All-Area Football Team, Fox Valley
This three-year starter at Joliet West fit right in upon transferring to Larkin last summer. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior quarterback was named Class 7A all-state honorable mention after throwing for 1,637 yards and 14 touchdowns on 110-of-205 passing in a spread offense. The team co-captain set new Larkin single-game records for passing yards (395) and points scored (30). "The level of commitment he has shown to the football program he has been a part of has been unreal," said Larkin coach Jason Aubry, Jaxon's father. "That is the quality that every coach looks for in a quarterback."
St. Charles East
This 6-foot-5, 290-pound junior offensive lineman committed to Wisconsin at midseason. The Badgers pursued Barrett for good reason. "He is very technically sound and powerful to go with it," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "I am just glad to get him back for another year." Barrett teamed with all-state teammate Justin Hull to form a devastating blocking duo for a Class 8A playoff team that rushed for 220 yards per game and gained 5.3 yards per attempt.
This two-way standout was a rare senior leader on a team that played underclassmen at several key positions. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound lineman steadied the ship with consistent play on both sides of the ball en route to his second straight all-conference nod. "He is an example of where hard work can get you, from never having played football before his freshman year to now going on to play Division-I football at North Dakota," Streamwood coach Don Guindon said. "We were a very young team this year and Elijah was instrumental in the growth of all those young kids."
Named Class 1A all-state, this 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior demonstrated equal parts speed and savvy as a two-way standout for a state quarterfinalist that won 8 games. The all-Metro Sububran Blue safety was Aurora Christian's third-leading tackler with 62 (29 solo), including 5 tackles for loss. He broke up 4 passes, made 3 interceptions and forced a fumble. Offensively, the wide receiver made 81 catches for 1,010 yards and 14 touchdowns (12.5 avg.). Caleb Beebe has been a fixture on the Aurora Christian football sideline for a decade. "He was our ball boy for six years prior to high school," Eagles coach David Beebe said of his son. "After 10 years, he'll obviously be missed. He was a coach on the field."
Boland was the only player in a 180-man football program to start both ways for the varsity playoff team. The two-time all-Fox Valley Conference selection led the Red Raiders in receptions (58), receiving yards (989) and touchdown grabs (8) while averaging 17.1 yards per catch. He also hauled in three 2-point conversion passes. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior defensive back had 2 interceptions and made 17 tackles (14 solo). He also punted. "Michael Boland was the most athletic player we had on the field," Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak said. "He had a knack of making ridiculous plays look easy. Body control and awareness are components that make him the player he is. He'll be missed."
Crystal Lake South
Defenders could forget about catching this senior running back if he got a step on them. The 6-foot, 190-pound state track qualifier ran the 200-meter dash in 22.44 seconds last spring. That speed translated to 1,382 rushing yards (6.9 avg) and 15 touchdowns on 201 carries over 10 games this fall. Borgert also caught 10 passes for 67 yards and a score. He fumbled only once in 211 touches for a 6-win team that reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. "Zach is the type of athlete you wish you could clone," Crystal Lake South coach Rob Fontana said. "He was a warrior on the field for us daily."
The Blackhawks won 9 games, including their first playoff game since 1994, helped by big plays from this versatile athlete. The 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior with 4.6 speed rushed for 742 yards and 12 touchdowns on 89 carries (8.3 avg.). He also caught 14 passes for 399 yards (28.5 avg.) and 3 touchdowns. Defensively, the all-Upstate Eight Conference pick made 34 tackles and recovered 2 fumbles. "He can do it all and he did for us," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "He was a contributor on defense playing our toughest position in driller and he played running back, which is one of our most physical positions on offense. Just a stud."
St. Charles East
The most active defensive player on a Class 8A playoff team, this all-DuKane Conference pick finished with 46 more tackles than his closest teammate. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound senior linebacker notched 36 solo tackles and 89 assists, 5 tackles for loss and a sack. "Robert was the leader of our defense," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "He was able to play at a high level on the field because of his hard work on and off the field. His work ethic and leadership were amazing."
