Nick Whitmore repeats as defensive player of the year
No. 34 takes top honors once again — on offense and defense.
Genoa’s 5-foot-11, 216 pound senior running back Kyle Nutter and Northwood’s 6-0, 243 pound senior linebacker Nick Whitmore repeat as the offensive and defensive players of the year on the 2012 Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Football Team. Both wear No. 34 on their uniform.
Whitmore’s Northwood team went 10-1, won its second straight TAAC title and won eight of its games by at least 30 points. The Rangers averaged over 47 points per game and finished with 4,085 yards of total offense, including 2,971 yards rushing. On top of that, 13 players earned first-team league status.
Defensively, Northwood allowed just eight points per contest and had 27 takeaways. Nick Whitmore and Tyler Sheperd (5-9, 180) led the team in tackles, finishing with 114 and 85, respectively. Whitmore's 114 tackles led all area players and sophomore free safety Dominik Bermejo, a first team choice, had seven interceptions to lead the area.
“Nick has been a leader on our defense for the last four years and been a big part of our offense and special teams as well,” Northwood coach Ken James said. “He has also been a pleasure to coach, a tireless work who loves to compete.”
James added that Whitmore will play football in college, but has not made a decision where yet.
Whitmore ran away with voting, but also getting Defensive POY votes were Genoa linebacker Nick Keller (the NBC Defensive POY), Waite defensive lineman Charles Smith, Clay defensive lineman Jarred Gray, and Woodmore defensive end Zach Brossia.
On the offensive side of the ball, this was the year for the quarterback.
Five area signal callers passed for over 1,000 yards, and it made for some close voting for first and second team. Lake sophomore Jared Rettig (2,838 yards) barely got the first team nod by two votes over Northwood senior Nick Russell (1,085 during regular season). Rettig’s total yardage placed him eighth statewide among all divisions, despite having missed at least one game because of an injury.
Russell got second team by one vote over Clay QB Josh Pennington (2,025). Woodmore QB Jake Matwiejzcyk (2,112) was three votes behind Pennington, and Waite QB Johnny Douanglee (1,476) was two votes behind Matwiejzcyk. Gibsonburg QB Matt Tille (951) and Oak Harbor QB Austin Wiegand (866) actually finished fourth, three votes behind Pennington.
Nutter and Whitmore are joined by their coaches, Spiess and James, in receiving top coaching honors. Spiess, in his first season at the helm, and James, who just finished his 27th, are All-Press Coaches of the Year.
Spiess and James ran away with voting, but Clay coach Mike Donnelly did not finish far behind after his leading the Eagles to a 5-5 record, including 3-4 against Three Rivers Athletic Conference competition that featured two teams that reached the state final (Whitmer and Central Catholic). Oak Harbor coach Mike May also received votes after leading the Rockets to a 7-3 record, including 5-2 in the Sandusky Bay Conference.
Weiland, a Genoa resident, is the only first team player who can say his team won a state championship. Weiland, a first team return specialist and second team receiver and defensive back, caught three passes for 16 yards, ran twice for 11 yards, and had two punt returns as the Fighting irish defeated Trotwood Madison 16-12 at Massillon’s Paul Brown Stadium to win the Division II state title.
All honorees will receive either a plaque or certificate from Alan Miller Jewelers.