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News » 2008 All Kanawha Valley

2008 All Kanawha Valley

2008 All Kanawha Valley
Player of the Year

Aaron Dobson

South Charleston

Statistically speaking, South Charleston wide receiver Aaron Dobson had a good junior year.

Dobson, the primary target for multi-talented quarterback Deion Spurlock, caught 39 passes for 720 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2007. It was the second-highest yardage total for any underclassman receiver in the Kanawha Valley, as a matter of fact, and the best of any area Class AAA underclassman.

There was just one problem.

"We were kind of down last year for finishing 5-5," Dobson said after being informed of his selection as the 2008 Kanawha Valley High School Football Player of Year by the Charleston Daily Mail.

It was the only time in Dobson's SC career that the Black Eagles failed to qualify for the Class AAA playoffs. With a 12-0 record and the No. 1 seeding in this year's playoff field, South Charleston will take on No. 4 seed Morgantown (11-1) at 7:30 tonight at University of Charleston Stadium in attempt to become the first Black Eagle team to reach the Super Six since 1994.

"This year we just came out with the purpose to work harder," Dobson said. "It's paid off with a 12-0 record so far."

Dobson has been an integral part of South Charleston's offense once again. With senior Marcel Brown and sophomore Tyler Harris alternating series at quarterback, Dobson has caught 36 passes for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns.

He averages 28.8 yards per catch and has accounted for more than 70 percent of the team's passing yardage.

South Charleston Coach John Messinger said the selection of his top receiver was a triumph for substance over statistics, although Dobson's numbers place him at the top of the state's leading receivers.

"I don't know what's going to happen when it comes to the Kennedy Award, if they (voters) are going to go for the big numbers, but he's a 1,000-yard receiver and he's averaging 30 yards a catch pretty much," Messinger said. "He's made some tremendous athletic catches over people's heads and over his back, and he's done a lot of things athletically that a lot of kids can't do.

"He's just blessed with super-athleticism. He's pulled us through on numerous occasions, just like a number of our players have," said Messinger, who was named the Daily Mail's Kanawha Valley Coach of the Year.

Riverside sophomore quarterback Seth Shanklin is the Kanawha Valley Rookie of the Year.

Shanklin stepped into the starter's role when senior Tyler Long was injured in the Warriors' season opener against South Charleston. He completed 48 of 88 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Dobson has been known as a quality receiver for at least two seasons. However, his work as a defensive back may have been what separated him from a pack of player-of-the-year candidates such as Hurricane's Terrell Martin, Capital's Keion Wright and George Washington's Rodney Hudson.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior has seven interceptions. In the Black Eagles' regular-season finale at Bluefield, he went man-to-man on Beaver standout receiver Marcus Patterson and came away with three interceptions of fellow Kennedy Award candidate Will Cole.

"I like playing corner. I've got to be one of the tallest defensive backs in the state," Dobson said. "It's kind of hard because you've got to keep your feet and be smart back there. I think I do that pretty well."

Messinger emphasized the importance of his players' resolve to improve on 2007's shortcomings in leading him to his award, as well as their own unbeaten record.

"When these kids decided that this is what they wanted to do, it's a testament to what focus and hard work can produce," Messinger said. "It's been this way since the week after we ended a disappointing 5-5 last season.

"This a result of the disappointment that was felt when the add came out in the paper last year congratulating all the Kanawha County teams in the playoffs, and there was one name missing: South Charleston. That reminder has been up in our dressing room - I went around and found every copy that I could find - and it's been plastered on our walls ever since that happened."

Dobson's win could help put him in position to enter truly rarified air. A Class AAA first-team All-State pick in basketball as a junior, the forward for Coach Bobby Dawson's team will enter the 2008-09 season as a favorite to win the Bill Evans Award, given to the state's top player.

With the area's Player of the Year award in hand, Dobson is one of the favorites for the Kennedy, as well.

If Dobson were to pull off the Football-basketball sweep, he would be the only player in state history to do so other than another former Kanawha Valley star receiver, New England Patriot and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss.

Moss won the Kennedy in 1994, and won the Evans Award in '94 and 1995 while at DuPont High.

"I'm just glad, and grateful that I can play both sports well," Dobson said. "I can probably have my option to play basketball or Football in college because I've been given the athletic ability to play both sports.

"Not a lot of people have that choice."

2008 All-Kanawha Valley Football team

-Coach of the Year: John Messinger, South Charleston n Rookie of the Year: Seth Shanklin, Riverside


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 30, 2008

Rocky Boiman Name: Rocky Boiman
Position: LB
Age: 28
Experience: 7 years
College: Notre Dame
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