6-foot-3, 285-pound frame anchored the offensive front of a team that averaged 43.0 points per game.
Joe McDermott, Hackley – The junior QB was nearly flawless running the Hornets’ offense. He completed 92 of 134 passes (68.7 percent) for 1,517 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also rushed for a team-best 525 yards and nine touchdowns, but, perhaps most impressively, McDermott did not throw an interception all season.
Raishaun McGhee, Rye Country Day – The senior QB/DB was one of the league’s top playmakers. He went 53 for 85 (62.4 percent) for 729 yards and eight touchdowns passing, rushed for a team-best 866 yards and added five touchdowns. On defense, he had a hand in 93 tackles, had an interception, forced a fumble and recovered another. He also earned prestigious first-team all-New England honors.
Ian Parnell, Hackley – The dual threat ranked second on the team in both rushing (461) and receiving (368) yards. He caught 24 passes and scored a team-best 13 touchdowns between rushing and receiving. Parnell also made 44 tackles.
Luke Sweeney, Hackley – The senior basically matched Parnell as a receiver. He caught 25 balls for 358 yards and three scores as a secondary option. He also rushed for 223 yards and four touchdowns in supplemental duty. The captain shined at safety, where he recorded 60 tackles and had two interceptions and two sacks.