Northwest all-area team

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/30/2017 2:22 PM
  • Jaylan Alexander

    Jaylan Alexander

  • Alec Andrea

    Alec Andrea

  • Jake Bellizzi

    Jake Bellizzi

  • Jayvon Blissett

    Jayvon Blissett

  • Luke Cecala

    Luke Cecala

  • Joe Cleary

    Joe Cleary

  • Austin Coalson

    Austin Coalson

  • Justin Gold

    Justin Gold

  • Owen Goldsberry

    Owen Goldsberry

  • Willis Goodwin

    Willis Goodwin

  • Cortez Hogans

    Cortez Hogans

  • Sean Jacobs

    Sean Jacobs

  • Anijel Jones

    Anijel Jones

  • Colton Kamysz

    Colton Kamysz

  • Matt Kentgen

    Matt Kentgen

  • Anthony Maraviglia

    Anthony Maraviglia

  • George Markakis

    George Markakis

  • Justin Masters

    Justin Masters

  • Will McCabe

    Will McCabe

  • Max Merriott

    Max Merriott

  • Jake Moertl

    Jake Moertl

  • Andrew Neville

    Andrew Neville

  • Ray Niro

    Ray Niro

  • Johnny O'Shea

    Johnny O'Shea

  • Jack Reiger

    Jack Reiger

  • Jordan Salgado

    Jordan Salgado

  • Michael Shafis

    Michael Shafis

  • Bryant Smith

    Bryant Smith

  • Nick Steger

    Nick Steger

  • Tim Szylak

    Tim Szylak

  • Travon Thomas

    Travon Thomas

  • Tom Trieb

    Tom Trieb

  • Heze Trotter

    Heze Trotter

  • Carson Walker

    Carson Walker

  • Brad Warman

    Brad Warman

  • Michael Wittich

    Michael Wittich

Jaylan Alexander Hoffman EstatesWhether he was on offense or defense, opponents always had to know where Alexander was. The Purdue-bound Alexander was dangerous in all facets of the game. He had 72 receptions for 1,049 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also rushed 11 times for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. He set school records with 150 receptions for 2,037 yards in three years -- and also was a terrific linebacker, leading the team in tackles with 88. "Jaylan did everything a high school player could do for a team," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "The kid hasn't come off the field since he stepped on campus."

Alec Andrea BarringtonAndrea did a little of everything for Barrington. He was solid defensively, with 5 interceptions, 10 knockdowns and 23 tackles. On offense he had 14 catches for 298 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had a touchdown pass and 780 all-purpose yards. "Alec was a shutdown corner for us," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "He knew every week he was going to cover the other team's No. 1 WR, and he loved the challenge. He also is explosive anytime he touches the ball, which is why we utilized him as a returner on special teams and used him on offense. Alec had the ability to do something special and really influence the game in all three phases."

Jacob Bellizzi Maine WestBellizzi was huge on both sides of the ball for Maine West. At linebacker, where he was named CSL North defensive player of the year, he had 97 tackles with 22 tackles for loss, including 3 sacks. He also had a pair of defensive touchdowns. On offense he rushed for 874 yards on 157 carries with 12 touchdowns. "Jake fits the true meaning of a Warrior," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "He took 95 percent of our overall snaps this year. His non-stop motor is a great complement to his physical toughness."

Jayvon Blissett Hoffman EstatesBlissett was the unsung hero of the Hawks offense, and opponents who ignored him paid the price. Blissett had 63 receptions for 1,017 yards and 14 touchdowns and finished his career with 127 catches for 1,889 yards and 26 touchdowns. "Jayvon is one of the most underrated players in the state," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "When it was a big-time game, Javon was the one to go to. He played his best against the best."

Luke Cecala HerseyInjured the previous season, Cecala rebounded to have a huge year for the Huskies. He was valuable on both sides of the ball with 132 carries for 786 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also had 4 catches for 82 yards and a TD. On defense he had 23 tackles and 21 assists with an interception. "We were so proud to watch Luke bounce back from a injury after a junior year that left him wanting more," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "His will and his attitude raised his level of play to become a big-play type of player."

Joe Cleary St. ViatorA two-year starter on the Lions' offensive line, Cleary added 25 pounds to his frame for his senior year. Also played defense where he had 35 tackles and a sack. "Cleary's strength, combined with his ability to climb to the second level, made him a solid presence on our offensive line," St. Viator coach Dave Archibald said. "His high motor and wingspan also led to him having a strong impact for our defensive front."

