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Fox Valley all-area football team
By Jerry Fitzpatrick | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/3/2009 4:31 PM

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All Area Team 2009
Hayden Baker Cary-Grove

An Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 6A all-state selection, this senior center helped pave the way for a state championship offense that amassed 5,289 total yards in 14 games, including 4,444 rushing yards. "He was the anchor in the middle," Trojans coach Bruce Kay said. "We found a lot of teams put their best or biggest, most physical lineman at the nose, and Hayden answered the call every week. He has excellent intelligence and great technique."

All Area Team 2009
J.D. Barchard Crystal Lake South

This fierce senior middle linebacker led the Gators in tackles for the second straight year with 35 solos and 16 assists. He registered 1.5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. As the team's starting fullback he rushed for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns in 64 attempts (5.6 avg.). "He was the leader of our team," CL South coach Jim Stuglis said. "He played that middle linebacker spot the way it was designed, plugging holes, playing from tackle to tackle. He is a special player, one that's going to be very difficult to replace."

All Area Team 2009
Brendan Bauers Bartlett

A two-year starter at left guard and the only offensive lineman back from Bartlett's 2008 state semifinal team, this two-time all-Upstate Eight Conference selection was invaluable to the Bartlett offense. His 22 pancake blocks led the team for the second straight year. "He's a great blocker, a quiet leader and one of the captains of our team," Hawks coach Tom Meaney said. "He showed by example how tough he is. I can't remember one time watching a film where he didn't get his block."

All Area Team 2009
Eric Chandler Cary-Grove

The honorary co-captain of the all-area team was a three-year starter who surpassed Kevin Kaplan for the school's career rushing record. The fullback finished the season with 1,282 yards and 20 touchdowns in 171 attempts, elevating his career totals to 3,483 yards and 46 touchdowns. His powerful running style in Cary-Grove's devastating triple option offense helped the Trojans win the Class 6A state title. "Everything starts with the fullback," Trojans coach Bruce Kay said. "If you don't have a good fullback, defenses can hang and wait for you and run you to the sidelines. He has great character and determination mixed with excellent strength, power, balance and vision."

All Area Team 2009
Jordan Dean Elgin

This all-Upstate Eight selection was a game-changer. He scored five different ways: as a running back on offense, on a kickoff return, a punt return, an interception return and a blocked field-goal return that keyed Elgin's win over rival Larkin. He finished with 136 carries for 734 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns, 9 receptions for 85 yards, 35 solo tackles and 4 interceptions. "He did a nice job for us at tailback and as a defensive back," Elgin coach Dave Bierman said. "Special teams and defense carried us and he was a big part of that. He can change the score in a hurry."

All Area Team 2009
Dan Duffy St. Edward

A Class 4A all-state honorable mention selection, this 185-pound defensive end set what is believed to be a school record with 15 sacks. Named Suburban Christian Conference-Gold Division defensive MVP, he totaled 58 tackles, forced 2 fumbles and recovered another. "Duffy had an outstanding senior year," Green Wave coach Mike Rolando said. "One conference coach referred to him as 'virtually unblockable unless we held him or double-teamed him.'"

All Area Team 2009
Shane Finnane St. Edward

A two-way varsity starter for four years, this Class 4A all-state honorable mention and all-Suburban Christian Conference selection was a key player for St. Edward's first playoff qualifier since 2003. As a right guard he helped the offense gain a total of 3,676 total yards. As a middle linebacker he finished with 100 total tackles, 2 sacks, 7 defended passes, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. "Shane has worked hard to achieve all of his personal awards, but I know that nothing was more important to him than leading this team and program to that sixth win and the IHSA state playoffs," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "He can rest easy that he left the program much better than he found it."

All Area Team 2009
Alec Giles Crystal Lake South

This senior was a two-way, ballhawk at cornerback and wide receiver. Defensively, he led the area with 7 interceptions, 3 of which he returned for touchdowns. As a wide receiver he led the Gators with 23 receptions for 362 yards and 6 touchdowns. "To have 7 interceptions and return 3 of them for touchdowns is something special," CL South coach Jim Stuglis said. "He's around the football all the time and makes plays, which is something you can't coach."

All Area Team 2009
Alex Hembrey Cary-Grove

Named to the IHSFCA Class 6A all-state team, Hembrey was the explosive element in Cary-Grove's triple option offense. This three-year starter was the difference-maker in the Trojans' 34-17 victory over Providence in the Class 6A state title game, in which he rushed for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hembrey's 64-yard burst down the sideline gave Cary-Grove the lead for good. He finished his senior season as the team leader in rushing yards (1,291) and touchdowns (23). He also made 11 catches for 247 yards and 5 touchdowns. "He's just an outstanding athlete with superior knowledge of the game and a relentless work ethic for perfection," Cary-Grove coach Bruce Kay said.

