Trojans, Panthers featured on All-GTNS football teamWashington leads pack with 10 selections
The All-Golden Triangle News Service football team for 2013 is dominated by Washington. There were a total of nine Demon players named to the team after Washington finished state runner-up.
Head coach Randy Schrader gets the nod for boss for the third straight year. Like the past two seasons his team had an improved record and went deeper into the playoffs. This year his team went as far as it could go as it advanced to the state title game.
Washington was making its first appearance in the championship game and won a school-record 12 games. Schrader also was making his first appearance after coaching for 30 years.
Washington is the sixth coaching stop of his career, which includes a stint at Rockford College.
He stuck to his heavy option ground attack and it served him well during the 12-2 runner-up season.
Headlining the GTNS football team is senior Washington running back Alex Coker, who earned captain status. He had 1,467 yards, which ranked fifth in Class 3A.
He was selected for the first team All-State squad.
He was tied for the state lead with 25 rushing touchdowns. His eight yards per carry average was second in the state among backs with at least 150 carries.
Coker’s longest touchdown carry was 75 yards. He returns to the GTNS team after making it as a defensive back last year.
Washington junior quarterback Daryn Sebelius made the team after leading his team to the state championship game. He earned the GTNS honors at quarterback for the second straight season.
He was the play caller in an option offense that put up 536 points, which was second in the state.
He surpassed the 1,000 yard passing plateau. As a dual threat he was second on the team in rushing with 847 yards. He had a combined total of 22 touchdowns.
Pekin running back Chase Copeland began his domination of opposing defenses in the opening game of the season. Copeland rushed for 147 yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries against New London to begin the year. By season’s end, Pekin’s workhorse had racked up 1,142 yards and 17 touchdowns on 175 rushing attempts. The sophomore amassed 318 yards during the Panthers’ three game long playoff run.
WACO likes to run the ball, and everybody in the district knows it. This year nobody was running the ball better than Tucker Janecek. He led not only his team, but also Class A District 5 with 1,230 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns this season and makes the All-GTNS team as a running back. The district’s co-offensive MVP, Janecek helped WACO to a 5-2 district finish and another playoff appearance. The junior also averaged 22.7 receiving yards on three catches, came up with 86 tackles and had two interceptions, returned for 39 yards.
Columbus running back Mauricio Ramirez was selected for the GTNS as just a sophomore. His team went 1-8, but he still managed to have a breakout season.
Ramirez had 1,185 yards with a 6.8 average yards per carry. He had 10 touchdowns with his longest at 80 yards.
As long as he can stay healthy, he should have a promising two years ahead of him.
Fairfield’s Alex Shier took over as his team’s number one receiver this season and was an outside threat all year for the Trojans. After only catching seven balls last season, the senior caught 35 passes for 519 yards and two touchdowns. His eight catches for 91 yards at Williamsburg showcased his ability to change an opposing team’s game plan.
Shier’s senior receiving partner this season was tight end Vince Horras. This is Horras’ second selection to the All-GTNS team. The second half of the season garnered Horras more receptions. Through the first five games Horras caught 13 passes, but with freshman quarterback Cameron Baumann using him as a security blanket, Horras broke out for 20 catches and five touchdowns in the second half of the season. Horras caught five balls for 43 yards in the Trojans’ playoff loss to Pella. His ability to block was a huge asset for Fairfield’s running attack as well.
Washington left guard junior Tommy Peterson was another All-State first-team selection. He was the catalyst for an offensive line unit that paved the way for the top rushing attack in the state. It had 4,078 yards and 58 scores.
Washington senior right tackle Craig Lillie earned his way back on the GTNS team after making it last year. He was a vital cog on the line. He garnered All-District recognition for his efforts.
Noah Stovall anchored a much-improved group of offensive lineman for the Van Buren Warriors. For the first time in school history, the Warriors made the playoffs, and the offensive line was a huge reason why. Quarterback Garrett Saunders and running back Aaron Clemens rushed behind Stovall all season.
Pekin guard Eric Adam anchored an offensive line for a team that collectively rushed for 3,203 yards through 12 games. Adam, who also finished third on the team with 86 total tackles, was a two-way star. The Panthers made the third round of the playoffs, but fell to eventual state runner-up B-G-M (Brooklyn).
