Saratoga Springs senior Dakota Harvey has been named to the all-state Class AA first team after leading the Blue Streaks to their finest football season, becoming the first Section II running back in five years named to the top squad.
Three other Section II players earned first-team honors from Class AA or A.
Harvey ran for more than 100 yards in each of Saratoga’s five playoff games and eight times in all while scoring 26 touchdowns.
“In my opinion he was the best player in Section II,” Saratoga coach Terry Jones said of the Daily Gazette Offensive Player of the Year and Empire Division Player of the Year. “He is a great combination of power, speed and agility.”
Harvey ran for 1,555 yards (9.6 yards per carry average) and 24 touchdowns, caught a scoring pass and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. His touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter lifted Saratoga to a 25-24 win at Christian Brothers Academy.
Harvey ran for a season-high 228 yards and two touchdowns in Saratoga’s 19-14 Section II title-game win over Shaker. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound standout added 134 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-29 state semifinal win against New Rochelle, and 130 yards and a score when the Blue Streaks lost to Aquinas 44-19 in the state championship game.
“He dealt with an Achilles issue all year,” Jones said. “He just kept playing and producing for us. He had a super season.”
Jordan Canzeri of Troy, who just finished a fine college career at Iowa, was the last Section II running back to make the all-state Class AA first team in 2010, when he led the Flying Horses to a New York title-game appearance.
Harvey is joined on the New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA first team by Shaker defensive end Brandon Barlow. All-state Class A first-team honors went to Green Tech defensive back Raki Johnson and Amsterdam running back Bryan Stanavich.
Barlow was tabbed the Class AA Liberty Division Player of the Year after his efforts helped the Blue Bison win it for the fourth year in a row before their Super Bowl appearance. The Boston College-bound senior was in on nine quarterback sacks, had 12 tackles for a loss among his 63 stops, and forced two fumbles.
“He was amazing,” Shaker coach Greg Sheeler said. “A lot of people ran away from him, and he still found a way to make an impact.”
Johnson was in on 45 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and returned two of his seven interceptions for touchdowns. The Class A Northwest Division Player of the Year and Gazette co-Defensive Player of the Year also returned two punts for touchdowns, caught seven scoring passes, and ran for a score and passed for two more.
“All of the coaches changed their game plan for him,” Green Tech coach Travis Wood said of the Schenectady resident. “That was an honor for him.”
Johnson finished his three-year varsity career with 17 interceptions and eight punt returns for touchdowns.
Stanavich anchored Amsterdam’s offense, running 190 times for 1,627 yards and 19 touchdowns. The overall Section II Class A Player of the Year also piled up 301 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 18 catches, and returned a punt for a score.
“He’s a lead-by-example kind of kid,” Amsterdam coach Doug Edick said of the two-time Gazette All-Area first-team selection. “Not a cocky kid. He goes about his business and does unreal things.”
Stanavich set Amsterdam career records with 4,255 rushing yards and 428 points.
Class A second-team laurels went to Queensbury running back Brett Rodriguez and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake offensive guard Joe Messare.
Dakota Harvey, Saratoga Springs, RB, 12, 6-2, 250 (first); Luke Mysliwy, Shenendehowa, OL, 12, 6-2, 245 (third); Cory McArthur, Saratoga Springs, OL, 12, 6-0, 240 (fifth).
Brandon Barlow, Shaker, DL, 12, 6-4, 230 (first); Marquis Chisom, Guilderland, DL, 12, 6-3, 275 (fourth); Zack Regels, Saratoga Springs, DL, 12, 6-2, 235 (fifth); Kwasi Addo, Shaker, LB, 11, 5-10, 205 (fifth); Brandon Hipsley, Saratoga Springs, LB, 12, 6-1, 197 (fifth); Brendan MacPhee, Shaker, 12, 6-1, 195 (fifth).
George Marinopoulos, Guilderland, QB; Brian Williams, Saratoga Springs, QB; Carl Fiore, Shenendehowa, RB; Dan Kehrer, Colonie, RB; Ky’ere Tillery, Albany, RB; Jarrell Chaney, Albany, End; Nick Kondo, Saratoga Springs, End; Andy Hines, Guilderland, OL; Matt Holmes, Shaker, OL; Ryan Marriot, Colonie, OL; Michael Gillooley, Shenendehowa, DL; Grayson Heyward, CBA, DL; Dylan Dubuque, Columbia, LB; Patrick Ghyll, Guilderland, LB; Eric Stone, Saratoga Springs, LB.
Bryan Stanavich, Amsterdam, RB, 12, 5-11, 180 (first); Brett Rodriguez, Queensbury, RB, 12, 6-0, 180 (second); Joe Messare, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, OL, 12, 5-9, 225 (second); Stevon Graham, Bishop Maginn, OL, 12, 6-3, 225 (third); John Styczynski, South Glens Falls, AP, 12, 6-0, 177 (third).
Raki Johnson, Green Tech, DB, 12, 5-10, 175 (first); Milton Lovelace, Green Tech, LB, 12, 5-8, 170 (fourth); Francisco Rivera, Troy, LB, 12, 5-10, 220 (fourth).
Zach Ahrens, South Glens Falls, QB; John Germinerio, Troy, QB; Mike Leveroni, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, RB; Damani Soares, Troy, RB; Isaiah Moak, Averill Park, LB; Mike Mushaw, Scotia-Glenville, LB; Dale Stanavich, Amsterdam, DB; Erik Wettersten, Queensbury, DB; Connor McCormick, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, PK.