By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — Some of the best football in Southwest Ohio was played in Miami County.
And some of the best players in the area were from the local area, as well.
A trio of local athletes were named All-Southwest District Players of the Year in their respective divisions — while dozens more also earned all-district honors — in a vote by a panel consisting of media members from throughout the region.
In Division II, Troy senior defensive end/outside linebacker Sam Jackson was named the Division II Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year. In Division VI, Covington linebacker Parker Dysinger was named the Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year. In Division VII, Lehman quarterback Elliott Gilardi — a Troy resident — was named the Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year for a second year in a row. All three players helped lead their teams to the playoffs.
After playing safety for his first three years at Troy, Jackson made the move to an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid position this fall and had a monster season for the Trojans. In the regular season, Jackson finished with 147 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hurries and five tackles inside the 20 on kickoff coverage.
Dysinger had 129 tackles, 13 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five passes batted down.
Gilardi completed 119-of-194 passes (61.3 percent) for 1,443 yards, with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also carried the ball 125 times for 734 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Here’s a look at all of the local players who earned All-Southwest District honors:
There are no local Division I teams.
For Troy, senior running back Jaydon Culp-Bishop, senior offensive lineman Nathan Garber, senior tight end/H-back Spencer Klopfenstein, senior inside linebacker Blake Burton and Jackson all were named to the first team. Senior slot receiver Shane Shoop, senior defensive lineman Garrett Jones and junior defensive back Weston Smith were named to the second team.
Tippecanoe senior linebacker Mason Gostomsky and junior kicker Ben Sauls both were named to the first team, as was Piqua senior offensive lineman Caden Clark. Tippecanoe senior offensive lineman, along with Piqua senior quarterback Micah Karn and senior defensive lineman Brennan Toopes were named to the second team.
Tippecanoe senior running back Josh Burritt and Piqua senior receiver Owen Toopes earned honorable mention.
There are no local Division IV teams.
Miami East senior running back Justin Brown, senior offensive lineman Brenden Dalton, senior defensive lineman Caleb Snyder and senior linebacker Vincent Villella were named to the first team. Miami East senior defensive lineman Lance Rohrbach and junior defensive back Kaleb Nickels were named to the second team. Milton-Union senior running back Robbie Grove and junior linebacker Kayge Thwaits were named to the second team.
Miami East senior defensive lineman Devin Lawrence and senior kicker Wes Sutherly earned honorable mention.
In addition to Dysinger, Covington senior quarterback Cade Schmelzer, junior receiver Andrew Cates, junior defensive lineman Gage Kerrigan, and senior linebacker Ian Wilson were named to the first team.
For Troy Christian, junior running back Jason Blake, senior offensive lineman Nick Baker, senior defensive lineman Grant Doucette, junior defensive lineman Micah Trimbach, senior linebacker Josh Hivner and junior defensive back Nathan Waltz were named to the first team. Senior quarterback Caleb Twiss earned honorable mention.
For Bethel, senior quarterback Jacob Ullmer and junior linebacker Dylan Kelly were named to the first team.
In addition to Gilardi, Lehman senior kicker Michael Denning, senior defensive lineman Ethan Knapke, freshman linebacker Johnny Edwards and junior defensive back Drew Barhorst were named to the first team. Junior receiver Bradley Haynes earned honorable mention.
Bradford senior defensive lineman Josiah Brewer, senior linebacker Hunter Gheen, senior receiver Larkin Painter and junior punter Gavin Trevino all earned honorable mention.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong