Northwest Suburbs All-Area Team
Jose Aleman Rolling MeadowsBefore and after every game, Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler heard the same thing about Aleman. "Every coach in the league talked to me this year about how impossible Jose is to block," Mishler said. "He is one of the two or three best nose tackles I've ever seen in my years of coaching. His balance and leverage is simply amazing. He was double-teamed but that never stopped him from making plays." Aleman was the MSL East Defensive Player of the Year, finishing with 56 tackles, including 22 solos, 12 for loss and 10 sacks.
Ayden Anderson Buffalo GroveAnderson was a big-play threat for Buffalo Grove. His longest reception this season was a 94-yard touchdown against MSL East champion Rolling Meadows. With 811 receiving yards on the season, he averaged 15 yards per catch. He finished with a total of 8 touchdowns, including a kickoff return. "Ayden is a special talent," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "He played both ways for us, including special teams and never came off the field. He has a huge heart and is one of the most coachable kids I have ever been around. His production this year was incredibly impressive."
Shamaree Brown SchaumburgBrown was a dual-purpose threat this season and gave opponents fits on how to defend him due to his size, speed and athletic ability. He could line up in the backfield, where he rushed for 324 yards, or at wide receiver, where he caught 19 passes for 244 yards. "Shamaree played myriad roles for us as an all-around player," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "His toughness makes him the type of kid you want lining up next to you." Brown was also a force at defensive end, where at 6-foot-2, "he would give teams fits rushing from the outside. He made immeasurable strides between his junior and senior years," Stilling said. "That speaks volumes about his work ethic and his coachability."
EJ Darlington BarringtonDarlington has been a huge offensive threat for the Broncos the last two seasons. After a year where he caught 48 passes, Darlington caught 32 passes for 558 yards this season after missing two games with an injury. But his average of 17.4 yards per catch was more than 6 yards per catch higher this season. Darlington also had 3 touchdown catches. He also had a kickoff return for a touchdown and logged 871 all-purpose yards. Darlington has also been a two-time Class 8A academic all-stater. "For the last two years EJ has been a difference-maker for our program both on and off the field," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "On the field teams had to account for where he was at all times because with his abilities he had the chance to break a big play at any moment. Off the field he was leader both in the classroom and in the weight room with his work ethic."
Jaden Dolphin Maine WestThis Dolphin was super for the Warriors this season on both sides of the ball. Dolphin set a school record with 13 touchdown receptions. He had 44 receptions for 894 yards for an average of 16.3 yards per catch. Dolphin, who was a three-year starter, was also a force on the defensive side of the ball, with 6 interceptions, three of which came in one game. He had 42 tackles with 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. "I believe he was the best two-way player in the entire CSL," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "He was mainly a defensive player for us the last few years. In the offseason he really got after it and focused on making himself a better offensive player. He worked with the coaches and has just got more and more confident. Everything's come together for him"
Malik Frederick Conant
frederick, who was an all-area wingback a year ago, made the move to fullback this season. It was a perfect fit for Conant. It enabled the Cougars to open the season with 6 consecutive wins and earn them their second playoff appearance in a row. "Malik is an explosive runner with very good vision and balance," Conant coach Bryan Stortz said. "He has the ability to take it the distance at any time." It also paid even bigger dividends for the junior, who nearly tripled his performance. Frederick went from 91 carries for 653 yards in 2018 to becoming a workhorse in the Conant offense in 2019, rushing 253 times for 1,367 yards and 13 touchdowns. "He has been a dynamic player for us the last two seasons," Stortz said. "We'll look for him to continue to develop and make an impact for us."
Jordan Hansen Hersey So many big games, so many big numbers. Hansen put up mind-boggling statistics this season in leading Hersey to another 9-2 record and playoff appearance. In fact, Hansen, the captain of the all-area team, is now the IHSA all-time leader for touchdowns in a season with 59. In his most prolific games this season, against Elk Grove and Wheeling, he scored 8 touchdowns in each game. That ranks 10th in IHSA history. "Jordan has rewritten much of Hersey football history," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "As the expectations and demands on Jordan grew every year, so did Jordan's work ethic." Hansen, who is also ranked 17th in IHSA history in total offense with 3,820 yards, also played some part-time safety and had 12 tackles and an interception. He will be playing at Northern Illinois next year.
