The toughest decision for the selectors of the Division IV All-Ohio honorees wasn’t if Clearview’s Lance Billings should be on the first team. It was should he be on offense or defense.
For the second straight year, the Clippers’ 6-foot, 170-pound junior was named a first-team, All-Ohio wide receiver after catching 45 passes for 799 yards and nine touchdowns.
He also carried the ball 26 times, averaging 12.6 yards per carry, was sixth on the team in tackles with 38 and led the team with three interception — two of which he returned for touchdowns. On special teams, not only did he return punts but he also kicked off and tried his hand at punting and kicking extra points during the course of the season.
“He’s a phenomenal athlete. No matter where he is on the field, he immediately becomes a difference maker,” Clearview coach Mike Collier said. “He’s a jack-of-all-trades and he’s fun to watch.”
Whenever the Clippers needed a spark, Billings was the guy they called on. He scored 31 percent of his team’s points and scored at least one touchdown in every game.
None of his scoring plays were as impressive as his 97-yard touchdown run in a 57-28 win over Fairview. One play before his big run Clearview quarterback Roger Engle left the game with an injury and Billings knew he had to do something to keep the momentum in the Clippers’ favor.
“I knew I had to go out and make a play,” Billings said. “I told coach, ‘If you give me the ball, I’m going to take it to the house.’ Probably the hardest I ever ran was on that play. I wasn’t going to stop until I was sure I was in the end zone.”
The bond that Billings formed with Engle was one of his best memories from an otherwise disappointing 5-5 season.
“Playing with Roger was really special,” Billings said. “He and I bonded so much over the past couple of years. Every time I went out on the field to play offense, I wanted to make something happen.”
Billings made plenty of special things happen on defense and special teams as well.
“I like defense because everyone is always playing with so much energy,” he said. “Kick returns are fun too because if you break one for a touchdown, it literally gets everybody in the stadium pumped. I watch a lot of video on YouTube of kickoff returns because they can be so exciting.”
Collier said Billings attracts so much attention from opposing team that sometimes it’s hard to get him the ball.
“Everyone in the area knows who Lance is and he is always getting double-teamed,” Collier said. “When we can get him in open space, it’s hard for one or even two people to bring him down.”
After Billings made first-team, All-Ohio for the first time after his sophomore year Collier said it only pushed him to work harder.
“He never rested on his laurels. He came in and worked on his strength and agility and did everything he could do to get better,” Collier said. “When the other guys on the team see that, that with all of his ability he still puts in the hard work, its going to go a long way toward making everybody work harder.”
Don’t expect Billings to take his foot off the pedal going into his senior year.
“We have a good group of sophomore and freshman coming back next year so I think we should have a good team,” Billings said. “I’m not going to slack off, I’m only going to work harder. I want to go out with a big year and I want to earn a scholarship to play in college. That’s my ultimate goal.”
And when the All-Ohio team comes out next year be prepared to look for Billings name at almost any position on the field.
“I know I’m on the field almost every play because the coaches feel like the team needs me,” he said. “If coach needed me to block and go up and play offensive line, I’d do that too.”
A pair of Keystone seniors earned Division IV second-team honors after leading the Wildcats to the playoffs for the first time in school history. Kentucky recruit C.J. Conrad made the team at wide receiver and Tyler Polen earned his spot on the team as a linebacker. They were joined by teammates Chris Sittinger and Austin Conrad, who were special mention.
Other local special mentions included Aaron Miller, Brad Thrasher and Jake Grasso from Firelands, Brookside’s Dudley Taw and Vermilion’s Ethan Griffin.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OFFENSE: Ends—Cory Contini, Dover, 6-1, 170, sr.; Eric Wiseman, Clyde, 6-3, 185, sr. Linemen— Brice Hinton, Trotwood-Madison, 6-3, 328, sr.; Simon Stepaniak, Hamilton Ross, 6-3, 315, sr.; Matt Jones, Hubbard, 6-4, 320, sr.; Ramone Miles, Tol. Cent. Cath., 6-5, 275, sr. Quarterbacks—Joe Burrow, Athens, 6-4, 210, sr.; Matt Lowry, Rocky River, 5-9, 170, sr. Backs—Ronnie Kuipers, Cols. Independence, 5-10, 170, jr.; Maurice Thomas, Oxford Talawanda, 6-0, 190, sr.; Breck Turner, Norwalk, 6-0, 200, sr.; L.J. Scott, Hubbard, 6-1, 220, sr.; Trae Williams, Athens, 6-0, 200, sr. Kickers—Ryder Bell, Hunting Valley Univ. School, 6-1, 175, sr.; Tommy Fleser, Sunbury Big Walnut, 6-4, 180, jr.
