Here are the Free Press’ selections for the Michigan prep football All-State Dream Team defense for the 2012 season:
DL: Michael Steinhauer
Vitals: 6-feet-3, 265 pounds, senior.
Highlights: Nose guard had 74 tackles (12 for loss), seven sacks, two picks (both TDs), one blocked kick. Committed to Central Michigan. Coach Brad Bush: “He was the guy every offense was aware of his location. Just turned age 17 during the season, so he has a lot of growth potential still left in him.”
DL: David Curle
School: Utica Eisenhower.
Vitals: 6-4, 280, senior.
Highlights: Two-time Dream Team player had 64 tackles (14 for loss), six sacks and two forced fumbles. Coach Chris Smith: “David was simply dominant, a great run stuffer. Teams went the other way. A solid pass rusher, but the way he got off the ball and put pressure on the QB was huge.”
DL: Pierce Watson
Vitals: 5-11, 185, senior.
Highlights: Made 52 solo tackles (72 total), 11 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. Blocked three punts and made three fumble recoveries. Coach Noel Dean: “Pierce was an anchor and defensive stalwart for two state finals teams. He exemplifies excellence at every level.”
DL: Christan Gore
School: Macomb Dakota.
Vitals: 6-2, 245, senior.
Highlights: Had 45 tackles, seven sacks and 12 QB hurries. Was the only two-way starter for Dakota. Coach Mike Giannone: “He knows all the assignments, and his technique is really good. More of a quiet guy … but he gets mad once he puts his helmet on.”
LB: Anthony Darkangelo
School: Novi Detroit Catholic Central.
Vitals: 6-1, 200, senior.
Highlights: Led team with 125 tackles (50 solo). Also led in scoring with 98 points at RB with 1,135 yards rushing. Finished career with 237 tackles, leading DCC to two consecutive state finals appearances. Coach Tom Mach: “Anthony is in the top 1% of the finest overall players we’ve had at Catholic Central.”
LB: Jon Reschke (Captain)
School: Birmingham Brother Rice.
Vitals: 6-3, 232, senior.
Highlights: Three-year starter made 86 solo tackles this year, 133 total (351 career). Had 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks and nine QB hurries. Coach Al Fracassa: “Stalwart of our defensive unit all three years. He should be an outstanding performer at Michigan State.”
LB: Brent Showers
Vitals: 6 feet, 210, junior.
Highlights: Leading tackler with 115 (53 solo), 16 for loss, and two sacks. Coach Ralph Munger: “Against the run he hits opposing ballcarriers like a human cannonball. He fills gaps fearlessly and stuns lead blockers as he sheds attempted blocks.”
DB: Josh Jones
School: Walled Lake Western.
Vitals: 6-2, 210, senior.
Highlights: Had 95 tackles, three sacks, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a safety. Scored 25 TDs, five in one game. Coach Mike Zdebski: “Became a great player his senior year by taking the team over as a leader, and backing up his convictions with a vocal and physical presence.”
DB: Mark Chapman
School: Port Huron.
Vitals: 6-1, 170, senior.
Highlights: Three-year starter, league MVP. As two-year starting QB, ran for 1,554 yards and 25 TDs and passed for 989 yards and seven TDs. Coach Ryan Mullins: “He plays for us in those critical defensive situations, in the big moments, up against the opponent’s No. 1 receiver.”
DB: Jaleel Canty
School: Lansing Everett.
Vitals: 5-10, 195, senior.
Highlights: Had eight pass breakups and 15 solo tackles as opposing QBs avoided him (made four picks last year). Returned 20 punts for 371 yards and two TDs. Caught four TD passes. Committed to Cincinnati. Coach Marcel Carruthers: “Jaleel is a phenomenal athlete for us. He’s a plug-and-play player — we can plug him in anywhere we need.”
DB: Nate Emminger
Vitals: 5-8, 185, senior.
Highlights: Had two fumble recoveries for TDs, 10 kickoff returns for a 26.1 average and 17 punt returns for 240 yards. Coach Mike Sawchuk: “He’s the best, pure all-around football player in my 10 years here. The kid is just relentless. Everything a football player needs, Nate has it.”
Coach: Terry Hessbrook
School: Ithaca, ninth season.
Highlights: Has won three consecutive Division 6 state titles and has led Ithaca to 42 consecutive victories, the fourth-longest winning streak in state. The latest title came after All-State quarterback Travis Smith was injured and lost on the second play of the game. “It was so hard and so difficult when we lost Travis; I think this is the most special.”
FREE PRESS’ 2012 PREP FOOTBALL HONORS