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Tri-Cities all-area football team
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/3/2009 4:31 PM

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All Area Team 2009
Ryley Bailey Kaneland

A three-year starter and two-time all-Western Sun Conference selection, this split end was no secret. Yet he got open for 56 catches, 817 yards, 8 touchdowns. Six-feet, 185 pounds, No. 88 ranks second in Kaneland history with 142 career catches, third in receiving yardage (1,980) and touchdown grabs (19). Kaneland's offensive MVP and its starting free safety, Bailey's 13 catches (for 175 yards) against Geneva tied the program record. "Obviously, he was a very important part of our offense the last three years, and we're really going to miss him," said Knights coach Tom Fedderly.

All Area Team 2009
David Benson Aurora Christian

A returning starting offensive lineman, Benson added linebacker duties and shined. The 5-foot-10, 198-pound senior was named all-conference in the Suburban Christian Gold, helping lead the Eagles to the division title while opening holes for 1,000-yard back Johnny Magee. A team co-captain, Benson joined Dylan Smith as Aurora Christian's tackles leader with 97. Benson made 7 tackles for loss with 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 18 big hits. "Being a two-way starter can be hard to do sometimes," Eagles coach Don Beebe said, "but he handled it with ease."

All Area Team 2009
Frank Boenzi Geneva

This three-year starting defensive tackle dominated using quick hands and feet, attitude and wrestler's leverage. Plus, "Big Frank" goes 6-foot-3, at least 300 pounds. Geneva's fourth leading tackler with 73 - plus 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries - the senior made 10 against Rochelle and 10 more in the Class 7A quarterfinals against Wheaton Warrenville South. A repeat all-conference pick, Boenzi is the 2009 Western Sun Conference co-defensive player of the year. "Frank is one of the best pure athletes we have ever coached," said Geneva coach Rob Wicinski. "Being 310 pounds truly makes this remarkable."

All Area Team 2009
Joe Camiliere Kaneland

The Knights' 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior quarterback will add to his accomplishments - twice all-Western Sun Conference and All-Area, a first-time Class 5A academic all-state selection. Camiliere completed 160 of 264 passes (60.6 percent) for 2,208 yards and 20 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions (all in one game). Kaneland's top rusher too, he ran for 349 yards and 7 touchdowns, 2 in a fourth-quarter rally over Batavia. He averaged 255.7 yards of total offense and also played a little cornerback. "We are very glad to have him come back," Knights coach Tom Fedderly said.

All Area Team 2009
Matt Gorges West Aurora

At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, the Blackhawks' senior left tackle provided an imposing yet intelligent and mobile obstacle. A three-year starter with college looks, Gorges earned DuPage Valley Conference special mention honors and was an academic all-conference selection. He graded out as West Aurora's top lineman a second straight season, with 23 blocks of at least 5 yards, plus 8 pancakes. "He was very coachable, just a hard worker," said coach Buck Drach. "Technique-wise he had pretty good feet. Being a three-year starter in the DuPage Valley Conference says a little bit."

All Area Team 2009
Alex Karas Marmion

With this name, what else could the 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior be but a defensive tackle? A good one, too - his 19 tackles for loss, including 4 sacks, were the most for a lineman in Dan Thorpe's five years coaching at Marmion. An upbeat, encouraging teammate, the two-year starter's 93 tackles earned all-Suburban Christian Blue and Marmion defensive lineman of the year honors. He also shared Marmion's "most dedicated" award. Thorpe thinks legendary Detroit tackle Karras would approve: "He is old school. He's a coach's dream. He loves to practice, loves to do anything for the team."

All Area Team 2009
T.J. Lally Marmion

Cadets coach Dan Thorpe enjoyed a preview when in a 2008 game Lally made 14 solo tackles as a sophomore. This season, the running back/outside linebacker led the Suburban Christian Blue champions with 611 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing, plus 140 tackles with 15 for loss, 2 interceptions, 2 caused fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. The hustling 205-pounder returned an interception 55 yards to score against Marian Central. Lally was a Coaches Association all-state pick, the SCC Blue player of the year and Marmion's MVP. "He's one of the most instinctive players I've ever coached," Thorpe said.

All Area Team 2009
Johnny Magee Aurora Christian

This sub-4.6 back burst through the line, made a cutback and was gone. Magee was the Suburban Christian Gold's player of the year and was voted to the Coaches Association Class 3A All-State Team. Magee ran for 1,178 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards a carry. Three times in 4 games he surpassed 200 yards rushing, with highs of 234 yards and 4 touchdowns against Wheaton Academy. "Being all-state as a junior is quite the task," said coach Don Beebe. "I'm just glad I get him back for one more year. He's a special player."

