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 4A through 6A with our fourth annual Outside the Huddle Prep Football All-Area team.

Photo by Chad Ryan

QB – Jeff Becker, senior, Carroll

For the better part of two years, no quarterback in the SAC worried opposing coaches with his versatility than Becker. 

Always a threat to sling the ball downfield or take off in the run game, Becker was your prototypical dual-threat signal caller. 

In 2021, he surpassed the program’s mark for all-time leading rushing yards – an indication of his rushing prowess. 

Becker rushed for 738 yards and nine touchdowns this past season, averaging 7.7 yards per rush. Through the air, he tossed for 1,565 yards and 24 scores as Carroll grabbed a piece of its first-ever SAC championship. 

Becker was voted First Team All-SAC and picked for the Class 6A Senior All-State Team. 

RB – Tyrese Brown, senior, Snider

No matter who Snider faced, Brown was nearly unstoppable all season long.

The senior finished with over 1,500 yards rushing for the season and over 20 touchdowns. He AVERAGED seven yards a carry, carrying the ball over 200 times on the year for the Panthers.

Brown was a huge part of Snider’s late-season run that saw it tie for the SAC championship. His grind-it-out style was on display perfectly at Luersfield in the muck when he toted the rock time and again, moving the chains and playing keepaway from the Knights.

Brown was voted to the All-SAC First Team for his efforts. 

Photo by Steve Bowen/Bowen Arrow Photography

RB – Kainon Carico, senior, East Noble

Going both ways at the large-school level says a lot about your abilities, and Carico was a constant on offense and defense for the Knights. 

The senior rushed for 873 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, twice going over the 200-yard mark. 

Carico was also extremely active on defense, accumulating 56 tackles, six TFL and a fumble recovery. 

Carico was voted All-NE8 Second Team.

Photo by Leverage Photography

RB – Lamarion Nelson, junior, Wayne

Entering 2021, Shawn Collins got plenty of pub as being the top offensive weapon for the Generals. 

While Collins was solid, it was Nelson that emerged as the constant for Wayne in the backfield. 

The junior was a bell-cow back in that he took handoff after handoff over the course of games. In total, he toted the rock 287 times in 2021. He still averaged 5.8 yards a rush, with 1,671 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

An impressive combination of size and speed made Nelson tough to catch and tough to bring down. His return in 2022 bodes extremely well for the Wayne offense. 

Nelson was voted All-SAC First Team and picked to the Class 4A Junior All-State squad by the IFCA. 

Photo by Leslie Palmer

WR – Nate Anderson, senior, Homestead

There is nothing more difficult than finding opportunities in the pass game in blanket coverage, but Anderson did so time and again as one of the top downfield weapons in the area in 2021. 

Anderson’s breakout 2020 led to much respect from foes in 2021. Despite that, he still hauled in 45 receptions for 836 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged nearly 19 yards per catch and also served as Homestead’s primary kickoff returner, averaging 30 yards per return over the course of the season. 

Anderson was picked to the All-SAC First Team as well as Class 6A Senior All-State.

Photo by Leverage Photography

WR – Jameson Coverstone, senior, Carroll

It was evident when Coverstone went down with injury late in the season just how much he meant to the Carroll offensive attack. Without him, the Chargers were without their best option to spread the field. 

Coverstone was a big play waiting to happen on every snap. His 39 receptions for 864 yards averages out to over 22 yards per catch. He scored 13 touchdowns, which meant one out of every three receptions went for scores. 

The senior was Becker’s favorite option in the pass game and was voted First Team All-SAC and Class 6A Senior All-State. 

Photo by Leslie Palmer

WR – Rocco Ciocca, senior, Bishop Dwenger

Being a “possession receiver” sometimes gets a negative connotation, but Ciocca’s skills were definitely respected in the SAC the last few seasons. 

Hardly any receivers were better at route running and coming back to the ball and finding space when a play was breaking down. It seemed as if every one of CIocca’s catches came at clutch times on third downs or late in games. 

Ciocca hauled in 43 catches for 468 yards and six scores for the Saints in 2021 and also saw some time at free safety on defense. 

The senior was voted All-SAC Second Team and to the Class 5A Senior All-State squad. 

OL – Landen Livingston, senior, Leo

One of the most dominant linemen in the entire state, Livingston was a road grater for the prolific Leo rushing attack. 

The future West Virginia Mountaineer at 6-foot-4 and every bit of 285 pounds took no prisoners in the trenches, even on defense where he accumulated 32 tackles, six TFL and a pair of sacks. 

Livingston was an easy choice for All-NE8 First Team and to the IFCA Top 50 squad. 

OL – DJ Moore, senior, Snider

Long a problem up front in the conference, Moore concluded his prep career by being one of the top offensive linemen in the state. 

The success of the Snider running attack was predicated on a solid offensive front, and Moore was a big part of that. 

The Bloomington-bound Moore was named All-SAC First Team and also to the prestigious IFCA Top 50 Team. 

OL – Chris Hood, senior, East Noble

At 6-9, Hood towered above his compatriots on the football field in Kendallville. His play matched his size, a dominant linemen who could move from tackle to guard and vice versa when the need arose.

Hood will take his talents to Muncie next season to suit up for Ball State. He was voted All-NE8 First Team as well as Class 4A Senior All-State. 

Photo by Leverage Photography

OL – Max Malcolm, senior, Carroll 

Protecting Jeff Becker was of utmost importance for Carroll this past season, and Malcolm was an integral part of that. 

A tough and physical linemen, Malcolm was one of the top players at his position in the entire area. 

The senior was voted First Team All-SAC. 

Photo by Leslie Palmer

OL – Jaden Abouhalkah, senior, Homestead

Nothing a 6-2, 280-pound lineman to deal with on every snap. 

That’s what defenders had on their hands with Abouhalkah, who was workmanlike in his approach and did not receive much in the way of recognition over the course of the season. 

As a player who could move sides and positions along the line, the senior was invaluable to the Spartans, earning him All-SAC First Team honors. 

Photo by Steve Bowen/Bowen Arrow Photography

AT-LARGE – Mason Sheron, senior, Leo

Following a lost junior season due to injury, Sheron bounced back to be the most consistent offensive threat for Leo, which blew through the NE8 with a 7-0 conference mark.

Sheron was extremely difficult to contain, no matter the situation. He rushed for 1,375 yards and 21 touchdowns on the season, scything through defenses for long gains time and again. He averaged close to 11 yards per carry.

The senior wasn’t all big plays, as he had no issue fighting for tough yards and moving the chains methodically. He also added four pass receptions for 92 yards and three scores in the Lions’ rush-heavy offense while also picking up four sacks on defense.

Sheron was voted All-NE8 First Team and to the Class 4A Senior All-State squad. 

Photo by Chad Ryan

AT-LARGE – KJ Tippmann, senior, Bishop Dwenger

A two-way force for the Saints, Tippmann eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 2021, finishing with 1,071 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. 

Tippmann was also effective out of the backfield as a receiver, hauling in 11 passes for 115 yards. 

Tippmann saw some spot action on defense, but did most of his damage on the offensive side of the ball. He was voted All-SAC Second Team.

Photo by Leverage Photography

K – Garrett Klefeker, senior, Columbia City

Klefeker was a jack-of-all-trades kicker for the Eagles, handling kickoff, punt and placekicking duties in 2021. 

He hit 10 field goals over the course of the season, with a long of 40 yards. He was able to put 19 of his 55 kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, and averaged nearly 40 yards per punt, downing seven of the inside the opponents’ 20. 

The senior was voted All-NE8 First Team. 

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