This Class 6A all-state honorable mention honoree stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 165 pounds "but he hits like he's 6-3, 220," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "He is fearless." Seaburg called Daigle, who plans to join the military after graduation, a throwback due to his effectiveness on both sides of the ball. The all-Fox Valley Conference free safety led the Class 6A state champions with 61.5 tackles, including 5.5 for loss. At slot back, his speed translated to 744 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns in 73 attempts. He also led the Class 6A state champs in receptions (43) and finished with 618 receiving yards and 8 touchdown catches.
This hard-charging running back is a throwback to the type of punishing ball carrier so emblematic of Bartlett football for the last two decades. The 5-foot-6, 170-pound senior had the speed to avoid tacklers but preferred to run through them with a physical, straight-ahead approach. The all-Upstate Eight selection helped the Hawks return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 by rushing for 1,305 yards and 16 touchdowns on 214 carries (6.1 avg.). First-year Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh called Deckard "the heart and soul of our team" and said the senior captain "brought a toughness every day that rubbed off on his teammates."
Kaneland coach Pat Ryan said people often use the word "beast" to describe this two-way Class 5A all-state lineman. That's because the aggressive 6-foot-1, 265-pound senior made 20 of his 60 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Hahn led the Knights to a share of a conference title and a second-round playoff appearance by harassing quarterbacks on defense (4 sacks, 7 hurries) and blocking for an offense that rushed for 1,969 yards in 11 games (179 avg.). His leadership was perhaps most crucial. "Drew has been a tremendous leader both on and off the field for not only our football program but the entire school," Ryan said. "He plays with fierce determination, drive and dedication."
St. Charles East
Named Class 8A all-state by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and team MVP, this 6-foot-3, 290-pound, two-way standout teamed with Wisconsin recruit Dylan Barrett along the offensive line to clear the way for 2,200 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns. Defensively, the senior had a hand in 43 tackles. "He was a force on the offensive and defensive lines for us this year," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "Justin was able to not only play the game at a high level physically but was also smart in terms of knowing the game of football." Hull was named DuKane Conference Outstanding Offensive Lineman by league coaches.
This 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker committed to Northwestern was named Class 7A all-state by the Illinois High School Coaches Association after he led the defending state champs to a semifinal appearance. The Batavia co-captain took part in 75 tackles (59 solo), 23 of which went for a loss. The idea of facing Jansey could keep opposing quarterbacks up at night. He led the Bulldogs with 10 sacks and 26 hurries, which is why League coaches named him co-captain of the all-DuKane Conference Defensive Team along with teammate Luke Weerts. "If you're going to have a player that is a special talent who is going to play at the next level, you want him to be a kid like Michael Jansey," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "He is good-natured, humble, fun-loving with a good sense of humor and a good teammate. Everything for him was about the team winning."
Crystal Lake South
This offensive lineman straight out of central casting is one of the most coveted college prospects in Illinois. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound, two-time all-state pick is expected to announce his decision between suitors Georgia, Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State soon. The four-year varsity starter blazed a trail for an offense that averaged 226 rushing yards and 123 passing. "The majority of our offense was following Trevor up front," CL South coach Rob Fontana said. "He was the key to our offense and all the defenses we played knew that as well. Because of Trevor we were able to break our school record for total yards gained with 3,838."
This hard-hitting linebacker earned all-conference recognition for the second straight season. The 6-foot, 225-pound senior finished with a team-best 105 tackles in 9 games (11.7 avg.), of which 65 were solo tackles. The Geneva co-captain also recovered 2 fumbles. His brute strength was an asset as on offense as a blocker or a ball carrier. Pressed into service in a 32-12 win over Lake Park, Majewski carried 10 times for 108 yards. "Daniel led our team in tackles and provided continuous spark on the offensive side of the ball with his physical presence," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "Daniel has a unique gift of explosion and is one of the better linebackers that have come through Geneva."
