Eight Bobcats Named To TCS/CE 2010s All-Decade Football Team (02/17/20)
The Tri-County Sunday and Courier Express Newspapers from DuBois recently named their 2010s All-Decade Team and the Clarion Area Bobcats were well represtented with eight players being selected. Four of those selected were members of the Bobcats 2013 PIAA State Semifinalist Team and two others joined the Bobcats this past season, for their senior season which began at Clarion-Limestone, as the Lions joined Clarion and North Clarion in the football co-op.
The players, listed chronologically from when their varsity careeers began include: Linebacker, T.J. Armstrong (2009-2012); Linebacker, Damien Slike (2010-2013); Wide Receiver, Cody Hearst (2011-2013); Defensive Lineman, Ian Corbett (2012-2014); Offensive Lineman, Alexander Burkhart (2012-2015); Defensive Back, Spencer Miller (2014-2017); Running Back, Austin Newcomb (2016-2019); and Offensive Lineman, Ben Smith (2016-2019).
T.J. Armstrong – Linebacker (2009-2012) – T.J. had 346 tackles, including 26 sacks (including 12 his freshman year), 6 blocked kicks, 6 fumbles recovered and five fumbles caused. He scored 30 touchdowns and ran for 1,961 yards.
T.J. was named All-State by both Pennsylvania Sportswriters and Pennsylvania Football News, as a freshman, junior and senior.
Damien Slike (2010-2013) – Damien had 288 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 3 fumbles caused, 3 fumble recoveries and four interceptions. He ran for 3,092 yards and 50 touchdowns; receiving, he had 742 yards and 13 touchdowns. He scored 408 points and had 65 touchdowns. As a senior, during the 2013 run, Damien had 1,896 yards and 37 touchdown (the school record), 361 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, that season, he had 103 tackles and recovered three fumbles.
Damien was a Pennsylvania Football News All-Stater as a senior after being an honorable mention as a junior.
Cody Hearst – Wide Receiver (2011-2013) – Cody gained 2,021 yards on 96 catches, with twenty-one touchdowns. On defense, he had 155 tackles and nine interceptions. During his senior season, the State Semifinal campaign, Cody had 1,285 yards on 63 catches and 12 touchdowns and 68 tackles and three interceptions.
Cody was named All-State by Pennsylvania Football News as a senior.
Ian Corbett – Defensive Lineman (2012-2014) – Ian had 213 tackles, including 26.5 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries and three interceptions. Offensively, he rushed for 3,660 yards, including 2,000 as a senior, with 58 touchdowns, 525 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns, with a total of 68 touchdowns. In 2013, his junior season, he teamed up with Damien to give the Cats a great one-two punch out of the backfield, running for 1,247 yards and twenty touchdowns.
Ian was a Pennsylvania Football News All-State selection, as a junior and senior.
Alexander Burkhart – Offensive Lineman (2012-2015) – Alexander was a sophomore on the 2013 team, playing in eight games helping pave the way for Damien and Ian. And helped lead the way for Ian’s 2,000 yard season in 2014.
Alexander was a Pennsylvania Sportswriters and Pennsylvania Football News All-Stater as a junior and Pennsylvania Football News Pre-Season All-State and Honorable Mention on their Post-Season Squad as a senior.
Spencer Miller – Defensive Back (2014-2017) – Spencer was a quality two-way athlete, as a defensive back and quarterback. On defense, he had 282 tackles, 14 interceptions and seventeen passes defended. Offensively, Spencer threw for 2,123 yards and 29 scores, and ran for 959 yards and fourteen touchdowns.
He was the Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express Player of the Year as a senior, when he had 133 tackles, 5 interceptions and 13 passes defended and on offense he completed 75 passes for 1030 yards and 9 touchdowns, while carrying the ball for 557 yards, on 62 carries, with ten touchdowns.
Spencer helped the Bobcats to the District Nine AA Title and a PIAA State Quarterfinal appearance, that year. Spencer was a Pennsylvania Football Writers All-State selection and a member of the Eastern PAFootball.com/WesternPAFootball.net Super 25 Team.
Austin Newcomb – Running Back (2016-2019) – Austin was also a Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express Player of the Year, being named as a junior, when he set the District Nine Single Season rushing mark of 2,627 yards on 253 carries, for Clarion-Limestone, with 35 touchdowns. He also had 572 receiving yards and five touchdowns, with forty-three total touchdowns on the year.
For his Lions/Bobcat career, Austin ran for 4,230 yards on 421 carries and 67 touchdowns, while catching 55 passes for 1,260 yards and seventeen touchdowns. He had 77 career touchdowns and totaled 518 points.
Austin was named to the Pennsylvania Football Writers All-State Team as a junior, and the Pennsylvania Football News All-State team as both a junior and senior.
Ben Smith – Offensive Lineman (2016-2019) – Ben, also a member of the Lions during his freshman through sophomore years and a Bobcat as a senior, was a major cog on the line, for Austin’s fine rushing career as well as the other backs, he helped pave the way for. He also had a fine career defensively, compiling 229 tackles, with twenty-five tackles for loss.
This past season, Ben had 77 tackles, 10 for loss, a fumble recovery, 2 fumbles caused and two interceptions.
Ben was named to the Pennsylvania Football Writers and Pennsylvania Football News All-State Teams as a junior.
Clearfield’s Christian Lezzer was named the Player of the Decade.
Bobcat Coach Larry Wiser said, “Obviously I am very happy and proud of the gentleman who were selected to the all decade team. For me their selection brings back a number of great memories of them, but also the Teams they played on.”
Ian Corbett, who has gone on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and is also finishing his degree at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, had this to say, “It’s an honor to be named as part of the All-Decade Team, alongside such exceptional athletes. Endless memories I’ll never forget were made on and off the field with, the coaching staff and teammates of mine. The brotherhood, that was built over those years, is one that many people never experience. As Kenny Chesney would say, ‘I got your number, I got your back, when your back’s against the wall, you mess with one man, you got us all, the boys of fall.’
“I would like to thank all of the coaching staff, as well as, the school staff that dedicated time away from family and friends, to ensure we were prepared for everything on and off the field. Through you, I have learned to prepare for when opportunity knocks on your door and embrace the struggle! I would also like to thank the community that came together showing immense support for the athletes, on those cold Friday nights.
“Mom, Dad and family, I have no words to acknowledge the sacrifices you made and the dreams you had to let go, just to give me a shot at achieving mine. I love you all and am blessed to have you.
“Good Luck to the future athletes and remember complacency kills, strive every day to grow mentally and physically, stay humble and play every game like it’s your last.”
Sentiments, I am sure could be echoed by each of these fine young men.