DEFENSE: Linemen: Johnny Alford, Dresden Tri-Valley, 6-2, 267, sr.; Lamont Ragland, Trotwood-Madison, 6-1, 268, sr.; Christian Ward, Tol. Cent. Cath., 6-0, 305, sr.; Thomas Schoenlein, Wapakoneta, 6-3, 240, sr. Linebackers—Cameron Barker, Whitehall-Yearling, 6-1, 230, sr.; Reagan Williams, Jackson, 6-4, 238, sr.; Colin Kaucher, Tol. Cent. Cath., 5-10, 185, sr.; Brenden Winning, Ravenna, 6-1, 195, sr.; Patrick Oliverio, Akron SVSM, 5-10, 190, sr. Backs—Kei Beckham, Trotwood-Madison, 6-0, 159, sr.; Mike Connick, Chardon, 5-9, 168, sr.; Tyrece Speaight, Akron SVSM, 5-11, 180, jr.; Nick Cooper, Delaware Buckeye Valley, 5-10, 155, jr. Punter—Austin Wilson, Poland Seminary, 6-1, 200, sr.
Offensive players of the year: Joe Burrow, Athens; Breck Turner, Norwalk; L.J. Scott, Hubbard.
Defensive players of the year: Colin Kaucher, Tol. Cent. Cath.; Kei Beckham, Trotwood-Madison.
Coaches of the year: Jeff Grubich, Chagrin Falls Kenston; Ryan Adams, Athens; Ryan Wiggins, Cols. DeSales.
OFFENSE: Ends—Ryan Luehrman, Athens, 6-4, 205, sr.; Ryan Lucas, Trotwood-Madison, 6-2, 156, sr. Linemen—Brian Dytko, Cols. DeSales, 6-1, 240, sr.; Dylan Miller, Dresden Tri-Valley, 5-11, 265, sr.; Nick Lewis, Chagrin Falls Kenston, 6-2, 245, sr.; Jacob Yaratch, Sandusky Perkins, 6-1, 255, sr. Quarterbacks—Messiah DeWeaver, Trotwood-Madison, 6-3, 202, jr.; Connor Zwick, Louisville, 5-11, 175, sr. Backs— George Hill, Hubbard, 6-1, 195, jr.; Michael Warren, Tol. Cent. Cath., 5-10, 175, soph. Kicker—Tristan Meyer, Wapakoneta, 5-10, 150, soph.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Lovell Spruce, Chagrin Falls Kenston, 6-2, 210, sr.; Chantz Rose, Bellefontaine, 6-0, 240, sr.; Jake Armstrong, Dover, 6-4, 200, sr.; Isaiah Miller, Circleville Logan Elm, 6-0, 172, jr. Linebackers—Bryce Graves, Athens, 5-11, 190, sr.; Jeff Nye, Granville, 6-0, 205, sr.; Adam Wollett, Poland Seminary, 6-0, 220, sr.; Kade Long, Clyde, 6-2, 220, sr. Backs—Hunter Mohler, Dresden Tri-Valley, 6-2, 200, sr.; Riley Hayhurst, Cambridge, 6-0, 170, sr.; Matt Davidson, Norwalk, 5-11, 185, sr.; Alec Keen, Mansfield Madison, 5-11,. 180, sr. Punter—Thomas Barnes, Dayton Carroll, 5-11, 175, sr.