This athletic 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior enjoyed a storybook season in his only year as a varsity starting quarterback. McDonald ran the triple option to perfection for the Class 6A state champs. The all-state honorable mention pick rushed for 1,497 yards and 26 touchdowns in 230 attempts (6.5 avg.), but his pinpoint accuracy on throws set him apart. McDonald threw for 1,387 yards and 20 touchdowns on 88-of-123 passing. (71.5 percent). He threw one interception. "Ben is a big reason we did throw it up so much this year," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "He is the most accurate passer we've had here. He's just an amazing competitor," In a 35-13 victory over Crete-Monee in the Class 6A title game, McDonald carried 29 times for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns and converted a pair of fourth downs with touchdown throws.
This 5-foot-10, 250-pound offensive lineman was the tip of the sword for an offense that sliced through defenses for a school record 432 points. A three-year varsity starter, Mooney helped his team win 9 games and its first playoff game in 24 years by paving the way for an offense that amassed a program-best 4,319 total yards. "He is one of the best offensive linemen in our program's history," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "We have been able to run the ball on almost every team we've faced the past three years and Ian is one of the main reasons.
Players like this all-Upstate Eight honoree are ascribed nicknames for their distinctive style of play. "Pat was nicknamed 'the human eraser' back at safety because he seemed to consistently clean up any mistakes we made," South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic said. " He was our captain and a two-way player for us that made big plays on both sides of the ball." Noworol made 90 tackles, defended 2 passes, intercepted 2 more and returned a pick for 6 points. As a receiver, he made 23 catches for 338 yards and 4 touchdowns and rushed for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns in 24 attempts.
St. Charles North
The honorary captain of the 2018 Daily Herald Fox Valley All-Area Football Team led St. Charles North to second place in Class 7A. The 6-foot-3, 191-pound cornerback/wide receiver was named all-state by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and named DuKane Conference offensive team captain by league coaches. Committed to Minnesota, he made 42 catches for 649 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also rushed for 600 yards and 12 touchdowns in 109 attempts, mostly as a wildcat quarterback. Nubin made 53 tackles on defense (6 for loss) and defended 6 passes. "For my money, he is the most valuable player in the state of Illinois," St. Charles North coach Rob Pomazak said.
This quarterback won the job as a senior transfer and went on to be named honorable mention Class 8A all-state by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound signal caller helped Bartlett make the playoffs for the first time in three years by completing 57.4 percent of his attempts (109 of 190) for 1,757 yards and 18 touchdowns (175.5 avg.). He threw only 4 interceptions. "He came in and earned the respect of his teammates immediately," Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh said. "His football IQ, arm strength, accuracy, willingness to stand in the pocket and competitive nature allowed us to have a standout season."
St. Charles North
Known as Dami to his teammates, this 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end was a force on the front line for the Class 7A state runner-up. Named all-DuKane Conference, the senior made 20 of his 66 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He finished the season with 4 sacks and 4 hurries, forced a fumble and recovered 2 fumbles. He blocked a punt and recovered it in a second-round playoff win against Rolling Meadows. "He became that dominant run stopper that we'd always hoped he'd be," St. Charles North coach Rob Pomazak said. "He's always been athletic and extremely quick off the ball, but he grew most with his game planning and his understanding of what we were trying to do on defense. He's grown the most of anybody on our team the last two years."
This 6-foot-3 senior switched from quarterback to split end in his third varsity season to great effect. An elite pitching prospect committed to Texas Christian to play baseball since his sophomore year, Priester's ability to stretch the field vertically added another dimension to the run-oriented Cary-Grove triple-option offense. So did his ability to outjump defenders. He led the Class 6A state champions with 671 receiving yards on 38 catches (21.6 avg.), capped by a 4-yard scoring grab over a Crete-Monee defender in a 35-13 state championship victory. He also played cornerback part time and snagged 4 interceptions. "The guy has monstrous hands and he catches anything that's thrown to him," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "He's made some unbelievable plays this year."
