Ty Williams

Hillsdale's Ty Williams plows over a Waynedale defender during a regular season game at Ashland's Community Stadium. Williams became Hillsdale's career tackles leader in the victory.

JEROMESVILLE — Trevor Cline has played alongside and coached some of the best players in program history, but as far as Hillsdale’s third-year mentor is concerned none of them can compare to Ty Williams.

Williams, the Richland Source Defensive Player of the Year, capped a sensational four-year run by becoming Hillsdale’s first-ever Wayne County Athletic League Player of the Year. The list of recent Hillsdale products not to win the award includes one-time NFL defensive lineman and former Cline teammate Ryan Bee and current Marshall University defensive end Michael Garn.

“Ty will go down as one of the best football players and athletes to ever play at Hillsdale,” said Cline, a 2012 Hillsdale grad.

A 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior and four-year starter at linebacker, Williams became Hillsdale’s career tackles leader in a Week 5 win over Waynedale. He will graduate with 479 career stops, eclipsing the mark set by former teammate and 2020 Hillsdale grad Briar Funk (431).

“It shows we’ve had a lot of success on defense throughout my years,” Williams said the night be broke the record. “It’s always great to have an accomplishment like that, especially when the guy I’m beating out is Briar. We’re buddies and we played together for three years.”

In addition to his responsibilities on defense, Williams was also invaluable to the offense. He rushed for a team-high 481 yards and seven touchdowns on 71 carries and caught 49 passes for 516 yards and six touchdowns, accounting for 997 yards from scrimmage.

In addition to his 479 career tackles, Williams will graduate with 1,003 career rushing yards and 1,017 career receiving yards. He was also forced into spot duty as Hillsdale’s quarterback last fall and threw for 293 yards and a touchdown.

“Ty was the leader of our team over the past few years and one of the hardest workers we have ever had in our program,” Cline said. “Over the past few years when we needed a play to be made, Ty was the one we counted on to make it.”

What’s more, the Falcons enjoyed unequaled success during Williams’ four seasons. Hillsdale was 30-15 overall with four playoff appearances and a 5-4 postseason record the past four years.

In addition to being selected the WCAL Player of the Year, Williams was a Northeast Inlands first team selection in Division VI. He is part of an All-Richland Source defense that includes 13 other all-district first-teamers:

Defensive Line

Jake Bever, Ashland: The 6-foot-1, 265-pound senior made 69 tackles, including four tackles for loss and two sacks, as the Arrows advanced to the Division III, Region 10 semifinals. Bever was a Northwest District first team pick in Division III and an Ohio Cardinal Conference first-teamer.

Nathan Zehner, Shelby: Pound-for-pound one of the strongest players in north central Ohio, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Zehner had 33 tackles and four sacks during Shelby’s six regular season games and helped the Whippets (9-1) reach the Division IV, Region 14 championship game. Zehner was a Northwest District first team selection in Division IV and a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference first-teamer.

Jonathan Nagel, Ontario: A rangy 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior, Nagel had 38 tackles and a team-high six sacks during the regular season and helped Ontario to its first playoff win since 2001. Nagel was a Northwest District first team pick in Division IV and a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference second team selection.

Chase Walker, Colonel Crawford: The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Walker was selected the Northwest District Defensive Player of the Year, sharing the award with Archbold linebacker Carson Meyer. A senior, Walker had 22 tackles for loss and six sacks as the Eagles won the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title and advanced to the Region 22 semifinals.

Linebackers

Jakob Beverly, Ashland: The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Beverly led the Arrows with 159 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks. He was selected the Ohio Cardinal Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the Northwest District Defensive Player of the Year in Division III, leading the Arrows to a share of the OCC title.

Nathan Barrett, Madison: A 6-foot-194-pound senior, Barrett helped the Rams snap a 25-game losing streak with a 13-7 win over crosstown rival Mansfield Senior. A standout wrestler who qualified for the Division II state tournament before it was canceled last winter, Barrett was an Ohio Cardinal Conference first team pick and a Northwest District first-teamer in Division III.

Carson Ingram Shelby: The 6-foot, 205-pound senior led Shelby with 56 tackles, nine tackles for loss and seven sacks during the shortened regular season. Ingram was a Northwest District first team pick in Division IV and a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference first-teamer.

Ethan Wallace, Lucas: The Division VII Cubs played one of the toughest regular season schedules in the state as a de facto member of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference and acquitted themselves nicely with a 4-2 record against mostly Division IV competition. Lucas reached the Region 25 championship game before falling to eventual state runner-up Warren JFK. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Wallace was selected to the Northwest District first team in Division VII.

Defensive Backs

Aveon Grose, Mansfield Senior: A Pitt recruit, Grose had 59 tackles and two sacks for the Tygers. His interception late in the fourth quarter against Sylvania Southview preserved a 7-3 win in the opening round of the Division III, Region 10 playoffs. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior was a Northwest District first team pick and an Ohio Cardinal Conference first-teamer.

Andre Hill, Shelby: A 6-foot, 165-pound junior, Hill led the Whippets with three interceptions during the regular season. He was selected to the Northwest District first team in Division IV and Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference first team.

Brady Tedrow, Clear Fork: A do-it-all senior, Tedrow had 34 tackles and an interception during the regular season while leading Clear Fork’s offense with 576 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Tedrow was a Northwest District first team pick in Division IV and a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference first-teamer.

Carter Valentine, Colonel Crawford: A 6-foot-5 junior, Valentine led the area with seven interceptions as the Eagles reached the Division VI, Region 22 semifinals. Valentine was a Northwest District first team selection in Division VI.

Punter

Marshall Shepherd, Shelby: The 6-foot-2 junior, who doubled as Shelby’s quarterback, averaged 39 yards per punt while completing 69 percent of his passes for 1,105 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season. Shepherd was selected to the Northwest District first team in Division IV and was a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference first-teamer.

Punt Returner

Myles Bradley, Mansfield Senior: A 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior, Bradley averaged more than 11 yards per punt return while leading Senior High with 34 catches for 533 yards and four touchdowns. Bradley was an Ohio Cardinal Conference first team pick and a Northwest District second-teamer.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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