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Pilots Sign to Continue Their Careers

February 28, 2018
Wetzel Chronicle

After finishing their high school football careers, Pilots Luc Baker, Drew Wagnild, and Drew Dietz are choosing to further their academic and football careers a little longer as they each signed a letter of intent to play football at Wheeling Jesuit and Notre Dame, respectively, in Ohio.

Baker, with his father Lance and his mother Lisa on hand, signed his letter of intent at the River Local Campus Feb. 22. He decided he wanted to further his education in engineering at Wheeling Jesuit University, while keeping his school colors playing for the Cardinals.

Baker, a 6-0, 305 lb. lineman for the Pilots, graded out at 95 percent in participating in 95 percent of the plays; he played as an All-Ohio second team offensive lineman and was chosen as an offensive lineman in the Ohio North-South Football Game. He also earned first team All-Eastern District and First Team All-Times Leader and All-Valley.

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Luc Baker will accompany his high school teammate Waginald to Wheeling Jesuit.

On the defensive side of the ball, Baker made 76 tackles, 19 solo and 57 assists.

"Luc is one of the best run blockers I have ever coached, and was a integral piece of our run game. He helped a few of our 1,000 yard rushers get there," said River Head Coach Mike Flannery.

"He also played both ways and played all the positions on the line. He is a great role model for our younger kids, and comes from a great family, he will be missed.

Dietz, who signed to further his academic and football at Notre Dame near Cleveland, will use his 3.6 GPA to be a graphic designer and concentration gaming.

He earned first team All-Eastern District and First Team All-Times Leader and All-Valley, as well as an All Ohio Special Mention. He was also nominated for Defensive Linemen Of The Year in the OVAC, and for the North-South All-Star Game as both tight end and defensive end.

On the football field, he made 56 receptions for 1,036 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver, while making 65 tackles, with 22 being solos and 43 assists. He also had 8.5 sacks, six pass break-ups, four forced fumbles, made two fumble recovers and had one defensive touchdown.

"Drew never came off the field. He was on every special teams along with starting on both offense and defense. Not only did he have great offensive stats, he also graded out at 92 percent from a tight-end position," Coach Flannery said.

"He easily transitioned from being a tight-end to a wide receiver. In the second half of the season, he saw many double coverages. On defense, teams avoided running his way. He is a player, that is going to get bigger and stronger, and both his parents Jill and Dugan Dietz were outstanding athletes at the collegiate level.

"In 30 years of coaching he is one of the best two-way players I have ever coached, and I feel he is in the top tier of all tight-ends in the state, and equally in the same category of defense."

Wagnild is heading to Wheeling Jesuit University to further his academic and athletic career, seeking an engineering degree and a linebacker position in football with the Cardinals.

He has a 3.5 GPA and is the son of Derek and Kiley Wagnild and brother of Kiley Wagnild.

Drew is one of the top tacklers of all classes in the state. He was an All-Ohio second team linebacker, and was nominated as a linebacker in the Ohio North-South All-Star Football Game. He was also one of the finalist for Defensive Player Of The Year in the Big 22. He earned First Team All Eastern District and First Team All-Times Leader and All-Valley, as well as an All Ohio second team honoree.

His defensive stats are impressive. He made 172 total tackles, 60 solo and 112 assists. He had three QB sacks, five pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions, and made a defensive touchdown.

As a running-back, Wagnild rushed for 639 yards on 95 carries and four touchdowns, while hauling in 33 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns.

"Drew is one of the most technique tacklers I have coached. His aggressiveness stands out immediately when watching," Flannery said. "Followed by his pure tackling ability and strength, he lives in the weight-room. His football IQ is over the charts, and like Luc, is a great leader for the younger kids. He sets high bench marks for them to reach, and understands work, and comes from a great family."



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