OFFENSE: Ends—Anthony Slappy, Cols. Centennial, 6-3, 185, sr.; Jeremy Wyers, Chagrin Falls Kenston, 6-1, 180, sr. Linemen—Blake Pfenning, Wapakoneta, 6-3, 285, sr.; Colter Thompson, Athens, 6-0, 240, sr.; Elliot Rhodes, Norwalk, 6-2, 250, sr. Quarterbacks—Brock Fargus, Dresden Tri-Valley, 6-2, 185, sr.; Merrick Mamarella, Dover, 6-0, 190, sr.; Hunter Sexton, Jackson, 5-11, 200, jr. Backs—Luke Ogi, Millersburg W. Holmes, 6-1, 215, sr.; Warren Bradley, Ravenna, 6-0, 195, sr.; Tony Liana, Parma Padua Franciscan, 6-1, 200, sr. Kicker—Anthony D’Egidio, Dover, 5-11, 165, sr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Evan Loughman, Thornville Sheridan, 6-0, 265, jr.; Mike Williams, Alliance, 6-3, 285, sr.; Brandon Zamary, Aurora, 6-2, 255, sr.; Jim Cvelbar, Mentor Lake Cath., 6-2, 215, sr. Linebackers—Austin Clack, Tipp City Tippecanoe, 5-10, 204, sr.; Ferrod Gardner, Trotwood-Madison, 6-2, 205, sr.; Alex Fryman, Bellbrook, 6-0, 192, sr.; Jacob Mertus, Tallmadge, 6-0, 190, sr. Backs—Evan Nugent, Rocky River, 6-1, 180, jr.; De’andre McClain, Cleve. Collinwood, 5-7, 170, sr.; Jayden Davis, Springfield Kenton Ridge, 5-11, 175, jr.; Darrion Powers, Akron Garfield, 6-0, 175, sr. Punter—Zach Hoover, Tol. Central Cath., 6-2, 160, jr.
OFFENSE: Ends—Noah Castle, Wauseon, 6-6, 245, sr.; Lance Billings, Lorain Clearview, 6-0, 170, jr.; Jordon Miller, Wooster Triway, 5-7, 165, sr. Linemen—Chaquez Fair, Cols. Beechcroft, 6-0, 300, sr.; Brandon Anderson, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley, 5-11, 245, sr.; Jake Garrison, Clarksville Clinton-Massie, 6-3, 265, jr.; Ben Witt, Cortland Lakeview, 6-3, 235, sr. Quarterbacks—Parker Carmichael, Wooster Triway, 5-10, 165, sr.; Zac Robinson, Wauseon, 6-0, 165, sr.; Dusty Hayes, Kettering Alter, 5-11, 190, sr. Backs—Cody Farley, Johnstown Monroe, 5-11, 205, sr.; Jake Davis, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley, 5-10, 225, sr.; Russell Miller, Washington CH Miami Trace, 5-10, 185, sr.; Shakif Seymour, Parma Hts. Holy Name, 6-1, 215, jr.; Jake Wojciechowski, Genoa, 5-11, 195, sr.; Dalton Hartshorn, Minerva, 5-9, 180, sr.; Nick Coleman, Kettering Alter, 6-1, 184, sr.; Dontez Rash, Cleve. Benedictine, 5-9, 173, jr. Kicker—Hayden Peake, Dayton Oakwood, 6-1, 175, sr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Stefen Banks, Cols. Beechcroft, 6-2, 270, sr.; Cedric Pettiford, Washington CH Miami Trace, 6-5, 205, sr.; Kraig Howe, Kettering Alter, 6-3, 259, sr.; Collin Pecoraro, Cleve. Benedictine, 6-1, 230, sr. Linebackers—Ma’Like Richmond, Steubenville, 6-4, 235, sr.; Jerome Baker, Cleve. Benedictine, 6-2, 210, sr.; Blake Traver, Genoa, 5-10, 190, sr.; Jordan Jones, Youngs. Mooney, 6-2, 220, sr.; Brandon Williams, Peninsula Woodridge, 5-11, 200, sr. Backs—Glen Joyce, Tol. Scott, 5-9, 170, sr.; Dashawn Nelms, Cols. Marion-Franklin, 6-0, 180, sr.; Kadin Chrastina, Bellville Clear Fork, 6-1, 175, sr.; Couger Clarke, Zanesville Maysville, 5-10, 165, sr. Punter—Alex Craft, Kettering Alter, 6-1, 217, sr.
Offensive players of the year: Dusty Hayes, Kettering Alter; Parker Carmichael, Wooster Triway.
Defensive players of the year: Kraig Howe, Kettering Alter; Jerome Baker, Cleve. Benedictine.
Coaches of the year: Scott Hinton, Amanda-Clearcreek; Andrew Connor, Wintersville Indian Creek; Joe Schaefer, Cleve. Benedictine; Beau Carmon, Port Clinton.
