Northwest all-area team
Nick Bart BarringtonA starter as a sophomore, Bart has developed into solid Divsison I prospect. Bart, who is 6-feet-3 and 290 pounds, was a factor up front for a Bronco offense that averaged 41 points per game. "This year Nick really came into his own and became a force on the offensive line for us," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "He is very athletic and powerful and always looking to improve. I think Nick's best football is still in front of him."
Chady Bitre Hoffman EstatesAt 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, Bitre proved that good things really do come in small packages. Bitre led the Hawks on offense, gaining 1,099 yards on 219 carries while scoring 12 touchdowns and fumbling only once. "Pound for pound, Bitre is one of the toughest and dependable players I have had the pleasure of coaching," Hoffman Estates coach Mike Donatucci said. "His positive leadership and belief in the people around him has helped change the culture of our program and school."
Kyle Bradley ConantBradley had an outstanding year on both fronts for the Cougars after coming back from an injury a year ago. He finished 139-of-248 passing for 2,276 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also rushed for 551 yards and directed an explosive Conant offense. Bradley is also a top player for the Cougars' basketball team. "Kyle is a very talented player with dual threat skills," Conant coach Bill Modelski said. "He became one of the great QB's to ever play at Conant."
Payton Buchanan SchaumburgThe leader of the Saxons' offensive line. Buchanan used his 6-foot-3 and 265-pound frame help Schaumburg average 24 points per game and earn a return to the playoffs this year. "Buchanan was a tremendous part of our turn-around," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "He was extremely dependable and showed up every day and did his job and made the people around him better."
Trey Cervantes Buffalo GroveCervantes accounted for most of the offense for the Bison this season. A three-year starter, Cervantes, who is 6-foot-4 and 175 pounds, threw for 2,092 yards and 16 touchdowns. "I have had the opportunity to watch him mature as a quarterback over the last few years, and it was fun," Buffalo Grove coach Mike DiMatteo said. "He has a great work ethic and love for the game."
Dante Cleveland Hoffman EstatesCleveland was the cornerstone of coach Mike Donatucci's rebuilding effort of Hoffman Estates. A three-year starter on both offense and defense, Cleveland will continue his play at Western Illinois. After an early season injury, Cleveland came back strong, averaging 7 tackles and 2 sacks in his final 3 games. "Dante proved through his play to be a dominant defensive player," Donatucci said. "He is also one of the best blockers on the offensive side of the ball.
Danny Dalenberg Elk GroveA two-year starter, Dalenberg was one of the main reasons Elk Grove had so much success running the ball this season. Dalenberg has tremendous size at 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, and he has great feet as well. "Dan was an excellent leader for us both on and off the field," Elk Grove coach John Sigmund said. "He is physical and powerful off the ball and he played big for us all year long."
Johnny Davidson BarringtonDavidson has been one of the area's most dominant players the past two years, during which his team won 19 games. Davidson completed 73 percent of his passes for 2,322 and 28 touchdowns. He also had 796 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Set 5 school records for passing and punting and was named to the Class 8A all-state team. "Johnny did it all for us both on and off the field," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "He was a winner in every sense of the word and had an amazing run for us these last two years. Our team knew we had a shot to win every game this year because of his competitive drive and desire to compete. Wherever he decides to play next year, that school is getting a winner."
Nick Delporte Rolling MeadowsDelporte barely came off the field for the Mustangs, and coach Matt Mishler was happy about that. Delporte had 65 tackles. 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and a kickoff return for a touchdown. He also had 33 carries for 378 yards (11.5 yards per rush) and 5 TDs. "Nick plays with an energy and intensity that I have never seen in my years of coaching," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "He has saved numerous games for us by chasing down open field runners. He's a difference-maker on both sides of the ball."
David DeMarais Leyden
DeMarais' running ability made the Eagles dangerous on offense this year. A two-year starter, DeMarais rushed for 919 yards with 12 touchdowns and had 6.1 yards per carry. "A leader on and off the field, he helped us to be in a position to win every game this season," Leyden coach Tom Cerasani. "His effort and leadership in practice was an excellent example to our younger players, and he always brought everything he had to our games on Friday nights."
Jalen Dennis WheelingThe MSL East co-offensive player of the year, Dennis was dazzling with his play at quarterback. He threw for 1,162 yards and 8 touchdowns while rushing for 596 yards. "He was more than just our quarterback, he was the emotional leader of our team," Wheeling coach Brett Pearlman said. "His ability to create on offense and make the big play on defense provided our team a constant source of energy."
