It is a week of honoring the best in northeast Indiana high school football for 2019 as Outside the Huddle unveils its all-area teams.
The week of accolades will culminate on Friday with the OTH Player of the Year.
We conclude today with a look at the best on defense in Classes 4-6.
DL – Gianini Belizaire, senior, Snider
As the Snider offensive line had its anchor with Randy Holtz, the defensive front was stout as well with Belizaire. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound beast looked intimidating and backed it up post snap with his quick first step.
Belizaire was named Class 6A Senior All-State by the IFCA.
DL – Larry Sible, senior, Carroll
Sible was a unique lineman for the Chargers as he could play both inside and out. He was used accordingly and frequently caught offensive linemen off guard with his long arms that he used to escape contact.
The senior finished with 59 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
DL – Leyth Al-Mohammadawi, senior, East Noble
What a season for the senior. Not only did the Knights go to the 4A state title game, but Al-Mohammadawi went beast mode in the trenches, amassing 72 tackles, 13 TFL and three sacks.
DL – Trey Ritchie, senior, East Noble
A beast up front for the Knights, the senior amassed 83 tackles and four sacks for the season. He also finished with 13 quarterback hurries, a near-constant presence in opposing backfields.
He was named First Team All-NE8 at defensive end.
LB – Devon Tippmann, junior, Bishop Dwenger
Tippmann was a difference maker on both sides of the football for the Saints. Defensively, he finished with 106 tackles and 13 TFL.
On offense, Tippmann led all Bishop Dwenger running backs with 12 rushing touchdowns to go along with 431 yards. He also finished with 142 yards receiving.
The junior was named to the Class 5A Junior All-State team by the IFCA.
LB – Cam Rogers, senior, Homestead
Despite playing much of the season with a hand injury, Rogers was often the most aggressive and dominant player on the field on Friday nights.
The senior had 81 tackles, 12 TFL and 2.5 sacks on defense. He also averaged 20.4 yards per catch, hauling in 27 passes for 550 yards and three scores.
LB – GT Baker, senior, Leo
A stellar linebacker who never did get his due while with the Lions, Baker was named First Team All-NE8 for his efforts.
Baker was the leader of the defensive unit and helped the Lions hold five opponents to six points or less.
DB – Jayshawn Underwood, senior, Snider
The cornerback missed a few games but still was able to pick off a trio of passes in his final campaign with the Panthers. He had 19 total tackles overall and was named to the All-SAC First Team.
DB – Patrick Finley, senior, Bishop Dwenger
Finley played center field for the Saints at free safety on defense. While picking off just a single pass, he was the director for that defense as a seasoned veteran.
The senior amassed 1,000 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns on offense and in the return game. He was named All-SAC First Team.
DB – Ray Vollmer, senior, Carroll
Vollmer is a multi-sport standout who used his quickness and agility to be one of the best defensive backs around.
The senior finished with three interceptions and 25 tackles and was named First Team All-SAC.
DB – Ryan Brandt, senior, Angola
The Purdue commitment manned the back end of the Angola defense and was looked to to direct an inexperienced unit that had its issues at times. Brandt did not see very many balls his way, but still played the run as well as any defensive back in the area.
Brandt was an easy pick for All-NECC First Team.
P – Cole Schupbach, junior, East Noble
Where to start with Schupbach? He punted 21 times for an average of 41.5 yards. Eleven of the punts landed inside the opponents’ 20-yard-line.
Defensively, the linebacker amassed 136 tackles for the Knights, as well as 12 TFL and four sacks.
ATHLETE – Hayden Jones, senior, East Noble
Yeah, here he is. Calm down Kendallville.
The two-way starter picked off a pair of passes and made 63 tackles for the Knights.
Offensively, the senior was deadly on the outside and downfield at wideout. He hauled in 73 passes for 1,190 yards and 16 touchdowns. Of the myriad of weapons that Bailey Parker had at his disposal, Jones was arguably the most dangerous.
Jones was named Class 4A Senior All-State by the IFCA.
ATHLETE – Luke Palmer, junior, Homestead
The middle linebacker amassed close to 100 tackles for the Spartans and 14 tackles for loss. He feasted on opposing ballcarriers and tackled with a physicality and tenacity that rivaled his teammate Rogers.
Palmer was named Class 6A Junior All-State.