WACO’s Janecek wouldn’t have gotten too far without his offensive line, and a key part of that line was junior Josh Shumaker. The strong side lineman was able to open up holes for his running backs, even when the defense knew exactly what the Warriors were going to do. Shumaker makes his first appearance on the All-GTNS team for his efforts on the gridiron this season.
Washington junior defensive tackle Tama Leutele was selected to the team after getting the All-District award.
Pekin defensive lineman Jared Bond is not a newcomer to the All-GTNS football team. Bond earned his second selection by leading the Panthers in total tackles with 110 and solo tackles with 49. Bond was a disruptive force, leading a defense that only allowed three 100-yard rushers. Two of those rushers were the same player. Jack Kline of B-G-M (Brooklyn) was one of the best rushers in Iowa, compiling over 1,800 yards on the season. He may be the only player all season to get the best of Bond and the Panthers defense, which shows just how stout the Panthers were up front.
New London’s Matayo Christianer led Class A District 5 with 124 tackles this season, the ninth-highest total in Class A. The senior makes the All-GTNS team for the first time as a defensive lineman.
Christianer’s teammate and fellow senior Kyle Oliver was second in the district with 87 tackles and also had four fumble recoveries. Both Christianer and Oliver have received All-District honors for their efforts, and Oliver also makes this year’s All-GTNS team as a defensive lineman.
Washington senior linebacker Garrett Covington rounds out the team’s list of first-teamers on the All-State squad.
He led his team with 104 tackles and was second on the team with four sacks. He had 10 solo tackles for a loss.
Washington senior linebacker Tanner Knupp was selected for the All-State second team. He was third on the Demons with 85 tackles. He had a team-high six sacks. Knupp had a team-best 27 solo tackles.
Mid-Prairie senior linebacker Reid Miller was the defensive leader of a team that made the second round of the playoffs, while juggling quarterback.
He led the team with 105 tackles, including 42 solo efforts. He also had three tackles for a loss.
Middle linebacker Nathan Yeager, who is still only a junior, set the Cardinal High School tackles record this season with 135. His 119 tackles last season got him a slot on the All-GTNS team, and his gritty defensive work has placed him on the team yet again. Yeager is four tackles short of the Cardinal High School record for career tackles, which he will surely get during his senior year. He also performed well on the offensive side of the ball, ending the season as Cardinal’s second leading rusher.
Mt. Pleasant’s Carson Remick makes the All-GTNS team as a linebacker after finishing the season with 137 regular season tackles, the fourth-highest total in Class 3A. The Panther senior also recovered five fumbles. He was huge for the Mt. Pleasant offense, too — he led the Panthers in rushing yards with 350 and carried for three touchdowns. He was named by his teammates as this year’s MVP.
Washington senior cornerback Carl Sivels received All-District status. He was the primary shut-down player in the secondary. Teams averaged just 96 yards through the air against Washington’s pass defense. The defense only gave up 11.7 points per game. Sivels led the Demons with four interceptions.
Garrett Saunders earned his first All-GTNS selection this season by literally doing everything his team asked him to do. Not only did Saunders quarterback Van Buren to its first ever playoff berth, but he also led the team in tackles with 79. The Warriors’ safety picked off six passes, including one that sealed a victory over the Cardinal Comets to begin the season. Saunders, who is only a junior, could easily find himself back on this list once again next year.
Washington senior kicker Mason Quigley made the team after leading the state in made PATs going 72-for-74.
Highland senior Kody Wood ranked fifth in the state among punters with at least 30 punts with an average of 41.6. His longest was 62 yards.
Pekin’s Petie Clubb nabbed a utility spot on the All-GTNS football team by being one of the best two-way players in the area. As a running back he took 13 carries to the house while rushing for 918 yards. Clubb may have been even more valuable to the Panthers on defense, racking up 85 tackles and catching one interception. Clubb even had enough luck on his side this season that the only pass he threw all year was a completion … for a 71-yard touchdown.
Winfield-Mt. Union quarterback Max Fricke took the other utility spot. He had more than 1,600 yards of total offense this year, split nearly down the middle between passing and rushing. He averaged 20.6 yards per completion for 803 passing yards and seven touchdowns, ran for another 841 yards and carried for 13 touchdowns. Fricke also started on defense for the Wolves, recording 37 tackles and two interceptions as a safety this season. He was a first team All-District selection.
The 2013 All-GTNS teams are selected by sports editors Ashlee De Wit of the Mt. Pleasant News, Allyus Fritz of the Fairfield Ledger and Hunter Tickel of the Washington Evening Journal.