High school football: Northwest Herald All-Area Team



QB – Samson Evans, Prairie Ridge, so.

Evans (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) ran for 1,966 yards and 29 touchdowns, leading one of the state’s most prolific offenses. The Wolves went 11-2 and advanced to the Class 6A semifinals. Evans is the first sophomore to become Northwest Herald Player of the Year. He was an IHSFCA Class 6A All-State honorable mention.

RB – Alex Peete, Johnsburg, jr.

Peete (6-0, 185) led the area with 2,054 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns as the Skyhawks went 8-3 and won their Class 4A first-round playoff game. Peete averaged 8.5 yards a carry and has 3,542 yards rushing in two varsity seasons. He was an IHSFCA Class 4A All-State honorable mention.

RB – Emitt Peisert, Marian Central, sr.

Peisert (5-9, 185) was a workhorse for the 8-3 Hurricanes, carrying an area-high 254 times for 1,833 yards rushing, which put him third in the area. He averaged 7.2 yards a carry and had his biggest game, 306 yards and four touchdowns, in Week 4 as Marian knocked off eventual Class 5A state champion Nazareth, 34-19.

RB/WR – Eric Mooney, Huntley, so.

Mooney (5-11, 175) scored a touchdown on every 6.3 touches from scrimmage, making him one of the area’s most dangerous big-play threats. He rushed for 980 yards and 17 touchdowns, and caught 31 passes for 656 yards and four touchdowns.

WR – Jarrell Jackson, Marengo, sr.

Jackson (5-11, 170) averaged a touchdown every 4.4 times he touched the ball from scrimmage. He caught 58 passes for 1,171 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 296 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson also had five interceptions on defense and is committed to NCAA Division I Illinois State. He was an Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 4A All-Stater.

WR – Craiton Nice, Marengo, sr.

Nice (5-10, 140) led the area with 76 receptions for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had six interceptions on defense. Nice had one of his biggest games in the Indians’ Class 4A playoff quarterfinal victory over Rockford Lutheran, 38-28, with 11 catches for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He also had an interception in that game.

OL – Jeff Jenkins, Prairie Ridge, so.

Jenkins (6-4, 255) already is all over NCAA Division I coaches’ radar and started on both lines for a Class 6A playoff semifinal team. He helped QB Evans and FB Nathan Griffin each rush for more than 1,300 yards as the Wolves averaged 49.1 points and 440.1 yards a game. Jenkins was an IHSFCA Class 6A All-Stater.

OL – Matt Kielbasa, Hampshire, sr.

Kielbasa (6-2, 304) was a starter on both lines for the Whip-Purs, who were one of the area’s top passing teams and qualified for the Class 6A playoffs. QB Jake Vincent racked up huge passing numbers behind Kielbasa and his linemates.

OL – Dalton Wagner, Richmond-Burton, jr.

Wagner (6-8, 270) helped pave the way for RBs Joe Dittmar and Joe Wolfram as the Rockets finished 9-2 for the season and won their Class 4A first-round playoff game. Wagner, who also played on the defensive line, made unofficial visits to Indiana and Wisconsin last summer; his brother Bryce plays at Southern Illinois.

OL – John Conroy, Johnsburg, sr.

Conroy (6-1, 260) was an integral part of Johnsburg’s resurgence the past three season as a starter on both lines. Conroy is an All-Area first-team repeat selection on the offensive line. He was an IHSFCA Class 4A All-State honorable mention.

OL – Dominic Swanson, Huntley, sr.

Swanson (6-1, 275) was one of the area’s strongest players, having won several national powerlifting competitions in his age group. He was the top offensive lineman for the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division champion Red Raiders and is receiving D-I interest.

K – Jake Higgins, Marian Central, sr.

Higgins (5-10, 165) did double duty in the fall for the Hurricanes, playing goalkeeper in soccer and kicker in football. Marian was glad to have him, as he made 6 of 8 field goals, along with 31 of 33 extra points. He also was adept at getting kickoffs into the end zone to prevent any returns.


DB – Michael Kruse, Hampshire, sr.

