Fall 2021 Daily Chronicle Football All-Area Team

Meet the Daily Chronicle All-Area football team

The Sycamore sideline celebrates as the defense stops St. Patrick on a fourth down play sealing the win for the Spartans in their IHSA Class 5A state quarterfinal game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Sycamore High School.

Player of the Year

Lincoln Cooley, jr., OL/DL Sycamore

First-team offense
Kaneland's Troyer Carlson looks for a receiver during their game Friday, Sep. 10, 2021 at Sycamore High School.

Troyer Carlson, so., QB, Kaneland — In his second year as a starter, Carlson put up some eye-popping numbers. He threw for 2,790 yards, 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 64% of his passes. He was an All-Interstate 8 Conference selection and honorable mention Illinois High School Football Coaches Association All-State in Class 5A.

Ottawa's Luke Poffenbarger, tries to bring down Sycamore's Eli Meier on a run in the first quarter Saturday at Ottawa.

Eli Meier, jr., QB, Sycamore — Twice a unanimous all-conference selection in the Interstate 8, Meier threw for 1,679 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions, completing 64% of his passes. He also had 85 carries for 594 yards and eight scores.

Sycamore's Sam Carlson is pulled down by Fenwick's Conor Paris during their IHSA Class 5A state semifinal game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at Triton College in River Grove.

Sam Carlson, sr., RB, Sycamore — Carlson was a unanimous selection to the All-Interstate 8 team and was a dual threat for the Spartans. He ran for 671 yards and six scores on 113 carries, and he caught 15 passes for 436 yards and five touchdowns.

Genoa-Kingston's Ethan Wilnau follows Brody Engel and Owen Bohne through the St. Francis line Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, during their IHSA Class 4A state playoff game at Genoa-Kingston High School.

Ethan Wilnau, jr., RB, Genoa-Kingston — On only 58 carries for the balanced Cogs attack, Wilnau ran for 673 yards - an average of 11.6 yards a carry – and nine scores. He also was a prolific kick returner for the Cogs and was named to the All-Big Northern Conference team.

Kaneland players celebrate Sam Gagne's (3) touchdown during a game at Geneva on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.

Sam Gagne, sr., WR, Kaneland — An IHSFCA All-State selection, Gagne hauled in 61 passes for 1,146 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also was an All-Interstate 8 pick.

Kaneland's Aric Johnson gets past Sycamore's William Stewart on his way to a touchdown during their game Friday, Sep. 10, 2021 at Sycamore High School.

Aric Johnson, so., WR, Kaneland — Johnson’s numbers were all the more impressive considering he was in the same receiving corps as Gagne, catching 37 passes for 711 yards and nine touchdowns.

DeKalb's Toriano Tate (5) gains some yards on a punt return against Waubonsie during the first quarter in DeKalb on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

Toriano Tate, sr., WR, DeKalb — After being named the DuPage Valley Conference offensive player of the year in the spring season, Tate was an All-DVC selection as an all-purpose back. And all-purpose he was – he had 374 receiving yards with four scores, 297 rushing yards with a touchdown and an 84-yard kickoff return for a TD. He had 39 tackles at linebacker, four for a loss, and blocked a field goal and two extra points.

Genoa-Kingston's Colton Halter celebrates his touchdown with Declan Creadon Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, during their IHSA Class 4A playoff game against St. Francis at Genoa-Kingston High School.

Declan Creadon, sr., OL, Genoa-Kingston — Creadon anchored the prolific running attack for the Cogs and was an All-Big Northern selection. He also played defensive end and had 49 tackles, 10 for a loss and three sacks.

Genoa-Kingston senior offensive lineman Michael Sauber leads a ballcarrier through the hole during practice Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021 at the school.

Michael Sauber, sr., OL, Genoa-Kingston — Another key to the Cogs’ rushing attack, Sauber was All-Big Northern as an offensive lineman. He also played on the defensive line, notching 52 tackles, eight for a loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Plainfield South running back Johnny Bailey gets by the outstretched arms of DeKalb's Gavin Engh during their game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at DeKalb High School.

Gavin Engh, sr., OL, DeKalb — A three-year starter and All-DuPage Valley first-team selection, Engh was the best offensive lineman for the team, facing the top defensive linemen the DVC had to offer. He also started on the defensive line.

Hiawatha center Danny Fisher works on blocking during practice Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 at the school in Kirkland.

Danny Fisher, sr., OL, Hiawatha — A second-team all-association selection in eight-man football, Fisher was the anchor at center for a Hawks team that reached the eight-man playoffs for the first time.

Matt Slou, sr., OL, Kaneland — Slou anchored the Kaneland line that bought Carlson enough time to find playmakers such as Gagne and Johnson.

