Joe Troop, Chesterton football in Chesterton, Ind. Tuesday July 31, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 6, 2013 6:48PM
Athlete – Matt DeSomer, Andrean, 6-0, 175, Junior
Stats: 1,384 rush yds, 24 TDs; 1,342 pass yds, 51% comp
Raves: Quarterbacked Andrean to its first regional title under head coach Phil Mason.
Quarterback Jake Raspopovich, Merrillville 6-0 160 senior
Stats: 66% comp, 225 pass yds per game, 32 TD, 8 INT; 955 rush yds, 14 TDs
Raves: The most dynamic player in NWI, Raspopovich broke too many scoring and passing records to list. Will play basketball at Texas Pan Am next year.
Running Back – David Yancey, Lake Central 5-11 205 senior
Stats: 1,184 yds, 7.8 yds per carry, 17 TD; 8-of-16 passing
Raves: He was basically a one-person offensive gang. Played in the Wildcat frequently. Missed the last two games with knee injury. Will play at Purdue next year.
Running Back – George Fields, Lowell 6-0 185 junior
Stats: 1,811 yds, 21 TD, 6.8 yds per carry
Raves: His coach, Keith Kilmer, called him the best back in the area. Part of team that rushed for 2,582 yards.
Wide Receiver – Aaron Dye, Merrillville, 5-10, 160, senior
Stats: 62 rec, 1,294 yds, 16 TD
Raves: A speed machine, he was the best wideout in the area. Finished 26th in the state for all time career receiving yardage.
Wide Receiver – Brian Jenkins Merrillville 5-10 155 senior
Stats: 67 rec, 10 TD.
Raves: He’s a bookend first-teamer for the Pirates, along with Dye. One of the Pirates’ best basketball players.
Center – Gerald Valenzuela, Hobart, 5-10, 290, senior
Raves: Graded out at 90 percent over two season for Vikings. Honorable mention all-state. Valenzuela is an honor student who’ll likely play in college somewhere.
Offensive Line – Sean Jones Crown Point, 6-3, 250, senior
Raves: A two-way performer, Jones was a beast on the line for the Bulldogs, finishing with 33 pancake blocks. He played tackle. Jones was an All-DAC selection. One of the top three linemen in the conference.
Offensive Line – Paul Runyan Valparaiso, 6-2, 290, senior
Raves: The tackle graded out at 88.68 percent for the Vikings. An All-DAC performer, he was one of three excellent linemen for the Vikings.
Offensive Line – Alfredo Gutierrez, Morton, 6-1, 245, Senior
Raves: Best offensive lineman on a Governors team that won sectionals for third straight time. Gutierrez was a team captain and made all-conference in the Great Lakes.
Offensive Line – Michael Oljace, Lake Central, 6-6, 285, Senior
Raves: Anchored the Indians’ line for an offense that averaged 215 yards rushing per game. Battled through injuries all season. Getting serious looks at the next level.
TIGHT END –Braden Mattocks, Rensselaer, 6-3, 185, senior
Stats: 38 rec., 664 yds, 10 TDs, 17.5 yds per rec.
Raves: The best pass-catching tight end in the area.
Athlete – Joe Troop, Chesterton, 6-2, 185, senior
Stats: 1,900 all-purpose yds; 13.1 yds per rush, 16.5 yds per rec, 15 TD
Raves: Troop was the most versatile big-play threat in NWI. He finished third at state in the 400 in track. Leaves Chesterton with over 4,000 all-purpose yards.
Quarterback – Chris Katsafaros, Chesterton 5-10 160 Senior
Stats: More than 1,400 pass yds, 700 rush yds
Raves: Perfect fit for the Trojans’ offense, Katsafaros was one of the best run-pass guys around.
Running Back – Tyler Birky, Kankakee Valley 6-2 218 senior
Stats: 7.6 yds per carry, 24 TD, 1,473 total yds
Raves: Punishing offensive centerpiece for the Kougars, who rarely completed a pass. Hobbled by an ankle injury in his final game against Hobart.
Running Back – Dylon Collins, Merrillville 5-10 190 Senior
Stats: 1,379 yds, 13 TD, 8.3 yds per carry
Raves: An injury hampered Collins, who probably would’ve been first team if not for an ACL tear that he suffered against Valparaiso.
Wide Receiver – Jon Vea Johnson, West Side, 6-0, 175, Sophomore
Stats: 47 rec, 1,047 yds, 22.3 yds per catch, 7 TD
Raves: Johnson had a 99-yard reception for a touchdown.
Wide Receiver – Zach Plesac, Crown Point, 6-2, 190, senior
Stats: 60 rec, 14.4 yds per catch
Raves: All-DAC player who was a big-play machine for the Bulldogs when the game was on the line.
Tight end – Nick Bokun, Hobart, 6-4, 240, Junior
Stats: 5 rec, 131 yds, TD
Raves: One of few true tight ends nominated, Bokun also was a dynamo on defense, finishing with 10.5 tackles for losses. Great blocking tight end.
Center – Spenser Kersey, Lowell, 6-3, 236, Senior
Raves: Played on the defensive line also for Red Devils. Anchored the line for an offense that rushed for 2,582 yards. He was also the Red Devils’ punter, averaging 36.5 yards per kick.
Offensive Line – Jacob Melton, Highland, 5-11, 221, Senior
Raves: Anchored the Trojans’ offensive line. The offense ran 95 traps plays behind him. Melton helped the Trojans reach the sectional finals.
Offensive Line – Blake Biesen, Valparaiso 6-4 285 Junior
Raves: Tag-teamed with Runyan on Vikings’ line, playing tackle. He graded out at 88.3 percent for Vikings.
Offensive Line – Kyle Bishop, Valparaiso, 6-2, 250, Junior
Raves: Graded out at 88.3 percent on blocking assignments and hustle. One of three linemen for the Vikings on the all-area team. All were nearly identical in terms of skill set and performance.
Offensive Line – Malcolm Donley, Merrillville, 6-3, 250, Junior
Raves: Anchored a line that set a record for most yards by a football team in Indiana. Finished with 29 pancake blocks and 13 skates this year. Best linemen for the Pirates.