2018 All O-Zone Football Team

The Fourth Annual All-O-Zone Top 33 Football Team is here.

This team is different than other teams in that we are selecting the best 33 players in the Ozarks regardless of position and placing them on a First 11, Second 11 and Third 11. This leaves room for multiple players from the same position without having to force a team together based solely on positions and allows us to evaluate players for what they did on both sides of the ball.

To get to these final 33 we used coach nominations and observations along with staff observations throughout the season. In addition, stats, postseason honors and team success played a big role in helping us identify the Top 33 players in the Ozarks from the thousands that played this season.

First Team

Will Boswell, Mt. Vernon (Player of the Year)

No player meant more to their team this season than Will Boswell. We knew he was a star defensively after being named Class 3 Defensive Player of the Year after his junior season. What we did not know was his two-way ability. Boswell added “running back” to his resume this season and proceeded to by the eighth-most productive back in Southwest Missouri in terms of total rushing yards. He shouldered this load while continuing to be one of the state’s best defensive players on his way to breaking the MSHSAA career tackle record.
Stats: 257 carries, 1,567 yards, 21 TD; 22 receptions, 231 yards, 1 TD; 164 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 PBU, 5 fumble recoveries, 3 fumbles forced, 2 TFL
Honors: Class 3 Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-State Linebacker, Class 3 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region Running Back & Linebacker

Alex Gaskill, Webb City (Defensive Player of the Year)

Gaskill was a two-way force for the Cardinals at wide receiver and defensive back. He stood out on the defensive side of the football proving to be a star in all aspects on defense. He pulled down five interceptions while also racking up an impressive 110 total tackles.
Stats: 110 tackles, 3 TFL, 5 INT, 1 INT TD return; 25 catches, 456 yards, 7 TD
Honors: Class 4 Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-State Defensive Back, Class 4 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region Wide Receiver (Unanimous) & Defensive Back (Unanimous), COC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC Wide Receiver & Defensive Back

Zach Westmoreland, Joplin (Offensive Player of the Year)

There is not a more explosive football player in SWMO than Zach Westmoreland. Any time he touches the ball, he is a threat to score a touchdown. That goes for offense, defense and special teams. Offensively, there is no way to prepare for him. He hauled in 72 catches for 959 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 41 carries for 354 yards and 11 more touchdowns out of the backfield. He also tacked on 526 return yards for almost 2,000 total yards on the season. He was also a shutdown defensive back with seven picks.
Stats: 72 receptions, 959 yards, 13 TD; 41 carries, 354 yards, 11 TD; 526 return yards; 58 tackles, 7 INT
Honors: First-Team All-State Wide Receiver, Class 5/6 Region Offensive Player of the Year, Unanimous First-Team All-Region Wide Receiver (Unanimous), Defensive Back (Unanimous) & Returner, COC Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC Wide Receiver (Unanimous) & Defensive Back (Unanimous)

Sebastian Agnew, West Plains

Agnew was one of the area’s top two-way linemen this year earning all-region and all-conference honors both ways. He was a key cog in helping West Plains to 3,386 yards and 52 touchdowns on the ground as a team. Defensively, he spent a lot of time in the opposing team’s backfield with six tackles for a loss and three sacks.
Stats: 27 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 fumbles forced; West Plains rushed for 3,386 yards and 52 TD as a team
Honors: First-Team All-State Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Offensive & Defensive Lineman, First-Team All-Ozark Conference Offensive Lineman (Unanimous) & Defensive Lineman (Unanimous)

Malik Culp, Lebanon

Lebanon graduated more than 3,200 rushing yards from last year’s team, so the big question for the Yellowjackets was how they would replace that production. The answer? Run behind Malik Culp. Lebanon was one of the few area teams to have two 1,000-yard rushers and the only one with two 1,100-yard rushers and a lot of that credit has to go to the guys up front led by Culp.
Stats: Top offensive lineman for Lebanon team that rushed for 3,895 yards
Honors: Second-Team All-State Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Ozark Conference Offensive Lineman (Unanmious)

Blake Delacruz, Parkview

Parkview had a bounce-back season with a 6-5 district runner-up finish. Delacruz is the biggest reason why after tallying more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 26 touchdowns. He was the focal point of the other’s team’s defensive game plan each night out but still rolled up yards. The importance of Delacruz’s leadership for the Vikings also cannot be understated in helping the program go from one-win last year to six this year.
Stats: 236 carries, 1,928 yards, 24 TD; 14 receptions, 106 yards, 2 TD
Honors: Second-Team All-State Running Back, First-Team All-Region Running Back (Unanimous), Ozark Conference Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Ozark Conference Running Back (Unanimous)

