Kull McClurg, sr.,
Mike Herb, sr., Keystone -- Herb is an athletic 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback that has started for the Wildcats since the fourth game of his freshman season. He also has a ton of quality offensive weapons around him. “We’re looking to throw the ball about 18 to 20 times a game this year because we want to take advantage of his experience,” Wildcats coach Rob Clarico said.
Paul Fackler, jr., Lutheran West -- Fackler is the Longhorns returning starter, and led the team to four straight victories -- scoring 142 points -- to close last season after starting 0-6. He showed his versatility in the season-ending 20-0 win over Keystone, throwing for a 31-yard touchdown to DeMario Collier and running 68 yards for his own score.
Austin Pinkston, sr., Oberlin -- Pinkston is a four-year starter for the
TOP WIDE RECEIVERS
Kyle Shaw, sr., Keystone -- Shaw is the only PAC first-team selection returning at wide receiver. He should have a career year as he and Mike Herb have been the focus of the Wildcats’ passing game for the last four years. “He combines athleticism with height,” Clarico said. “His ability to go up and get the ball separates him from other receivers in the league.”
Zach Upton, sr., Brookside --
James Washington, jr., Clearview -- Washington was a PAC second-team selection last season, and will be one of the featured offensive weapons for the Clippers this year. “He’s just a nice, big target for a quarterback,” said Clippers coach Mike Collier of the 6-foot-3
Matt Herb, jr., Keystone -- Herb has a natural connection with Wildcats quarterback Mike Herb because Mike is Matt’s older brother. Herb’s 12 catches were slightly behind Shaw’s 15 last season, but Herb has been used mostly as an escape outlet in the past. “At tight end, Matt’s a good blocker and has great hands,” Clarico said. “He can catch everything thrown at him and he’s a great third-down threat for us.”
TOP RUNNING BACKS
Cory Reisner, jr., Buckeye -- Reisner is the only returning PAC first-team selection from last season and was the first name given by most of the league coaches when it came to top running backs in the conference. He’s the favorite to rack up the most yards in the league this season.
Cory Kidd, sr.,
Chase Smith, sr.,
Shane Robinson, sr., Keystone -- Robinson picked up an All-PAC honorable mention last season, as he led the Wildcats with over 800 rushing yards. The fullback has, “excellent vision,” according to Clarico. “He can see the entire defensive lineup at once,” Clarico said. “He can see holes in the line that even we don’t see.”
TOP OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
William Payne, sr., Clearview -- Payne is the league’s lone returning first-team offensive lineman. Collier said that he’s getting Division I looks from many colleges because of his size – 6-4 and 250 pounds – and athletic ability. “He’s a great run blocker, but he’s still quick-footed enough to be a good pass blocker, too,” Collier said.
Kelton Keller, so., Buckeye -- This talented lineman landed on the all-PAC second team last season as a freshman. Keller could get some state recognition before his high school career is finished.
Dan Novotny, sr., Buckeye -- Novotny is one of the many all-PAC linemen that return for the Bucks this season. The Buckeye fronts have been the talk of the league.
Kyle Dredk, sr.,
TOP DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Colin McHugh, sr., Lutheran West -- McHugh, a standout wrestler for the Longhorns, was an All-Ohio second-team selection as a defensive lineman last season. He was an All-PAC first-teamer and is easily the top defensive lineman in the league this season.
Josh Varney, sr., Buckeye -- The 6-2, 280-pounder was a second-team, all-PAC selection on both sides of the ball last season. Varney should fortify the Bucks’ strong offensive group, but he’ll probably be the leader of the defensive front.
Dave Barker, sr.,
Nick Heusel, sr., Clearview -- Heusel is one of five first-team linebackers -- the most in any position -- returning to the PAC this season. Collier said he’ll see early action but will have his playing time limited as he’s still recovering from knee surgery in early July. “He’s got a great nose for the football -- he’s football-smart,” Collier said.
Nick Rados, sr.,
Gabe Clark, sr., Black River -- In the most stacked position in the league, Clark may be one of the best linebackers in northeast
Richie Bics, sr.,
TOP DEFENSIVE BACKS
Erick Saunders, sr., Wellington -- Saunders, who also serves as the Dukes’ top receiver, was an All-PAC first-team pick after nabbing eight interceptions and finishing fifth on the team in tackles last year. “He has a great nose for the football,” Stoll said. “He also has very good hands.”
Darrin Read, sr., Buckeye -- Noted most for his superb skills as the Bucks’ safety, Read also serves as the team’s wide receiver and punter. Burke calls him, “an athletic do-everything type of player.” Read was an All-PAC first-team selection last season.
Ben Cline, sr., Clearview -- Cline, a first-team selection that Collier calls, “the leader of our defense,” finished second on the team last year with over 80 tackles. “He’s kind of like our quarterback on defense,” Collier said. “He’s not afraid to come up and make plays when they run.” Cline’s interception total was low last year, mostly because he played with a protective “club” over his broken hand.
Josh Malave, sr., Lutheran West -- Malave is another top wrestler for the Longhorns who makes big plays in the defensive backfield. Malave was an All-PAC first-team defensive back last year as a junior.
David Krieger, sr., Lutheran West – Krieger likes to hit people and finished his junior season with 114 tackles. The Longhorn is one of five All-PAC first-team linebackers that return this year.
Aaron Fortney, sr.,
Jon Bill, sr., Clearview -- Bill earned PAC second-team honors and likes to hit people in his roles as a running back and linebacker. “He’s an aggressive kid,” Collier said. “He’s a wrestler so he’s not afraid of contact. He started at cornerback last year and we moved him up to linebacker to get him more involved in the running game.”
Dugan Radeff, sr.,
Brooklyn at Oberlin, Oct. 5 -- The Hurricanes one victory last season came against the winless