Kruse (5-9, 195) was a force for the Whip-Purs' defense as he picked off nine passes. Hampshire made the playoffs after a year absence, playing in Class 6A for the first time. Kruse was an IHSFCA Class 6A All-Stater.

DB – David Daigle, Cary-Grove, jr.

Daigle (5-10, 150) had three interceptions and forced a pair of fumbles for the Trojans (11-2), who advanced to the Class 7A playoff semifinal. Daigle was in on 42 tackles and had a key fumble recovery against Batavia in C-G’s 42-21 quarterfinal victory.

DB – Jon Tieman, Prairie Ridge, sr.

Tieman (6-1, 181) is a repeat first-team selection on defense after helping the Wolves to the FVC Fox Division title and to the Class 6A playoff semifinals. Tieman was a three-year starter and such a smart student and player this his teammates dubbed him “The Professor.”

DB – Jarren Jackson, Marengo, jr.

Jackson (5-9, 165) was a workhorse for the Indians on both sides as their top running back and a defensive back. He had three interceptions and 45 tackles on defense. On offense, he rushed for 1,451 yards and 18 touchdowns, finishing fourth in the area in rushing.

LB – Tyler Pennington, Cary-Grove, jr.

Pennington (5-11, 205) is a repeat All-Area first-team selection, although he made it on offense as a sophomore. He was a force at linebacker and at fullback for the Trojans, who were 11-2. He was in on 58 tackles, had four sacks and two forced fumbles. He also rushed for 1,442 yards and 24 touchdowns and is C-G’s career rushing leader with another season to play. In the Trojans’ 35-17 second-round playoff victory over Benet, he had three sacks, a forced and recovered fumble and 150 rushing yards.

LB – Kyle Gara, Marengo, sr.

Gara (5-11, 208) is a repeatn All-Area first-team pick after leading the area in tackles again (132). He also had three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions. He also spelled Jarren Jackson at running back, rushing for 599 yards. Gara, a third-year starter, was an IHSFCA Class 4A All-Stater.

LB – Mat Barnes, Jacobs, sr.

Barnes (5-9, 200) was a tough player on offense and defense for the Golden Eagles, who returned to the playoffs and finished 7-3 for the season. He rushed for 526 yards as a running back and played an integral role for the defense, where he had 59 tackles, three sacks and recovered one fumble.

LB – Tim McCloyn Huntley, sr.

McCloyn (6-1, 215) was an IHSFCA Class 8A All-Stater after leading the area’s top defense with 85 tackles. McCloyn, who committed to D-I Illinois State, had 12 tackles for losses, five sacks and deflected four passes. His sprinter’s speed made him difficult for offenses to handle.

DL – Gavin Dineen, Marian Central, sr.

Dineen (6-3, 270) was a standout on both lines for the 8-3 Hurricanes. On offense he played center, and he played nose tackle on defense, where he finished with 33 tackles, five tackles for losses and a sack.

DL – Tyler Larson, Huntley, sr,

Larson (6-2, 215) constantly harassed quarterbacks for a defensive front that helped the Red Raiders win the FVC Valley title for the first time. Larson had eight sacks and a team-best 14 tackles for loss, along with four recovered fumbles. He returned two recovered fumbles for touchdowns.

DL – Erik Norberg, Cary-Grove, sr.

Norberg (6-3, 225) played more defensive end as the season progressed because of injuries and became more of a force each week. He finished with a team-best five sacks and six tackles for loss. Norberg also played tight end, where he mainly was a blocker for the Trojans.

P – Tim Ryan, Huntley, sr.

Ryan (6-0, 190) averaged 42 yards a punt, only part of his significant contributions to special teams, as he also returned kicks and punts. Ryan also played safety, where he had two interceptions and nine passes defended and was in on 52 tackles. Ryan will play at D-I North Dakota.



QB – Jake Vincent, Hampshire, jr.

RB – Joe Dittmar, Richmond-Burton, sr.

RB – Nathan Griffin, Prairie Ridge, sr.

RB/WR – Alec Coss, Huntley, jr.

