It is a week-plus of postseason awards here at Outside the Huddle.
All this week, we are naming our OTH All-Area Teams, split into small school and big school categories.
So far this week, we named our official OTH Coach of the Year in Eastside’s Todd Mason and, for the second time, named the recipient of the Clayten Stuart Award for the player who best exemplifies the qualities of discipline, work ethic and spirit as seen by us here at Outside the Huddle: Mason Sheron of Leo.
Today, we continue the festivities with the best on offense in Classes 1A through 3A with our fourth annual Outside the Huddle Prep Football All-Area team.
QB – Carson Clark, senior, Bishop Luers
Clark leaves Bishop Luers as the most prolific passer ever not just with the Knights, but the entire Summit Athletic Conference.
The senior saw his yardage total dip a bit from 2020, but Clark still threw for 2,912 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also improved his completion percentage almost six points in 2021.
For his career, Clark ends his prep run with 7,082 passing yards, the best ever by a player in the SAC’s storied history. He was named First Team All-SAC for 2021 and Class 2A Senior All-State by the IFCA.
RB – Will Hoover, senior, Central Noble
Coach Hayden Kilgore and the Cougars turned some heads this past season in starting 6-0 and eventually finishing with eight victories, the most for the program since 2017.
A lot of this year’s success was based on the offense, particularly the running game. Hoover led the way in that regard, amassing 1,448 yards and 16 scores. He averaged over seven yards per touch out of the backfield and surpassed the 200-yard mark three times through the course of the season. Despite nursing an injury in mid-season, Hoover still surpassed the 200-carry mark on the season.
Hoover was an easy choice for All-NECC First Team in the Small Division.
RB – Sir Hale, senior, Bishop Luers
Hale was a multi-faceted force for the SAC co-champions. Not only did he rush for 1,117 yards and 17 scores on the ground to lead the Knights in both categories, he was one of the more adept players in the area out of the backfield and in the slot in the receiving game, hauling in a dozen receptions for 156 yards and a pair of scores.
Hale also some action on defense and in the return game, but his all-encompassing impact was of a player who could be relied upon whatever the situation both on the field, in the huddle and on the sideline. He was very much a director on the field and led by example.
Hale earned Class 2A Senior All-State honors from the IFCA and voted All-SAC Second Team.
RB – Luke Graft, junior, Norwell
Anyone surprised by the double-digit win season put together by the Knights simply was not familiar with the amount of talent that calls Ossian home in the Class of 2023.
At the head of that class is Graft, who was a two-way force for Coach Josh Gerber’s team. The junior rushed for 1,721 yards and 20 scores for the Knights, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. He also hauled in 13 catches for 97 yards and a score as one of Norwell’s most reliable pass catchers.
Defensively, Graft was just as dominant, finishing third on the team in tackles with 65 to go with nine tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and a defensive TD.
Graft was an easy choice for All-NE8 First Team as well as the Class 4A Senior All-State squad.
WR – Brody Glenn, senior, Bishop Luers
In terms of taking the top off the defense, there was no one as adept to doing that in the area than Glenn.
A burner with quickness and sure hands, Glenn was Carson Clark’s go-to when the Knights needed a big play. The receiver finished 2021 with 20 receiving touchdowns, with at least one in every game except the final game of the season, a loss to Eastside.
Glenn eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the year with 1,118 receiving yards on 61 catches, good for 18.3 yards per catch. He was voted All-SAC First Team and to the Class 2A Senior All-State roster.
WR – Trey Schoch, senior, South Adams
When the majority of South Adams’ offensive weaponry graduated in 2020, it put the onus squarely on Schoch to be one of the top all-around players on the Starfires in 2021.
Schoch delivered, locking down the WR1 spot for Coach Grant Moser, hauling in 66 receptions for 1,131 yards and 14 touchdowns. In a Week 3 game against Bluffton, Schoch simply couldn’t be stopped, going for 179 receiving yards and three scores in a 10-point victory. He erupted again in the playoffs, going for 7-162-4 in a rout of Union City.
On defense, Schoch manned a corner spot and amassed 29 tackles, three INTs and a pair of tackles for loss. He also held down primary punting and punt return duties.
Schoch was voted All-ACAC First Team and Class 1A Senior All-State.
WR – Nick Neuenschwander, senior, Adams Central
The best players on lower-class teams seem to be on the field on every snap of a game, and that was where Neuenschwander found himself for the Flying Jets in 2021.
The senior didn’t get the love that other teammates got, but he was integral for a team that reached the state finals for the first time since 2000.
Offensively, Neuenschwander rushed for over 600 yards and nine scores, while also being the team’s second-leading receiver with over 200 yards and a pair of scores through the air.