All Area Team 2009
Matt Mautone St. Charles North

"Never missed a day of practice or a down in a game," said North Stars coach Mark Gould. At left tackle the senior three-year starter anchored an offensive line that produced 2,000 yards on the ground and protected first-year starting quarterback Jake Bergren. An Upstate Eight all-conference pick also named Class 7A Academic All-State, Mautone earned St. Charles North's "Leadership" and "Hard Hat" awards. The versatile 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman has drawn interest from state colleges. Played all three line positions over his career. "A very hard worker and a road-grader type of blocker," Gould said.

All Area Team 2009
Conner Mohs St. Charles North

Sharing the "Hard Hat" award with Mautone and winning the program's "Hustle" award, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound senior brought it every play from his safety spot. An Upstate Eight all-conference and Class 7A Academic All-State choice, Mohs made 19 solo tackles, 22 assists, 4 pass deflections and tied for team highs in forced fumbles (2) and interceptions (3). He added speed and physicality to special teams. Extremely competitive, Mohs led by example in games and practices. "Conner is one of the toughest football players I have coached in 30 years," said North Stars coach Mark Gould.

All Area Team 2009
Nolan Possley St. Charles East

This all-Upstate Eight pick honored the responsibility of being a Saints co-captain. Asked to play quarterback after playing receiver as a junior, Possley did. When required he also played tailback, fullback and linebacker. The 195-pounder ran for 430 yards, 4 touchdowns and passed for 703 yards, 7 touchdowns - one apiece in 7-3 victories, another in overtime. Possley ran in the overtime game-winner against St. Charles North. "I feel privileged to have been able to coach him and feel he set the tone for our team's success with his work ethic," said Saints coach Mike Fields.

All Area Team 2009
Michael Santacaterina Geneva

This senior running back-safety is honorary captain of the Daily Herald Tri-Cities 2009 All-Area Football Team. It wasn't just that he led the Vikings to the Class 7A quarterfinals with a team-high 802 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns and 70 tackles. It was the way he did it, as coach Rob Wicinski said, with leadership, explosion, body control and "controlled rage." All-conference in the Western Sun, Santacaterina added Coaches Association Class 7A All-State honors. "Michael is probably one of the best, if not the best football player I have ever coached," Wicinski said.

All Area Team 2009
Tyler Scott Aurora Central

A three-year starting middle linebacker and two-year starting right guard, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior earned all-conference in the Suburban Christian Blue and Aurora Central's Fr. Reardon Award saluting blue-collar grit. A co-captain who's third in his class academically, Scott ranks as ACCs 10th all-time tackler with 82 career solos and 129 assists; his numbers this year were 31 solos, 48 assists, leading the Chargers a second straight time. "Starting with his junior year, he was consistent the whole way through, on both sides of the ball," said coach Mike Curry.

All Area Team 2009
Bret Shannon Geneva

The two-year starting linebacker made all of Geneva's defensive scheme checks and calls, intelligence attractive to the Ivy League schools as well as Division II dynasty Grand Valley State. Shannon made a team-leading 111 tackles at middle linebacker with 5 sacks and 4 fumble recoveries. He had games of 14, 13, two of 12 and a high of 16 tackles (against Rochelle). Helping Geneva to a share of the final Western Sun Conference title, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior was named to the WSC All-Conference Team. "Great worker, great kid," said Vikings coach Rob Wicinski.

All Area Team 2009
Leon Spears West Aurora

The 170-pound senior earned Class 8A All-State honorable mention, rushing for 1,021 yards and 15 touchdowns. Adding a 49-yard touchdown catch, 85- and 90-yard kickoff returns and a PAT, the Blackhawks' co-captain scored 109 of his team's 184 points. His 4.4 speed produced a 93-yard run against Naperville Central, 184 yards rushing against Elgin. The DuPage Valley Conference co-offensive player of the year also was West Aurora's "most valuable" back and special teams player a second straight season. "He's the best true tailback I've ever had," said 26-year head coach Buck Drach.

All Area Team 2009
Jeff Stolzenburg St. Charles North

The North Stars' offensive and overall MVP. The 6-foot-4 senior receiver caught 33 passes for 579 yards and 10 touchdowns including both scores in St. Charles North's quarterfinal loss to Glenbard West. A good route runner with circus-catch hands, Stolzenburg established new program season records and career records for receptions (60), reception yardage (934) and touchdowns (12). He returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against Batavia and another of 84 yards against Streamwood. "Jeff's catches and kick returns often were sparks to get our team going," said North Stars coach Mark Gould.

