Detroit News All-Metro Football: North
Here is the The Detroit News’ All-Metro North team, selected by David Goricki in consultation with coaches.
Anthony D’Annibale, 6-0, 180, Sr., Novi: D’Annibale had an outstanding senior year, coming up with 87 receptions for 1,223 yards and 18 TDs to help Novi reach the state playoffs, earning a postseason win before falling to Detroit Catholic Central in the district final. He set a Class A/Division 1 record by grabbing 6 TD passes in a 49-28 win over Hartland.
“Anthony was a tireless worker in the offseason and developed into one of the most explosive athletes I’ve ever coached,” coach Jeff Burnside said. “He was a dominant receiver and by the end of the season became a dominant defensive back, as well. He always had a knack for finding the ball in the most high-pressure situations.”
Cody White, 6-3, 195, Sr., Walled Lake Western: White was a big-play threat at receiver and also played quarterback and defensive back to help Western reach the Division 2 title game. He had 43 receptions for 705 yards and nine TDs, rushed for 576 yards (10 average) and seven TDs and threw for 638 yards and nine TDs.
“Cody throws the ball well, understands defenses so we knew he would do well at quarterback,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “He’s such a great athlete and he can run and when he gets in space he does a lot of good things for us.”
White will play next year at Michigan State.
Garrett Winn, 5-10, 170, Sr., West Bloomfield: Winn had a strong senior season with 71 receptions for 879 yards and eight TDs to help West Bloomfield reach the Division 1 state playoffs.
“Garrett is a high-character kid who is a great leader,” coach Ron Bellamy said. “He’s a hard-working kid who excels in the classroom and the football field.”
Winn, who has a 4.0 GPA, will play at Navy.
Blake Bueter, 6-4, 275, Sr. Detroit Catholic Central: Bueter was a dominant force on both sides of the ball for Catholic Central, getting in on 41 tackles while clogging up the middle on defense while protecting the QB’s blindside and opening holes for Nick Capatina to become a 1,000-yard rusher from his left tackle position.
“Blake has great size and great movement for a big man,” coach Tom Mach said. “He’s got a great temperament for the game, a very tough guy who was the strength of our offensive line, could play either guard or tackle, and does a great job of sustaining blocks and opening holes. On defense he has a great ability to get to the ball.”
Bueter is getting interest from multiple MAC schools.
JaRaymond Hall, 6-4, 285, Sr, Oak Park: Hall had all the tools of a premier offensive lineman, helping Oak Park earn another state playoff appearance.
“He’s blessed with great size and athleticism,” coach Greg Carter said. “JaRaymond has developed into one of the most complete offensive linemen in the country. A three-year starter, he was named captain and had 16 pancake blocks and didn’t allow a sack in eight games.”
Hall will play next year at Michigan.
Rob Hudson, 6-8, 310, Sr., Walled Lake Western: Hudson developed into one of the top tackles in the state, getting down from the 450 pounds he was his sophomore year to a solid player as a junior, then taking the next step this season to help Western reach the Division 2 championship game.
“He developed a love for the game and his want to be successful and his want to be different and change his life is what made him so special,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “He went through a lot with his family when he was younger and didn’t have a lot of positive things in his life and he wanted to make something of it, and that was a personal choice that he made.”
Hudson is a Purdue commit, but other colleges also have showed interest, including Iowa State.
Kyle Sassack, 6-7, 285, Sr., Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: Sassack anchored an offensive line that produced an average of 35 points and 400 yards of offense a game to help Notre Dame to a state playoff appearance.
“Kyle is a devastating run blocker that has anchored an offensive attack that averaged over 300 yards rushing,” coach Pat Fox said. “He received over 20 Division 1 offers.”
Sassack will play next year at Western Michigan.
Cameron Tucker, 6-3, 330, Sr., Southfield A&T: Tucker was a major factor in Southfield A&T’s powerful offense, playing multiple positions.
“He brings a lot of leadership and was able to play center for us, and when Eric (Eldridge) went down we moved him to guard and he still made a lot of calls on the line,” coach Tim Conley said. “He’s very versatile and had a great year.”
Tucker is being recruited by multiple GLIAC schools.
RaShawn Allen, 5-9, 210, Jr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s: Allen packed on 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason to help him rush for a single-season school-record 2,109 yards and 22 TDs, including a 136-yard performance in a 29-28 comeback victory over Muskegon in the Division 3 championship game.
“He’s so low to the ground and has great change of direction, great vision, and for his size he’s a very strong kid,” said coach George Porritt. “He’s powerful and he just doesn’t go down with the first hit.”
Allen, who has a 4.1 GPA, has offers from Temple and multiple Ivy League schools and is getting attention from Big Ten and MAC schools.
