By David Fong
DAYTON — It was another stellar year for the 10 area high school football teams — and the All-Southwest District team reflected that, with multiple local players receiving honors in every eligible division.
The top honors went to Bethel coach Scott Clodfelter, along with Lehman quarterback Elliott Gilardi and Lehman defensive lineman Michael Bunker. Clodfelter was named Division VI Coach of the Year after guiding the Bees to a 9-1 record and their first playoff appearance since 2001. Gilardi was named Division VII Offensive Player of the Year, while his teammate Bunker was named Division VII Defensive Player of the Year.
The All-Southwest District teams were voted on by media members throughout the district.
Here’s a look at the local players honored, broken down by division:
There are no local Division I football teams.
Troy had a total of nine players named to the district team, tied with Lehman for the most of any team in the area. Four received first-team honors, while five earned second-team honors.
Junior running back Jaydon Culp-Bishop, senior offensive lineman Kameron Block, senior linebacker John Wehrkamp and senior defensive lineman Joah Schricker all were named to the first team.
Junior tight end Spencer Klopfenstein, senior defensive lineman Christian Nation, junior linebacker Shane Shoop and senior defensive backs Derek McDonagh and Zach Boyer both were named to the second team.
Tippecanoe had four players honored in Division III. Senior kicker Caiden Smith was named to the first team. Senior running back Cole Barhorst and senior linebacker Matt Garber both were named to the second team. Senior defensive back Rusty Ramsey earned honorable mention.
Piqua also had four players honored. Senior receiver Hayden Schrubb and senior linebacker Ben Schmiesing both were named to the first team. Senior quarterback and senior defensive lineman Derek Hite both were named to the second team.
There are no local Division IV football teams.
Miami East had six players honored. Junior running back Vincent Villella, junior offensive lineman Brenden Dalton and junior defensive back Justin Brown all were named to the first team. Junior offensive lineman Caleb Snyder and junior defensive back Blaine Brokschmidt were named to the second team. Lance Rohrbach earned honorable mention.
Milton-Union senior running back Zac Shields was named first-team all-district.
Because of the small number of Division VI teams within the Southwest District, only first-team and special mention players were honored.
In addition to Clodfelter being named Coach of the Year, four Bethel players earned all-district honors. Senior quarterback Jacob Evans, senior running back Caleb South, senior offensive lineman Hunter Shelley and senior defensive back Travis Durst were named to the first team.
Covington senior running back Ethan Herron, senior receiver Zach Parrett, senior linebacker Joe Schmelzer and senior defensive back Ty Freeman all were named to the first team, while Cade Schmelzer earned honorable mention.
Troy Christian senior offensive lineman Grant Doucette and junior defensive lineman Nick Baker were named to the first team, while Micah Trimback earned honorable mention.
Because of the small number of Division VII teams within the Southwest District, only first-team and special mention players were honored.
In addition to earning Southwest District Player of the Year honors, Gilardi and Bunker also were named to the first team at their respective positions. Joining them on the first team were senior running back Owen Smith, senior receiver Kameron Lee, senior offensive linemen Colin Haller and Seth Sargent, junior kicker Michael Denning, sophomore linebacker Drew Barhorst and senior defensive back Brandon Barhorst.
Bradford’s Jake Barga earned honorable mention.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong