Player of the Year
Lincoln Cooley, OG/DE, sr., Sycamore
Troyer Carlson, jr., QB, Kaneland – The junior put up his third straight year of eye-popping numbers in helping Kaneland back into the postseason. He was 151 for 250 for 2,179 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Eli Meier, sr., QB, Sycamore – The three-year starter completed his career with a unanimous selection to the all-conference first team for the third straight year and was an all-state selection in Class 5A. He completed 77 of 125 passes for 1,505 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. He ran for 397 yards on 44 carries with five touchdowns.
Tyler Curtis, jr., RB/DB, Sycamore – The All-Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 White selection ran 133 times for 783 yards and 18 touchdowns as the fullback. He also played defensive back and had two interceptions and two tackles for losses among his 44 tackles on the year.
Talen Tate, jr., RB, DeKalb – Tate was the Barbs leading rusher with 112 carries, 824 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was a first-team selection in the DuPage Valley Conference and helped the Barbs reach the playoffs for the first time since 2019.
Aric Johnson, jr., WR/DB, Kaneland – Johnson excelled in all three phases for the Knights. He had 44 catches for 868 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had three interceptions and was an explosive kick returner.
Burke Gautcher, so., WR/DB, Sycamore – The sophomore made an immediate impact, becoming a two-way starter, Meier’s favorite target and a unanimous all-KR/I8 White pick. He had 37 receptions for 768 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 51 tackles, eight for a loss and two interceptions as a defensive back.
Ethan McCarter, sr., WR, DeKalb – He made 23 catches for 317 yards and four touchdowns and ran 18 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns. But he was also a good punt returner, averaging 32.6 yards per return and taking four back for touchdowns – earning him first-team honors in the DVC and the conference’s specialist of the year.
Gable Carrick, jr., OL, Sycamore – Already a two-year starter, he was part of a flexible offensive line that could handle the frequent changes in the Spartans’ formations. He was a unanimous first-team selection in the KR/I8 White.
Tristan Countryman, jr., OL/DL, Sycamore – Countryman was another of the versatile Sycamore linemen who handled the different looks on offense for the Spartans and played on the defensive line as well. He had 29 tackles, five for a loss, and was a unanimous selection of the I8 first team.
Nathan Hoard, sr., OL/DL, DeKalb – Dekalb coach Derek Schneeman called him the best two-way lineman in the DVC, and he had the accolades to back it up – first-team all-conference, honorable mention all-state and academic all-state. Not only a mauler in the run game, he was a strong pass protector and had 58 tackles, 10 for a loss, four sacks and a forced fumble.
Nathan Sauer, sr., OL, DeKalb – Undersized in the DVC, it didn’t slow Sauer down. He was first-team all-conference and was a key part of both run and pass-blocking schemes for the Barbs.
Connor Grimm, sr., OL/DL, Genoa-Kingston – Grimm came on late in the season, blocking for the bevy of Cogs runners out of the Wing-T during their postseason run. He was a stalwart all season at defensive end with 70 tackles, including 13 for a loss, and 7.5 sacks.
Josh Mauthe, jr., DL, Kaneland – Mauthe was part of a defensive turnaround for the Knights this season, making 76 tackles, including 18 for a loss, and five sacks. He broke up two passes as well.
Nathan Smith, sr., DL, DeKalb – Smith had 31 tackles, including three for a loss, and a sack this season. He was honorable mention on the All-DVC team.
Kiefer Tarnoki, sr., LB, Sycamore – A co-defensive player of the year in the KR/I8 White, he also was a three-time first-team selection in the conference. He had 84 tackles, including nine for a loss, and three sacks with three interceptions.
Ethan Bode, sr., LB, Sycamore – The co-defensive player in the KR/I8 White along with Tarnoki, Bode had 111 tackles, a sack and an interception. He was a three-time first-team member in the league and was a blocking end on offense.
Zack Crawford, sr., LB, Sycamore – Crawford was a difference-maker on both sides of the ball for the Spartans, with 86 tackles, two sacks and nine tackles for loss. He also ran the ball 43 times for 644 yards and had nine touchdowns. He was a unanimous all-KR/I8 White selection.
Dawson Trebolo, sr., LB, Kaneland – He had 95 tackles, including 13 for loss, and a sack this season. He returned a fumble for a score and blocked a punt as well.
Dominic Ohlinger, sr., LB, DeKalb – All-conference and academic all-state, Ohlinger was part of a mighty linebacker corps for the Barbs. He had a team-best 87 tackles, including seven for a loss, and a sack. He also recovered a fumble and had an interception.
Aiden Sisson, sr., LB, DeKalb – Although he was an honorable mention on the all-DVC team, he was second on the team with 85 tackles, including four for loss, and a sack. He also had an interception return for a touchdown.
Joey Puleo, sr., LB/RB, Sycamore – The two-way standout helped the Spartans reach the Class 5A semifinals for the second straight year. He had 115 carries for 786 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had 54 tackles, including 10 for loss, and two interceptions on his way to earning unanimous All-KR/I8 White honors.
Dawson Alexander, sr., DB, Sycamore – He made his third appearance on the KR/I8 White First Team with 71 tackles and two interceptions. He also spent time as a receiver.
Brody Engel, sr., DB, Genoa-Kingston – He had 84 tackles and an interception to help power the Cogs into the second round of the playoffs for the fifth straight season. He also had three tackles for loss in the secondary.
Ethan Tierney, sr., DB, DeKalb – Tierney was third on the team in tackles with 81 and had three interceptions, two of which he returned for scores. He was a first-team selection on the All-DVC team and was academic all-state.
Carter York, so., WR/DB, Sycamore; Kaden Ladas, sr., DE/TE, Sycamore; Brady Hollendoner, sr., OL, Sycamore; Ryan Blanken, sr., OL, Sycamore; Dom DeBlasio, jr., WR, Kaneland; Alex Panico, sr., DB, Kaneland; Max Lavender, sr., LB, Genoa-Kingston; LaBrian Carrington, sr., DB, DeKalb; Austin Martin, sr., DB, DeKalb; Jamari Brown, sr., RB, DeKalb; Jarvis Davis, sr., TE/RB, DeKalb; Adrien McVicar, sr., QB; Anthony Fabricino, sr., OL, DeKalb; Cole Brantley, sr., RB/LB, Hiawatha; Matt Korb, sr., QB, Hiawatha; Nolan Perry, sr., LB, Genoa-Kingston