The 2015 Battle Creek Enquirer All-City Football Team is made up of players from the five city schools and selected by the city coaches and the Enquirer sports staff:
A two-way player, Bozell was an anchor on the offensive and defensive line for Battle Creek Central, which finished at 4-5 on the year.
The senior was the center and leader on the offensive line and also had 45 tackles and three sacks as a defensive tackle, earning all-league honors in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference.
“He was the best offensive lineman we had. Could have played anywhere on the line, but we put him at center because he was really smart and could help call out the assignments up front,” Battle Creek Central coach Lorin Granger said.
A standout on the defensive side of the ball, Gillum was the captain of the defense for the 4-5 Bearcats from his linebacker position.
Gillum had a big senior season and earned all-league honors in the SMAC as he came up with 68 tackles, including five for loss.
“Dallas is just the perfect storm for a football player. A 4.0 kid, who is smart on and off the field, reads the play very well and just always finds the football and puts himself in a position to make plays,” Granger said.
Randle is one of the top players in the state, having already accepted a scholarship to play next year at Michigan State University. The defensive standout helped Battle Creek Central to a 4-5 record as he also was named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Randle also earned All-State honors and all-league honors in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference as he finished with 79 tackles from his linebacker spot, including 10 for loss, four sacks, four fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.
“The best thing about Brandon is that he was so versatile and we could play him at difference places. His skill set, with his size and speed, was such we could put him where we needed him,” Granger said.
A leader on and off the field, Robinson had a big senior season for the 4-5 Bearcats as a two-way player.
A guard on the offensive line and a defensive tackle, Robinson earned all-league consideration in the SMAC.
“He was the spokesperson for our team. When you needed someone to step up and rally the troops he was our guy. A great leader,” Granger said.
A standout two-way player, Williams brought speed to both sides of the ball for the Bearcats during a 4-5 season. His senior season was noticed by college scouts as he has several college football offers heading into signing day.
Williams earned all-conference honors in the SMAC as he averaged 6.5 yards per carry on offense as a running back with 470 yards and had 54 tackles and an interception from his safety spot.
“At safety, Cyntell had closing speed like no safety we’ve had for a long time. He could cover a lot of ground,” Granger said.
An all-around player for Harper Creek, this sophomore is just starting what should be an impressive career at Harper Creek after helping the Beavers to a 3-6 season.
Bartlett earned honorable mention all-conference honors while playing receiver, defensive back and was a kick returner on special teams. Bartlett had 16 catches with two touchdowns and added 28 tackles on defense while averaging 25.0 yards per game as a kick returner.
“Dawson led us in all-purpose yards and was a very explosive player and a tremendous athlete. A very sound player that we could play a lot of different places,” Harper Creek coach Mike Seedorff said.
A player on the rise for Harper Creek, Hayes was a standout for the 3-6 Beavers as a junior from his running back and defensive back position.
Hayes only played six games due to injury and finished with 481 yards rushing with two touchdowns and had 15 tackles on defense with five pass breakups, earning honorable mention honors on the all-league team.
“A tough, hard-nosed kid that played most of the season hurt. He could play a lot of different positions, a very good blocker from his running back position and very good on defense,” Seedorff said.
The senior captain on the defensive side of the ball, Martineau helped lead the defense from his linebacker spot for a 3-6 Harper Creek team.
Martineau earned all-league honors in the Interstate 8 Conference as he finished with 45 tackles, including six tackles for loss and had four pass breakups.
“Bryce was our signal caller on the defense. He did his homework every week on film, knew our opponents. His motor ran all the time in practice and on Friday nights,” Seedorff said.
Smith was a standout two-way player during his senior season for a 3-6 Harper Creek team, coming up big for the Beavers at receiver and at defensive back.
Smith earned all-conference honors in the Interstate 8 while also being voted team MVP after coming up with 17 catches for 274 yards and three touchdowns while also getting 31 tackles with seven pass breakups and an interception.
“Zach was just a great football player for us this year, very good receiver, good route runner, shut down corner. He was one of our senior leaders on both sides of the football and a very dynamic player,” Seedorff said.
A senior leader on both sides of the ball, Dean was a two-way starter at defensive tackle and tight end for the 3-6 Panthers.
