DEFENSIVE DIAMONDS: WDN releases All-Area Football Team

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
The Washington Daily News released its 2008 Prep Football All-Area Team on Wednesday. Below is the First Team Defense.
Defensive Line
Chase Tripp, Washington
For the second straight season, Tripp finds himself on the Washington Daily News’ All-Area First Team after anchoring the Pam Pack’s defensive front. The strong and mobile defensive end led Washington in sacks for the second straight year, and was once again among the team leaders in tackles and tackles-for-losses.
Defensive Line
DeShawn Allen, Plymouth
Allen, a senior along the Vikings’ defensive front, excelled in making the transition from bench player to full-time starter in 2008. The physical lineman helped anchor Plymouth’s stout defensive line by netting 12 sacks and coming up with 75 tackles.
Defensive Line
Dwayne Morning, Roanoke
The Redskins’ defensive lineman was typically one of the smaller lineman every time he stepped on the field. But he also happened to be one of the best. The Roanoke star provided constant pressure in the opponents’ backfield all season long, as he finished with more than 60 tackles and reached double-digits in sacks.
Defensive Line/Linebacker
Curtis Myers, Southside
It was a tough year for the Seahawks, who dropped their first 10 games of the season before snapping their 21-game losing skid in the season finale against Northside. But through all the highs and lows, Myers really stood out. A hybrid, defensive lineman/linebacker, Myers paced Southsides defense with 85 Tackles, 16 Tackles for Loss, and a team-best five interceptions.
Trent Midgette, Northside
When you think toughness, think Trent Midgette. Not the biggest kid on the field, nor the fastest, Midgette typically found a way to best player on the field through hard work, intelligence and determination. The impressive Midgette wreaked havoc all over the field in a variety of different ways, as he forced five fumbles, had a team-high 93 tackles and blocked a punt that was returned for a score.
DeBrian Everett, Williamston
When you think difference makers, think Everett. Times two. Along with twin brother, DeBriant, DeBrian Everett was the heart and soul of the Tigers’ stingy defense. Together, the Everett brothers combined for 25 sacks and more than 50 tackles-for-losses in leading Williamston to the state title game.
DeBriant Everett, Williamston
The other half of the Williamston twins, DeBriant played the same hard-nosed, out-to-hurt someone style of football. Each of the twins logged more than 110 tackles apiece this season as Williamston rolled to a 10-6 record and a state runner-up finish.
Leslie Jones, Plymouth
Jones is another player who was all over the field in 2008. The Vikings’ senior was a huge reason why Plymouth held seven of its 13 opponents under 10 points this season, as the Vikings allowed just 14.2 ppg in ‘08. Jones was Plymouth’s leading tackler with 101 stops.
Defensive Back
George Simpson, Plymouth
Simpson had a knack for making the big play all season long. The Vikings’ junior safety was a ball hawk in the secondary, as he finished among the state leaders with seven interceptions and made more than 40 tackles for a Plymouth team that won nine games this year.
Defensive Back
William Ellegor, Washington
Ellegor, just a sophomore, emerged as the Pam Pack’s top defensive back late in the year and did an excellent job of shutting down some of the Coastal Conference’s elite receivers. Ellegor used his dynamic speed and football IQ to frustrate receivers and take them out of the game. The Washington youngster ended the season with a pair of interceptions and more than 30 tackles.
Defensive Back
Kareem Bell, Williamston
It was hard to tell where Bell made a bigger difference — at wide receiver or cornerback? Turns out, he’s a difference maker at both. The Williamston senior is the lone WDN All-Area First Team selection on both sides of the ball, as he was among the state’s leaders with six interceptions, three of which he returned for scores.
Cecilio Cota, Northside
The Panthers' kicker was clutch this season as he converted on better than 70 percent of his field goal attempts, twice nailing field goals of 40 yards or more. And he was nearly perfect on his PAT attempts, making all but three in more than 25 attempts
Justin Meekins, Washington
Meekins kept his leg busy this fall as he pulled double-duty for the Pam Pack in the kicking game, serving as both placekicker and punter. While he converted 34-of-39 PAT attempts and booted a 41-yard field goal, Meekins did much of his damage as the punter, averaging 34 yards per kick and trapping Washington's opponents inside their own 20-yard line on a regular basis.
Kick Returner
Lautez Clayton, Mattamuskeet
As the Lakers’ offense struggled, Clayton proved to be Mattamuskeet’s biggest scoring threat. The Lakers’ senior returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this season, as he averaged better than 30 yards per return.