All Area Team 2009
Brett Kleckner Huntley

This senior running back ignited the offense and helped Huntley make its second straight playoff appearance. An all-Fox Valley Conference pick, he led the Red Raiders in rushing yards (744) touchdowns rushing (9) rushing attempts, average per carry (6.3), receptions (10) receiving yardage (196) and touchdowns receiving (2). As a linebacker he was Huntley's third-leading tackler with 18 solos and 36 assists and forced 3 fumbles. "He's very talented," Huntley coach Steve Graves said. "I'd say he had the most physical ability of anyone on our team. He was a very emotional player for us and a great catalyst instrumental in us winning several games."

All Area Team 2009
Sean Kolber South Elgin

A two-time all-area selection, this senior middle linebacker's talent and leadership ability helped the Storm reach the playoffs for the first time in school history. Named all-Upstate Eight, he led South Elgin's defense in tackles with 50 solos and 15 assists, had 5 tackles for loss, broke up 3 passes, forced a fumble and recovered 2. As a part-time receiver he had 3 receptions - all for touchdowns. "He was the driving force behind the program making the jump that we did," South Elgin coach Dale Schabert said. "He was a great leader. He played hurt through injuries and set an example for the younger kids to follow."

All Area Team 2009
Tyler Krebs Cary-Grove

No area quarterback made as many wise, on-field decisions as the heady signalcaller for Cary-Grove's triple option offense. Whether audibling at the line of scrimmage, executing a fake, pitching the ball or taking it himself, Krebs was always in control for the Class 6A state champs. "He had great command of the entire offense," Trojans coach Bruce Kay said. "He knew what every player should do and he could interpret defenses and get us into the right places. He's a quarterback with a linebacker mentality." An all-Fox Valley Conference selection, Krebs rushed for 809 yards and 13 touchdowns and completed 38-of-85 passes for 796 yards and 15 touchdowns against only 3 interceptions.

All Area Team 2009
Jake Kumerow South Elgin

The area leader in receiving, this sticky-handed, 6-foot-4 senior was an all-Upstate Eight pick after making 46 receptions for 778 yards and 6 touchdowns for South Elgin's first playoff team. "Jake had the best pair of hands I've coached in a long time," Storm coach Dale Schabert said. "He improved a ton from his junior year to his senior year and became a very confident, key receiver we would look for on big downs." Kumerow finished third in the voting for Upstate Eight Conference offensive MVP.

All Area Team 2009
Ron Laramie Hampshire

A three-year starter, this two-way standout was a unanimous all-Big Northern Conference selection. He led the Whip-Purs with 53 solo tackles and 33 assists while switching between linebacker and strong safety. As a running back he led Hampshire with 736 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in 143 attempts (5.1 avg.). "He's the kind of guy we had to have on the field on both sides of the ball," Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh said. "He was just a stabilizing force for us."

All Area Team 2009
Tre Llanes Burlington Central

This junior running back enjoyed a breakthrough season for which he was named a unanimous all-Big Northern Conference selection. He led Burlington Central with 716 yards rushing on 141 attempts (5.1 avg.), scored 5 touchdowns and had 6 catches for 39 yards. "Tre is a dedicated, hard-working, coachable player who matured into his running back position as the season progressed," Rockets coach Aaron Wichman said. "Athletically, he is one of our more explosive athletes and he did a fine job of transferring that athletic ability into being a good football player."

All Area Team 2009
Sam McCole Crystal Lake South

This 6-foot-3, 280-pound nose guard was one of the area's toughest run stoppers. A three-year starter, McCole led a defense that allowed only 130 total yards per game and set a school record with 5 shutouts. The all-Fox Valley Conference selection finished with 31 solo tackles and 15 assists, 14 tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered 2 more. "He was a mainstay for us on the defensive line, just a big, physical kid who plugged up two gaps every time even if he was double teamed," Gators coach Jim Stuglis said. "He was definitely a nose guard that made our defense special. He's up there with our best defensive linemen ever."

All Area Team 2009
John Menken South Elgin

This junior quarterback accounted for 1,658 of South Elgin's 2,256 total yards against one of the toughest schedules in Class 7A this season. The all-Upstate Eight pick completed 108-of-209 attempts (51.6 percent) for 1,412 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns in 101 attempts. "I thought Johnny did a great job of growing up during the season," South Elgin coach Dale Schabert said. "We put a lot on his plate. It's a tough offense to make all the reads he made in that spread. When there was pressure on him he came through and made big plays when we needed them down the stretch."

All Area Team 2009
Eric Moreno Bartlett

As a junior last season, Moreno moved from linebacker to defensive end before the playoffs and went on to become one of the best pass rushers in school history. He was named to the all-Upstate Eight Conference team after setting a Bartlett record with 13 sacks this season. "He's just a relentless defender," Hawks coach Tom Meaney said. "He's an attacking player and he's also a good wrestler. Pound for pound he's the toughest kid around."