Austin Coalson Hoffman EstatesCoalson was instrumental in the resurgence of the Hoffman Estates program. He completed 205 passes for 2821 yards for 31 touchdowns. He set a school record with with 4,823 yards passing and 52 touchdown passes. "In our offense, Austin has a lot on his plate for a high school quarterback," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "He made it look easy at times and was a true leader for us."

Justin Gold Buffalo GroveGold was a three-year starter for the Bison and instrumental in their resurgence. Gold, who has an offer from Northern Michigan and has other MAC interest, had 103 tackles with 12 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss. "Justin is a guy who has a motor that does not stop," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "He is not only a great pass rusher, but an incredible run stopper."

Owen Goldsberry HerseyGoldsberry was the centerpiece to the success the Huskies had this season. The MSL East offensive player of the year was 81-for-138 passing for 1,339 yards for 12 touchdowns. He also generated 19 rushing touchdowns and ran for 1,126 yards on 169 carries. Goldsberry also had a pick-6 in a playoff game. "Owen has been a tremendous leader in our program," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "He was the definition of consistency with his play. Behind all of his statistics and play-making ability is a true competitor who understands what it means to prepare."

Willis Goodwin Rolling MeadowsGoodwin was a solid cover corner for the Mustangs. He was near the top in the area with 6 interceptions and returned 2 for touchdowns. He also had 33 tackles with 27 solo and 2 tackles for loss. "Willis was one of the most dependable players I have ever coached," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "We could always count on him to make a big play on either side of the ball."

Cortez Hogans PalatineHogans missed part of the season with an injury. But the Northern Illinois recruit returned with a vengeance, finishing with 69 tackles, including 7 for loss. "Cortez is a linebacker that can get sideline to sideline as well as any player I have been around," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "He has ability to hit a run through and make plays that most couldn't dream of. He is a sure tackler that can make elusive players look very average. He will overwhelms blocker with his speed."

Sean Jacobs Buffalo Grove

Jacobs has been the starting inside linebacker for two years for the Bison. Selected as the MSL East's Defensive Player of the year, Jacobs had 150 total tackles, 43 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 2 fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown. "Sean is a complete football player," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "He was the heart and soul of our defense and like a coach on the field."

Anijel Jones Hoffman EstatesTeams threw at Jones at their own risk. Opponents completed just 6 passes to his side in 13 games. Meanwhile Jones, who was a B-team player as a freshman, went to become a three-year starter and had 5 interceptions this year. "Anijel is what you call a shutdown corner," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "Most teams didn't even try and go his way this year. He is a big-time player."

Colton Kamysz HerseyThe leader on the Hersey defense that allowed under 10 points per game. Kamysz had 51 tackles, 36 assists, 4 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. "What Colton lacks in size, he makes up for in brains and grit," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "As a young player we noticed his knack for the football, but to watch him mature, develop, and learn the game was something special."

Matt Kentgen Maine WestKentgen was a force for the Warriors not only this season, but in his three-year career. He finished the season with 45 receptions for 508 yards and 8 touchdowns, which earned him CSL offensive player of the year honors. He holds the Maine West career record with 109 receptions for 1,429 yards and 18 touchdowns. "Matt was such a dynamic player for us over the past three years," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "His talent and knowledge for the game allowed us to be tremendously multiple on offense. His work-ethic, leadership, and big-play ability guided our program's turnaround."

Anthony Maraviglia St. ViatorThe anchor for the Lions on the offensive line, Maraviglia was a three-year starter at guard. He was also a huge presence on defense this season, where he had 30 tackles and 2 for loss. "Anthony has been a staple presence on both our offensive and defensive line," St. Viator coach Dave Archibald said. "He is a tough kid who can execute multiple blocking schemes very well. Defensively, he brings the size and strength to warrant attention."

George Markakis Maine WestMarkakis was the engine that fired up Maine West to its most successful season in nearly 50 years. He finished with 112-of-204 passing for 1,490 yards with 15 touchdowns and also rushed for 6 touchdowns. "George was the spark that our team needed," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "He made a ton of plays for us both in the air and on the ground. George stepped up big against some of our toughest opponents, keeping plays alive while dropping some dimes."

Justin Masters Rolling MeadowsMasters was the leader of the Mustangs' defense. He led Meadows with 60 tackles, with 8 for loss. He also had 2 interceptions and 10 knockdowns. "Justin was a two-year starter for us at cornerback," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "Justin was always around the ball and made play after play."

Will McCabe FremdDespite having his season cut short by injury, McCabe was a force for the Vikings. Opponents would scheme to run away from the Western Michigan recruit. McCabe, who was all-area last season, also played offensive line this year. "Will is one of the most dominating defensive lineman I have seen in quite a while," Freamd coach Lou Sponsel said."His raw ability to manhandle his opponent is impressive at the high school level."