Dean earned all-league honors in the Interstate 8 Conference and was voted Defensive Player of the Year by his teammates while he led the team in tackles for loss, to go with his total 33 stops and four touchdowns on offense.
“Taylor was a very physical player on both sides of the ball. He was very hard to block one-on-one and our top defensive player as voted by the team,” Pennfield coach Mike McGuire said.
A senior leader on a 3-6 Pennfield team, Lamb was a two-way player who finished as a standout at running back and at linebacker.
An honorable mention all-league selection, Lamb scored four touchdowns on offense and led the team in tackles with 43.
“Justin is a tough, competitive and intelligent player who worked hard in the off-season in the weight room to make himself a better player,” McGuire said.
A senior two-way starter, Needham was a leader on and off the field for a Pennfield team that went 3-6 on the season.
Needham was a starter at quarterback for part of the year, also started at running back and was a defensive back for the Panthers. With 31 tackles on defense, 299 yards passing and 148 yards rushing, Needham earned all-league honors in the Interstate-8 Conference and was voted team MVP.
“Carter was one of our key senior leaders as a two-way starter. He led by example on and off the field and voted by his teammates as MVP,” McGuire said.
A young player on the rise in the Pennfield system, Petersen started both ways as a sophomore at running back and defensive back.
Petersen was an honorable mention all-conference selection for the 3-6 Pennfield squad and had 302 yards rushing, 354 yards receiving and five touchdowns while coming up with 34 tackles.
“A very versatile athlete out of the backfield that showed big-play capability for us with great field awareness. He could also make all the plays in the secondary on defense,” McGuire said.
A senior, this was Carlson’s first year on varsity as he made the most of it as a key starter on an offensive line that had nearly 3,000 yards rushing on the season.
The offensive tackle earned all-league honors in the SMAC as Lakeview won the division title in the SMAC East and advanced to the playoffs, ending the year at 6-4.
“It’s unfortunate that he didn’t come out earlier because he had a great senior season in his only year with the team. A great surprise to us,” Lakeview coach Matt Miller said.
Already a two-year starter as a junior, Foster played a key role on the Lakeview defense as an undersized outside linebacker who finished with 70 tackles.
Foster was an all-league performer in the SMAC and helped Lakeview to a division title and a playoff spot, while also chipping in on offense with 280 yards rushing.
“A tremendous young man, he was our key to our 70-edge defense. Played very hard every game and was a do-it-all guy who played beyond his size,” Miller said.
Kemp finishes his career at Lakeview second on the all-time list for rushing yards and for touchdowns after his standout season at running back for the 6-4 Spartans, leading the team to another division title and a fourth-straight playoff spot.
Kemp also earned honorable mention honors on the All-State team while getting all-league in the SMAC as he had 1,107 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns.
“He was a workhorse for us. In our veer-option offense, it is very important to have a back that can go the distance and Dre’On was that home run guy for us,” Miller said.
A two-year starter already as a junior, Miller had a breakout season as one of the leaders of the Lakeview defense, leading the team in tackles with 74, including six tackles for loss.
Miller played both defensive end and linebacker on defense, while also taking multiple roles on offense at tackle and tight end, earning all-league honors in the SMAC.
“When all is said and done, he was probably one of our most valuable guys all-around as we used him at different positions. We played him where we needed him to be depending on the strengths of the other team,” Miller said.
A three-year starter at quarterback for Lakeview, Nichols helped the Spartans to a third-straight SMAC East Division title and a playoff spot for the 6-4 squad.
Nichols earned all-league honors in the SMAC and was voted the team MVP as he finished with 519 yards rushing with seven touchdowns, while also playing a key role on defense at safety as a two-way starter.
“Just a great leader for us who won a lot of football games as our starting quarterback over his career. He managed our offense and also shined on defense this year and made some huge plays on that side of the ball,” Miller said.
A three-year starter for Lakeview, Snyder helped the Spartans win a third-straight SMAC East Division crown as the team went 6-4 on the year and made the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
Snyder was a two-way starter for Lakeview, playing guard on the offensive line and at linebacker on defense as he finished with 71 tackles to earn all-league honors in the SMAC.
“A tremendous young man and a great player as a starter for three years for us. He excelled at linebacker this year and also opened up a lot of holes on the line on offense,” Miller said.