Arthur “Lew” Nichols, 6-0, 195, So., Southfield A&T: Nichols was a standout in his first year on varsity, rushing for 1,328 yards on 153 carries and scoring eight TDs, highlighted by his 265-yard effort in a win over Oak Park in the regular-season finale to lock up a state playoff spot.
“He averaged over nine yards a carry as a sophomore so he’s going to be a future star,” coach Tim Conley said. “He’s the complete kid — can catch out of the backfield, play physical and he also has breakaway speed.”
Johnny Tracy, 6-3, 195, Sr., Walled Lake Western: Tracy played at a high level after missing the first three games of the season with a shoulder injury. He completed 60 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,195 yards and 23 TDs to lead Western to the Division 2 title game.
“He’s very competitive, always wants to win,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “I think he’s an extremely tough kid. He took some time off after getting banged up in the preseason, then fought his way through it and played well. He’s extremely intelligent, has a 4.2 grade-point average.”
Tracy will play quarterback at Princeton next fall.
Kam Ford, 5-9, 165, Sr., Walled Lake Western: Ford was able to do multiple things to help Western reach the Division 2 title game. He had 51 receptions for 1,113 yards and 13 TDs, averaging more than 20 yards a catch.
“Kam took the pressure off Cody (White) and when Kam was in one-on-one coverage he was tough to stop,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “He’s one of the fastest kids in the state. He’s a home run kid.”
Ford is being recruited by several Division II schools.
Jack McKenna, 6-0, 165, Sr., Walled Lake Northern: McKenna had an outstanding senior season as both the kicker and punter for Northern to help it reach the state playoffs. He made 8 of 12 field goal tries, including a long of 47 yards, converted 44 of 46 PATs and averaged 39.6 yards a punt, including eight inside the 20, along with 38 touchbacks on 56 kickoffs.
“He worked at his kicking game, working with former Lions kicker Eddie Murray and also some other kicking coaches,” coach Brett Moore said.
Cole Bearden, 6-5, 225, Sr., Detroit Country Day: Bearden was in on 75 tackles, getting in the backfield for 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks to help Country Day reach the Division 4 championship game. He also played some tight end.
“He has all the physical tools, tall and lengthy and was a big hitter,” coach Dan MacLean said. “We called him the Mad Stork (the nickname for former Oakland Raiders All-Pro defensive lineman Ted Hendricks).”
Bearden, who has a 4.0 GPA, will play at Cornell.
Ralph Holley, 6-2, 295, Sr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s: Holley was a force in the middle on defense and an outstanding blocker on the offensive side of the ball. He was in on 111 tackles, including 64 solos and 14 tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.
“His first step is explosive and he plays great with his hands,” coach George Porritt said. “He has a great first step for a guy his size.”
Holley will play at Western Michigan.
Jackson Ross, 6-3, 240, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central: Ross was a physical force, playing defensive end and tight end to help Catholic Central reach the Division 1 championship game.
“He was a third-year player and was a captain and a great leader,” coach Tom Mach said. “He had great pursuit to the ball, hit with a lot of authority, just a devastating hitter.”
Jack Saylor, 6-2, 210, Sr., Birmingham Brother Rice: Saylor was a force to help Brother Rice make it back to the state playoffs, getting in on 81 tackles, including 16 sacks and 13 quarterback hurries.
“Jack is a great worker and playmaker on the field,” coach Dave Sofran said. “He’s one of the best pass rushers we’ve ever had. He’s a high-character young man with a 3.6 grade-point average.”
Isaac Darkangelo, 6-1, 230, Jr., Detroit Catholic Central: The hard-hitting Darkangelo was in on 144 tackles to help the Shamrocks win the Catholic League title and advance to the Division 1 championship game.
“He was a very big hitter and his biggest strength was how he could read the play and get to the ball,” coach Tom Mach said. “He was the center point of our defense, the guy who called all the plays and got us in the right defense. He made a lot of big, big plays, ran people down.”
Lorenzo McCaskill, 6-2, 210, Sr., Southfield A&T: McCaskill was in on 141 tackles to help Southfield A&T reach the Division 2 regional finals. He had 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks. He also forced four fumbles and blocked four passes. Forced into duty at running back, McCaskill rushed for 133 yards and three TDs in the opening half of a 41-6 district win over West Bloomfield.
“He’s a real physical football player who played real well on both sides of the ball, always stepped up when we needed someone to make something happen,” coach Tim Conley said.
McCaskill will play next year at Cincinnati.
Josh Ross, 6-2, 225, Sr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s: Ross was a one-man wrecking crew at times, a four-year starter who led St. Mary’s to a school-record third consecutive Division 3 championship. He made 142 tackles, including 20 for loss and 121/2 sacks.