Max Merriott Buffalo Grove

Merriott has been a three-year starter on the Bison offensive line that averaged 7.4 yards per carry. A team captain, he has allowed just 2 sacks in 3 years. A great run blocker, Merriott was named honorable mention on the Class 7A all-state team. "Max is one of the most selfless players you will ever find," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "Our rushing attack was the best it has been in 15 years, and it was anchored by Max."

Jake Moertl PalatineAfter picking off 8 passes last season, teams shied away from Moertl this year. That allowed him to become more physical and finish with 62 tackles this year. He also rushed for 386 yards and 7 touchdowns. "Jake is one of the most instinctual player I have ever been around," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "He just has a nose for the football and has a motor that never quits. He also made a ton of big plays on the offensive side of the ball this year as well. Jake is an excellent tackler with a very high football IQ."

Andrew Neville Rolling MeadowsNeville is one of the best linemen ever to play at Rolling Meadows. He anchored the offensive line for three seasons and was huge defensively where he had 44 tackles, 6 for loss with 3 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries. "Andrew played on both sides of the ball and is a natural-born leader," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "As a three-year starter on varsity, Andrew had a huge impact on our program."

Ray Niro BarringtonAlmost impossible to stop, whether he was throwing (100-of-150 for 1,565 yards and 12 touchdowns) or rushing (190 carries for 2,023 yards and 30 touchdowns.). He also caught a touchdown pass and had a 36.3 punting average. "Ray is one of the most dynamic players I have been around in 22 years of coaching," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "Every time he had the ball, you always held your breath because you might see something that has never been done before. What I am most impressed with, though, is the leader he became for us this year. He set the tone for our team with his humility and hunger to compete every day, no matter what we were doing."

Johnny O'Shea PalatineThrow the ball in O'Shea's direction and he would come down with it. He had 60 catches for 878 yards and 11 touchdowns including a state record 18 catches for 249 yards and 5 touchdowns in a state playoff game. O'Shea finished his career as the top receiver in Palatine history with 179 receptions for 2,460 yards and 29 touchdowns. "Johnny is a rare combination of all of the intangible assets that coaches love in a player," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "He has size, leaping ability, toughness and hands to literally do anything you ask him to do."

Jack Reiger ConantReiger was a throwback type of player. He played running back and then moved to middle linebacker for the Cougars. At running back, he gained 651 yards on 128 carries and 6 touchdowns. Reiger also played quarterback when injuries forced him to take over the play-calling reins. "Jack is a very talented player that has the versatility to play many different positions," Conant coach Bryan Stortz said. "Has has a unique combination of size, speed, vision, and instincts. Jack has great character and work ethic. He will be a tremendous addition to the college football program that he chooses."

Jordan Salgado SchaumburgA three-year starter for the Saxons, Salgado was difficult to bring down. He had 113 carries for 488 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also was tough defensively, with 47 tackles and an interception. "Jordan played a huge role for us offensively as a three-year varsity running back," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "As a senior, he unselfishly sacrificed some offensive playing time to play more 2-way snaps than anyone for us as a standout corner."

Michael Shafis ProspectShafis has been a two-year, two-way starter for the Knights. He accounted for 45 percent of the Prospect offensive yardage this season, rushing for 746 yards and 5 touchdowns on 137 carries. Shafis led the defense in most of the major statistical categories and finished with 92 tackles. "He is an amazing young man whose best is still ahead," Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen said. "We are all looking forward to seeing what he will accomplish as a senior."

Bryant Smith PalatineSmith anchored a defensive line that was solid all season long. The two-year starter had 82 tackles, with 9 of those for loss. He also had 4 sacks. "Bryant's length and motor make him ultimately impossible to block," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "He is flat-out relentless in his pursuit to the football and when he gets his hand on you, you are going down."

Nick Steger HerseyA two-year starter on defense, Steger showed that he can step up when needed. He had 44 tackles, 29 assists, 12 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. "We moved Nick down to defensive end after playing some linebacker his sophomore year," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "Coaches would agree that Nick is one of the most natural and talented football players they have seen. He knows how to use his strength, size, and brains to play the game the right way."

Tim Szylak Rolling MeadowsSzylak gave the Mustangs the running attack they needed this season. Only a junior, he had 100 carries for 852 yards and 5 touchdowns, with most of that coming in the second half of the season. "Tim averaged 9 yards a carry for us as a junior," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "He is a tough runner with great speed. Tim is also a great leader for us."

