WAHOO – Defense wins championships.
That statement rang true for the Wahoo Warriors during their epic run to the Class C-1 state championship.
The Warriors allowed just 54 total points in 13 games and shutout six of their 13 opponents.
Eleven players make up this season’s All-Area defense and just six are seniors.
Here is a look at this year’s first team;
Jacob Ludwig, Ashland-Greenwood Sr.
Menacing is the best way to describe the Bluejays leading tackler.
The 205-pound defensive end piled up 107 tackles and led the Jays with eight QB sacks.
The Bluejay wrestler understands leverage and he used it to manipulate the guy across from him and get to the quarterback.
Bayley LaCroix, Mead Jr.
At 6’5” 245 pounds this big dude faced numerous double teams last season.
It rarely slowed the Raider defensive lineman and he finished with 49 tackles, including eight behind the line of scrimmage and the Raider junior added two fumble recoveries.
LaCroix also started at center for Coach Terry Hickman last season.
Brandon Swahn, Wahoo Sr.
What a disruptor this guy was all season for the Warriors.
Undersized at 200 pounds, Swahn has an extremely quick first step which he used to harass offensive tackles all season.
Swahn piled up 57 tackles, including an eye-popping 17 behind the line of scrimmage. He also sacked the quarterback six times.
Grant Kolterman, Wahoo Jr.
Instincts. This guy has them in spades.
The 185-pound junior racked up 119 tackles while seemingly being on the bottom of every pile.
He finished with a team-best 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, four fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. He also blocked two kicks and returned an interception for a touchdown.
David Lilly, Bishop Neumann Sr.
One of the top athletes in the state, regardless of class.
When you combine that with incredible instincts you have an all-state football player and that is what Lilly is.
He led Neumann with 125 tackles and rushed for 1,228 yards and 23 touchdowns while starting at fullback.
He also caught a touchdown pass, returned an interception for a touchdown and housed a kickoff against Boys Town.
Trey Miller, Bishop Neumann Sr.
Miller teamed with Lilly at linebacker to form one of the top duos in Class C-1.
At 210 pounds, Miller had the size to shed blockers and tackle with authority.
He has great feet and good hands and that combined with his size allowed him to pile up 72 tackles. He also intercepted a pass.
Michael Potter, Raymond Central Jr.
Two-way player was voted captain and team MVP by his teammates after a great junior season.
He came up with 76 tackles and two interceptions from his middle linebacker spot.
He also started at center for the Mustangs while helping the team pile up more than 2,500 yards.
Kole Bordovsky, Wahoo Sr. (Captain)
Strong and physical dude who got guys to the ground. Period.
How about a school record 161 tackles, including 10 in the state championship game against Pierce.
He blocked two kicks, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and picked off a pass.
More importantly Bordovsky made all of the defensive calls and always had the Warriors organized pre- snap.
Isaiah Daniell, Yutan So.
This Yutan youngster is wise beyond his years and he proved that on the field last season.
Daniell started at safety for Coach Dan Krajicek and was a playmaker, coming up with 64 tackles, five interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Daniell is part of a talented young group in Yutan who will look to build on their playoff appearance next season.
JT Haag, Mead Sr.
What didn’t this guy do for the Raiders this season?
He caught 32 balls for 673 yards and seven touchdowns on offense.
He piled up 46 tackles on defense and led all area players with seven interceptions.
He averaged 27.1 yards per kickoff return and brought three back for touchdowns. He also averaged 20.5 yards on six punt returns and returned two of those for scores.
Conner Kreikemeier, Raymond Central So.
Kreikemeier started at quarterback and at safety for the Mustangs last season.
He passed for 863 yards and nine scores and rushed for a team-best 651 yards and six more scores.
Defensively, he piled up 64 tackles and finished tied for the team lead with two picks.
Second Team Members
DE: Nick Laughlin, Mead Jr.
DL: Kalon Cooper, Wahoo Sr.
DL: John Klement, Bishop Neumann Sr.
LB: Seth Novak, Ashland-Greenwood Sr.
LB: Kyle vonRentzell, Ash-Greewnwood Sr.
LB: Austin Pierce, East Butler Sr.
OLB: Jarrett Kmiecik, Bishop Neumann Sr.
DB: Cooper Hancock, Wahoo Jr.
DB: Dominic Goodwin, Cedar Bluffs Sr.
DB: Taylen Pospisil, Bishop Neumann Sr.
DB: Travis Nelson, Raymond Central So.