The defensive prowess of Luke Hannan and DeOntaye Cosby helped their teams last the longest of area squads in the playoffs. They were rewarded Tuesday for their stellar individual seasons.
Liberty Union's Hannan and Canal Winchester's Cosby, both seniors, were named Central District defensive player of the year in Division V and II, respectively, Tuesday by the Associated Press. Cosby's Indians made the second round of the playoffs before losing Friday. Hannan and the Lions have advanced to Saturday's Division V, Region 19 championship.
"I'm really proud of Luke," Lions coach Dan Johnson said. "He's a physical force, no doubt about it, on a pretty good defensive team. That's a wonderful recognition."
Cosby was a force at defensive end for the Indians, compiling 118 tackles, nine sacks and forced fumbles during the regular season. He led a dominating defensive unit, as the Indians went 8-2, winning the Mid State League-Buckeye Division title and making the playoffs after a one-year absence in 2011.
Hannan, meanwhile, had a strong season at defensive tackle. He had 74 tackles and six sacks, often beating a double team to get in the backfield.
Johnson was named coach of the year in Division V.
"I'm just proud to accept that on behalf of the entire staff and the players," Johnson said. "It's more than just me. It has to be in football more than any other sport. I'm proud to accept that, but I accept it on behalf of what is a really great staff and group of players."
Fairfield Christian's Dave Daubenmire won coach of the year in Division VI. After struggling in the first half of the season, the Knights won their final five games to make the playoffs. The Knights lost 41-14 to Newark Catholic in the first round, but the strides they made during the season were evident.
"I'm really, really surprised by (the honor)," Daubenmire said. "But it's a tribute to our players and coaching staff. This was one of the most enjoyable years I've ever had coaching."
Lancaster offensive lineman Kyle Trout made the first team in Division I. Fairfield Christian running back Ben Tobin made first team all-Central District in Division VI to lead three FCA first-teamers, as he was joined by offensive lineman Brian Miller and linebacker Joey Gaal. Fisher Catholic running back Derrick Schneider also made first team, as did Irish offensive lineman Ian McKenzie.
Hannan was one of four Lions on the first team in Division V. Running back Jacob Basso, offensive lineman Aaron Goodman and linebacker Justin Barber also made it. Defensive back Tyler Makuch and defensive end Jesse Shirey were second-team selections, as was Zach Maust from Berne Union.
Wide receiver Tyler Sorg and linebacker Zack Jude from Bloom-Carroll made the Division IV first team, as did Amanda-Clearcreek kicker Grant Brown. Canal Winchester linebacker Nick Toledo and kicker Noah Ising made the first team in Division II. Safety Khari Golden and running back Jaquan Ransome were both second-team selections.
In the Southeast District, Fairfield Union's Josh Stewart made first team at linebacker, and Sam Green made first team at punter in Division III.