All Area Team 2009
Jess Striedl St. Charles East

The cumulative impact this three-year starter made was greater than his 28 tackles at defensive end or his 12 catches for 179 yards at tight end. A team co-captain who rarely came off the field, when tight spots arose the 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior was there. His 4 touchdown catches, half St. Charles East's season total, came in four straight games with game-winners against Bartlett and Waubonsie Valley, in overtime - he then helped make the victory-clinching tackle. "Jess is our vocal leader and has been since day one," said Saints coach Mike Fields.

All Area Team 2009
Jon Voytilla St. Charles East

A leader by example, that was Voytilla. A 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior defensive tackle, he was athletic enough for Fields to use as a short-yardage fullback. Voytilla shrugged off constant double-teams and attacked the heart of opposing offenses to make 29 tackles and 4 sacks, and he recovered 2 fumbles. Upstate Eight coaches acknowledged him as the second leading vote-getter for defensive player of the year. "Some college is going to be very lucky to have Jon play for them," Fields said. "He is only just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential."

All Area Team 2009
Brian Wilson Batavia

Consistent all season at his defensive tackle position, this 6-foot-2, 260-pound junior earned his teammates' respect - they have already voted Wilson to serve as one of Batavia's captains next season. The aggressive, high-energy athlete made 33 solo tackles and 26 assists, 5 for loss. Dedicated to his fundamentals and assignments, Wilson became a problem for opponents: 2 forced fumbles, another recovered, 4 quarterback pressures. An all-Western Sun Conference pick. "Our defense was our strength," said Bulldogs coach Mike Gaspari, "and he was one of our primary reasons for that."

All Area Team 2009
Bobby Winkel Marmion

A powerful three-year starting fullback, Winkel also earned Coaches Association Class 6A All-State Honorable-Mention honors as a linebacker. Named Marmion's defensive back of the year, Winkel's strip of a St. Francis back in a Week 3 win may have been Marmion's single biggest play of the season. The offensive player of the year in the Suburban Christian Blue and a Cadets co-captain who shared the team's "most dedicated" award - Winkel ran for 596 yards and 6 touchdowns and made 104 tackles. "Bobby is energetic and charismatic, a coach on the field," said coach Dan Thorpe.

Special mention

Taylor Andrews (Kaneland, WR-LB, sr.); Bryce Barry (St. Charles East, DB, sr.); Brandon Beitzel (Geneva, QB, sr.); Nolan Block (Geneva, DB, sr.); Ryan Brown (St. Charles North, OL, sr.); Eric Dratnol (Kaneland, OL-DL, sr.); Rafael Flores (St. Charles East, OL, sr.); Alec Lyons (Batavia, DL, so.); Dylan Smith (Aurora Christian, TE-LB, sr.); J.J. Weaver (St. Charles North, LB, sr.).

Honorable mention

Jimmy Boyle (Kaneland, OL-DL, jr.); Phil Bucaro (St. Charles East, LB, sr.); Tyler Callaghan (Kaneland, WR-LB, jr.); Justin Craig (Geneva, OL, sr.); Ben Fornek (Batavia, DB, jr.); Mike Gallaway (Marmion, OL-DL, sr.); Jay Graffagna (Geneva, RB, sr.); Mike Greco (Batavia, LB, sr.); Dean Griffing (Aurora Christian, DL, sr.); Dom Imbordino (St. Charles North, LB, sr.); Brett Ketza (Kaneland, OL-LB, sr.); Mike Kim (West Aurora, OL, sr.); Sheldon Magee (Aurora Christian, WR-DB, jr.); Andrew Mariotti (Geneva, DL, jr.); Jeff McLean (Marmion, OL, sr.); Tyler Nutting (St. Charles East, WR-DB, sr.); Matt Pircon (Marmion, RB-DB, sr.,); Connor Quinn (Geneva, RB-LB, sr.); Alex Schaefer (Aurora Central, RB-DB, sr.); Andrew Scott (Aurora Central, OL-LB, sr.); Danny Seiton (Batavia, RB, so.); Spencer Swarts (St. Charles North, LB, sr.); Marcus Waller (West Aurora, DB, jr.); Matt Wilger (Aurora Christian, OL, sr.); Nate Zinzer (West Aurora, DB, so.).