All Area Team 2009
Marcus Popenfoose Huntley

This 6-foot-2, 245-pound all-Fox Valley Conference pick is a two-time all-area selection. As a middle linebacker he was second on his team in tackles with 26 solos and 28 assists. He also had 5.5 tackles for loss, forced a fumble and broke up 4 passes. At fullback he finished with 66 carries for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns and made 11 receptions for 127 yards. "He was a solid two-way starter for us and the team leader this year," Huntley coach Steve Graves said. "He was the one we looked to emotionally and leadership-wise any time we needed a senior to step forward."

All Area Team 2009
Cody Schue Larkin

After adding 35 pounds in off-season workouts, this 6-foot-2, 290-pound, two-way lineman was a force for the 5-4 Royals. He recorded 5 sacks from his defensive tackle position. As a strong-side offensive tackle he paved the way for an offense that rushed for 2,207 yards. "He moves very well for a kid his size," Larkin coach Matt Gehrig said. "We always put him to the strength of our formation on offense and we set him to the strength of the opponent's formation on defense. He still has a lot of potential."

All Area Team 2009
Jordan Torres St. Edward

A three-year starter voted team MVP by his teammates, this two-way standout and all-Suburban Christian Conference pick was a force for the Green Wave (6-4). As a fullback, he rushed 92 times for 786 yards (8.5 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. "Jordan gave us even more this year than we had hoped for," Green Wave coach Mike Rolando said. "We knew he'd be a bruising running back, but his size and speed allowed him to break several long runs in key situations for us." As an outside linebacker the senior made 71 total tackles and recovered a fumble.

All Area Team 2009
Nick Underwood Cary-Grove

The middle linebacker for the Class 6A state champs was a stalwart for a defensive unit that recorded 6 shutouts in 14 outings and limited opponents to 171.6 total yards per game. An all-Fox Valley Conference pick, he finished the season with 571/2 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries and scored touchdowns on a fumble return and a blocked-punt return. "He had tremendous raw power taking on blocks and excellent knowledge of the opponents," Cary-Grove coach Bruce Kay said. "He was continually in the right place. He's the first guy that will run anyone over if need be. He just has that physical mentality. He's a big-time hitter."

All Area Team 2009
Alex Wahl Larkin

Named to the all-Upstate Eight Conference team as a linebacker, this two-way player became a leader for the Royals due to his tenacity and versatility. He moved from safety to linebacker this season and finished with 66 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. He moved from split end as a junior to tight end as a senior and made 16 catches for 191 yards and 4 touchdowns. "He was the most-improved player in the program from a year ago," Royals coach Matt Gehrig said. "An extremely coachable kid who led by example."

All Area Team 2009
Jalen Williams Larkin

The honorary co-captain of the all-area team was one of the most effective rushers in the Chicago area this season. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound tailback carried the ball 240 times for a total of 1,754 yards (7.3 avg.) and scored 18 touchdowns. His 364-yard outburst in a win at Lake Forest Academy on Sept. 19 was the 49th-highest, single-game rushing performance in IHSA history. He topped 100 yards in 8 of 9 games played. "Physically, pound for pound, he's the toughest kid I've ever coached," Larkin coach Matt Gehrig said. A Class 7A all-state selection, Williams finished second in the voting for Upstate Eight Conference offensive MVP.

Honorable mention

Bartlett - Mike Banks (Sr., LB/S), Grant Becker (Sr., LB), Jim Crain (Sr., LB), Greg Partyka (Sr., TE)

Burlington Central - J.J. Branecki (Sr., DL/OL), Michael Kellenberger (Jr., DB), Dominick LoPiccolo (Jr., OL)

Cary-Grove - Sean Considine (Sr., G), Stuart Gaulke (Sr., LB), Kyle Liebforth (Sr., LB), Matt Liebforth (Sr., OL/DL), Chad McCarron (CB/WR), Danny Scott (Sr., SS)

Crystal Lake South - Jake Bernstein (Jr., T), Brandon Erickson (Sr., RB/DB), Drew Ormseth (Jr., QB), Kameron Scott (Sr., RB), John Walsh (Sr., TE/LB), Archer Windberg (Sr., G), Trace Wingo (Sr., G)

Dundee-Crown - Josh Boyle (Sr., G)

Elgin - Cory Michalik (Sr., LB), Jeremy VanDerpluym (Sr., TE/K)

Hampshire - Cooper Smith (Sr., OL/DL), Ryan Burke (Sr., DB/QB)

Huntley - Kevin Doran (Sr., LB)

Jacobs - Paul Ehrlich (Jr., TE), Mike Stein (Sr., DB/RB), Caz Zyks (So., DB)

Larkin - Reid Ellis (Sr., WR/S), Garrett McDaniel (Sr., LB/OL)

St. Edward - Nathan Gaige (Sr., LB), David Hoebbel (Sr., RB), Ben Lehman (Jr., QB), Zach Von Ahnen (Sr., TE)

South Elgin - Domico Failla (Jr., WR/S), Derek Hurschman (Jr., DL), Jake Randich (Jr., LB), Justin Wright (Jr., LB), Andre York (Jr., DE)

Streamwood - Matt Woods (Sr., DB)