Travon Thomas LeydenOne of the top junior defensive prospects, Thomas has been troublesome for opponents to block. He had 82 tackles and 15 sacks this year. "He was constantly disrupting the offensive backfield this season and made teams game-plan for him," Leyden coach Tom Cerasani said. "Travon was especially dominant this year within our conference. Travon will certainly continue to improve his craft as he practices and prepares harder than any other player on the team."

Tom Trieb Buffalo GroveTrieb was a force on both sides of the field for the Bison. He rushed for 952 yards on 113 carries with 10 touchdowns -- and all of that despite missing parts of two games with a back injury. He also had 80 tackles and 6 sacks as a defensive end. "It is scary to think he is only a junior," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "He was a guy we had to drag off the field. He is also a guy that plays 100 miles an hour at all times."

Heze Trotter SchaumburgTrotter was dangerous wherever he was on the field. As a wide receiver he had 20 catches for 301 yards along with 5 touchdowns; as a running back 34 carries for 380 and 2 touchdowns. He also had a punt return and a kickoff return for a touchdown, along with 3 interceptions on defense. "Heze was a threat to make something happen every time he touched the ball," Schaumburg coach Mark stilling said. "He was as good as anyone around at making people miss."

Carson Walker PalatineWalker has been a stalwart for the Pirates on the offensive line. A three-year starter who saw action in 37 games, Walker anchored an offensive line that averaged nearly 35 points during his tenure. "Carson is one of the most physical kids I have coached," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "He is a dominating down blocker and will wear you down over the course of a game. He is also a very intelligent player as he rarely makes mental errors."

Brad Warman BarringtonWarman has been a two-year starter on arguably the best offensive unit in the area, one that averaged 39 points during that span. "Brad became the leader of our offensive line this year," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "The only returning starter from a year ago, he did a fantastic job helping the offensive line come together this year for us. He is a tremendous athlete and person."

Michael Wittich St. Viator

The Lions' best defensive player, Wittich kept opponents at bay with his solid play. He had 68 tackles, with 5 for loss and 4 sacks. On offense, he popped over to play tight end, where he had 3 catches for 41 yards. "Michael plays the game with a throwback mentality and only has one speed -- 100 miles per hour," St. Viator coach Dave Archibald said. "His tenacity allows him to play bigger than he is, and he has been an impact player for us for two years."

All-area roster

Player School Pos. Yr.

Jaylan Alexander Hoffman Estates WR/LB Sr.

Alec Andrea Barrington WR/CB Sr.

Jacob Bellizzi Maine West RB/LB Jr.

Jayvon Blissett Hoffman Estates WR Sr.

Luke Cecala Hersey RB/DB Sr.

Joe Cleary St. Viator OL Sr.

Austin Coalson Hoffman Estates QB Sr.

Justin Gold Buffalo Grove DL Sr.

Owen Goldsberry Hersey QB/DB Sr.

Willis Goodwin Rolling Meadows WR/CB Sr.

Cortez Hogans Palatine LB Sr.

Sean Jacobs Buffalo Grove LB Jr.

Matt Kentgen Maine West TE Sr.

Anijel Jones Hoffman Estates CB Sr.

Colton Kamysz Hersey LB Sr.

Anthony Maraviglia St. Viator OL Sr.

George Markakis Maine West QB Sr.

Justin Masters Rolling Meadows CB Sr.

Will McCabe Fremd DL Sr.

Max Merriott Buffalo Grove OL Sr.

Jake Moertl Palatine DB Sr.

Andrew Neville Rolling Meadows OL/DL Sr.

*Ray Niro Barrington QB Sr.

Johnny O'Shea Palatine WR/DB Sr.

Jack Reiger Conant RB/LB Sr.

Jordan Salgado Schaumburg RB Sr.

Michael Shafis Prospect RB Jr.

Bryant Smith Palatine DL Sr.

Nick Steger Hersey OL Jr.

Tim Szylak Rolling Meadows RB Jr.

Travon Thomas Leyden DL Jr.

Tom Trieb Buffalo Grove RB/DL Jr.

Heze Trotter Schaumburg WR/DB Jr.

Carson Walker Palatine OL Sr.

Brad Warman Barrington OL Sr.

Michael Wittich St. Viator DE Sr.