On defense, the senior was an absolute ball hawk in the secondary, accounting for 24 tackles, four passes broken up, a pair of INTs, two fumbles forced and two recovered fumbles.
Neuenschwander was also one of the most dangerous return men in the ACAC, averaging 33 yards per return with an 83-yard kickoff return for a score against Jay County. He was named All-ACAC First Team and voted to the Class 1A Senior All-State squad by the IFCA.
OL – George Buday, senior, Bishop Luers
The anchor along the offensive front for the Knights, Buday helped protect Carson Clark as well as open holes for a run game that rushed for over 1,745 yards on the season.
Dealing with bruising and physical defensive linemen in the SAC all year long, Buday was the tough, gritty linemen that kept the unit together.
Buday was voted All-SAC First Team and Class 2A Senior All-State.
OL – Corbin Hirschy, senior, Adams Central
The bruising and dominating rushing attack of the Flying Jets starts up front, and Hirschy was the catalyst of that.
A multi-year starter for AC up front, Hirschy’s size and experience gave him the edge over the majority of linemen opposite of him.
Hirschy also saw significant time up front on defense, accumulating over 35 tackles, four sacks and 10 TFL.
Hirschy was an easy pick for First Team All-ACAC as well as to the Class 1A Senior All-State team.
OL – Brody Bolyn, junior, Norwell
Another member of the ultra-stacked Class of 2023 in Ossian, Bolyn is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound monster of a lineman that is exceptionally good at leverage and footwork in the trenches.
Norwell rushed for over 3,300 yards as a team in 2021 thanks to an offensive line that looked to Bolyn for leadership and guidance. He delivered time and again.
Bolyn also saw plenty of action defensively, making 41 tackles, three sacks and 12 TFL. He also picked off a pair of passes, showing off his athleticism that is high for his size.
Bolyn was selected All-NE8 First Team and to the Class 3A Junior All-State squad by the IFCA.
OL – Zay Fuentes, senior, Eastside
While players like Laban Davis got all the love, it was the work of an experienced offensive line that set the tone for the offense of the Blazers.
One of those was Fuentes, who hardly ever missed a snap in his time with the Blazers as a multi-year starter.
Fuentes at 6-4, 225 was spry enough to pull and move but also strong enough to break down opposing defenders. He was a constant as someone the younger linemen could emulate. He was voted All-NECC First Team and to the Class 2A Senior All-State squad.
OL – Matt Jacobs, senior, Eastside
The second of the Eastside duo that kept Laban Davis upright through the season as well as paving the way for a historic season.
Jacobs was as businesslike as they come, going about his play as if it was a job. No flash didn’t mean no substance, as the senior was a mainstay along the offensive line not just in 2021, but for multiple years, protecting Davis time and again.
Jacobs was voted All-NECC First Team.
AT-LARGE – Alex Currie, senior, Adams Central
Half of AC’s two-headed rushing monster, Currie was everywhere for Coach Michael Mosser in 2021.
Currie rushed for over 950 yards and 14 touchdowns for the year, while also hauling in 10 receptions for 183 yards and three scores in the pass game.
On the other side of the ball, Currie was one of AC’s leading tacklers and also picked off an astounding seven passes from his spot in the secondary.
For good measure, Currie also held down the punt return spot, taking back four for touchdowns and averaging 28 yards per return.
Currie was voted All-ACAC First Team and chosen by the IFCA for the Class 1A Senior All-State squad.
AT-LARGE – Laban Davis, senior, Eastside
The most prolific player in the area in 2021 will go down as arguably the best to ever play for Eastside High School.
Davis’ swan song at the prep level finished with a multitude of program records and amassed 3,904 yards of total offense as a senior.
The dual-threat QB threw for over 1,700 yards and 21 scores and rushed for nearly 2,200 more yards and 32 TDs. His season low in total yards was 147 in a slim win over Adams Central in Week 2.
Davis was never completely shut down. Even in the semistate loss to Andrean, he went for 181 total yards as he nearly led Eastsde back from a double-digit deficit through the air.
Davis was voted All-NECC First Team and to the Class 2A Senior All-State squad.
Kicker – Julio Macias, senior, West Noble
A kicker who can handle all duties is a godsend to coaches at every level of football, and Macias was that for West Noble.
Macias handled kickoff, punt and placekicking duties for the Chargers, connecting on every single one of his PATs for the season and 11-of-15 field goal attempts. West Noble tried more field goals than nearly every other area team due to the near-unlimited range of Macias, who nailed a 47-yard field goal as a season long.
Macias averaged over 40 yards per punt and was superb on kickoffs, both in placement and in distance.
Macias was voted All-NECC First Team.