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Vote: Who was West Virginia’s top freshman football player of 2023?

We give you eight candidates to choose from

The 2023 high school football season is complete and we are going around the East Coast, reflecting on the last few months.

One of the big questions is what newcomers on the scene made the biggest impact to a football program or state even? That’s where freshman that saw extensive playing time come into the mix.

That’s why we ask the question: Who was the top freshman football player of 2023?

We will go state-by-state along the East Coast and once that voting is done, do a final poll including all the freshmen that won going head-to-head.

We’ve selected eight worthy candidates and ask you the fan to vote for who you think topped them all.

Voting will end on January 13th, 2024.

Editor’s note: Our corresponding poll is intended to be fun, and we do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. This poll is specifically for fans to vote on the players that have been nominated and in no way discredits any other player that may not be mentioned in our poll.

Here are the nominees: 

Preston May, QB, Tug Valley: The freshman quarterback had a strong season under center for the Panthers. May finished the season completing 76-of-123 passes for 1,182 yards, 20 touchdowns and just a mere three interceptions. 

Cameron Slone, WR, Tug Valley: Slone was a fellow freshman of May’s at Tug Valley and was one of the offense’s top receivers. The wideout caught 35 passes for 475 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. On defense, Slone made 39 tackles and four went for a loss. 

Robert Evans, QB/LB, Tolsia: Evans was a dual-threat quarterback in his first season as a starter. The quarterback completed 41-of-73 passes for 804 yards, 14 touchdowns and on the ground rushed for 622, 12 scores. On defense he made 39 tackles and picked off a pass at linebacker. 

Carson Bender, RB, Fort Hill: The freshman tailback proved himself through 12 games played. Bender in 2023 rushed for 598 yards on 77 carries, scoring six touchdowns. On defense, the freshman made 15 tackles and intercepted a pass. 

Damien Fullen, WR/DB, Summers County: Fullen proved to be one of the state’s top freshman when it came to playing both sides of the ball. The two-way player tallied 20 catches for 426 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Fullen made 39 tackles and two fumble recoveries.  

Adam Woods, ATH, Tygarts Valley: Woods was like a Swiss Army knife when it came to his versatility on the gridiron. The freshman offensively rushed for 256 yards on 59 attempts, scoring a touchdown and caught 23 passes for 352 yards, three scores. In defense, Woods made 32 tackles and picked off two passes. 

Reezin Stitt, ATH, Wahama: Whether Stitt played on offense or defense, he had a nose for being around the ball. The freshman compiled 248 all-purpose yards and then on defense made 118 tackles, two sacks, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and an interception. 

Taegan Hackney, LB, Mingo Central: The middle linebacker was one of the top freshmen tacklers in the state. Hackney finished 2023 with 106 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.