Dylan Draka WheelingDraka was a leader on both side of the ball for the Wildcats. Draka rushed for 545 yards and had 12 catches for 283 yards. "Dylan's work ethic over these past several months has been incredible," Wheeling coach Brent Pearlman said. "His ability to deal with adversity and stay positive was nothing short of amazing to witness."
Nate Edwards Hoffman EstatesEdwards rarely came off the field for the Hawks the past three years while starting at offensive and defensive line. He anchored the offensive line with his 6-foot-2, 270-pound frame. "Nate played a huge part as a leader in the best offensive line that Hoffman has had in the last 10 years," Hoffman Estates coach Mike Donatucci said. "His punishing physical style of play helped lead the way for our offense to set three school records."
Joe Gatziolis Elk GroveA leader on and off the field, Gatzliolis made things happen when he caught the ball. The two- year starter averaged over 15 yards per catch, piling up 629 yard on 41 receptions for 7 touchdowns. "When we needed the big play, he was the guy we went to, Elk Grove coach John Sigmund said. "He has excellent ball skills and was a force for us on the edge in the run game as well."
Palmer Graham ConantOne of the most dangerous players in the area, Graham averaged over 21 yards per catch. His speed and great hands gave him the ability to catch 55 passes for 1,171 yards and 11 TDs. Also a lockdown cover corner who usually drew his opponent's top receiver. "Palmer is a great two-way player," Conant coach Bill Modelski said. "But he really blossomed into the best deep threat in the area."
Teddy Golaris Rolling MeadowsThe MSL East's defensive player of the year, Golaris was all over the field for the Mustangs. He had 89 tackles (43 solos, 46 assists), 1.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. "Teddy was the leader of our defense and set the tone with his mental and physical toughness," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "Teddy showed up every day and worked hard and it paid off for him and his team."
Bobby Jarosz ProspectDespite being keyed on by opponents all season, Jarosz was the second-leading rusher in the Mid-Suburban League. The senior had a pair of 200-plus games and finished with 1,228 yards on 210 carries while scoring 15 touchdowns. "Jarosz was the major cog of our offense," Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen said. "He really developed into a great running back in our offense."
Jake Jakubosky ConantJakubosky was a beast to bring down, and he punished defenders who tried. He led the area in rushing with 1,403 yards on 229 attempts for 19 TD and 6.1 yards per attempt. Set a school individual rushing record with 343 yards in a game against Palatine. "Jake is a very versatile player," Conant coach Bill Modelski said. "He can run, block and has good hands."
Charlie Kaye FremdKaye came all the way back this season after tearing his ACL as a junior. He was the leading rusher for the Vikings, gaining 786 yards. He scored 4 touchdowns against crosstown rival Palatine and finished with 10 for the season. "Charlie was a workhorse running back," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "Whether it was running the ball, blocking, or receiving, he did it with 100 percent intensity."
Matt Kerlin PalatineOnly a sophomore, Kerlin mad a huge impact on the offensive line for the Pirates. He anchored a group that scored over 30 points per game and allowed just 4 sacks all season. Kelin became a 2-way player late in the season to help on defense. "Matt came up very big for us all year," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "And we will have him back for two more years."
Cole Kmet St. ViatorThe area's top tight end, Kmet has committed to Notre Dame. Despite drawing a ton of attention from the opposition, Kmet, who is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, caught 27 passes for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns. "Just a great receiver and blocker," St. Viator coach Brandon New said. "He has great speed and strength and runs terrific patterns."
Spencer Krueger HerseyKrueger was a two-way player and a leader on both sides on the ball. A three-year starter, Krueger, had 32 tackles and 2 sacks on defense this year. "Spencer was our team's true leader," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "He was an absolute warrior on both sides of the line. He was the rock you wanted to run behind or the player you wanted to play next to."
Kamil Jackowski HerseyJackowski came through for the Huskies on both sides of the ball. He had 21 catches for 407 yards and 4 touchdowns while rushing for 219 yards on 31 carries for 3 TDs. He also had 62 tackles on defense. "Kamil is an amazing athlete," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "He was our spark offensively and the back we relied on defensively."
Matt Lamm PalatineOne of the top receivers in the area, Lamm got state-wide recognition for his ability to make things happen in the playoffs. Lamm set an 8A state record with 4 TD catches against Oak Park and finished the playoffs with 22 receptions for 313 yards and 6 touchdowns. He finished the season with 55 receptions for 799 yards with 7 touchdowns. "He is a great leader on and off the field," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "He is a true competitor, who stepped up huge in the playoffs."
