041921_dnr_ShenandoahArt

Riverheads running back Zac Smiley looks for a hole in the defense before breaking free for a 58-yard run on the last play of the first quarter against Galax at the VHSL Class 1 state championship at Salem Stadium in 2019.

As Riverheads and Stuarts Draft prepare to play in their respective Virginia High School League state semifinal games this week, players and coaches were honored Monday.

Gladiators veteran coach Robert Casto, who has helped guide Riverheads to winning the last four Class 1 state titles, was named the Shenandoah District Coach of the Year.

Riverheads senior running back Zac Smiley, who is the program's all-time leading rusher, was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season.

Stuarts Draft defensive lineman Latrell Fomby was named Defensive Player of the Year.

The Gladiators (8-0) are seeking their fifth straight state title this year and will travel to take on West Point at WPHS in the Class 1 state semifinals at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Cougars (7-1), meanwhile, will take on Poquoson in the Class 2 semifinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at York High School. Draft's only loss this year was to Riverheads.

The first-team defense was headlined by Draft with Fomby (DL), Jayden Watkins (DE), Aaron Nice (LB), Troy Thompson (LB), Jo'el Howard (DB and PR), Cobey Rothgeb (DB), Symeon Balser (SD) and Dustyn Fitzgerald (AP) all earning a spot on the team.

Joining those Cougars on the first-team defense was Riverheads' Zac Smiley (LB), Noah Smiley (DE), Isaac Hartless (DL), Cayden Cook-Cash (LB) and Isaiah Dunlap (DB), Wilson Memorial's Cameron Sprouse (DL) and Buffalo Gap's Hunter Campbell (P).

On the offensive side, it was the unbeaten Gladiators dominating the first team with Zac Smiley (RB), Josh Watson (C), Collin Armstrong (OL), Tylar Davis (OL), Trevor Roberts (TE), Landon Lightner (WR) and Cooper Robson (K) all earning a spot.

Also on the first-team offense was Draft's Howard (WR and KR), Nice (RB), Rothgeb (RB) and Jayson Williams (OL), Wilson Memorial's Sprouse (OL) and Kaden Welcher (QB), Staunton's Ryan Bosserman (WR) and Buffalo Gap's Tanner Rivenburg (AP).

The second-team defense for the Shenandoah District featured Lightner (DB), David Brooks (DE) and Cy Cox (AP) of Riverheads, Williams (DL), Ethan Cash (DL) and Bryce Dennison (P) of Stuarts Draft, Trent Gruver (DE), Nathan Goff (LB) and Blake Rodgers (DB) of Wilson Memorial, Mark Yoder (DL), Michael Bondaruk (LB) and Hunter Campbell (DB) of Buffalo Gap, Staunton's Peyton Dunn (LB) and Zach Boyd (DB and PR) and Fort Defiance's Riley Miller (LB).

Finally, the second-team offense consisted of Wilson Memorial's Coby Sprouse (C), Blake Rodgers (WR) and Henry Fosnocht (K), Stuarts Draft's Cash (OL) and Fomby (TE), Riverheads' Cox (RB), Noah Smiley (RB) and Bennett Dunlap (QB), Buffalo Gap's Jacob Craig (OL), Bryce Hildebrand (RB) and Jackson Ingram (KR), Fort Defiance's Christian Sorrells (OL) and Drew Shreckhise (WR) and Staunton's Kayden Jackson (WR) and Jaquante Scott (AP).

Contact Cody Elliott at 574-6284 or celliott@dnronline.com | Follow Cody on Twitter: @VTCody

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