Jack Hipchen Fremd Hipchen was a key contributor on both sides of the ball for Fremd this season and for the past two seasons. His style of play helped the Vikings to a pair of consecutive conference titles. This season, Hipchen led the area with 6 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Hipchen led a defense that posted 4 shutouts this season and allowed just 13 points per game. His ball-hawking and leadership on the field helped him earn him co-defensive player of the year in the MSL West. Hipchen also was a huge part of the Viking offense, catching 45 passes for 695 yards and 8 touchdowns. "Jack is a dynamic player that can do things most high school kids can't," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "He is a walking highlight reel every week. I will really miss watching him compete every Friday night."
Jashawn Johnson Hoffman EstatesAfter starting the last five games as a freshman, Johnson took a huge step forward in just his sophomore season. Johnson was the go-to guy in the Hawk offense, catching 40 passes for 800 yards. "Jashawn came into his own his sophomore year after starting the last five games his freshman year," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "He was all over the field. Offensively he was a threat to take on to the house on any given play." Johnson had 10 receiving touchdowns. He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for another score. On defense he had 4 interceptions and took one of those back for a touchdown. "He is a quiet kid that likes to work," Heyse said. "We can't wait to see what he is going to do the next two years."
Danny Kentgen Maine WestKentgen has been a two-year starter for the Warriors, the greatest two-year span in Maine West history. "He's a big-strong armed quarterback who can make all the throws in a pro-style offense," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "Danny commands the offense with his physical ability and mental understanding of the game." Kentgen led the Warriors to a pair of consecutive CSL North titles, 17 wins and two playoff appearances in that period. Kentgen had a record-setting season this year for the Warriors. He completed 62 percent of passes while throwing for 2,397 yards and a school-record 31 touchdowns. He also rushed for 5 touchdowns and 114 yards. "Danny just had an unbelievable season for us," Kradman said. He was coming off a year where he broke all types of school passing records and he went for it all this year as a senior."
Ryan Kilburg, Maine South Kilburg has been a jack of all trades for the Hawks for all three years he has been a starter, playing 34 games for Maine South. At wide receiver this season he had 44 receptions for 560 yards and 7 touchdowns. He added 31 carries for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns and was named the offensive player of the year in the CSL South. On defense, Kilburg had 56 tackles, 3 interceptions, 3 fumbles caused and a fumble recovery. He also added a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. "Ryan is electric with the ball in his hands scoring as a wide receiver, running back or kick returner," Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. "Ryan is a big hitter on defense with tremendous closing speed. His ball skills on defense are exceptional. Ryan logged a million steps each year in practice and games, hardly ever coming off the field." Kilburg will play at Western Michigan next season.
Jojo Lovelace Hoffman EstatesLovelace, who played sparingly last season, picked up the quarterback reins quite nicely this year. He got off to fast start, throwing for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in Hoffman's first four games, leading the Hawks to a 3-1 start. He finished the season with 1,910 yards and 13 touchdowns. "Jojo had as good as a start to the season as I have ever seen," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "Jojo stepped in very nicely this year after replacing our all-area quarterback from last year. He has continued the line of success we have had at the quarterback position."
Gary Moeller Prospect In just his first year as a varsity starting quarterback, Moeller, a junior, performed like a seasoned veteran. "Gary had an incredible season," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. "What he did as a first-year starting quarterback was nothing short of incredible. He led a record-setting offense to a great season and we are excited to get the opportunity to coach him for another season." Moeller rolled up 2,400 yards and 27 touchdowns and threw only 2 interceptions. Moeller also ran for 7 touchdowns.
Max Oberman Buffalo GroveOffense, defense, special teams ... Oberman did it all for Buffalo Grove. "Max was somewhat of a utility knife for us this year," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "There really wasn't anything he couldn't do. He made an impact on offense, defense and special teams and truly has elite speed." As a running back, Oberman rushed for 606 yards and had 367 receiving yards and scored 14 total touchdowns, including 4 against Niles North. He also scored touchdowns on two kickoff returns, including a 99-yarder that is the longest in school history. Defensively in the secondary, Oberman had 17 tackles and 2 interceptions.
