The high school football season may have ended about three months ago, but some local talent received a little more recognition for their performances on the gridiron in 2019.
FloridaHSFootball.com, a website that’s covered the entire state for 10 years, released its All-State teams for all Florida High School Athletic Association classifications late last month. Classes 8A-5A include first-, second- and third-team selections. Classes 4A-2A include first- and second-team selections. All classes recognized superlatives including Overall Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. Honorable Mention lists were included, as well.
Hillsborough County led the charge in terms of total representation with 45 players making first-, second- or third-team lists. Pinellas was next with 30, followed by Pasco with eight and Hernando with five.
North Pinellas representation came from four schools: Calvary Christian, Clearwater, Clearwater Central Catholic and East Lake.
First-team offensive players were Jordan Niles (RB – Clearwater Central Catholic), Richie Ilarraza (WR – Calvary Christian), Zac Elam (OL – CCC) and Keedrick Murray (WR – Clearwater). The lone first-team defensive player was Johnny Newton (DL – CCC).
Second-team offensive players were Harold Cook (QB – Calvary), Mike Lofton (OL – Calvary), Cade Richards (OL – CCC), Aidan Shahriari (K – Calvary), and Hunter Swetokos (TE – East Lake). On second-team defense was Tyler Barnett (LB – CCC).
Third-team offense included Rent Montie (QB – Clearwater) and third-team defense had Dylan Rosiek (ATH – East Lake).
Receiving Honorable Mention recognition were Matt Trotto (QB – East Lake), Ricky Anderson (OL – Clearwater), Matt Nieves (DL – Clearwater), Kai Martin (RB – Calvary) and Shelton Quarles (WR – Calvary).
West Pasco representation came from two programs: Mitchell and River Ridge.
First-team offensive players were Ezra Brennan (QB – Mitchell) and Johnny Fairbank (UT – Mitchell). Making first-team defense was Cole Castro (UT – River Ridge).
Second-team offense included Tyler Williams (RB – Mitchell) and on second-team defense was Anthony Roussos (ATH – River Ridge).
Making the Honorable Mention list were Rob Graham (WR – Mitchell), Gary Shepard (OL – Mitchell), Noah Midthun (LB – Mitchell), Johnathan Nelson (LB – Mitchell) and Nic Fairbank (DB – Mitchell).
The Pinellas County program with the most representation was Lakewood High in Class 4A. The Spartans went 12-1 and reached the state final four this year. Eight players were placed on first- or second-team offensive and defensive lists, including five from a defense that was one of the best in the region.