FIrst-team defense

Connor Grimm, jr., DL, Genoa-Kingston — Another two-way lineman for the Cogs, Grimm was a disruptive force on defense with 7.5 sacks as part of nine tackles for a loss and 58 total. He was an All-Big Northern selection.

DeKalb's Christian Lorenzo sacks Plainfield South quarterback Connor Folliard during their game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at DeKalb High School.

Christian Lorenzo, sr., DL, DeKalb — An all-DuPage Valley selection, Lorenzo had 45 tackles and four sacks. He also forced a fumble and has multiple Division I offers, including to NIU.

Sycamore linebacker Jackson Funderburg brings down Woodstock quarterback Liam Mickle during their game Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Sycamore High School.

Jackson Funderburg, sr., DL, Sycamore — Another unanimous All-Interstate 8 selection for the Spartans, Funderburg had 63 tackles, 12 of which were for a loss. He also had two sacks.

DeKalb linebacker Aiden Sisson brings down Naperville Central quarterback Owen Prucha during their game Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at Naperville Central High School.

Aiden Sisson, jr., LB, DeKalb — Sisson had 84 tackles, three for a loss, and also forced a fumble. He was an All-DuPage Valley selection.

Dixon's Jacob Gaither (#15) and Hunter Gehrt break up a pass intended for G-K's Colin Nesler Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

Colin Nesler, sr., LB, Genoa-Kingston — An IHSFCA All-State selection in Class 4A, Nesler had 113 tackles, 16 of which were for a loss. He had three sacks and was All-Big Northern.

Genoa-Kingston's Chase Engel stiff arms Bogan's Kavon Garland Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Genoa during their IHSA Class 4A playoff opener.

Chase Engel, sr., LB, Genoa-Kingston — Engel had 57 tackles and five for a loss, making the All-Big Northern team. He also was a big part of the G-K ground game with 753 yards on 108 carries and eight touchdowns.

Sycamore's Ethan Storm tries to hang on to the ball after intercepting on a play in the first quarter Saturday at Ottawa.

Ethan Storm, sr., LB, Sycamore — Part of an experienced and talented linebacking corps for the Spartans, Storm had 86 tackles and eight tackles for a loss. He also had three sacks and was a unanimous selection for the All-Interstate 8 team.

DeKalb wide receiver Ethan McCarter tries to fend of Sycamore's Kiefer Tarnoki Friday Aug. 27, 2021, during the First National Challenge in Huskie Stadium at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Friday was the first game of the 2021 season for both schools.

Kiefer Tarnoki, jr., LB, Sycamore — Even with missing three games, Tarnoki had 82 tackles, 17 of them for a loss. He had four sacks, an interception and nine pass breakups, as well, in making the All-Interstate 8 team as a unanimous selection for a second season in a row.

Ottawa running back Bryant Schomas works to get away from the pursuing Zach Wilkinson and Ethan Bode of Sycamore on a run during the first quarter Saturday in Ottawa.

Ethan Bode, jr., LB, Sycamore — Like Tarnoki, Bode was a unanimous selection for the All-Interstate 8 team for the second straight season. He had 109 tackles, 17 for a loss, four sacks, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Sycamore's Brody Armstrong forces Kaneland's Dominick DeBlasio to fumble which resulted in a turnover during their game Friday, Sep. 10, 2021 at Sycamore High School.

Brody Armstrong, sr., DB, Sycamore — Armstrong had 70 tackles, four for a loss, and two interceptions. He also had 15 pass breakups.

Sycamore's Dawson Alexander tackles Evergreen Park's Michael Torres Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, during their IHSA Class 5A playoff opener at Evergreen Park High School.

Dawson Alexander, jr., DB, Sycamore — Alexander is another two-time unanimous selection to the All-Interstate 8 team for the Spartans. He had 111 tackles, three interceptions, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and two tackles for a loss.

Genoa-Kingston's Brody Engel, (right) and Jake Oates tackle Joliet Catholic's Jordan Anderson during their IHSA Class Class 4A football playoff quarterfinal game at Joliet Memorial Stadium on Saturday,Nov. 13, 2021.

Brody Engel, jr., DB, Genoa-Kingston — Engel had 86 tackles, five for a loss. He also had four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He broke up five passes and was an All-Big Northern pick.

Honorable mention

Nolan Perry, jr., LB/QB, Genoa-Kingston; Ethan McCarter, jr., WR, DeKalb; Jamari Brown, jr., RB, DeKalb; Daniel Roman-Johnson, so., LB, DeKalb; Cole Brantley, jr., RB, Hiawatha; Chris Korb, jr., QB, Hiawatha; Zach Crawford, jr., RB, Sycamore; Nathaniel Altepeter, sr., RB; Sycamore; Dom Bills, sr., LB, Sycamore; Corey Phillips, sr., RB, Kaneland; Nathan Hoard, jr., OL, DeKalb