Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — For the third consecutive year, Owego's Gio Fabi has been named to a New York State Sportswriters Association Class B All-state football team. This season, he is joined by teammates Ben Miller and Mike Wasyln.
A 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior defensive lineman and running back, Fabi was named to the second team defense for the second straight year. A repeat All-Tioga County "Defensive Player of the Year," he was an honorable mention in 2017 as a sophomore.
"He is one of the most complete defensive lineman we have coached and will be a nice asset to any team at the next level," said Owego coach Steve Virkler. "HIs ability to handle double- and triple-teams all year made us a much better defense. His stats are misleading because of all the attention he drew from blocking schemes — he made many plays that do not show up on a stat sheet."
Fabi averaged 5.3 tackles per game with five tackles for losses and five sacks from his nose guard position and — like Virkler stated — despite being frequently double teamed, and often triple teamed, by opposing blockers. Despite his size, Fabi was also extremely quick and explosive off the ball.
Miller, a 6-3, 185-pound senior, was selected to the fourth team defense at linebacker.
"Ben really came on strong midway through the year and started playing at a really high level," Virkler said. "In my opinion, he was one of the most dynamic players in the section. His ability to play any position on the field allowed us to do many different things, both offensively and defensively — he was also a very successful punter.
Miller collected 46 solo tackles, 28 assisted, two for a loss, one sack, one interception, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick. He also led the Indians in rushing with 444 yards and two touchdowns on 58 carries, had 19 receptions for a team-high 352 yards and a team-best five TDs, Her also averaged 38.7 yards per punt.
Wasyln, a senior, received an honorable mention at offensive end.
"Mike had a really solid season for us and came up with big plays when we needed them," Virkler said. "His aggressiveness on offense helped create holes in the run game and his size created mismatches that we tried to take advantage of.
He pulled in a team-leading 22 receptions for 320 yards and four TDs. Wasyln also had 26 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery from his safety position.
IN PHOTO 1: Gio Fabi. ... IN PHOTO 2: Ben Miller. ... IN PHOTO 3: Mike Wasyln.
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