Though he was on the basketball team last winter, Dundee-Crown's quarterback would arrive at school at 6 a.m. to work out with his football teammates as they attempted to build a winning culture. That dedication yielded results. Named all-Fox Valley Conference by league coaches, Raby led the Chargers to their second-best season in the last 20 years by throwing for 1,744 yards and 17 touchdowns on 97-of-171 passing (56.7 percent). He threw 6 interceptions. "Josh is one of the key reasons we had the season we did," Dundee-Crown coach Mike Steinhaus said. "He was a consummate teammate and a great leader."
Coach Dan Thorpe said this three-year starter and two-time all Chicago Catholic League pick "is one of the best linebackers in the last 10 years at Marmion." Roche's tackle numbers speak for themselves. In 11 games, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound senior made 140 tackles (78 solo 62 assists), 9 for a loss, and tallied 5 sacks. He forced 4 fumbles, recovered another, broke up 9 passes and made a tackle in the end zone for a safety. "He was all over the field," Thorpe said.
This versatile performer impacted the offense, defense and special teams of a 6-win playoff team. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior played quarterback part time but was effective when under center. The all-Upstate Eight Conference honoree completed 72 of 130 attempts (55.4 percent) for 1,009 yards and 12 touchdowns and was intercepted only twice. Dangerous on his feet, South Elgin's co-captain kept the ball 106 times and rushed for 502 yards and 10 scores. Defensively, he knocked down one pass, intercepted 2 more and made 20 tackles. "Azxavier was our most explosive offensive threat, a shutdown corner on defense, and one of the best punters we've ever had," South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic said. "He was a threat every time he touched the ball."
A repeat all-area selection and two-time all-conference pick, this two-way standout helped Larkin stay in playoff contention for nine weeks with his all-around play. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior returned an interception for a touchdown while playing cornerback, he returned a deflected punt for a touchdown and gave opposing defenses headaches as a wide receiver. The Larkin co-captain set single-season school records for receptions (57) and receiving yards (852) and the single-game record for receptions (11). "Jahari Stubbs is a kid who is a pleasure to coach," Larkin coach Jason Aubry said. "No matter the week, he was always looking for ways to get better at what he does. He is a very gifted athlete. When you couple that with a great work ethic, you get a pretty special player."
Named Fox Valley Conference defensive player of the year by league coaches, this three-year varsity linebacker set Huntley's career record with 185 tackles. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior helped the Red Raiders win 6 games and qualify for the playoffs by making a team-high 96 tackles (59 solo), 13 behind the line of scrimmage. The team captain had 6 sacks, caused a fumble, grabbed an interception, blocked a punt, blocked a field goal and counselled younger players along the way. "He was able to mentor our young defense on what it takes to succeed at the varsity level," Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak said. "His leadership and hard-hitting temperament will be missed."
Few area players had an impact on both sides of the ball like this 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior linebacker/running back. The son of former Mooseheart coach Gary Urwiler terrorized quarterbacks with 7.5 sacks and 13 hurries. Of his 79 tackles, 61 were solo and 19.5 took place behind the line of scrimmage. The all-DuKane Conference honoree broke up 11 passes, hauled down 3 interceptions, forced 3 fumbles and made 3 fumble recoveries. He even blocked a punt. Offensively, Urwiler led the Bulldogs with 19 rushing touchdowns and finished second on his team with 947 yards on 129 carries (7.3 avg.). "Quinn is a throwback," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "He's an athletic, backyard football kind of kid who has that special sense of what needs to be done and just loves to play games. When push comes to shove, he's a special kid to have on your football team."