Paxton Delaurent, Camdenton

Camdenton has long been a power-running, ball control team. So, when coach Jeff Shore told me in August that we could expect the Lakers to throw the ball around a lot more, I was skeptical. What I didn’t know was he had a rising junior ready to lead the switch of offensive philosophy. Delaurent proved to be a star throwing for 2,858 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior. He smashed all of the Camdenton passing records and is back for more next year.
Stats: 279-for-435 passing, 3,858 yards, 43 TD; 102 yards rushing 7 TD
Honors: Second-Team All-State Quarterback, First-Team All-Region Quarterback (Unanimous), First-Team All-Ozark Conference Quarterback

Landon Hardman, Lamar

Hardman earned his all-state honors as a defensive back where he had one of the area’s highest interception total at seven, but he was much more than a shutdown defensive back. The senior accounted for 700 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns on offense, but the best part of his game might have been on special teams. He returned just five kick-offs, but took three of them back for touchdowns averaging 68.6 yards per kickoff return. The versatile Tiger added three more punt return touchdowns on his way to almost 700 total kick and punt return yards.
Stats: 47 carries, 520 yards, 11 TD; 7 receptions, 195 yards, 5 TD; 5 kick-off returns, 343 yards, 3 TD; 19 punt returns, 354 yards, 3 TD; 38 tackles, 7 INT, 1 fumble recovery
Honors: First-Team All-State Defensive Back, First-Team All-Region Athlete (Unanimous) & Returner, First-Team All-Big 8 West All-Purpose Back & Returner

Brayden Lidgard, West Plains

Lidgard is now the back-to-back SWMO rushing champion after rolling up 2,400 yards and 37 touchdowns. Both numbers led the area by a wide margin. The second-leading rusher in SWMO had 1,928 yards and the runner-up in rushing touchdowns finished with 28 touchdowns. Lidgard has only gotten stronger as his high school career has gone on, and his senior year could be the best yet.
Stats: 262 carries, 2,400 yards, 37 TD; 10 receptions, 232 yards, 3 TD
Honors: First-Team All-State Running Back, First-Team All-Region Running Back, First-Team All-Conference Running Back (Unanimous)

Tyson Riley, Catholic

Tyson Riley is one of the area’s best two-way players. He earned first-team all-state honors at defensive back, but was the region and conference offensive player of the year. He was a quarterback, but the bulldozing 6’3, 218-pound senior rushed for almost three times as many yards (1,602) as he passed for (512). He was everywhere on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary tallying 66 tackles and three interceptions.
Stats: 202 carries, 1,602 yards, 28 TD; 25 completions, 512 yards, 3 TD; 66 tackles, 3 INT
Honors: First-Team All-State Defensive Back, Class 3 Region Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region Quarterback & Defensive Back, Big 8 East Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Big 8 East Quarterback (Unanimous) & Defensive Back (Unanimous)

Colton Winder, Carthage

Carthage had some of the most talent of any area football team this year, and Colton Winder was one of the most productive players among that group. He earned Defensive Player of the Year honors on both the region and conference football teams. He contributed more than just an impressive tackle number (145) by adding 10 tackles for a loss, 3 pass break-ups, 3 fumble recoveries to go with a force fumble and sack.
Stats: 145 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 PBU, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 fumble forced, 1 sack
Honors: First-Team All-State Linebacker, Class 5/6 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-team All-Region Linebacker (Unanimous), COC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC Linebacker (Unanimous)

Second Team

Ian Ary, West Plains

Stats: 123 tackles, 23 TFL, 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT
Honors: First-Team All-State Linebacker, Class 4 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region Linebacker (Unanimous), Ozark Conference Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference Linebacker (Unanimous)

Travis Bailey, Lamar

Stats: 141 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 fumble recoveries
Honors: First-Team All-State Linebacker, Class 2 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region Linebacker (Unanimous), Big 8 West Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Big 8 West Linebacker

Oscar Campa, Carthage

Stats: 58 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries
Honors: First-Team All-State Defensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Defensive Lineman, First-Team All-COC Defensive Tackle (Unanimous)

Isaiah Davis, Joplin

Stats: 203 carries, 1,676 yards, 28 TD
Honors: Second-Team All-State Running Back, First-Team All-Region Running Back (Unanimous), First-Team All-COC Running Back

Durand Henderson, Webb City

Stats: 175 carries, 1,407 yards, 25 TD
Honors: First-Team All-State Running Back, First-Team All-Region Running Back, COC Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC Running Back (Unanimous)

Dillon Hester, Strafford

Stats: 76 receptions, 1,500 yards, 17 TD; 18 tackles, 1 INT
Honors: Second-Team All-State Wide Receiver, First-Team All-Region Wide Receiver (Unanimous), Second-Team All-Region Defensive Back & Returner, Mid-Lakes Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Mid-Lakes Wide Receiver (Unanimous), Defensive Back & Returner, Second-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference Punter