WR – Xavier Bennett, Hampshire, sr.

WR – Jared Hornbeck, Hampshire, jr.

OL – Joe Moore, Johnsburg, jr.

OL – Daniel Montemurro, Cary-Grove, sr.

OL – Jimmy Wormsley, Jacobs, so.

OL – Jake Varys, Woodstock North, sr.

OL – Dereck Pearson, Prairie Ridge, sr.

K – Derek Greiner, Prairie Ridge, jr.


DB – Hunter Freres, Harvard, jr.

DB – Nick Greenberg, Prairie Ridge, sr.

DB – Blake Lemcke, Johnsburg, jr.

DB – Ryan Ford, Huntley, sr.

LB – Dylan Sambrano, Crystal Lake South, sr.

LB – Mike Miceli, Marian Central, sr.

LB – Daniel Dennis, Huntley, sr.

LB – Sean Barnes, Jacobs, sr.

DL – Fred Bush, Richmond-Burton, sr.

DL – Olalere Oladipo, Huntley, jr.

DL – Kwinn Velasquez, Marengo, sr.

P – Derek Greiner, Prairie Ridge, jr.


(In alphabetical order)

Ray Balog, McHenry, DE, sr.

Anthony Binetti, Huntley, QB, sr.

Wyatt Blake, Crystal Lake Central, OL, so.

Chase Brough, Marengo, DL, sr.

Riley Buchanan, Johnsburg, QB, jr.

Colten Cashmore, Alden-Hebron, QB-LB, sr.

Kyle Darbro, Marian Central, OL, sr.

Casey Dennison, Jacobs, LB, sr.

Jimmy Freskos, Cary-Grove, SE-DB, sr.

Taylor Glenn, Alden-Hebron, OL-DL, sr.

Casey Haayer, Huntley, RB, sr.

Matt Henning, Prairie Ridge, LB, sr.

Jeremy Hey, Crystal Lake Central, WR-LB, sr.

Kevin Hughes, Cary-Grove, RB-DB, sr.

Josh Johnson, Alden-Hebron, RB-DB, sr.

Chris Katrenick, Jacobs, QB, jr.

Randall Kline, Woodstock North, RB-LB, sr.

Zach Knobloch, Marengo, QB, sr.

Shawn Kyska, Crystal Lake Central, RB-LB, sr.

Alex Lee, Johnsburg, OL-DL, sr.

Kyle Leva, Crystal Lake South, RB, so.

Josh Little, McHenry, OL-DL, sr.

Nico LoDolce, Johnsburg, WR, so.

Ryan Magel, Cary-Grove, RB, jr.

Jake Manning, Hampshire, WR, sr.

Vinson May, Crystal Lake Central, RB, sr.

Nathan Meland, Jacobs, WR, sr.

Josh Mosley, Dundee-Crown, OL, sr.

Drew Murtaugh, Crystal Lake South, WR-LB, sr.

Luke Nolan, Crystal Lake South, QB, jr.

Kevin Pedersen, Cary-Grove, LB, jr.

Tyler Perkins, Harvard, TE-LB, sr.

Andrew Pertzborn, Huntley, OL, jr.

Gio Purpura, McHenry, RB, jr.

Trevor Redlin, Alden-Hebron, RB-LB, sr.

Colton Ruhland, Cary-Grove, OL, so.

Eric Ruschke, Marian Central, WR, sr.

Aaron Sances, Crystal Lake Central, RB-DB, sr.

Jacob Schmitt, Woodstock North, RB-DB, sr.

Bryce Smith, Johnsburg, LB, jr.

Jacob Sumner, Woodstock, RB, jr.

Nick Sundberg, Woodstock, FB-LB, sr.

Luke Tegtman, Marian Central, DB, sr.

Nick Thompson, Woodstock, HB-S, sr.

Zack Underwood, Cary-Grove, S, jr.

Joe Wolfram, Richmond-Burton, RB-DB, sr.

Brendan Yarwood, Marian Central, S, sr.

Levi Ziegler, Dundee-Crown, NT, sr.

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