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Published: Friday, 11/18/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Area players highlight AP all-district teams

Whitmer leads the way with 11 receiving honors, including 3 top individuals

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Whitmer, which will play for its second straight regional championship Saturday night, has garnered the largest portion of honors on the 2011 Associated Press all-district football teams.

Coach Joe Palka's Panthers (12-0) had six players selected to the Division I first team, and five others received second-team recognition. Highlighting that group were three seniors who swept the top individual honors.

Running back Jody Webb was named offensive player of the year, defensive end Chris Wormley was chosen defensive player of the year, and offensive tackle Storm Norton was picked as lineman of the year on the D-I squad.

Whitmer won the inaugural Three Rivers Athletic Conference championship this season on the heels of capturing 2009 and 2010 titles in its final two years competing in the City League.

The Panthers were ranked No. 2 in the final AP Division I state poll, and are the top playoff seed in Region 2. They will face Wadsworth (11-1) for the regional crown Saturday at 7 p.m. at Sandusky's Strobel Field.

Mark Ritzler, whose Findlay Trojans (9-2) placed second in the TRAC after being picked to finish sixth in the conference's preseason coaches poll, was chosen as D-I district coach of the year.

The all-district teams were selected by a 10-member media panel in Findlay on Monday.

Webb, a first-team All-Ohioan in 2010, rushed 136 times for 992 yards and scored 24 touchdowns during the regular season. Wormley, a University of Michigan recruit and also an All-Ohio first-teamer last year, had 59 tackles and seven sacks through 10 games. The 6-foot-8, 300-pound Norton has committed to the University of Toledo.

Teammates joining them on the D-I first team were senior receiver Alonzo Lucas (29 catches, 425 yards, 6 TDs), senior safety Mark Meyers (57 tackles, one interception), and junior defensive lineman Marquise Moore (50 tackles, 5 sacks).

In Division II, top individual honors went to two Northern Lakes League players, with Maumee senior quarterback Jake Schneider selected as offensive player of the year, and Perrysburg senior defensive lineman Micah Carter chosen as defensive player of the year.

Schneider was 135-of-224 passing for 2,151 yards and 26 TDs, and rushed 150 times for 1,364 yards and 12 TDs. Carter had 107 tackles and 11 sacks for the Yellow Jackets.

Four schools each had four first-team selections in D-I.

For NLL champion Southview, four seniors got those honors -- offensive lineman Kyle Stout, defensive back Allen Gant (46 tackles, 3 interceptions), defensive lineman Tarryl Hamilton (60 tackles, 5 sacks), and linebacker Jay Fisher (113 tackles). Gant, a Michigan recruit, repeated his first-team honor from 2010.

Anthony Wayne, the NLL runner-up, also had four seniors named -- offensive lineman Logan Rulton, running back Aaron Dulay (1,213 rushing yards, 16 TDs), placekicker Jake Hartbarger, and defensive back Matt Granger (eight interceptions).

For Findlay, the TRAC runner-up, the first-teamers include senior receiver Dylan Blunk (34 catches, 692 yards, 6 TDs) and three juniors -- running back Vance Settlemire (961 rushing yards, 15 TDs), quarterback Paul Cosiano (99-of-155 passing, 1,862 yards, 18 TDs), and linebacker Devin Dennard (94 tackles).

St. John's Jesuit's first-team picks were offensive lineman Troy Favorite (6-6, 325 pounds), defensive lineman Justin Robinson (67 tackles), linebacker Kent Kern (85 tackles), and punter Brandon Smith (41.6-yard average).

Other first-team selections in D-I went to Bowsher offensive lineman Nico Gorham and Start linebacker Brian Lee (118 tackles).

In Division II, Central Catholic had four first-team selections -- junior running back Amir Edwards (1,049 rushing yards, 16 TDs), 6-1, 305-pound junior defensive lineman Jon Perrin (55 tackles), senior linebacker Jim Johnston (79 tackles), and junior defensive back Jayme Thompson (60 tackles, one interception).

Joining Schneider from Maumee as a first-teamer was senior linebacker Evan Karchner (143 tackles), who was a first-team All-Ohioan in 2010.

Three seniors from Napoleon were first-team selections in Division III, including receiver Tyler Miller, offensive lineman Ross Huber, and linebacker Nate Walker. Huber was named lineman of the year.

Also named to the D-III first team were senior receiver Derek Hug (24 catches, 555 yards, 8 TDs) and sophomore defensive back Brandon Ponczak (eight interceptions) of Bryan, and senior defensive lineman Kyle Wilson (71 tackles) of Wauseon.

Eastwood (10-0) outdueled Genoa (9-1) for the first Northern Buckeye Conference championship this season with a 25-23 win in Week 10, and each state-ranked team was well represented on the Division IV first team.

Selected from Eastwood were offensive lineman Kris Hayward, running back Zach Conkle (1,156 rushing yards, 23 TDs), defensive lineman Bobby Brooks (78 tackles), defensive back Alex Keyes (67 tackles, three interceptions), and punter Caleb Vespi (37.8 average).

Hayward was named D-IV lineman of the year, and 30th-year Eagles coach Jerry Rutherford was selected as coach of the year.

Genoa's first-team picks included junior offensive lineman Nick Keller, junior running back Kyle Nutter (1,399 rushing yards, 25 TDs), senior placekicker Tyler Pickard (71 extra points, nine field goals), defensive lineman Devin Sibby, and senior defensive back Brandon Roberts (seven interceptions).

Pickard was also the first-team All-Ohio kicker in D-IV in 2009 and 2010.

The offensive player of the year in D-IV was record-setting Kenton quarterback Maty Mauk, who was 274-of-401 passing for 3,744 yards and 48 TDs, and rushed for 1,204 yards during the regular season.

Other D-IV first-team picks included junior receiver Nate Hackworth (55 catches, 843 yards, 14 TDs) of Otsego, senior defensive lineman Adam Losie (67 tackles) of Oak Harbor.

In Division V, Northwest Ohio Athletic League champion Liberty Center garnered three first-team selections.

Tiger senior offensive lineman Justin Gillen was named lineman of the year, and senior linebacker Bryan Hefflinger (90 tackles) was selected as defensive player of the year. Liberty Center's other pick was junior defensive lineman Jimmy Spieth (60 tackles).

Patrick Henry, which avenged its NWOAL loss to Liberty Center by beating the Tigers in last Friday's regional playoff semifinal, had two first-team selections in D-V -- sophomore offensive lineman Colt Pettit, and junior defensive lineman Jake Carrizales (65 tackles).

Junior linebacker Nick Whitmore was the only player named to the D-V first team from Toledo Area Athletic Conference champion Northwood.

Other D-V first team picks included senior receiver T.J. Gerken (50 catches, 699 yards, 7 TDs), sophomore placekicker Lincoln Parsley (7-of-7 field goals), and senior linebacker Chandler Tuckerman (93 tackles) of Archbold, and four senior players from Liberty-Benton -- offensive lineman Nathan Terhark, running back Brady Vaught (1,005 rushing yards, 18 TDs), defensive lineman Cody Snook (62 tackles), and defensive back Dakota Conkle (72 tackles, six interceptions).

The Division VI first-team included junior running back Jerry Brown (1,125 rushing yards, 20 TDs) and junior defensive lineman Michael Jones (90 tackles) of McComb, senior running back Shannon Geren (1,967 rushing yards, 27 TDs) of Edon, and senior defensive back Lucas Kennedy (101 tackles, four interceptions) of Danbury.

Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com 419-724-6461, or on Twitter @JungaBlade.



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