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Victor Post
  • Victor’s Wagner and CA’s Bellis were dominant players in 2012

  • Victor’s Tommy Wagner was an unstoppable force at running back in 2012, rushing for 1,112 yards and 15 touchdowns. Canandaigua’s Nate Bellis caused havoc in opposing backfields all season long.


    Wagner is the Daily Messenger’s 2012 Offensive Player of the Year and Bellis is the Defensive Player of the Year.

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  • Victor’s Tommy Wagner was an unstoppable force at running back in 2012, rushing for 1,112 yards and 15 touchdowns. Canandaigua’s Nate Bellis caused havoc in opposing backfields all season long.
    Wagner is the Daily Messenger’s 2012 Offensive Player of the Year and Bellis is the Defensive Player of the Year.
    The son of Dan and Kathleen Wagner was coming off a broken ankle that he suffered midway through the 2011 football season. Wagner made the decision to return for his senior year and no one was more excited than Blue Devils coach Geoff Mandile.
    “He was the starting point of our offense,” Mandile said. “He was a really patient runner for us, but he was explosive as well.”
    The key to the Victor rushing attack was the read option executed by Wagner and his younger brother Mike — one of the team’s quarterbacks.
    “It was awesome because he also ran the ball, so when we were both in there it was tough to tell who was going to get the ball,” the senior said.
    Wagner enjoyed playing alongside his younger brother after playing with his older brother Jimmy two years ago.
    The back’s best game of the season came in a 42-35 win over Canandaigua in week three. Wagner rushed 39 times for 391 yards and scored six touchdowns.
    Wagner helped Victor go 6-1 during the regular season. The Blue Devils fell to the Braves 28-27 in overtime in the Section 5 Class A quarterfinals. He said his favorite moment of the season was the Blue Devils’ 77-yard touchdown drive with two minutes left to send the game to overtime.
    Mandile said Wagner was a true team leader for the Blue Devils.
    In school, Wagner’s favorite subject is biology. He will attend Cornell University in the fall to study biological sciences. He plans to play baseball for the Big Red.
    The senior said he’s going to miss playing football for the Blue Devils.
    “You get to know a lot of kids you wouldn’t necessarily have known if you didn’t play football,” Wagner said. “It’s a group of 50 kids and you become friends with all these people. It was a great experience.”
    The son of Wayne and Lisa Bellis completed his third year of varsity football at Canandaigua. He helped the Braves improve to 6-4 after finishing 2-6 in 2011. The Braves made it to the Class A finals before falling to Eastridge.
    Canandaigua coach Jeff Welch said Bellis emerged as a leader during the offseason.
    “I wouldn’t say he was the most vocal guy, but he didn’t really need to be with the way he played,” the coach said. “He led by his presence and the kids obviously followed him and respected him.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Bellis thrived at creating turnovers for the Braves. The defensive end finished the year with 49 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception.
    “He caused a number of turnovers by stripping the ball,” Welch said. “He worked on that skill and it became effective for him. He had a lot more highlight hits on the offensive side of the ball, but he’s a physical force, he’s tough to block and he could make plays.”
    On offense, the senior lined up at fullback and paved the way for Canandaigua’s 1,955 rushing yards. Most of the running was done by Sean Outhouse, Jaymin Ransom and Anthony Pagliano. Bellis put plenty of opponents on their backs.
    “It’s one of the best feelings going back and watching the film the next day. You know it’s coming and boom, everybody in the locker room just reacts,” he said.
    Bellis’ effectiveness as a blocker allowed him to sneak out as a receiver. He caught 15 passes for 158 yards and six touchdowns.
    His highlight of the season was the sectional game against Victor. Bellis kicked the game-winning extra point in overtime.
    “That’s what every kid dreams of and I got my chance and I succeeded,” he said. “You could hear all the fans going crazy, but we couldn’t even see them with the fog. When they stormed the field it was like a dream come true.”
    Bellis’ favorite subject is chemistry. He’s undecided on a college, but is considering playing either football or lacrosse at the next level.
    The senior said he’s going to miss the tradition and atmosphere of playing for the Canandaigua football team.

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