It takes a special kind of football player to grab a spot on the All-Ohio first team in back-to-back seasons, but if there’s a high school athlete who knows a thing or two about grabbing hold of things it’s Elyria senior Connor Kamczyc.
Kamczyc, a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker, landed on the Division I All-Ohio first team last year after leading the state with 161 tackles.
This season he upped the total to a school-record 211, earned the Northeast Lakes district defensive player of the year award and was again listed on the All-Ohio first team when the Associated Press lists for Divisions I and II were released Monday night.
The other area athletes who earned first-team nods were Lorain’s Tyler King, who starred on the St. Edward offensive and defensive lines, and Amherst’s Matt Colella — the standout St. Ignatius kicker — while 20 other area athletes received All-Ohio honors on the second team, third team or with a special mention.
The All-Ohio teams for Divisions III-V will be released tonight, while the All-Ohio teams and Ohio’s Mr. Football winner will be released Wednesday night.
“I was kind of surprised that I got the district player of the year award,” said Kamczyc, who earned an automatic spot on the All-Ohio first team with the award. “But it feels great to be able to get this (All-Ohio) award back to back. It was a goal I had coming into the season. I wanted to be a two-time All-Ohio (first-team) linebacker.”
In true Pioneer fashion, he’s the first Elyria High player to achieve the feat.
“I’ve looked up on the walls and I didn’t see any other players who’ve done it,” he said.
Adding to the 372 tackles the last two seasons, Kamczyc has totaled 14 sacks, nearly three dozen tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.
The big numbers have opened some eyes … on every level. Kamczyc has talked to Division I colleges (Eastern Michigan and Toledo), Division II schools (Ashland and Findlay) and a few Division III programs (Mount Union and Baldwin Wallace).
Kamczyc is also a star on the wrestling mats, but knows football is the sport he wants to continue to play after high school.
“I’m used to switching back and forth between sports, but I’m definitely looking for a football scholarship,” he said. “It’s been a slow process, but I’m still talking to several schools.”
King, a 6-3, 280-pound lineman, has already accepted a scholarship offer from Bowling Green of the Mid-American Conference, and after the Eagles’ loss to Mentor in last weekend’s Division I state semifinals the All-Ohio award was the exclamation point on his high school career.
“It kind of hit me today at my last football meeting,” King said. “I am very proud of this award and I’m glad I got it and everything that comes with it, but it wasn’t something that was really on my mind or that I was wanting to happen.”
Like Kamczyc, it was Colella’s second consecutive All-Ohio first-team selection. He connected on 13 field goals — with a long of 52 yards — and finished with 76 points for the Wildcats. Last season, he connected on nine field goals — with a long of 51 — and kicked 63 extra points and 54 touchbacks.
Colella was named the U.S. Marines Rivalry Game MVP after kicking three field goals in the second half of St. Ignatius’ win over St. Edward in this year’s installment of the Holy War.
The award seems like the perfect way to finish a career for the trio of seniors, but it actually seemed to fire up their desire for more.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Kamczyc said. “I’m upset that it’s all over and I’d definitely like to play one more high school season.”
OFFENSE: Ends—Torrodd Carter, Westerville South, 6-2, 180, sr.; Brandon Fritts, Mentor, 6-4, 220, jr.; Colton Whited, Hudson, 6-2, 175, jr. Linemen—Chuck Zaborsky, Austintown Fitch, 6-1, 251, sr.; Jimmy Byrne, Cleve. St. Ignatius, 6-4, 285, sr.; Jarrett LaRubbio, Liberty Twp. Lakota East, 6-5, 270, sr.; Nick Richardson, Westerville Central, 6-4, 270, sr.; Kyle Trout, Lancaster, 6-5, 315, sr. Quarterbacks—Jared Drake, Westerville Central, 6-1, 208, sr.; Gus Ragland, Cin. Moeller, 6-3, 205, sr.; Conner Krizancic, Mentor, 6-2, 195, sr. Backs—Darrin Hall, Austintown Fitch, 6-1, 203, jr.; DeTuan Smith-Moore, Cin. Colerain, 5-7, 185, sr.; D.D. Clark, Hilliard Davidson, 5-10, 184, sr.; Mikel Horton, West Chester Lakota West, 6-0, 225, sr. Kickers—Matt Colella, Cleve. St. Ignatius, 5-9, 155, sr.; Karch Holland, Pickerington North, 5-9, 210, sr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Alex Backenstoe, Hilliard Davidson, 6-1, 230, sr.; Curtis Mitchell, Westerville South, 6-4, 245, sr.; Kent Berger, Mentor, 6-4, 245, sr.; Chalmer Frueauf, Cin. Moeller, 6-2, 250, sr.; Tyler King, Lakewood St. Edward, 6-3, 280, sr. Linebackers—Tegray Scales, Cin. Colerain, 6-2, 220, sr.; Connor Kamczyc, Elyria, 6-0, 215, sr.; Jamal Davis II, Canton McKinley, 6-2, 215, sr.; Dorian Hendrix, Huber Hts. Wayne, 6-1, 225, sr.; Troy Dipre, Lakewood St. Edward, 6-0, 220, jr.; Justin McMahon, Mentor, 6-1, 215, sr. Backs—Brian Groves, Stow, 5-11, 185, sr.; Marcus Elliott, Tol. Whitmer, 6-1, 198, sr.; Sam Hubbard, Cin. Moeller, 6-6, 225, sr.; Isaiah Williams, Clayton Northmont, 6-3, 187, sr. Punter—Rudy Stefanitsis, Pickerington Central, 6-2, 190, sr.