* -- captain

Honorable mentionDeontae Arnold (Schaumburg, QB/LB, Sr.), Connor Adams (Buffalo Grove, QB, Jr.), DJ Angelaccio (Palatine, QB, Sr.), Basa Balanganayi (Palatine, OL, Sr.), Luke Bilek (Fremd, LB, Jr.), Shawn Brown (HB/DE, Hoffman Estates, Sr.), Jimmy Burks (Hoffman Estates, LB, Sr.), Ryan Cooch (Prospect, DL, Sr.), Fernando Corona (Leyden, OL, Jr.), Josh Danielson (Palatine, DL, Sr.), Christian Dolecki (St. Viator, DB, Sr.), David Drs (Schaumburg, OL, Sr.), Will Ebert (Hersey, OL, Sr.), Mike Di Iorio (Barrington, LB, Jr.), Angel Fernandez (Hoffman Estates, OL/DL, Sr.), Jack Fleming (Fremd, DL, Sr.), Johnny Gagne (Barrington, WR, Sr.), Willie Giles (Wheeling, LB., Sr.), Josh Gouskos (Barrington, DL, Sr.), Robert Grasse (Schaumburg, OL, Sr.), Ely Grimmer (Maine West, TE/S, Sr.), Treyvon Hall (Hoffman Estates, WR, Sr.), Ata Hinnawi (Leyden, WR/DB, Sr.), Clevontae Jackson (Hoffman Estates, DB, Sr.), Jaylin Johnson (Hoffman Estates, RB, Sr.), Jack Kane (Rolling Meadows, S, Sr.), Brennan Keane (Prospect, OL/LB, Sr.), Elliott Kim (Fremd, DB, Sr.), Arek Kleniuk (Rolling Meadows, QB, Jr.), Ryan Kristo (Fremd, LB, Sr.), Casey Kmet (St. Viator, LB, Jr.), Jack Lancaster (Schaumburg, DL, Sr.), Matt Litas (Maine West, WR/CB, Sr.), Aidan McCoy (Wheeling, OL/LB, Jr.), Alec Meister (Barrington, OL, Sr.), Adam Mekky (Prospect, LB, Soph.), Anthony Mesi (St. Viator, DL, Sr.), Ryan Mueller (Buffalo Grove, K, Jr.), Jack Orlando (Palatine, RB/WR, Sr.), Jake Parsons (Barrington,WR, Sr.), Costa Paschos (Maine West, OL, Sr.), Matt Prawica (Buffalo Grove, WR, Sr.), Nick Rattin (Fremd, RB/DB, Jr.), Will Rezny (Rolling Meadows, OL, Sr.), Tyler Selvig (Elk Grove, QB, Sr.), Zach Sheasby (Buffalo Grove, WR, Sr.), Michael Stodola (Barrington, DL, Sr.), John Ufir (Wheeling, RB/LB, Sr.), Matt Varga (Elk Grove, OL, Sr.), Anthony Wachal (Conant, WR/LB, Jr.), Brendan Watson (Hersey, OL, Sr.), Niko Weder (St. Viator, LB, Jr.), Jacob Wolf (St. Viator, LB, Sr.)

Special mentionCaleb Augustyn (Hersey, OL/DL, Sr.), Michael Best (Wheeling, QB, Jr.), Jacob Bishop (Schaumburg, LB, Sr.), Elijah Black (St. Viator, RB, Sr.), Joey Carrell (Conant, DB, Jr.), Carlos Castillo (Leyden, OL, Sr.), Nathan Dirkes (Wheeling, OL, Sr.), Ryan Edwards (Hoffman Estates, OL/DL, Sr.), Krystian Garbicz (Maine West, LB, Sr.), James Hana (Leyden, WR, Sr.), Landon Habler (Maine West, WR., Sr.), Javi Hurtado (Hoffman Estates, OL/DL), Walter Hutt (Maine West, DL, Sr.), Jason Kemp (Leyden, LB, Jr.), Logan Knox (Schaumburg, DB, Sr.), Solomon King (Wheeling, RB/S, Sr.), Justin Kretz (Rolling Meadows, WR, Jr.), Grant Leichter (Barrington, DB, Sr.), Alec Meister (Barrington, OL, Sr.), Will Nune (Hoffman Estates, WR, Sr.), Jace O'Hara (Rolling Meadows, RB/LB. Jr.), Victor Olaitan (Schaumburg, DB, Sr.), Nate Pedraza (Rolling Meadows, DL, Soph.), Jack Scislowski (St. Viator, RB, Sr.), Brandon Sheppard (Hoffman Estates, OL/DL, Sr.), Isiah Siem-Davis (Maine West, DE, Sr.), Mason Sykes (Conant, TE/LB, Sr.), Mick Szylak (Rolling Meadows, DL, Sr.), Sean Watters (Hersey, WR, Sr.), Nick Wiley (Hersey, WR/DB, Sr.)

selections and profiles by Dick Quagliano

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