A senior safety on Lakeview division-title team, Williams helped Lakeview reach the playoff for the fourth straight season – a first at the school – as the Spartans went 6-4.
Williams led the team in interceptions with three and had 70 tackles, earning all-league honors in the SMAC.
“A very talented safety for us, he was always around the ball. He was an undersized guy who really tackled well in the open field,” Miller said.
A two-year starter at center for Lakeview, Wright was the anchor of an offensive line that ran for nearly 6,000 yards on the ground over the last two seasons, winning division titles and making the playoffs in both years.
Wright helped Lakeview to a 6-4 mark and earned all-league honors in the SMAC, using his leadership abilities on the offensive line.
“As we usually faced 8- and 9-man fronts, he was the guy who always had to make the offensive line calls to make our offense run. He had a tremendous year for us,” Miller said.
Darr had a monster senior season as he helped St. Philip to an undefeated regular season, a spot in the state finals in 8-man football and another league championship.
Darr finished with 774 yards rushing and added 620 yards receiving from his running back spot in nine games in the regular season and had 28 total touchdowns, earning all-league honors. Darr also was a standout from his linebacker position with 82 tackles.
“He was our go-to guy, our workhorse. Our offense revolved around him getting the ball as much as possible. A real weapon for us,” St. Philip coach David Downey said.
A four-year varsity player, Downey finished off his senior season as a two-way starter and key special teams player for a St. Philip team that went 9-0 in the regular season, won a league title and advanced to the state finals in 8-player football.
Downey finished with 603 yards receiving from wide receiver spot with 14 touchdowns, while also adding 60 tackles on defense. Downey also made 35 extra points as a kicker and was all-conference as a kicker, receiver and defensive back for the Tigers.
“He did it all for us, including kick as he made all-league as a kicker for the fourth straight year. He was also a lock-down corner and a threat to go deep on offense on every play,” St. Philip coach David Downey said.
Possibly the most important offensive lineman for St. Philip, Ellinger helped the Tigers to more than 3,500 yards of offense over just eight games in the regular season.
Ellinger, a junior, earned all-league honors as he helped St. Philip to a league title, an undefeated regular season and a runner-up finish in the 8-player football playoffs.
“Noah took every snap for us this on offense, making all the calls on the line. He was really too valuable for us on offense to play defense,” Downey said.
A two-way starter on the defensive and offensive line, Gaona helped St. Philip to an undefeated record in the regular season, a league title and a deep run in the playoffs.
Gaona was a standout defensive end with 61 tackles and played guard on the offense, while earning all-league honors. In the playoffs, Gaona went to fullback to help spur the St. Philip running game.
“We trap a lot so you have to be very athletic in or offense to play guard and he was that guy for us. Also played a big role on defense,” Downey said.
Took over as the full-time quarterback for his senior year and had a big season, leading the team to an undefeated regular season, a No. 2 state ranking and a runner-up finish in the state tournament in 8-man football.
Gausselin earned All-State and all-league honors for St. Philip while throwing for 1,734 yards and 29 touchdowns in the regular season, while also rushing for 347 yards and six more touchdowns.
“Became a starter this year full-time and became a real good football player for us. He was a leader on and off the field. When he talked, the team listened,” Downey said.
Lantinga had a big junior season, playing wherever St. Philip needed him on both sides of the ball as the Tigers went 9-0 in the regular season and finished the year No. 2 in the state rankings.
Lantinga earned all-league honors, leading the team in tackles with 93 in the regular season and also lined up at tight end, receiver and fullback on offense.
“He did everything on both sides of the ball for us. He was a force to be reckoned with on defense,” Downey said.
A three-year starter for St. Philip, Searls was a team captain and a two-way standout for a Tiger team that went 9-0 in the regular season and advanced to the state finals in 8-player football.
Searls earned all-conference honors as he finished second on the team in tackles with 90, including 12 for loss in the regular season from his defensive end spot.
“Trevor was an anchor on our defense, he was all over the field and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback for us. A real aggressive player,” Downey said.
Evan Hanna (St. Philip), Grayson Obey (St. Philip), David Thompson (Harper Creek), Tanner Brauer (Harper Creek), Parris Bolden (Pennfield), Hayden Converse (Pennfield), Julieon Cooper (BCC), Demetrius Craig (BCC), Jay’Vion Settles (Lakeview), Justyn Jones (Lakeview)