Offensive players of the year: Gus Ragland, Cin. Moeller; Conner Krizancic, Mentor.
Defensive players of the year: Alex Backenstoe, Hilliard Davidson; Tegray Scales, Cin. Colerain.
Coaches of the year: Jason Krause, Fairfield; Phil Annarella, Austintown Fitch.
OFFENSE: Ends—Rashod Berry, Lorain, 6-5, 220, jr.; Chris Boykin, Tol. Whitmer, 6-4, 205, sr. Johan Hostetler, Massillon Jackson, 6-0, 225, sr.; Mitch Morrison, Mentor, 6-2, 250, sr.; Darius Bradford, Elyria, 6-2, 300, sr.; Jared Weyler, Centerville, 6-4, 285, sr.; Luke Callahan, Powell Olentangy Liberty, 6-4, 280, sr.; Jared Johns, Hilliard Davidson, 5-11, 220, sr. Quarterbacks—Mitchell Guadagni, Hudson, 6-2, 185, jr.; Luke Grandjean, North Canton Hoover, 6-3, 180, sr.; Eric Glover-Williams, Canton McKinley, 5-10, 158, jr. Backs—Jordan Connell, Elyria, 5-9, 185, sr.; Ricky Spradling, Massillon Jackson, 5-11, 135, jr.; Martice Jackson, Wadsworth, 5-8, 209, sr. Kicker—Grant McKinniss, Findlay, 6-0, 180, soph.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Joe Henderson, Shaker Hts., 6-4, 230, sr.; Ryan Sayers, Austintown Fitch, 6-1, 210, sr. Dustin Applegate, Cin. Elder, 6-3, 220, sr. Linebackers—Dylan Weigel, Pickerington North, 6-0, 210, sr.; Isaiah Richmond, Pickerington Central, 6-0, 215, sr.; Chris Frey, Upper Arlington, 6-3, 230, sr.; Sam Ortz, Austintown Fitch, 6-0, 175, sr.; Nick Winkler, Wadsworth, 5-10, 172, sr.; Airius Moore, Beavercreek, 6-2, 218, sr; Ben Hart, Hudson, 6-0, 230, sr.; Matt Beech, Stow, 6-2, 220, sr. Backs—Brendan Ganser, Canton GlenOak, 5-10, 165, sr.; Ryan Looser, Wadsworth, 6-2, 179, sr.; Eldin Anu, Westerville Central, 5-8, 165, sr.; Justin Childers, Pickerington North, 6-2, 195, sr.; Pat Riley, Lakewood St. Edward, 5-10, 170, sr. Punter—Ryan Nuss, Fairfield, 5-9, 185, sr.
Area Special Mention: Alex Stump, Lakewood St. Edward (Avon); Zach Robinson, Elyria; Eriq Hall, Lorain; Aaron Neal, Lorain.
OFFENSE: Ends—Chekiah Washington, Mansfield Senior, 6-0, 200, sr.; Dar Stanford, Zanesville, 5-11, 175, sr.; Reggie Rogers, Massillon Washington, 6-1, 185, jr. Linemen—Nathan Puthoff, Cols. St. Charles, 6-5, 285, sr.; Nathaniel Devers, Massillon Washington, 6-5, 280, sr.; Marcelys Jones, Cleve. Glenville, 6-5, 325, sr.; Kyle Ritz, Willoughby South, 6-6, 285, sr.; Andrew Alten, Loveland, 6-2, 295, sr. Quarterbacks—Bruce Kinsey, Medina Highland, 6-1, 190, sr.; Tim Tupa, Brecksville-Broadview Hts., 6-1, 190, sr.; Thomas Wibbeler, Zanesville, 5-11, 170, sr. Backs—Nate Slagel, Loveland, 6-0, 200, jr.; J.D. Orr, Mount Vernon, 5-11, 195, jr.; Trent Yeomans, Piqua, 5-11, 186, jr. Kicker—Hutch Blackstone, Mansfield Senior, 6-3, 190, sr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Charlie Lawler, Loveland, 6-1, 200, sr.; Daniel Cage, Cin. Winton Woods, 6-3, 295, sr.; Aaron Tiller, Pataskala Licking Hts., 6-1, 240, sr.; Antonio Sanderfer, Mansfield Senior, 6-1, 215, sr. Linebackers—Hayden Hatten, New Albany, 6-0, 200, sr.; Tristan Rock, Zanesville, 6-2, 215, sr.; Alex Woicehovich, Macedonia Nordonia, 6-0, 220, sr.; Reginald Howard, Cin. Withrow, 6-3, 220, sr. Backs—Marshon Lattimore, Cleve. Glenville, 6-0, 175, sr.; Nate Hall, Sylvania Southview, 6-3, 210, sr.; Seth Hill, Worthington Kilbourne, 5-9, 165, sr.; Nick Johnson, Canton Timken, 6-0, 175, sr.; Matt Mesker, Perrysburg, 5-11, 180, sr.; Brandon Paschal, Cols. Walnut Ridge, 5-9, 169, sr. Punter—Jake Hartbarger, Whitehouse Anthony Wayne, 6-4, 195, sr.