Manny Little SchaumburgLittle did not describe his play or value to Schaumburg this season. The junior stepped into the role as the feature back for the Saxons, rushing for a big 971 yards on 196 carries and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 193 yards. "He is about as humble and unselfish as they get," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "We haven't even seen his best football yet."
Matt McCabe FremdMcCabe, who is headed to Yale. Was a defensive force for the Vikings. He had 104 tackles including 22 in one game. He also had 8½ sacks and 17½ in his career. "Matt was a dominant force on the field for us," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "He was a two-year MSL co-defensive player of the year and he backed it up on a weekly basis."
Dillon McHugh PalatineA three-year starter for the Pirates on defense, McHugh was the fiery leader of a squad that was the only team to hold 8A champion Loyola under 25 points this year. McHugh, who had a huge interception against Brother Rice, had 49 tackles, including 8 for a loss. "Dillon was a great senior leader," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "He was always around the ball making key plays for us."
Asher O'Hara Rolling MeadowsAnother in a long line of solid quarterbacks for Rolling Meadows. And the best news for coach Matt Mishler is that O'Hara will be back next season. O'Hara had 2,300 all-purpose yards and 30 TDs. He had just 2 interceptions while compiling a 68 percent completion rate. O'Hara was also the MSL East co-offensive player of the year. "Asher had an incredible junior year and ran our offense superbly," Mishler said. "His accuracy in the pass game coupled with his ability to run the football made our offense very dynamic this year."
Zach Oles PalatineOles led the Pirates to their best finish in over 20 years by throwing for 2,269 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 1,267 yards and 18 touchdowns. Oles was also named to the Class 8A all-state team. "Zach did everything we asked from him and more," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "He is a quiet leader whose play on the field and demeanor off the field typifies what we ask for in our student-athletes."
Will Pankratz FremdA two-year starter on the offensive line, Pankratz is another in a long line of Fremd offensive linemen who can control the line of scrimmage. Though perhaps not of typical 'Fremd" size, Pankratz, who is 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds, used great technique to move opponents. "Will is one of those 'program' kids you only get every five years," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "He is an impactful leader that elevates everyone around him on a daily basis."
Jake Riportella Maine WestRiportella was doing everything for the Warriors this year. A two-time Central Suburban League all-conference selection, Riportella threw for 944 yards and rushed for 700 more combining for 14 touchdowns. "Jake was everything you look for in a quarterback," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "He is a fiercely competitive leader who's hard-working and mentally tough. He was the guy our team looked to in tough spots throughout the season."
Alex Serrano BarringtonAnother in a long line of great offensive linemen for the Broncos. A three-year starter, Serrano, who is 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, has drawn interest from Division I programs. "Alex got better each season he played," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "This year he was the leader of our offensive line and took great pride in setting the tone for us. He was a big reason why our offense has been so successful."
Ethan Senner PalatineThe co-defensive player of the year in the MSL West, Senner came up big when injuries decimated the Palatine defensive front. Senner had 29 tackles, with 8 of them for loss and also recovered a fumble for touchdown against Loyola in the state semifinals. "Ethan anchored a strong defensive line," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "He was dominating player for us, especially when we were hit by injuries."
Jovone Stricker PalatineSolid for the Pirates all season, Stricker was a returning starter that finished this season with 42 catches for 361 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran the ball as well as returned punts and kickoffs. "He is a great leader on and off the field," Platine coach Rick Splitt said. "He came up with big plays for us all year, especially in the playoffs against Brother Rice."
Michael Williams PalatineWilliams, who was a two-year starter, was the defensive leader for the Pirates. He had 3 interceptions, including a big one against Brother Rice. Williams finished the season with 99 tackles, including 89 solo tackles and 2 sacks. "He was truly the defensive leader for the defense," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "He was like having an extra coach on the field because of how smart he is on and off the field."
Jake Zyzda BarringtonZyzda went from 6 catches as a junior to 54 catches for 854 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He set school records for yards receiving (256) and touchdowns (4) in a game against Fremd. "Jake had a phenomenal year for us," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "He is a great example of someone who worked hard to take advantage of his senior year. He was a big-time player who came up big in big games for us."
Player Pos. School Yr.
Nick Bart OT Barrington Jr.
Chady Bitre RB Hoffman Estates Sr.
Kyle Bradley QB Conant Sr.
Payton Buchanan OL Schaumburg
Trey Cervantes QB Buffalo Grove Sr.