“He’s a very humble young man, a four-year starter who became one of the best who ever played here,” coach George Porritt said. “He wasn’t even close to 90 percent when he played in the state title game. His knee was bothering him and he had a little bit of a hamstring injury and just played his guts out for us.”
Ross will play at Michigan.
Chris Bergin, Detroit Country Day: Bergin was in on 60 tackles, including 31/2 sacks, and had one fumble recovery for a TD and an interception for a TD. He also ran 91 times for 626 yards and 11 TDs and had seven receptions for 120 yards and two TDs. He added three TDs on special teams.
“He plays with a lot of energy and is physical,” coach Dan MacLean said.
Bergin is getting interest from Bowling Green, Kent State, Navy, Air Force and Ivy League schools.
Jack Dodge, 6-2, 180, Sr., Walled Lake Western: Dodge was an impact player on both sides of the ball, giving quarterback Johnny Tracy another option on offense while playing havoc in the secondary. He always had a nose for the ball, intercepting 17 passes the last two years, including eight this season, one coming in the Division 2 title game.
“Jack is the fastest kid on the team, one of the fastest kids in the state so he can stretch the field while on offense and he’s an outstanding defender as well,” coach Mike Zdebski said.
Dodge plans to run track at Central Michigan.
Collin Heard, 5-10, 165, Jr., Birmingham Groves: Heard was a major reason Groves won the OAA White and Division 2 regional titles, limiting opponents to eight or fewer points in seven games, including three shutouts. He was in on 35 tackles, intercepted five passes and scored two defensive TDs. He also rushed for 546 yards and seven TDs.
“Collin has started the past two years and has a knack for making big plays,” coach Brendan Flaherty said. “Collin is explosive and is a true difference-maker on both sides of the ball. He is as good as anyone we have played against this fall.”
Marquis Thorns, 5-10, 165, Sr., Southfield A&T: Thorns was a playmaker on both sides of the ball, posting 31 receptions for 608 yards and 10 TDs, rushing for 245 yards and five TDs and also returning a punt for a score.
“He scored 16 touchdowns and also started on defense and down the stretch we put him against the best receivers against (Waterford) Mott, West Bloomfield and Oak Park and he was just able to lock up those guys, giving up just three receptions in those three games,” coach Tim Conley said.
Thorns will play next year at Morgan State.
Taylor McCarty, 6-4, 205, Sr., Lake Orion: McCarty, a 3.9 grade-point student, spent countless hours working on his game to become one of the top punters in the nation. He averaged 44 yards a punt.
“He has Division 1 ability,” coach Chris Bell said. “He works so hard, very, very hard on his craft, goes through film study, constantly working on technique. He started as our JV punter, had never punted before, but a combination of dedication and flexibility has got him to where he’s at now. I mean, during a two-hour practice he’s working the entire time. He’s the most dedicated and conscientious punter we’ve ever had.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Zdebski, Walled Lake Western: Zdebski guided Western to the KLAA Lakes Conference championship in the league’s final year, then advanced to the Division 2 championship game.
“This year’s team was like any great team — they had a bond and chemistry that is different than teams that don’t make it to that level,” Zdebski said. “You had enough kids who genuinely loved each other and cared for each other and worked for each other; that’s what’s different and special about this group of kids.”
Zdebski has a 19-year record of 154-57, including a Division 1 championship in 1999.
Ends: Blake Bogan, 6-2, 190, Sr., Grand Blanc; Taj Mustapha, 6-0, 185, Jr., West Bloomfield; Almount Smith, 6-4, 185, Sr., Southfield Bradford Academy.
Offensive linemen: Larry Borom, 6-5, 330, Sr., Birmingham Brother Rice; Eric Eldridge, 6-4, 350, Sr., Southfield A&T; Jack Mccarthy, 6-2, 285, Sr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Noah Nicklin, 6-4, 250, Jr., Clarkston; Nick Novak, 6-4, 265, Sr., Lake Orion.
Quarterback: Bryce Veasley, 6-3, 210, Jr., West Bloomfield.
Running backs: Nick Capatina, 5-9, 185, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central; Keith Fields, 5-7, 180, Sr., Waterford Mott; Derek Lynch, 5-5, 150, Sr., Bloomfield Hills.
Defensive linemen: Tristan Leinen, 6-0, 185, Sr., Rochester Hills Stoney Creek; Jack Morris, 6-4, 220, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central, Dominick Williams, 6-2, 280, Sr., Oak Park.
Linebackers: Dwayne Chapman, Sr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Kolin Demens, 6-2, 215, Jr., Detroit Country Day; Ovie Oghoufo, 6-3, 210, Jr., Farmington Hills Harrison; Nate Wagner, 6-1, 215, Sr., Birmingham Groves.