Nate Pedraza Rolling Meadows
When idle on the sidelines at practice, Pedraza, a 3-year defensive lineman who will be playing at Ball State next year, would drop down and do pushups on his own. Just to be doing something. "Nate has a motor that won't quit," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "He is one of the hardest workers I've seen in my years of coaching. Nate was often double- and triple-teamed, yet still managed to get consistent pressure. He was a player that every team had to game plan for and he was an absolute force for us all year long." Pedraza finished with 41 tackles, including 21 solo. He had 11 tackles for loss and 5 ½ sacks and a forced fumble. Pedraza also played some offensive line for the Mustangs.
Jeremiah Pittman St. ViatorPittman, who is 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds, has been a starter for the Lions since his freshman year and has been a team captain since his sophomore season. He rarely comes off the field, anchoring the offensive line at left tackle. He also played a little running back, scoring 2 touchdowns. "Jeremiah has improved in his technique and reads every season," St. Viator coach Dave Archibald said. "I am very excited that he has another year with us." Pittman has already drawn D-I attention. He runs the 40 in 4.8 and has benched 225 pounds 16 times. "Jeremiah is a young man of integrity who gives his heart to every endeavor important to him -- his faith, the classroom, the weight room, and the football field," Archibald said. "He doesn't call attention to himself and is encouraging to his teammates."
Luka Popovic PalatineThe ultimate deep ball threat, Popovic had defenses always on the lookout for the long throw. He was deceptively quick and would catch anything thrown his way. Popovic averaged an eye-popping 33.3 yards per catch this year. He had 19 receptions this season, with 6 of those going for touchdowns. All six of those scoring plays were over 40 yards. Popovic was also a dangerous kick returner, logging a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He played safety on defense and had an interception. "Luka was as an explosive of a player that I have seen in high school football," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "He impacted the game in all three phases. He is a great competitor and a team-first guy. He worked tremendously hard to improve his speed."
Ian Ridge Elk GroveJust call Ridge a visionary for Elk Grove. The junior running back could see a play develop often more quickly than others. "Ian has such good vision and he really sets up behind his blocks well, and he has a knack for seeing and making the cuts he needs to make," Elk Grove coach Miles Osei said. "The other thing that's great about Ian is that you can really coach him and show him things one time during the week and he is able to immediately comprehend it and execute it in games. That's rare in a high school athlete." Ridge was among the area leaders in rushing, finishing with 1,634 yards and 19 touchdowns on 194 carries.
Carson Schiller Rolling Meadows In one of the biggest games of the year for Rolling Meadows, Schiller had one of his best games ever. The first-year starting varsity quarterback threw for more than 300 yards and 3 touchdowns against Hersey to help the Mustangs win the game and the MSL East championship. "Carson had an amazing year," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "He has a huge heart and is one of the fiercest competitors I've had the pleasure of coaching." Schiller ended the season second in school history with 26 touchdown passes in a single season. He also finished second in school history in passing yards for a single season.
Peter Skoronski Maine SouthMaine South coach Dave Inserra said that Skoronski is, "the best player I ever coached." A three-year starter, Skoronski started 35 games for the Hawks. Set a school record with 74 pancakes last season and had 171 for his career. "That number is mind-blowing for me," Inserra said. "It's hard to judge and know for sure, but I would list that as an unofficial state record. To my knowledge he gave up three sacks in three years and none this season." Also played defense and had 32 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 tackles for loss and a 48-yard scoop and score. Skoronski is a three-time all-conference and two-time unanimous lineman of the year in the CSL South. He was also selected to play in the NBC All-American Game in San Antonio, TX on Jan. 4. He will play at Northwestern next year after having offers from Stanford, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma. "He is the hardest worker I have ever coached and he may be the smartest player I have ever coached," Inserra said. "And upon all that Peter is the most humble player I have ever coached."