Dante Cleveland DE/ TE Hoffman Estates Sr.
Danny Dalenberg OT Elk Grove Sr.
Johnny Davidson QB Barrington Sr.
Nick Delporte WR/DB Rolling Meadows Sr.
David DeMarais RB Leyden Sr.
Jalen Dennis QB/DB Wheeling Jr.
Dylan Draka RB/ LB Wheeling Sr.
Nate Edwards OL Hoffman Estates Sr.
Joe Gatziolis WR Elk Grove Sr.
Palmer Graham WR/DB Conant Sr.
Teddy Golaris LB Rolling Meadows Sr.
Bobby Jarosz RB Prospect Sr.
Jake Jakubosky RB Conant Sr.
Charlie Kaye RB Fremd Sr.
Matt Kerlin OT Palatine Soph.
Cole Kmet TE/DE St. Viator Jr.
Spencer Krueger OL Hersey Sr.
Kamil Jackowski WR Hersey Sr.
Matt Lamm WR Palatine Sr.
Manny Little RB Schaumburg Jr.
Matt McCabe DE Fremd Sr.
Dillon McHugh LB Palatine Sr.
Asher O'Hara QB Rolling Meadows Jr.
*Zach Oles QB Palatine Jr.
Will Pankratz OT Fremd Sr.
Jake Riportella QB Maine West Sr.
Alex Serrano OT Barrington Sr.
Ethan Senner DE Palatine Sr.
Jovone Stricker WR Palatine Sr.
Michael Williams LB Palatine Sr.
Jake Zyzda WR Barrington Sr.
* All-area team captain
Honorable mentionAzeez Alabi, Elk Grove; Odell Andrews, Conant; Mackenzie Balaganayi, Palatine; Daniel Blair, Hersey; Woody Corey, Maine West; Josh Diaz, Wheeling; Grant Elliott, Barrington; Daniel Estrada, Maine West; Nolan Fortman, Buffalo Grove; Steve Gulo, Leyden; Brandon Hall, Hoffman Estates; Kevin Haltman, Rolling Meadows; Alan Herrmann, Conant: Max Hogan, St. Viator; Blake Holley, Barrington; Ryan Howson, Hoffman Estates; Johnny Kappel, Wheeling; Nate King, Barrington; Elvin Lama Sosa, Palatine; Nate Lebherz, Hersey; Kevin Lacosse, Rolling Meadows; AJ Lorenz, Elk Grove; Jack Lunkes, Conant; Kenney Lyke, Fremd; Jake Maloney, Rolling Meadows; Ryan Michels, Schaumburg; Joe Novak, Conant; Grant Palmer, Rolling Meadows; Justin Perez, Schaumburg; Jackson Perkins, Barrington; James Pittman, Christian Liberty; Austin Ruetsche, St. Viator; Olijah Sally, Schaumburg; Kyle Saxon, Fremd; Caleb Schiller, Christian Liberty; Dylan Tapia, Palatine; Roberto Torres, Wheeling; Jimmy Trieb, Buffalo Grove; Anthony Vezzetti, Schaumburg; Jimmy Walsh, Fremd; Luke Wrede, Prospect; Charlie Zettek, Wheeling
Special mentionJulian Akogu, Schaumburg; Michael Alfaro, Maine West; Austin Anzelmo, Schaumburg; Anthony D'Orazio, Schaumburg; Josh Babicz, Barrington; Bobby Dawson, St. Viator; Matt Drew, Prospect; Matt Eaker, Schaumburg; Cordell Finley, Fremd; Chuck Fleming, Elk Grove; Evan Frank, Buffalo Grove; Dan Galovich, Schaumburg; Michael Hilmer, Palatine; Darreontae Jackson, St. Viator; Matt Kentgen, Maine West; Tommy Gillespie, Buffalo Grove; Jake Haas, Fremd; JT Kolderup, Fremd; Robert Lindgren, Hersey; Matt Malizia, Buffalo Grove; Brody Martin, Fremd; Joe McIntyre, St. Viator; Logan Moews, Barrington; Johnny O'Shea, Palatine; Keegan Pierce, Hoffman Estates; Anthony Portera, Palatine; Luke Radtke, Elk Grove; Mike Ragauskis, St. Viator; Marteen Robinson, Maine West; Austin Schwantz, Fremd; Kody Scott, Schaumburg; Zack Sheasby, Buffalo Grove; Jason Shannon, Wheeling; Joe Siracusa, Prospect; Austin Spiewak, Fremd
Selections and profiles by Dick Quagliano