Northwest Herald All-Area Football Team

First Team


Bret Mooney, Jacobs, QB, Sr.

Mooney (6-4, 215) completed 144 of 243 passes for 1,877 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions for the FVC Valley Division champion Golden Eagles. The Northwest Herald Player of the Year was an Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 7A All-State selection and is committed to NCAA Division I Colgate.

Ephraim Lee, Marian Central, RB, Sr.

Lee (6-2, 195) rushed for 1,166 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Hurricanes, who finished 8-3. He also caught 21 passes for 248 yards and two more touchdowns. Lee started playing defensive back a few games into the season and was a two-way player the rest of the season.

Christian Kramer, Harvard, RB, Jr.

Kramer (5-6, 150) missed one entire game and parts of two others with a shoulder injury but still led the area in rushing with 1,290 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. He was a dynamic player for the 11-1 Hornets, who lost in the Class 4A playoff quarterfinals, with his speed and cutting ability.

Josh Walker, Jacobs, RB, Jr.

Walker (5-6, 160) was one of the area’s most dangerous threats with his blazing speed. He rushed for 1,054 yards and 13 touchdowns and had 21 receptions for 293 yards and two touchdowns.

Jack Ortner, Crystal Lake Central, WR, Jr.

Ortner (6-1, 180) led the area with 79 receptions and 1,360 yards, both of which are school records. Ortner had 19 receptions for 197 yards and one touchdown in a 34-27 victory over Huntley, which tied for second with three players on the state record list, according to

Brett Olson, Marian Central, WR, Sr.

Olson (6-2, 185) caught 47 passes for 948 yards and an area-best 12 touchdowns for the Hurricanes, an average of 20.1 yards a catch. Olson was selected to the IHSFCA Class 5A All-State team.

Trevor Ruhland, Cary-Grove, OL, Jr.

Ruhland (6-5, 263) was one of the most dominant offensive linemen and has several NCAA Division I offers with one more year to play. He is a repeat first-team player and helped the Trojans again have one of the area’s best offenses. Ruhland was selected to the IHSFCA Class 6A All-State team.

Shane Evans, Prairie Ridge, OL, Sr.

Evans (6-4, 300) became a two-way player for the Wolves this year and helped anchor the defensive line at nose tackle. He was again a force on offense as the Wolves won five consecutive games late in the season. Evans, a repeat first-team pick and IHSFCA Class 6A All-Stater, will play at Northern Illinois and enroll in January.

Dakota Trebes, Harvard, OL, Sr.

Trebes (5-10, 220) was a two-way starter on the line for the 11-1 Hornets and helped pave the way for two runners who had more than 860 rushing yards. He also had 57 tackles and five sacks on defense and was a three-year starter.

Carson Shoemaker, Jacobs, OL, Jr.

Shoemaker (6-2, 225) was the center for one of the area’s top offenses. The Eagles started 0-2, but the offense got rolling and they won seven consecutive games to take the FVC Valley Division title.

Brad Mischke, McHenry, OL, Sr.

Mischke (6-1, 250) won his team’s MVP award, the first time an offensive lineman has won it for as long as coach Dave D’Angelo could remember. Much of what the Warriors did offensively focused on Mischke, who was their center.

T.J. Moss, Dundee-Crown, K, Sr.

Moss kicked a pair of field goals and was 42 of 43 on extra points for the Chargers, who qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1994. He also made an impact for D-C’s defense by not allowing opponents to return kickoffs; he had touchbacks on 80 percent of his kickoffs. Moss also rushed for 535 yards and five touchdowns.


Justin Nolen, Harvard, DB, Sr.

Nolen (6-1, 160) led the Hornets with seven interceptions, had 70 tackles and was an IHSFCA Class 4A All-State honorable mention pick. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns and also was one of the area’s top receivers with 54 catches for 774 yards.

Matt Sutherland, Cary-Grove, DB, Jr.

Sutherland (5-8, 153) was in on 100 tackles for one of the area’s top defenses and had one interception. He was one of the Trojans’ two-way players, as he also rushed for 395 yards and three touchdowns as a running back.

Austin Rogers, Crystal Lake South, DB, Sr.

Rogers (6-2, 205) was a do-it-all star for the Gators, playing at defensive back and quarterback, and even playing some receiver late in the season. Rogers had 65 1/2 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He also rushed for 482 yards, threw for 819 and even caught a pair of touchdown passes.

Emerson Kersten, Cary-Grove, LB, Sr.

Kersten (5-10, 169) had 98 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks for the Trojans. He was one of three returning starters from C-G’s Class 6A state runner-up and helped the Trojans hold opponents to 183.5 yards a game.

Tate Miller, Harvard, LB, Sr.

Miller (6-2, 215) led the Hornets with 134 tackles and had one interception as they set a school record at 11-1 and reached the Class 4A playoff quarterfinals. Miller was an IHSFCA Class 4A All-Stater, a third-year starter and also played tight end and snapped for punts and placekicks.

Nathan Talbott, Crystal Lake Central, LB, Sr.

Talbott (5-10, 200) was a force for the FVC Fox champion Tigers with 82 tackles, eight sacks and five tackles for loss. He had one of his best games with three sacks in a 35-6 victory over Grayslake North that ultimately was the deciding game for the division.

Chris Ivers, Crystal Lake South, LB, Sr.

Ivers (6-0, 180) was a two-way player for the Gators and had 40 tackles, six tackles for loss and three sacks. He also led South in rushing with 535 yards and two touchdowns.

Chris Daniels, Marian Central, LB, Sr.

