The 2012 Enquirer All-Area Football Team is selected by nominations from area coaches and the Enquirer sports staff:
A very physical player at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, Madry made a statement on both sides of the ball in only his junior season for a 4-5 Bellevue team. At the tight end position, Madry had 310 yards receiving on 18 catches as 17 of them resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. On defense, Madry had 74 tackles from his defensive end position with five sacks and earned all-league honors.
“Cole is very physical on both sides of the ball. He has exceptional hands with decent speed and he is able to make big plays,” Bellevue coach Doug Blattner said.
A team captain, the senior was a key part of a Bronson team that rallied from a slow 1-3 start on the year to qualify for the playoffs at 5-3 in the regular season. Gallup, a 6-foot-1 inside linebacker, had 129 tackles and earned all-league honors for the second straight season. Gallup was also a good blocking tight end on offense.
“A leader on and off the field. He was the heart and soul of our defense. A gentleman off the field and fierce competitor on the field. Great attitude and love for the game,” Bronson coach Jeff Gallup said.
A four-year varsity player, Jergens was a leader on a 5-4 Bronson team from his quarterback position. The 5-foot-11 senior led the team in rushing with 700 yards and nine touchdowns while also throwing for four touchdowns as he earned all-conference honors.
“A tough runner who rarely was brought down by a single tackler. He managed our offense very well and was cool under pressure. His courage and leadership will be missed,” Gallup said.
Not real big, but the 5-foot-7, 145-pound senior was a cornerstone on the defensive line for the Panthers during their playoff season. A two-time all-conference player at defensive tackle, Bartholomew was a key part of a defense that only allowed 10 points per game in the team’s 10 victories.
“His all-out effort on the defensive line made him a force,” Climax-Scotts coach Kevin Langs said.
One of the top players in the conference as voted by the coaches, Gibson was a key two-way player for Climax-Scotts. The senior led the team in tackles from his safety spot with 135 stops and six interceptions. On offense, Gibson had 748 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns, plus two more scores on punt returns.
“One of the top all-around football players in our 14 years at Climax-Scotts. He was unique in that he enjoyed the everyday grind of football practice,” Langs said.
A key part of the overwhelming Climax-Scotts running game at running back as the senior led the team in rushing yards during a 10-1 season. Lodes had over 1,300 yards on the season and finished with the second-most yards in a single season in school history, earning him all-conference honors.
“A great senior season which was exemplified by a great team attitude,” Langs said.
One of the top offensive lineman in the conference, the 5-foot-11, 315-pound senior was a key part of a Panther team that rushed for over 3,000 yards on the season. A four-year varsity player, Thompson helped C-S go 40-5 during his career.
“One of the toughest and most physical players we have coached at Climax-Scotts. A true football player,” Langs said.
A two-way player for Climax-Scotts, running the wing-T offense from his quarterback position and helping to lead the defensive backfield from his strong safety spot. Nabozny, a 5-foot-10 senior, was a two-year starter at quarterback for the Panthers and earned all-conference honors during the 10-1 season for Climax-Scotts.
“No doubt the offensive leader in our program. His energy and personality were a plus along with his athletic ability,” Langs said.
Morris was a three-year varsity player and a captain for a Colon team that went 5-4 in the regular season and qualified for the postseason based on strength of schedule. At defensive end, Morris had 57 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss and four sacks, while also blocking two punts.
Yoder was a three-year varsity player and captain for a Colon team that went 5-4 in the regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs to state power Mendon. At linebacker, the senior had 70 tackles on the season, including six tackles for loss, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt.
Galesburg-Augusta was able to snap a 32-game losing streak last season thanks, in part, to senior Richie Waite, who put up big numbers on the ground and through the air. Waite had 803 yards rushing with six touchdowns and had 409 yards receiving with three touchdowns in the G-A offense. Waite also came up big on defense with 101 tackles from his defensive back position and earned All-KVA honors.
“Richie exemplifies what high school athletics are about and the character an athlete should show on and off the field,” G-A coach Tony Smith said.
Although Gull Lake went 2-7 on the season, Meade had an outstanding individual season for the Blue Devils and earned all-conference honors in the team’s first year in the SMAC East Division. From his strong safety position, Meade had 59 tackles and an interception to help lead the Gull Lake defense. On offense, the senior was an all-around good player with 405 yards rushing and 321 yards receiving for a total of seven touchdowns.
“Alex was a senior captain and one of our most versatile play-makers all season long. He was tied for the lead in tackles, led us in overall touchdowns, punted, kicked, and also was a returner. But more importantly, Alex is a solid student who gives back by serving our community,” Gull Lake coach Tim Hiller said.
An impressive force on the defensive line for Homer, the junior helped the Trojans to a 5-4 record on a defense that was key to the team’s 5-4 record. Conley, at 6-foot-1, 254-pounds, was often double teamed but still had 30 tackles and 10 tackles for loss from his interior defensive line position.
“Trenton is a physical presence and very strong individual that demands a double team and this is why his stats are lower than what they could be. He is another kid who works hard in the weight room and will be an even better player next year,” Homer coach Matthew Moffett said.
The versatile junior was a standout in the running game and the passing game for Homer, which finished 5-4 on the season. Hopkins rushed for 464 yards and six touchdowns from his running back spot and had 23 catches for 293 yards and two touchdown at receiver to earn first-team all-conference honors.
