State-ranked and Northern Lakes League football champion Perrysburg had six players on the Sentinel-Tribune's All-Wood County first-team defense.
Linemen JP Newton and Kadin Llewellyn, linebacker Mark Delas, and defensive backs Matt Mesker, Seth Durham and Gus Dimmerling were Perrysburg's selections to the team, selected by the Sentinel sports staff.
Lake and Eastwood each had three players on the team.
Lineman Tyler Harp, linebacker Nick Walsh and defensive back Jared Rettig were selected from Lake. Lineman Michael Glaze, linebacker Grant Geiser and punter Brennan Seifert were honored from Eastwood.
Linebacker Ryan Reed of Rossford completed the team.
Walsh and Seifert were repeat first-team picks from last season. Geiser, Llewellyn, Newton and Reed moved up from the honorable-mention list.
Perrysburg's defense played consistently well, allowing just 18.8 points per game to help the Yellow Jackets finish 9-3 overall and earn the NLL title with a 7-0 record.
The Yellow Jackets, ranked sixth in the final state poll, advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Newton, despite being only 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, made 51 tackles.
"He was a three-year starter on the defensive line," Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel said. "And you typically don't see that out of 5-8, 165 pounds. He was speed and toughness. He was playing in there with guys that out-weighed him by 100 pounds at times and ran to the ball.
"He was so quick off the ball that they couldn't get on him. He was one of those guys that his wrestling abilities made him a great football player."
Llewellyn added 53 tackles.
'You hear guys talk about motor, and Kadin, if he has one trait that is better than everybody else's, it's his motor," Kregel said. "That kid can go full speed ahead on both sides of the ball for an entire game and just does not wear out. The best thing with Kadin is he was always full speed, and he always had great speed and quickness. He really gave people problems."
Delas had 66 tackles, despite battling a shoulder injury.
"Mark's a three-year starter and has an unbelievable combination of size and speed," Kregel said. "Unfortunately for Mark, he played the whole year injured. A healthy Mark Delas, with two good shoulders, he's as good of a linebacker as you're going to see anywhere."
Mesker, a first-team All-Ohio selection, had 110 tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
"You can't say enough about him," Kregel said. "He is probably the best tackler we've ever had and probably most instinctive defensive player we've ever had. … When you turn on his film, he may have the best defensive highlight film I've ever seen.
"If there's one guy we graduate that will be really hard to replace, it's going to be Matt Mesker. … We put Matt Mesker wherever we needed him and he always pulled it off."
Dimmerling had 33 tackles to go along with three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
"Gus, at DB, kind of gets overlooked because he was so good offensively," Kregel said. "Gus never came off the field and was as good of safety as you're going to see in high school football. You usually don't see quarterbacks who are willing to step up and tackle like Gus did. He's a great defensive player."
Durham had 11 interceptions to set a single-season school record. He also holds the career record as a junior.
He also had 31 tackles and recovered one fumble.
"You hate to say robbed, but how that guy wasn't first-team All-Ohio and wasn't even first-team all-district with 11 interceptions is unbelievable," Kregel said. "As a junior, right now, he holds all the school interception records, both season and career. I've never had a kid have 11 interceptions in a year. He's the best cover corner I've ever seen in high school."
Harp, Walsh and Rettig led the Lake defense as the Flyers finished 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the Northern Buckeye Conference. They also advanced to the state playoffs.
Walsh made 125 tackles.
"He was the consummate defensive player who loves contact," Lake coach Mark Emans said. "When you play linebacker, you can't shy away from contact and Nick just loves contact. He had a real high motor, which we knew was going all the time.
"His work ethic or his flow to the football wasn't any different on a Wednesday practice or in a Friday night game. He just loves to play the game of football."
Harp had 50 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
"He was another player who just had a very high motor," Emans said. "He had a lot to prove from the year before where, defensively, we weren't very good here at Lake. Tyler, as a captain and as a leader, had a very high motor and played outstanding defense for us. Our defense is really what got us where we were this year."
Rettig had 58 tackles.
"He has a very good ball sense," Emans said. "Again, for someone to play quarterback, you might think he didn't like contact and Jared just loves contact. He really liked the hitting part of defense. He is a very good cover guy who has good ball awareness. He's just a good ball player."
Geiser, Glaze and Seifert were three of the reasons Eastwood allowed just 16.8 points per game. The Eagles finished 8-3 overall and 6-1 in the NBC to earn a berth in the state playoffs.
Geiser had 151 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
"The key to him is if you tell him something once, he knows it," Eastwood coach Jerry Rutherford said. "He's a smart kid and on top of it he's football smart, too. He's a pretty hard-nosed, tough kid who can run. There would be a question as to whether he was the fastest kid on the field at times.
"Some of those nights, in those close games where our first defense was on the field the whole game, it wasn't out of the question for him to get 20 tackles. … Because of his speed and because of his toughness, he's one of the top linebackers we've ever had."
Glaze had 62 tackles and one fumble recovery.
"There's no question that he was our best defensive lineman," Rutherford said. "He was definitely one of the best defensive lineman in our league and he just kept getting better all year.
Seifert punted 27 times, averaging 39.1 yards per kick.
"He's gotten better," Rutherford said. "Out of 27 punts, six were downed inside the 20, which is good. And three were over 50 yards with three touchbacks. We only had six punts returned all year, so we look at net. Our net was really good for punting 27 times. Our net was 37. And with our average being 39, that's really good."
Reed had 64 tackles.
"Ryan has been a tremendous asset for our defense and not just our defense, but for our entire team chemistry over the last four years," Rossford coach Todd Drusback said. "He's been a big part of trying to change our mind-set of being positive and confident and all that stuff. He's really been the glue the last couple years to help keep us intact.
"I was happy to see him have a nice year. It's really a culmination of what he has put into it the last four years. He just had a nose for the ball. The linebacker is such an instinctual position. You obviously have key reads and things like that, but there's a lot of feel to it as well. Ryan just had an innate ability of finding the ball and making plays."
The all-county offense will be published in the near future.