The 2012 high school football season featured conference championships, deep playoff runs and some memorble moments for players competing for teams throughout the area. We honor some of the best local players with our 2012 all-area team.
Brian Allen YEAR Junior SCHOOL Hinsdale Central Already with five offers from Big 10 schools, this junior again was the anchor of the offensive line from his center position. His work up front helped the Red Devils rush for over 1,800 yards, averaging 5.36 yards per carry. He also added 22 tackles and 4 sacks as a defensive tackle.
Aaron Bailey YEAR Senior SCHOOL Bolingbrook Despite missing four-plus games with a sprained knee, this Illinois recruit still put up some impressive numbers. In rushing for 742 yards and 12 touchdowns, he averaged 7.8 yards per carry, and he flashed his passing ability with 349 yards and four touchdowns for the year.
Jack Beneventi YEAR Sophomore SCHOOL Benet Only a sophomore, Beneventi helped engineer the Redwings’ high-flying offense that put 420 points on the board this season. An East Suburban Catholic all-conference selection, Beneventi completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,318 yards and 20 touchdowns.
DJ Deolitsis YEAR Senior SCHOOL Hinsdale South This senior was a main reason behind the Hornets returning to the postseason. This quarterback was especially dangerous with his feet, running for 1,098 yards and 18 touchdowns. Deolitsis also passed for 852 yards and five scores.
Vontae Diggs YEAR Junior SCHOOL Downers Grove North A lithe, athletic defensive lineman, Diggs wreaked havoc on opponents. He had 16 tackles for loss and six sacks, both tops on the team, and he turned in the play of the year with a punt block and touchdown against Benet in the state quarterfinals as the Trojans stormed back in the fourth quarter.
Tim Doll YEAR Junior SCHOOL Westmont An Interstate Eight all-conference selection, Doll was the engine behind the Sentinels’ offense that had several baig games, including a 35-14 win over Reed-Custer in front of the home fans Sept. 21.David Edwards YEAR Sophomore SCHOOL Downers Grove North The 6-foot-6 sophomore ran the Trojans’ option offense to a T. Splitting carries with backfield mates Brandon Salter and Kyle Leto, Edwards rushed for 719 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns. He also passed for 502 yards and three touchdowns in limited attempts.
Jack Euritt YEAR Senior SCHOOL Benet An East Suburban Catholic all-conference selection, Euritt finished the season as the Redwings’ leading receiver with 850 yards (more than one third of the team’s receiving yards) and 10 touchdowns (nearly half of Benet’s 24 touchdown receptions).
Chris Giatras YEAR Senior SCHOOL Lemont A true definition of a workhorse, this senior running back carried the ball 257 times this fall, averaging 6.2 yards per attempt. Giatras finished with 1,592 rushing yards and most importantly, found the end zone 25 times.
Kyle Leto YEAR Junior SCHOOL Downers Grove North Splitting backfield carries with Brandon Salter, the 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back could get lost behind the offensive line. But nothing overshadowed his accomplishments as he compiled 775 yards (7.3 per carry) and found the end zone seven times.
Tim McAuliffe YEAR Senior SCHOOL Lemont Behind almost every great running back is a strong offensive line, and that was the case this fall with the Indians. Headed to Bowling Green to continue his football career, this guard/center helped open up holes for Chris Giatras, who finished with nearly 1,600 rushing yards.
Connor O’Brien YEAR Senior SCHOOL Lemont With a nose for the football, this linebacker was all over the field for the Indians. O’Brien led the defensive unit with 97 solo tackles while adding 33 assists. He also registered six sacks while tallying three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Brian Owens YEAR Senior SCHOOL Hinsdale Central This senior again was the main cog in the Red Devils offense, completing 139-of-243 passes for 2,236 yards and 20 touchdowns. Owens was also third on the team in rushing with 199 yards and three scores.
Ethan Pocic YEAR Senior SCHOOL Lemont Selected to the Illinois Football Coaches Association Class 6A All State team, this offensive tackle will continue his football career at LSU. His blocking up front was a major reason why the Indians rushed for over 3,000 yards this season, averaging 6.0 yards per attempt. Also playing on defense, he totaled 19 solo tackles.
Andrew Pyle YEAR Senior SCHOOL Hinsdale Central The unquestioned leader of the defense, this senior linebacker topped the Red Devils with 75 solo tackles. He added 19 assists, one sack and two fumble recoveries.
Brandon Salter YEAR Senior SCHOOL Downers Grove North A tough runner also capable of breaking off a big, athletic run, Salter averaged a team-best 7.5 yards per carry and led the team in rushing 870 yards. He also scored seven touchdowns on the year.
Omar Stover YEAR Senior SCHOOL Bolingbrook While teammates Jaden Huff and Aaron Bailey missed some time with injuries, Stover was a constant in the backfield for the Raiders. The all-state selection led the team with 1,012 yards rushing and scored 12 touchdowns, tied with Bailey for the team lead.
Arian Toney YEAR Junior SCHOOL Hinsdale South Toney burst onto the scene this fall and should be one of the top running backs in the area next season. The junior averaged 6.33 yards per carry, rushing for 1,145 yards to go along with 12 touchdowns.
Emile Wisdom YEAR Senior SCHOOL Bolingbrook Typical for Bolingbrook football, the Raiders had several stellar athletes on the defensive side of the ball and Wisdom might have been the most well-rounded. The linebacker was a solid tackler and defensive leader who always seemed to be in the thick of the play.
Mike Zebold YEAR Senior SCHOOL Downers Grove South Probably the Mustangs’ most consistent offensive player throughout the season, the quarterback got it done through the air and on the ground, especially in a highlight reel game against Morton in which he passed for 231 yards and four touchdowns on six completions and ran for 55 yards on five carries.
Honorable mention BENET Jack Crain, Nick McTarnaghan, Porter Ontko, Jack Toner
BOLINGBROOK Greg Amos, John Hall, Jaden Huff, Phillip Stevens, Parrker Westphal, Phillip Williams
DOWNERS GROVE NORTH Mike Dashut, Dan Izewski, Richard Olekanma
DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH Rashaun Cowen, Kaylon Miller, Brian Spain, Javon Turner
HINSDALE CENTRAL Jack Adams, John Claussen, Jaden Huff, Jacob White
HINSDALE SOUTH Tavaris Binion, Stephen O’Neill
LEMONT Joe Hehir, Mike Luciano, Drew Slee
LISLE Dawon Burrell, Nick Saul, Ryan VanVolkenburg
WESTMONT David McDermott, Kris Pierce, Jean Pietrzak