OFFENSE: Ends—C.J. Conrad, La Grange Keystone, 6-4, 225, sr.; Colyn Blackford, Kenton, 6-0, 175, sr.; Derek Parker, Jefferson Area, 6-0, 153, sr. Linemen—William Poplowski, Steubenville, 6-2, 260, jr.; Brandon Hagerdon, Jefferson Area, 6-2, 260, jr.; Stephen Shock, Wooster Triway, 6-2, 210, sr.; Billy Shancey, Kettering Alter, 6-4, 186, sr. Quarterbacks—Nathan Mays, Urbana, 6-3, 205, sr.; Jaren Rettig, Millbury Lake, 6-2, 190, sr.; T.J. McKiernan, Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 6-0, 170, sr. Backs—David Peoples, Cols. Beechcroft, 6-0, 180, sr.; Jordan Leasure, Amanda-Clearcreek, 6-1, 195, jr.; Michael Davis, Pomeroy Meigs, 5-9, 175, sr. Kicker—Nick Cozad, Chillicothe Unioto, 6-1, 180, sr.
DEFENSE: Sam Burnham, Clarksville Clinton-Massie, 6-1, 210, sr.; Troy Caldwell, Plain City Jonathan Alder, 6-2, 250, sr.; Anthony Werder, Wauseon, 6-1, 225, sr. Linebackers—Alijahwon Tarvin, Cols. Marion-Franklin, 6-0, 255, sr.; Conner Cottongim, Franklin Fenwick, 6-1, 200, sr.; Elliott Higgins, Cin. McNicholas, 6-2, 205, sr.; Tristan Reichelderfer, Kenton, 6-4, 205, sr.; Tyler Polen, La Grange Keystone, 5-9, 200, sr. Backs—Jordan Fabry, Mantua Crestwood, 6-3, 170, soph.; Warren Saba, Cleve. Benedictine, 5-9, 165, jr.; Parker Chalmers, Cin. Wyoming, 5-10, 170, sr. Punter—Nick Lauria, Perry, 6-2, 210, sr.
OFFENSE: Ends—Cody Grim, Urbana, 5-11, 165, sr.; Luke Farrell, Perry, 6-6, 240, jr. Linemen—Zach Phillips, Bryan, 6-0, 260, sr.; T.J. Beltavski, Cleve. Benedictine, 6-0, 290, jr.; John Pirrmann, Cols. Watterson, 6-4, 232, sr.; Julian Thomas, Youngs. Mooney, 6-2, 240, sr. Quarterbacks—Andrew Stewart, Cols. Bexley, 5-11, 192, sr.; Dalton Wiggins, Byesville Meadowbrook, 6-1, 180, jr.; Michael Camp, Circleville, 6-5, 160, jr. Backs— Davey Tunon, Clarksville Clinton-Massie, 5-8, 160, jr.; C.J. Amill, Youngs. Mooney, 5-10, 175, sr.; Joe Waring, Canal Fulton Northwest, 5-10, 180, soph.; Nick Best, Bay Village Bay, 6-0, 200, jr. Kickers—Michael Harper, Cols. Watterson, 5-10, 160, sr.; Cody Pickard, Genoa, 5-10, 180, sr.
DEFENSE: Linemen—Branden Jones, Steubenville, 5-11, 190, sr.; Jake Hale, Kenton, 6-2, 265, sr.; Matt Benirad, Bay Village Bay, 6-0, 220, sr. Linebackers—Takeyvion Simmons, Cols. Beechcroft, 5-10, 185, sr.; David Wellborn, Cols. Marion-Franklin, 5-10, 175, sr.; Lucas Van meter, Minerva, 5-10, 180, sr.; Tanner Morton, New Concord John Glenn, 5-9, 200, sr.; Zach Connor, Wintersville Indian Creek, 6-0, 220, sr.; Troy Haven, Wooster Triway, 5-9, 175, sr. Backs—KeShawn Foley, Batavia, 6-3, 230, sr.; Rex Sunahara, Bay Village Bay, 6-6, 200, sr.; Mike Sorine, Perry, 5-10, 185, sr.; Trevor Downing, Kenton, 6-0, 175, sr. Punter—Nate Vallee, Zanesville Maysville, 5-8, 140, sr.
