By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Announced on November 5, six Oxford Wildcat football players were named to the All-Oakland Activities Association (OAA) Red Division Team.
Seniors Carter Gilbert, Brennan Mielnicki, Jack Wandrie and John Valvo, junior Gavin Green and sophomore Tate Myre were the players who received the honor.
Three of these players were members of the Wildcats’ offensive line, with Gilbert serving as the primary left tackle, while also seeing time at center, Green playing both center and left guard, and Mielnicki holding down the right guard spot.
Gilbert and Mielnicki were two-way linemen, registering nine-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half tackles, respectively, including two tackles for loss each. Mielnicki was also responsible for one of Oxford’s five quarterback sacks this fall.
On top of this, both young men played a role on special teams, with Gilbert serving as the team’s punter and Mielnicki handling kicking duties for the first four games while freshman Jay Cady was out with a foot injury.
Wandrie, a linebacker, finished the season as the Wildcats’ leading tackler, registering 25.5 stops, including two for loss.
The team’s top cornerback, Valvo was one of the emotional leaders of the defense, along with Wandrie.
Recording 21 tackles, the third-most on the team, Valvo led Oxford with four-and-a-half tackles for loss. He also chipped in offensively, carrying the football twice for 11 yards and hauling in two passes for another eight yards.
Another two-way player, Myre was the program’s leader in yards from scrimmage with 753 (482 rushing, 271 receiving). He also scored a team-high seven touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving).
Defensively, the sophomore tallied 17 tackles, the fifth-most on the team, one tackle for loss, and tallied one of the Wildcats’ three interceptions, which came in the loss to the North Farmington Raiders on October 16.
Residing in one of the state’s most competitive divisions, Oxford rounded out their first season under head coach Zach Line, a 2008 graduate of the school, at 2-5, falling to the division champion Clarkston Wolves, 21-7, in the first-round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) playoffs on October 30.
With Green and Myre, plus wide receiver/safety John Asciutto, quarterback Brady Carpenter, wide receiver Jack Keene and tight end/defensive end Mitch Viviano, all of whom are juniors, and sophomore linebacker/running back Marco Vackaro, among others, set to return in 2021, Line and his coaching staff will be welcoming back some experienced, talented student-athletes next fall.