Caleb Johnson, Ava

Stats: 50 completions, 1,107 yards; 104 carries, 643 yards, 13 TD; 86 tackles, 14 TFL
Honors: Third-Team All-State Quarterback, Class 2 Region Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region Quarterback, Honorable Mention All-Region Linebacker, SCA Back of the Year, First-Team All-SCA Quarterback

Bo Kroenke, Lincoln

Stats: 106-for-199 passing, 1,534 yards, 20 TD; 62 carries, 278 yards, 3 TD; 18 receptions, 303 yards, 3 TD; 80 tackles, 9 PBU, 2 INT
Honors: First-Team All-State Defensive Back

Ben Moler, Reeds Spring

Stats: 146 total tackles, 5 sacks
Honors: First-Team All-State Linebacker, First-Team All-Region Linebacker (Unanimous), Second-Team All-Region Offensive Lineman, Big 8 East Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Big 8 East Linebacker (Unanimous), Second-Team All-Big 8 East Offensive Guard

Tyler Smith, Joplin

Stats: 27 pancake blocks; Joplin rushed for 3,111 yards as a team
Honors: Second-Team All-State Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Offensive Lineman (Unanimous), First-Team All-COC Offensive Lineman (Unanimous)

Wallace Squibb, Catholic

Stats: 65 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 INT, 1 forced fumble
Honors: Second-Team All-State Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Offensive Line & Defensive End, First-Team All-Big 8 East Offensive Tackle (Unanimous) & Defensive End (Unanimous)

Third Team

Shannon Haney, Cassville

Stats: 78 completions, 1,419 yards, 14 TD; 105 carries, 750 yards, 12 TD
Honors: Third-Team All-State Athlete, Second-Team All-Region Quarterback, Big 8 West Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference Quarterback

Terrell Kabala, Webb City

Stats: 19 receptions, 388 yards; 40 tackles, 2 INT; 7 total touchdowns
Honors: Second-Team All-State Defensive Back, First-Team All-Region Defensive Back, Second-Team All-Region Wide Receiver, First-Team All-COC Defensive Back, Second-Team All-COC Wide Receiver

Joe Kennedy, Carl Junction

Stats: 51 completions, 650 yards, 2 TD; 239 carries, 1,417 yards, 17 TD; 10 receptions, 103 yards
Honors: Third-Team All-State Running Back, First-Team All-Region Running Back, First-Team All-COC Running Back

Gabe Kurtz, Camdenton

Stats: 60 catches, 916 yards, 4 TD; 126 tackles, 16 PBU, 5 INT, 2 fumbles forced, 2 fumble recoveries
Honors: Second-Team All-State Wide Receiver, First-Team All-Region Wide Receiver (Unanimous), Defensive Back & Returner, First-Team All-Conference Wide Receiver (Unanimous), Defensive Back & Returner

Tre’Von Letts, Neosho

Stats: 116 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 INT, 2 TD, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
Honors: Second-Team All-State Linebacker, First-Team All-Region Linebacker, First-Team All-COC Linebacker

Jayden Morgan, Carthage

Stats: 43 receptions, 911 yards, 12 TD; 49 tackles, 7 PBU, 1 INT, 1 defensive TD, 1 fumble recovery, 1 fumble forced
Honors: First-Team All-State Wide Receiver, First-Team All-Region Defensive Back (Unanimous) & Wide Receiver, First-Team All-COC Wide Receiver & Defensive Back

Kayden Myers, Ava

Stats: 217 carries, 1,137 yards, 10 TD; 11 receptions, 240 yards; 100 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 INT
Honors: Second-Team All-State Linebacker, First-Team All-Region Linebacker, Second-Team All-Region Running Back, First-Team All-SCA Linebacker

Darin Oplotnik, Fair Grove

Stats: 81 tackles, 8 sacks, 2 safeties, 1 INT, 1 blocked kick
Honors: Third-Team All-State Defensive End, Unanimous First-Team All-Region Defensive End, Mid-Lakes Conference Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Mid-Lakes Defensive End, Honorable Mention All-Mid-Lakes Fullback

Andrew Raney, Carthage

Honors: First-Team All-State Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Offensive Lineman (Unanimous), First-Team All-COC Offensive Lineman (Unanimous)

Jamen Smith, Buffalo

Stats: 68 completions, 1,035 yards, 13 TD; 219 carries, 1,548 yards, 20 TD; 4 receptions, 106 yards, 1 TD; 2 kick return TD; 43 tackles, 2 INT
Honors: Third-Team All-State Returner, Ozark Mountain Conference Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Ozark Mountain Conference Quarterback, Defensive Back & Returner

Jake Swope, West Plains

Honors: First-Team All-State Offensive Lineman, First-Team All-Region Offensive Lineman (Unanimous), First-Team All-Ozark Conference Offensive Lineman

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