OLIVESBURG — Caleb Cunningham’s season-long rampage didn’t go unnoticed — or unrewarded.
Crestview’s senior defensive end was selected the Firelands Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year when the All-Firelands Conference team was unveiled.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Cunningham menaced the league this autumn. He registered 102 tackles, including 28 tackles for loss and seven sacks, as the Cougars reached the playoffs for the fifth straight year. He added 16 quarterback pressures, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt.
Western Reserve’s Connor Dawson was selected the Offensive Back of the Year, while teammate Braxton Balog was the Offensive Lineman of the Year. Monroeville’s Evan Benfer was the Defensive Back of the Year and Monroeville’s Tylor Nestor was the Coach of the Year.
Cunningham and teammate Gavin Barker were first-team picks on the offensive line. Cunningham was choses at tackle, while Barker was selected at center. Teammate Tyson Ringler was a first-team pick at receiver.
Other first-team picks included Monroeville’s Benfer at quarterback, running backs Dawson (Western Reserve), Josh Pocos (St. Paul) and Landen Roeder (Monroeville), receivers Blake Schaub (Monroeville) and Cole Frankart (South Central) and tight end Ashton Stang (St. Paul). Other first-team offensive linemen were center Ben Rospert, guards Balog (Western Reserve) and Tristan Nickoli (St. Paul) and tackle Isaac Clingman (Monroeville). The first-team kicker was Monroeville’s Landon Stein.
Cunningham was joined on the first-team defensive line by St. Paul’s Nickoli and Western Reserve’s Rylee Supeck. Barker was a first-team pick at inside linebacker, along with Monroeville’s Clingman and Western Reserve’s Balog. Outside linebackers were St. Paul’s Pocos and Mapleton’s Mark Miller.
Mapleton’s Kollin Cline joined Monroeville’s Benfer in the first-team secondary. Other first-team defensive backs included Western Reserve’s Dawson and St. Paul’s Drew Kuhnle. Monroeville’s Schaub was the first-team punter.
Second-team offensive picks were Mapleton’s Cline at quarterback, running backs Ayden Reymer of Crestview, Layne Bushey of Plymouth and Ben Burger of St. Paul and tight ends Karter Goon of Crestview and Supeck of Western Reserve. Second-team linemen were guards Kole Ackerman and Brycen Dunlap of Monroeville and tackles Tyler Delosh (Mapleton) and Tyler Baxter (St. Paul).
On defense, second-teamers included linemen Patrick O’Brien of St. Paul and Monroeville’s Ackerman and Dunlap. Inside linebackers were St. Paul’s Xavier Smith and Jack Stieber and Western Reserve’s Mason Kinney. Monroeville’s Roeder and Western Reserve’s Nate Lowe were second-team picks at outside linebacker.
The second-team secondary included Crestview’s Brice Perkins, South Central’s Aaron Hauger and St. Paul’s Brady Daley and Landon Fries. Crestview’s Barker was the second-team punter.
Honorable-mention selections on offense were quarterbacks Liam Kuhn (Crestview) and Hayden Keith (Western Reserve), running backs Luke Pryor (Mapleton) and Gunner Ray (South Central), receiver Nolan Moore (Crestview), tight end Levi Stegaman (Monroeville), guards Kinney (Western Reserve), Gunner Huston (Plymouth), Ajay Workman (Mapleton) and Evan Wangler (St. Paul) and tackles Ben Blum (St. Paul), Jaxson Hedrick (Monroeville), Nolan Branham (Plymouth), Travis French (Western Reserve) and Landon Gamble (South Central).
Defensive honorable-mention picks were linemen Casper Caizzo (St. Paul), Noah Robinson (Plymouth), Nolan Branham (Plymouth) and Clayton Meagrow (Western Reserve), inside linebackers Colton Wittman (Mapleton), Landin Hershiser (Monroeville) and Brantley Ellis (South Central), outside linebacker Jaden Hedrick (Crestview) and defensive backs Bock Houck (St. Paul), Diton Farnsworth (South Central) and Colt Clark (Monroeville).