Lake first-year football coach Mark Emans was voted Ohio’s Division IV Co-Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, so it comes as little surprise that 10 area coaches and 10 media members voted Emans the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press COY.
|Coach Mark Emans|
Under Emans, Lake finished 8-3, losing in the playoffs to No. 1 seed Caledonia River Valley (11-1), 36-25, despite a second half comeback attempt that came up short. The Flyers, the No. 8 seed in Region 12, were making the third playoff appearance in school history.
Emans, an Eastwood graduate and former linebacker at Bowling Green State University who won a state championship while coaching at Wauseon, says he is pleased to be back in Wood County.
“I am so happy to be a part of the Lake school system,” Emans said. “I appreciate the opportunity to lead their team. The players, the staff, and the community all played a big part in our success.”
Emans’ 5-foot-11, 200 pound senior middle linebacker Nick Walsh won All-Press Defensive Player of the Year in close voting over seven others — Genoa’s University of Wisconsin bound senior lineman Michael Deiter, Genoa senior linebacker David Nutter, Northwood defensive end Kyle Corbitt, Genoa junior lineman Blake Traver, Clay senior linebacker Logan Davies, Woodmore senior safety Evan Ulinski, and Gibsonburg senior lineman Jacob Auld.
Walsh finished the year with 125 tackles, including 29 for a loss. Often called “Bruce” by his teammates, it’s the energy with which he plays that draws much of the acclaim.
"Nick is a really good leader, and he's the high-energy guy for us, who leads both vocally and by example,” said first team All-Press quarterback and teammate Jared Rettig. “He's that guy who is always pumping you up, and going crazy. He's the last guy in the weight room every day and he's always pushing himself to the limit, which makes him a great example to the younger kids.
“Personally, I think I try to lead more by example than in any other way, because I like to go out there and just do it instead of saying it. But the guys…they respond really well to Nick's leadership. That's a great intangible Nick has."
David Nutter follows in his older brother’s Kyle’s shoes, taking the Offensive Player of the Year honor.
Nutter, a team captain, ran for 1,514 yards, averaging nine per carry, while scoring 20 rushing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. He is first team All-Ohio, first team All-Northern Buckeye Conference two years in a row, along with NBC Back of the Year this year. His All-NBC selection was unanimous and he was also first team all-district, of course.
Top: Genoa senior running back David utter, the Alan miller Jewelers All
Also getting votes for All-Press Offensive POY were Rettig, Northwood back Dominik Bermejo, Woodmore quarterback Jake Matwiecjzcyk, Clay receiver Kyle Row, and Genoa all-purpose back Casey Gose.
For the All-Press COY award, also getting votes were veteran Northwood coach Ken James, Genoa coach Tim Spiess, and Woodmore coach Britton Devier.
James and Spiess’ accomplishments this year are obvious — both led teams to league championships and the playoffs. Devier may have gone a bit under the radar.
Woodmore had its first winning record in 10 years, set 38 school records, scored 380 points (compared to 189 in 2010), had 4,146 yards of total offense (compared to 3,013 in 2010), scored 50 touchdowns (compared to 25 in 2010), and averaged 201 yards rushing and 214 yards passing per game.
He has coached quarterbacks to 2,000 yard-plus passing season as and 800-plus rushing seasons three years in a row. Plus, he means much more than that to many of his players.
“He wants us to develop as a football team, but more importantly, as individual people and in the classroom,” said 2012 Woodmore graduate Coleton Bihn.
All this resulted, despite a school and grand jury investigation into whether an assistant coach abused a player, which resulted in the grand jury recommending not to prosecute. (—Writer Jeffrey D. Norwalk contributed)