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Weirton well-represented in W.Va.’s secondary

RIDING HIGH — Former Weir High football players Anthony DiMatteis, left, and Gage Reitter will represent the Red Riders in the OVAC All-Star game on Saturday. -- Joe Catullo

BETHANY — West Virginia head coach B.J. Depew knows Ohio will want to run the football first and foremost, but he also knows the Buckeye State will have the capability of going to the air, too.

With the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star football game just a few days away, Depew believes his defensive back candidates will be up to the task.

“I think our secondary could be one of our true strengths,” Depew said. “Like we have at receiver, we have some great speed (in the secondary) and there are some guys back there who can be real playmakers.”

On top of the defensive backs, Depew chose his own placekicker — Joao Lima — to come and handle the kicking and punting duties.

“Joao never stops working at (his kicking),” Depew said. “Knowing him and him knowing our schemes so well also affords us the opportunity to do a little bit more in the special teams than we might have otherwise been able to.”

Here’s a capsule look at the players:

ANTHONY DIMATTEIS, Weir High — This former Red Rider shined at multiple spots for coach Frank Sisinni.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder shined at quarterback where he accounted for 1,034 yards of offense and 14 passing touchdowns. He ran for five more.

Away from football, DiMatteis is a standout in the classroom. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, was ranked sixth in his graduating class and served as Class Vice President. 

Anthony, who plans to attend West Virginia University, is the son of Phil and Camille DiMatteis.

GAGE REITTER, Weir High — This former Red Rider played a bevy of positions quite well for Sisinni’s team.

The 5-10, 160-pounder had 417 total yards of offense and logged 85 total tackles with 70 solo stops from his free safety spot. 

Along with football, Reitter was part of a state championship in track and field.

Gage, who plans to attend West Liberty, is the son of B.J. and Gina Reitter.

THOMAS SESSI, Madonna — This former Blue Don was an impressive contributor at receiver, running back and in the secondary for coach Dan Rovira’s team.

The 5-11, 165-pounder finished with 3,563 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also picked off nine passes. 

He was recognized for his efforts as an All-State selection, three-time All-OVAC, two-time All-Area first team.

Along with football, Sessi was active in the Interact Club and Greek Club.

Thomas, who plans to attend Hiram College, is the son of Anthony Sessi and Leslee Little.

DALTON FLOWERS, John Marshall — This former Monarch shined at linebacker and running back for coach Jason Willis’ team.

The 6-2, 200-pounder rushed for 1,384 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 16 passes for 244 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. He rushed for 685 yards and 9 touchdowns as a junior.

Flowers was named All-State second team and All-OVAC first team.

Dalton, who plans to attend West Virginia University, is the son of Clint Flowers and Jessi Bonds.

SHAHEED JACKSON-MAYFIELD, Wheeling Park — This former Patriot was a lock-down corner and a go-to-guy in the passing game for coach Chris Daugherty’s team.

The 5-9, 160-pounder had 27 tackles and picked off three passes, one of which he took back for a touchdown. He also had 38 catches for 597 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Jackson-Mayfield was named first-team All-State, All-OVAC and All-Valley.

Jackson-Mayfield, who plans to attend West Liberty, is the son of DelVonda Jackson and William Mayfield.

JOAO LIMA, Linsly — This former Cadet was a steady contributor as a kicker for coach Depew’s team.

The 5-10, 185-pounder handled the kicking and punting for the Cadets. For his efforts, he earned All-Valley.

Lima was also a standout in the pool, winning an OVAC swim title. 

Joao, who is the son of Savio and Cristina Lima, plans to attend Alderson-Broaddus University.

SINCERE SINCLAIR, Wheeling Park — This two-way standout made numerous key plays for Daugherty’s Patriots.

The 6-2, 175-pounder lined up at cornerback and wide receiver.

Sincere, who plans to attend West Liberty, is the son of Kimberly Bordas and Benjamin Bordas.

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