Daniels (5-10, 195) battled through both a knee and shoulder sprain at different points but still was productive with 56 tackles in seven games, five tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. Daniels is a repeat All-Area first-team pick.

Brandon Dranka, Huntley, DE, Sr.

Dranka (6-2, 230) was one of the area’s toughest linemen to handle. He finished with 11 sacks and 51 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was listed by most opposing coaches as a player who stuck out.

Thomas Lesniewski, Marian Central, DE, Sr.

Lesniewski (6-1, 220) was one of the Hurricanes’ fastest players and extremely tough for offensive linemen to handle. Lesniewski had nine sacks, four tackles for loss and 72 tackles and was named the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division Defensive Player of the Year.

MIchael Gomez, Cary-Grove, DT, Jr.

Gomez (6-0, 249) was a disruptive force in his first season as a full-time defensive lineman. He had 41 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks and gave a small and speedy defense some size up front. Gomez, a repeat All-Area first-teamer, was an IHSFCA Class 6A All-State honorable mention pick.

Blake Jacobs, Huntley, P, Sr.

Jacobs (6-1, 180) averaged 40 yards a punt for the Red Raiders. He also was their quarterback and threw for 1,320 yards (fourth in the area) with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Second Team


QB–Kyle Lavand, CL Central, Sr.
RB–Ryan Williams, CL Central, Jr.
RB–Tyler Pennington, Cary-Grove, Fr.
RB–Nick Kielbasa, Hampshire, Sr.
WR–Hunter Williams, Jacobs, Sr.
WR–Tim Jansen, Hampshire, Sr.
OL–Alex Gardeck, CL South, Jr.
OL–Bennett Tomlin, Prairie Ridge, Sr.
OL–Cody Hodges, CL Central, Sr.
OL–Bryce Wagner, Richmond-Burton, Sr.
OL–Blake Broz, Jacobs, Sr.
K–Peyton Schneider, Harvard, Jr.


DB–Malik Dunner, Dundee-Crown, Jr.
DB–Sam Franckowiak, Dundee-Crown, Sr.
DB–Danny Rygiel, Richmond-Burton, Sr.
LB–Danny Giffels, Prairie Ridge, Sr.
LB–Damon Mull, Hampshire, Sr.
LB–Thomas Hellios, McHenry, Sr.
LB–Matt Hughes, Cary-Grove, Sr.
LB–Connor Hines, CL Central, Sr.
DL–Austin Nirva, Prairie Ridge, Sr.
DL–Mark Mamola, Jacobs, Sr.
DL–Adam Freimund, Harvard, Sr.
P–Jake Dziewulski, Jacobs, Sr.

Honorable Mention
(In alphabetical order)
Brent Anderson, Prairie Ridge, RB, Jr.
Billy Bahl, Marian Central, QB, Jr.
Alec Baron, Crystal Lake Central, DL, Jr.
Nick Beck, Alden-Hebron, RB-DB, Sr.
Ben Bednarek, Hampshire, TE-LB, Sr.
Nick Brengman, Johnsburg, QB, Jr.
Brett Caldwell, Woodstock North, OL-DL, Jr.
Chris Calvin, Hampshire, RB-DB, Sr.
John Conroy, Johnsburg, G-NT, So.
Brett Covalt, Prairie Ridge, QB, Jr.
Josh Esikiel, Huntley, WR, Sr.
Cody Ferencz, Jacobs, DB, Jr.
Mason Fleury, Hampshire, RB-DB, Sr.
Luke Francis, Crystal Lake Central, DB, Sr.
Mike Franke, Crystal Lake South, OL, Sr.
Kyle Gara, Marengo, LB, So.
Michael Gibas, Hampshire, OL, Sr.
Jason Gregoire, Cary-Grove, QB, Jr.
Fabian Gutierrez, Dundee-Crown, DB, Sr.
Alan Hafer, Woodstock, QB, Sr.
Larkin Hanselmann, Cary-Grove, WR-DB, Jr.
Trent Hanselmann, Dundee-Crown, OL, Sr.
Mitch Kawell, Huntley, RB, Sr.
Zach Kinney, Johnsburg, OL-DL, Sr.
Tom Klinger, Marian Central, WR-DB, Sr.
John Kruse, Woodstock, WR, Jr.
Eric Landis, Crystal Lake South, RB-LB, Sr.
Brandon LaPak, Crystal Lake South, WR-DB, Sr.
Colin Leverenz, Prairie Ridge, LB, Sr.
Payton Lykins, McHenry, WB-DB, Sr.
Jeremy Marshall, Dundee-Crown, OL, Sr.
Greg McLeod, Jacobs, LB, Sr.
Jose Mejia, Harvard, RB, Sr.
Josh Mugler, Crystal Lake Central, DE, Sr.
Cody Nelson, Alden-Hebron, WR-DB, Jr.
Alec O’Halleran, Alden-Hebron, OL-DL, Jr.
Caleb Parson, Dundee-Crown, RB, Jr.
Nate Patterson, Marian Central, OL, Sr.
Kevin Peisker, Crystal Lake Central, RB-DB, Sr.
Jordan Plummer, Woodstock North, FB, Jr.
Karl Rude, Marian Central, OL, Jr.
Tommy Savage, Jacobs, TE-DB, Sr.
Alex Shannon, Woodstock, RB-S, Jr.
Ben Stillwell, Johnsburg, TE-LB, Sr.
Jordan Sumner, Woodstock, WR, Sr.
Jack Timmins, Cary-Grove, DB, Sr.
Jake Varys, Woodstock North, OL-DL, So.
Marcus Wright, Huntley, DL, Sr.

– Joe Stevenson