Lukas Van Ness BarringtonVan Ness anchored a defensive unit that allowed just 11.1 points per game. He had 67 total tackles with 8 of those for loss. Also had 5 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries and a blocked punt. Was named MSL West Co-Defensive Player of the Year. "Lukas was a force on both the defensive line and offensive line for us," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "On defense he had to be accounted for by multiple blockers on every play and on offense he brought a physical presence for our team. After receiving nearly 30 D-I offers, Van Ness committed to Iowa. He was also named to the Class 8A academic all-state team. "Lukas was a great leader for us this year with the effort and enthusiasm he brought every day to practice," Sanchez said. "He helped to set the tempo for us every day. "
Blake von der Lippe HerseyFor two years, von der Lippe was the anchor of the Hersey defense at middle linebacker. "Blake is going to be missed," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "He has been the staple in the middle of our defense. His mental and physical toughness was on display day in and day out. Blake's success was a product of the type of person he is. He leads by example, puts his teammates above himself and has an internal desire to succeed. von der Lippe led Hersey with 55 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss. He also had 4 sacks. And in a limited role on offense, von der Lippe had 3 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Jack Walsh Fremd Walsh is another in a long list of great Fremd offensive linemen. Walsh, a junior who is 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, has started on the offensive line since his sophomore year. He anchored the offensive line this season for the ball-control Fremd offense that averaged 52 offensive plays per game. A great run blocker, Walsh is receiving D-1 interest. He was credited with 32 pancake blocks this season. "Jack is one of the more athletic big men in the area," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "He has the ability to couple his toughness and athleticism, making him a dominant player. I can't wait to see what he will do as a senior." Also played defensive line for a team that allowed 13 points per game.
Luke Zardzin ProspectZardzin helped give Prospect one of the most balanced offenses in the area. While quarterback Gary Moeller rolled up the passing yards, Zardzin took care of much of the ground game. The junior rolled up 1,900 yards and 21 touchdowns. "Luke demonstrated a toughness that rubbed off on the entire team," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. "He is an extraordinary leader on and off the field. I'm really looking forward to having Luke for another year in our program. The sky is the limit for Luke's future."
Trysten Anderson, Buffalo Grove; Mark Antonetti, Buffalo Grove; Liam Barry, Maine South; Jeremy Betancourt, Conant; Campbell Breiler, Hersey; Ben Clawson, Hersey; Shane Crimmins, Elk Grove; Nathan Cwiakala, Palatine; Mike DiGioia, Schaumburg; Chris DiVito, Rolling Meadows; Brian Fernandez, Palatine; Nate Fisher, Hoffman Estates; Tommy Fitzpatrick, Barrington; Vince Fredrickson, Leyden; Jason Haas, Fremd; Austin Hembd, Wheeling; Austin Korba, Hersey; Lucas Kozlowski, Barrington; Dan Lazic, Maine South; Derek Lewandowski, Conant; Luke Leongas, Maine South; Max Lock, Hoffman Estates, James Lonigro, Leyden; Noah Marx, Prospect; Jimmy Matanovic, Hersey; Mark Matos, Elk Grove; Dane McMahon, Schaumburg; Adam Mekky, Prospect; Nick Motyka, Leyden; Matt Mysza, Hersey; Rodney Njoku, Maine West; Sean Nolan, Rolling Meadows; Zack Norman, Maine West; Isaac O'Neill, Maine East; Nife Oseni, Rolling Meadows; Ryan Palmer, Fremd; Tyler Pecson, Palatine; Danny Provost, Wheeling; Matt Reedy, Barrington; Mason Reiger, Conant; Jacob Riedl, Maine West; Matt Rodi, Fremd; Tony Rofrano, Schaumburg; Josh Schacke, Maine West; Andrew Saxe, Fremd; Ryan Saxe, Fremd; Ray Schmitz, Barrington; Jeremy, Serio, Schaumburg; Dayven Shinholster, Barrington; Isaiah Siem-Davis, Maine West; Daniel Sobkowicz, Rolling Meadows; Nate Stevens, Fremd; Sebastian Swistak, Prospect; Ryan Taviola, Prospect; Mossimo Vardamaskos, Palatine; Jake Wagner, Palatine; Jordan Wiles, Rolling Meadows; Ronald Williams, Conant.