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Football: 5 Highland County players selected 2023 All-Ohio

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Pictured are All-Ohio selections from Highland County: (top, l-r) Hillsboro's Austin Barrett and McClain's Kaden Penwell; and (bottom, l-r) McClain's Andrew Potts, Hillsboro's Gary Reno and McClain's Cade Sponcil. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha and Jim Jones)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

Five football players combined from Highland County were selected 2023 All-Ohio for their overall play in Divisions III and IV, respectively.

Hillsboro had two players selected in Division III, those being senior Austin Barrett, a second-team selection, and senior Gary Reno as an honorable mention selection.

For McClain, senior Andrew Potts, senior Kaden Penwell and senior Cade Sponcil all were Division IV honorable mention selections for the 2023 season.

Barrett had a season to remember for Hillsboro his senior year. The running back rushed for 1,907 yards and 17 touchdowns. During the 2023 season at running back, he had nine games of 100-plus rushing yards and was the main focal point for the Indians’ offense. As a linebacker on defense, Barrett totaled 115 tackles. Last season, Barrett was honorable mention All-Ohio.

Hillsboro’s Reno was an important member of the Indians’ offensive line that blocked for 3,422 rushing yards, and while a member of the offensive line he totaled 26 pancake blocks in 2023 as an offensive guard. On the defensive side of the ball, Reno collected 45 tackles as a defensive end.

McClain’s Potts rushed the football 258 times for 1,316 yards with 15 rushing touchdowns, all while averaging 5.1 yards per carry, his senior year. Potts also had 16 receptions for 170 yards. On defense, Potts totaled 37 tackles, with four tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Last season, Potts was honorable mention All-Ohio.

In eight games as a senior at McClain, Penwell finished with 44 carries for 301 yards and three touchdowns on offense as a running back, plus he caught 10 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Penwell totaled 70 tackles, with seven tackles for loss, plus he forced two fumbles and had one interception at outside linebacker. Last season, Penwell was honorable mention All-Ohio.

In his senior season with McClain, Sponcil finished with 108 tackles, including two tackles for loss as a middle linebacker. Sponcil also forced two fumbles, and he had two defensive touchdowns. On offense, Sponcil played guard this past season.