Bailey Cole, Caledonia River Valley; Zach Patsch, Carroll Bloom-Carroll; Youssef Abou Hashish, Bexley; Jacob Brown, Marengo Highland; Marcus Nogaj, Johnstown Monroe; Hayden Walpole, Newark Licking Valley; Troy Caldwell, Plain City Jonathan Alder; Cody Howard, Carroll Bloom-Carroll; Cole Genders, Amanda-Clearcreek; Jake Taylor, Johnstown Monroe; Mitchell Eye, Plain City Jonathan Alder; Zack Fleming, Johnstown Monroe; Anthony McKee, Cols. Marion-Franklin; Mitchell Marston, Utica; Dimitri Collaros, Steubenville; Robert Johnston, Lisbon Beaver; Keaton Herron, Uhrichsville Claymont; Johnnie Blue, Steubenville; Ross Love, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley; Lucas Herrington, Steubenville; Jacob Quinn, Byesville Meadowbrook; Ryan Halasi, New Concord John Glenn; Wylie Brown, Minerva; Brock Weber, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley; Nik Smith, Zanesville Maysville; Alec Shook, Zanesville Maysville; Josh Sills, Byesville Meadowbrook; Luke Carroll, Wintersville Indian Creek; Tahlor Macenko, Zanesville Maysville; Jacob Skinner, Philo; Kyle Contini, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley; Seth Ayres, Zanesville Maysville; Caden McGuire, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley; Chase Hilliard, Lisbon Beaver; Dylan Wood, Byesville Meadowbrook; Justin Hill, Circleville; Will Giffin, Circleville; Seth Abram, New Lexington; Dalton Hennes, Washington CH Miami Trace; Todd Foster, Washington CH Miami Trace; Cody O’Dell, Circleville; Daylen Neece, Pomeroy Meigs; Anthony Sipple, Gallipolis Gallia Acad.; Erique Hosley, Chillicothe Unioto; Collin Russell, New Lexington; Dillan Binegar, Chillicothe Unioto; Logan Claybourn, Lancaster Fairfield Union; Zach Justice, Minford; Dylan Saunders, Gallipolis Gallia Acad.; Austin Houser, Chillicothe Unioto; Cain Madden, Minford; Brandon Pahl, Vincent Warren; Tommy Russell, New Lexington; Travis Grooms, Washington CH Miami Trace; Eli Daniels, Minford; Ty Phelps, Pomeroy Meigs; Terrence Landers, Dayton Dunbar; Austin Miller, Cleves Taylor; Sammy Szames, Cin. Indian Hill; Jordan Black, Norwood; Hudson Rogers, Cin. Wyoming; Ben Stegbauer, Franklin Fenwick; Isaiah Davis, Dayton Dunbar; Jared Halley, Clarksville Clinton-Massie; Seth Reynolds, Eaton; Lucas Hitchcock, Jefferson Area; Chris Von Hendrix, Pepper Pike Orange; Ethan Griffith, Vermilion; Jake Grasso, Firelands; Ben Weltman, Parma Hts. Holy Name; Brad Thrasher, Firelands; Kyle Kremiller, Perry; Austin Conrad, Keystone; Aaron Miller, Firelands; Colin Costanzo, Parma Hts. Holy Name; Josh Filkill, Fairview Park Fairview; Chris Sittinger, Keystone; Dudley Taw, Brookside; Dakari Carter, Streetsboro; Kip DeShields, Beloit W. Branch; Kade Norquest, Ravenna Southeast; Logan Thut, Mantua Crestwood; Jacob Zinni, Beloit W. Branch; Dom Massa, Cuya. Falls CVCA; Aaron Cox, Mantua Crestwood; Jon Saadey, Youngs. Mooney; AJ Musolino, Struthers; Corey Snyder, Beloit W. Branch; Gabe Surgeon, Mantua Crestwood; Jerry Judd, Streetsboro; Zak Kennedy, Youngs. Mooney; Steve Cox, Mantua Crestwood; Simeon Wyslutsky, Mogadore Field; Jesse Shirclif, Wooster Triway; Jay King, Struthers; Chris Romano, Cortland Lakeview; Levi Lowden, Mogadore Field; Brendan Fannin, Mantua Crestwood; Roosevelt Cooper, Youngs. Mooney; Dillon Kopp, Wooster Triway; Nick Gaspro, Peninsula Woodridge; Luke Kruse, Mogadore Field; Andrew Armstrong, Youngs. Mooney; Rick Kollman, Mantua Crestwood; Jacob Newlove, Wauseon; Nathan Stubblefield, Port Clinton; Josh Kauffman, Wauseon; Jake Strayer, Bellevue; Deke McCoy, Galion; Jay Nino, Genoa; Alec Foos, Bellevue; Branden Short, Millbury Lake; Dakarai Adams-Williams, Tol. Scott; Bronson Krull, Ontario; Tristen Mallory, Port Clinton; Peyten Shadbolt, Wauseon; Nate Sochko, Bellevue; Trevor Downing, Kenton; Ty Leininger, Wauseon; Todd Walters, Millbury Lake; Nick Rupp, Ontario.