This 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker helped Batavia advance to a Class 7A semifinal. Named all-state honorable mention by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, the senior was Batavia's second leading tackler with 98 (78 solo). He made 20 tackles for a loss, forced 2 fumbles and recovered 2 fumbles. Named co-captain of the all- DuKane Conference Defensive Team along with teammate Michael Jansey, Weerts recorded 7 sacks and 21 quarterback hurries. He will continue his career at North Dakota State. "He is a special player, a heart-and-soul type of kid," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "It means so much to him for the team to be successful. He wants to do everything he can so his teammates and brothers experience success."
A two-time Class 6A all-state selection committed to Western Michigan, this athletic 6-foot-3, 275-pound senior was the keystone of an offensive line that cleared the way for 5,798 total yards in 14 games (414 avg.). West also played nose guard on defense for the first time in his high school career and proved to be an effective run stopper for the 6A state champs, often drawing double teams. "We wouldn't be where we are without him playing defense," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said before the title game. "He is extremely athletic for his size. He can get out and run and he has been far and away our most violent blocker up front."
St. Charles North
Committed to South Dakota State, this 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive tackle was a three-year varsity starter who helped the North Stars take second in Class 7A. Named all-DuKane Conference, he blocked for an offense that averaged 324 total yards per game, 174 via the rush. Teammates trusted him. "He was the big brother of the team," St. Charles North coach Rob Pomazak said. "People talk about the tight bond of this team and he was one of the catalysts of that. He kept everyone on the straight and narrow and was a big reason for our success. Alex was just the quintessential leader for us."
Named Class 4A all-state and Metro Suburban Red offensive MVP, this two-way standout led the league champs back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound linebacker set new school records for single-season tackles (117) and career tackles (242). Offensively, the running back/wildcat quarterback carried 241 times for 1,177 yards and 14 touchdowns. "Nick is a true throwback type of football player, the kind players like to play with and coaches love to coach," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "We were all fortunate to see him play and have Nick represent St. Edward."
Honorable mentionAurora Central Catholic -- Jeff Albert (Sr., RB/OLB)
Aurora Christian -- Trey Madsen (Sr., CB/WR)
Bartlett -- Spencer Konstanzer (Sr., DL) Alex Palella (So., TE/LB)
Batavia -- Sam Barus (Jr., S), Evan Holden (Sr., OL), Jack Meyers (Sr., QB), Art Taylor (Jr., RB)
Burlington Central -- Kyle Moring (Sr., LB)
Cary-Grove -- Jake DiMatteo (Sr., DE), Jake Johnson (Jr., LB), Blake Skol (Jr., FB/LB)
Crystal Lake South -- Jacob Rana (Sr., WR), Ben Hausch (Sr., LB)
Dundee-Crown -- Ricky Ibarra (Sr., RB), Jack Michalski (Sr., TE/LB)
Elgin -- Xavier Bonds (Sr., WR/DB), Eric Guo (Sr., OL/DL)
Geneva -- Frank Martin (Sr., OL), Reilly Waldoch (Sr., )
Hampshire -- Trevor Laffin (Sr., RB/LB)
Huntley -- Cade Golembeck (Sr., OL), Brad Walker (So., DE)
Jacobs -- Daniel Klein (Sr., LB)
Kaneland -- Jonathan Alstott (Sr., RB), Wilson Giffney (Jr., LB)
Larkin -- Angel Garcia (Sr., RB), Isai Rios (Sr., OL/DL)
St. Charles East -- Justin Jett (Sr., FB), Dillon Gearhart (Sr., LB)
St. Charles North -- Luke Barresi (Sr., K/P), Billy Durocher (Sr., LB), Ben Furtney (Sr., LB), Alec Kritta (Sr., WR)
St. Edward -- Luke Breier (Jr., LB/OL)
South Elgin -- Alex Ojomo (Sr., DL)
West Aurora -- Moshe Rogers (Sr., WR), Hezekiah Salter (Sr, RB), Ian Deischer (Sr., LB), William Tammaru (Jr., QB)