Defensive backs: Richard Bowens, 6-1, 190, Sr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Ryan Flaherty, 6-2, 205, Sr., Birmingham Groves; Vincent Gray, 6-1, 180, Jr., Rochester Adams; Steve Mann, 6-1, 185, Sr., Detroit Country Day.
Athlete: Mark Patritto, 6-0, 170, Sr., Rochester Adams.
Kicker: Ben Fee, 5-8, 170, Jr., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Punter: Evan Finegan, Sr., Madison Heights Bishop Foley.
Ends: John Adams, Ferndale; Clay Antishin, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Brady Campbell, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek; James Faulkner, West Bloomfield; Kiewuan Graham, Bloomfield Hills; Jay Hester, Royal Oak Shrine; Josh Johnson, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Matt Jordan, Birmingham Brother Rice; Amarae Kittles, Ortonville Brandon; Thomas Loftus, Rochester; Rudy Ramirez, Brighton; Kobi Russell, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook; Drew Sheckell, Birmingham Groves; Justin Thomas, Walled Lake Western.
Offensive linemen: Brady Anderson, Birmingham Groves; Devon Dulan, Detroit Country Day; Will Humenny, Detroit Country Day; Tim Jackson, Detroit Country Day; Joel Linden, Grand Blanc; Dante Little, Berkley; Stewart Newblatt, Clarkston; Ben Petersmark, Rochester Adams; Tyler Wineke, Rochester Adams; Mitch Wochoski, Troy Athens;
Quarterbacks: Alec Bageris, Novi; Ryan Brennan, Howell; Austin Brown, Detroit Catholic Central; Grant Burgess, Clarkston Everest Collegiate; John Darby, Southfield A&T; Ross Herron, Berkley; Nate Higley, Birmingham Groves; J.T. King, Clarkston; John Paddock, Bloomfield Hills; Dwan Mathis, Oak Park; Eli McLean, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; David McCullum, Waterford Mott; Caden Prieskorn, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Asher Smith, Royal Oak Shrine; Kyle Wood, Rochester Adams.
Running backs: Ernest Allen, Birmingham Groves; John Brucia, Rochester Adams; Ky’ren Cunningham, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Michael Fluegel, Clarkston; Nathan Hankerson, Novi; Luke Helwing, Brighton; Davion Johnson, West Bloomfield; Chase Kareta, Rochester Adams; Zoser Little, Ferndale; Jalen Marshall, Walled Lake Western; Mike Niehaus, Royal Oak Shrine; Paris Partee, Holly; Najee Trinity, Oak Park; Dylan Stackhouse, Oak Park; Aaron Wiggins, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook.
Defensive linemen: Jaleel Anderson, Birmingham Groves; Jake Brower, Brighton; Bryce Chamberlain, Ortonville Brandon; Marsello Gashaj, Troy Athens; Garrett Graves, Brighton; Tim Jackson, Detroit Country Day; Christian Love, Detroit Country Day; Darius Lynum, Oak Park; J.P. Morris, West Bloomfield; Alex Palazzolo, Brighton; Ryan Prisby, Clarkston; Carter Stagner, Birmingham Seaholm; Nate Warren, Brighton.
Linebackers: Brendann Brown, Farmington Hills Harrison; Luke Adams, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Jack Aigner, Brighton; Matt Alati, Walled Lake Western; Ryan Crews, Madison Heights Madison; Adam Fakih, Detroit Country Day; Jack Johnson, Brighton; Guam Lee, Farmington Hills Harrison, Joey Lovasz, Ortonville Brandon; Daniel Macks, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest; Gabe Nickels, Waterford Lakes; Gino Paese, Clarkston; Keith Powe, Southfield A&T; Dan Romano, Royal Oak Shrine; Steve Roncelli, Rochester Adams; Nick Stallworth, Clarkston; Tyler Vestrand, Lake Orion; Rubin Williams, Birmingham Brother Rice.
Defensive backs: Julian Benavides, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Braxton Blackwell, South Lyon; Shermond Dabney, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Austin Ford, Brighton; Trevor Hopman, Brighton; Chris Jakubik, Detroit Catholic Central; Roy McCree, Detroit Country Day; Nick Neibauer, Detroit Country Day; Cole Patritto, Rochester Adams; Nick Seidel, West Bloomfield; Elijah Sherman, Bloomfield Hills; Joshua Turner, West Bloomfield; Sam Williamson, Brighton.
Kicker: Pierson Cooke, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook.
Punter: Zach Clements, Ortonville Brandon; Izaac Gerkis, Birmingham Seaholm; Alec Jabara, Detroit Country Day.