Offensive player of the year: Nate Slagel, Loveland.
Defensive players of the year: Marshon Lattimore, Cleve. Glenville; Hayden Hatten, New Albany.
Coaches of the year: Mike Fell, Lima Senior; Chioke Bradley, Mansfield Senior; Fred Cranford, Loveland; Tom Lombardo, Medina Highland.
OFFENSE: Ends—Logan Bolin, Grafton Midview, 6-2, 180, soph; Alex Alders, Macedonia Nordonia, 6-2, 195, jr.; Kyle Rowe, Oregon Clay, 6-1, 175, sr. Linemen—Skylar Hartley, Hilliard Bradley, 6-2, 305, sr.; Austin Kimble, Zanesville, 6-3, 255, sr.; Myles Houska, Median Highland, 6-4, 280, sr.; Ben Oxley, Avon Lake, 6-6, 280, sr. Quarterbacks—Jalen Reese, Mansfield Senior, 6-3, 185, sr.; Ramroth Finnegan, Cols. Whetstone, 6-3, 215, sr.; Cody Callaway, Grafton Midview, 6-3, 195, sr.; Gus Dimmerling, Perrysburg, 5-11, 190, jr. Backs—Marcus Davis, Cin. Winton Woods, 5-10, 205, jr.; Matt Blasiole, Uniontown Lake, 6-0, 190, sr.; Juniel Liles, Lima Senior, 5-7, 170, jr.; Brandon Davis, Madison, 6-3, 200, sr. Kicker—Eric Sumislawski, Avon, 6-2, 165, jr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Mickey Crum, Cols. Hamilton Twp., 6-4, 243, sr.; Ty Green, Ashland, 6-4, 250, sr.; Ryan Stout, Sylvania Southview, 6-5, 260, sr.; Nyck Grayson, Macedonia Nordonia, 6-3, 205, jr. Linebackers—Nick Conner, Dublin Scioto, 6-4, 215, jr.; Matt Sommers, Kent Roosevelt, 6-2, 225, sr.; Ricky Simcic, Madison, 5-11, 205, jr.; Brian Popp, Loveland, 6-0, 220, sr. Backs—Nilijah Ballew, Cin. Walnut Hills, 6-2, 200, sr.; Mike Edwards, Cin. Winton Woods, 6-0, 165, sr.; Denzel Ward, Macedonia Nordonia, 5-11, 160, jr.; Kolton Davis, Tol. Bowsher, 5-9, 150, sr. Punter—Mike Knoll, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 6-1, 210, sr.
OFFENSE: Ends—Marcus Whitfield, Massillon Washington, 6-2, 185, sr.; Cory Moncol, Medina Highland, 6-1, 170, sr.; Ryan Bailey, Mayfield, 5-11, 175, sr. Linemen—Hussain Hamdan, Akron Ellet,
5-10, 215, sr.; Walter Rauterkus, Avon, 6-6, 290, sr.; Joe Schick, Worthington Kilbourne, 6-3, 265, sr. Quarterbacks—David Murray, Macedonia Nordonia,
6-2, 180, jr.; Tommy Glenn, Avon, 6-3, 172, sr. Backs—Tony Harvard, Thomas Worthington, 5-10, 175, sr.; Marcus Caddiell, Kent Roosevelt, 5-7, 165, sr.; Isaac Schmeltzer, Logan, 5-11, 175, sr.; Demario McCall, North Ridgeville, 5-9, 165, soph. Kickers—Andrew David, Massillon Washington, 5-8, 170, jr.; Kyle Kostoff, Cin. Northwest, 5-10, 175, sr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—David Johnson, Zanesville, 5-8, 175, sr.; Jordan Thompson, Cin. La Salle, 6-3, 255, jr.; DeShanon Oats, Cin. Withrow, 6-1, 220, sr.; Troy Lang, Brecksville-Broadview Hts., 5-11, 190, sr. Linebackers—Anthony McKee, Cols. Walnut Ridge,
6-2, 195, jr.; Bryan DiCillo, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 6-2, 210, sr.; Jordan Lackey, Cin. Mt. Healthy, 5-9, 185, sr.; Jay Rose, Brecksville-Broadview Hts., 6-2, 220, sr.; Derek Eibon, Amherst Steele, 5-11, 190, sr. Backs_Josh Correll, Cin. Anderson, 6-2, 200, sr.; Mike Hansinger, Olmsted Falls, 6-2, 185, sr.; Erick Smith, Cleve. Glenville, 6-0, 181, sr.; Jacob Allton, Ashland, 5-10, 185, sr. Punter—Taylor Wilson, Worthington Kilbourne, 6-0, 205, sr.