“We didn’t know exactly where we were going to play Chaz at the start of the year so he played both WR and RB, but in our last three football games he started at RB for us and averaged 125 yards per game. He is a very hard worker and will be back next year stronger and faster,” Moffett said.
The senior linebacker led the Maple Valley defense as the Lions went 3-6 on the season. Erwin, playing inside linebacker, led the team with 85 tackles and added an interception as he earned first-team All-KVA honors. Erwin also chipped in on offense with 120 yards rushing on the season at running back.
“He did an excellent job adjusting from outside linebacker to inside this year. He is just a playmaker, no matter where he plays on the field. It is nice to have a linebacker that you know will be in the right place at the right time,” Maple Valley coach Brian Lincoln said.
In his second year on the varsity, the junior played a big part in the Marshall offense as the point man on an offensive line that produced a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard passer. Hautau earned all-conference honors for the 6-4 Redhawks.
“Madison became our go to guy on the line when we needed yards. He is an intelligent, hard working individual,” Marshall coach Jim Hendershot said.
In the Marshall grading system, Ranville led the team in defensive points from his defensive end position. The senior earned all-league honors as he helped the Redhawks hold the opposition to a respectable 22 points per game.
“Became a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. Made it very difficult for the opposing teams to run and pass his way,” Hendershot said.
One of the top quarterbacks in the area, Welke helped Marshall return to the playoffs with strong passing game. The junior threw for 1,758 yards and 16 touchdown and earned all-conference honors as the Redhawks went 6-4 on the season.
“He consistently and constantly developed his understanding of our passing game and how to find spots in the defense to throw the ball. Didn’t just run the plays that were called…he understood the concept of what we were trying to do offensively,” Hendershot said.
A dominant two-way player for Marshall, Wimberly was a standout during his senior season as the Redhawks returned to the playoffs after going 6-4. The all-conference player was an athletic force on defense, but really made his presence known on offense with 1,318 yards rushing from his running back spot with 15 touchdowns.
“Tony is the type of athlete that has to be on the field. When he is out there he can be a dominant player at any time on both sides of the ball,” Hendershot said.
A do-everything player for Olivet, Coolidge rarely left the field, playing on both sides of the ball, punting, kicking and returning punts and returning kicks. Coolidge did the most damage as one of the top running backs in the area with 1,618 yards and 17 touchdowns, giving him 40 TDs for his career. On defense, the senior safety also had 49 tackles.
“Nick is an outstanding running back with some impressive career stats. His is one of the most versatile players I have ever coached,” Olivet coach Dean Peters said.
A rock on the defensive line for Olivet, Kyre is one of the top prospects in the area and has verbally committed to play at Central Michigan University. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound senior had 84 tackles on the season, including an impressive 18 for loss and as two-way player, he also was a key member of the offensive line for the Eagles.
“The best word to describe Don is relentless. He has a motor that never quits. He is a very special talent that you don’t see in high school very often,” Peters said.
A cornerstone of the defense for Olivet, McGill was a classic middle linebacker who had 57 solo tackles, plus 30 assists and six stops for loss. The 6-foot, 205-pound junior also played offensive tackle for the Eagles, who finished 7-4 on the season, losing in the second round of the playoffs.
“Chase was an outstanding linebacker for us. He was definitely a throwback-type player and you knew when he hit you,” Peters said.
A key player in Olivet’s pass defense, Whitely also came up big as a run stopper from his cornerback position. The 6-foot, 150-pound senior finished with 44 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups as the Eagles went 7-4 on the season.
“We knew Brett would be a good pass defender, but we had to show us that he could play force against the run. He became an outstanding tackler as well as pass defender,” Peters said.
An offensive lineman, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior was a key member of a line that played in front of one of the top rushing attacks in the area as the team had nearly 3,000 yards on the year. Alwood also earned all-league honors in the Big Eight.
“Our best offensive lineman all around on a line that helped our leading rusher surpass the 1,800 yard mark. Extremely intelligent which allowed him to consistently make important calls for our offense,” Union City coach Chris Davis said.
A key player on the defensive line for Union City, the 260-pound senior was an immovable object at times, keeping the opposing offensive team’s running game to a minimum. Blowers finished with a respectable 41 tackles from his interior defensive line spot and earned all-league honors in the Big Eight.
“Was a presence for us on the defensive line. Always matched up against the best offensive linemen of the teams we faced,” Davis said.
The Big Eight Conference MVP, Holton was a dominant force from his running back position for Union City. The senior rushed for 1,820 yards for an impressive 182 yards per game with 23 touchdowns. While getting named all-conference on offense, he was also second-team all-conference on defense with 51 tackles from his defensive back spot.
“The most unique blend of athletic ability, speed, and physicality I’ve ever coached in terms of a running back. He is extremely fast, makes unbelievable cuts, and runs defenders over when the opportunity is there,” Davis said.
A standout linebacker for the Chargers, the 5-foot-10 senior led the team in tackles with 96, including nine sacks on the season as Union City went 6-4 on the season. Rieger also earned all-conference honors for Union City on defense.
“Consistently made big plays for our defense. We could always count on him to come through with a tackle for loss, sack, or forced fumble,” Davis said.
Aaron Cook (Climax-Scotts), Malachi Satterlee (Climax-Scotts), Lucas Blanchard (Marshall), Jesse Bouwens (Marshall), Zach Webb (Bellevue), Garrett Miller (Maple Valley), Tyler Hickey (Maple Valley), Kegan Ayres (Bronson), Mark Robinson (Bronson), Matt Katz (Tekonsha)