The Fifth 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.
A COUPLE OF NOTES BEFORE WE GET STARTED: We pick out a Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. This year’s group is special. This is the first year the top three awards went to three players who were all three-sport athletes. In addition, it is hard to gauge players against level. How would a Class 6 player do at a Class 3 level? Before you dismiss the accolades and talent of a small class player, I offer this: Carthage’s Kale Schrader started his high school career at Class 3 Seneca where he was an immediate star leading a 9-2 Indians team in tackles as a sophomore. He finished his career as the Class 5 Defensive Player of the Year at Carthage this year.
NAMES ARE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER OUTSIDE OF THE TOP POY, OPOY & DPOY.
Isaiah Davis, Joplin (Player of the Year)
Joplin was the area’s best team this year, and Davis was a star. The Gatorade Player of the Year and Class 6 Offensive Player of the Year rushed for 2,283 yards and 45 touchdowns this year. He caught 19 balls for 220 yards and two more touchdowns. In addition, he played defense and had 30 tackles. He and teammate Zach Westmoreland were on the O-Zone Fall Preview Magazine cover for a reason. Davis was the state’s best running back.
Stats: 253 carries, 2,283 yards, 45 TD; 19 rec, 220 yards, 2 TD; 30 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT
Honors: Gatorade Player of the Year, Class 6 Offensive Player of the Year, Class 6 First-Team All-State RB, Class 5&6 Region Offensive Player of the Year, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region RB, COC Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC RB
Zach Westmoreland, Joplin (Offensive Player of the Year)
There wasn’t a more explosive player in the area than Westmoreland. Every time he touched the ball, receiving, returning or intercepting, he was a threat to take it to the house. Southwest Missouri has long known his ability, but 12 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns against the best of St. Louis in the state title game let the state know he was a truly elite talent.
Stats: 106 rec, 1,631 yards, 21 TD; 12 carries, 130 yards, 2 TD; 38 tackles, 7 INT, 428 return yards; 2,315 all-purpose yards
Honors: Class 6 First-Team All-State WR, Class 5&6 Region Offensive Player of the Year, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region WR/DB, COC Offensive Player of the Year, Unanimous First-Team All-COC WR, DB & Returner
Kale Schrader, Carthage (Defensive Player of they Year)
You will be hard-pressed to find a player that plays harder than Kale Schrader. In baseball, the ball sounds different off the bat of elite hitters. In the state title game against Jackson, Schrader was laying hits that just sounded different. He had nine total tackles, two tackles for a loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Stats: 160 total tackles
Honors: Class 5 Defensive Player of the Year, Class 5 First-Team All-State LB, Class 5&6 Defensive Player of the Year, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region LB, COC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC LB
Jackson Beaman, Lincoln
Jackson Beaman is a Division I athlete (Mizzou baseball), and his numbers on the football field defined athleticism. Beaman threw for 3,315 yards and rushed for another 1,753 to combine for 77 total touchdowns. He finished No. 5 in the area in passing yards and No. 6 in rushing yards. And, by the way, he added 79 tackles on defense.
Stats: 211-for-361 (58.4%) passing, 3,315 yards, 39 TD-6 INT; 205 carries, 1,753 yards, 38 TD; 79 total tackles, 12 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 INT
Honors: Class 1 Offensive Player of the Year, Class 1 First-Team All-State QB
Patrick Carlton, Carthage
Carlton was a dual threat quarterback in every sense of the word. 1,554 yards on the ground. 1,329 yards through the air. For me, his defining drive was in the Class 5 state semifinal game against Ft. Zumwalt North. Carthage got the ball back basically at the start of the fourth quarter and drove for nine minutes to score a touchdown and take a three-point lead. Any time the Tigers needed tough yards, Carlton was going to get them. Carthage did have one of the best offensive lines in the state, but Carlton was always ready to get the tough yards. When it came time to get two yards for a state title, it was no surprise to see Carlton come out of the scrum with the ball in the endzone.
Stats: 234 carries, 1,554 yards, 27 TD; 1,329 yards passing, 11 TD
Honors: Class 5 Offensive Player of the Year, Class 5 First-Team All-State Athlete, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region QB, Second-Team All-COC QB
Zach Coenen, Cassville
Cassville made a run to the state title game on the strength of their defense. Coenen was right in the middle of that group with 120 total tackles. The Wildcats shut out an explosive Trinity Catholic squad in the semifinals just a week after holding an explosive Blair Oaks team to just seven points in the first half of the state quarterfinal that Cassville won 35-28. Coenen also was a star on offense with 960 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
Stats: 120 total tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 5 TFL; 960 yards rushing, 10 TD
Honors: Class 3 First-Team All-State LB, Class 3 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Big 8 West LB, Second-Team All-Big 8 West RB
Paxton DeLaurent, Camdenton
The quarterback who redefined Camdenton Laker football. Prior to Paxton DeLaurent, Camdenton was a power running team. Coach Jeff Shore decided to switch things up on the talent of his arm, and DeLaurent re-wrote the Camdenton record books. 4,034 yards passing. 54 touchdowns. DeLaurent was a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. After watching the Camdenton vs. Webb City quarterfinal followed by Webb City’s semifinal and title game, you will never convince me that the Class 4 state title game wasn’t played on a misty Friday, Nov. 22.
Stats: 236-for-491 (66.4%) passing, 4,034 yards, 54 TD-11 INT; 121 carries, 394 yards, 7 TD
Honors: Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year, Class 4 First-Team All-State QB, Class 4 All-Region Offensive Player of the Year, Class 4 All-Region QB, Ozark Conference Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Ozark Conference QB
Terrell Kabala, Webb City
Kabala’s raw rushing yard totals aren’t as good as other running backs on this list. His talent is. Kabala received 11 carries against Joplin in Week 2. Outside of that he only got double-digit carries three more times in the state quarterfinal, semifinal and title game. If you add in nine carries against then undefeated Bolivar, Kabala rushed for 517 yards on 47 carries against a grouping of teams that finished 46-8. That is an 11 yards-per-carry average. Kabala was also an all-state defensive back as a junior.
Stats: 120 carries, 1,167 yards, 20 TD; 7 rec, 147 yards, 2 TD; 1 INT
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State RB, Class 4 First-Team All-Region RB, Second-Team All-COC RB
Kayden Myers, Ava
There are few players I have enjoyed watching over the last few years than Kayden Myers. He is a three-time all-state selection on the defensive side of the ball. This year was good enough to be all-state on both sides in my opinion. 1,620 yards rushing. 153 total tackles. A play that defines Myers for me was this: On fourth-and-10 down 14-8 to Clark County with less than five minutes left in the game against Clark County, Myers stepped back to punt. It was a fake. The senior threw his first and only pass of the year for 28 yards to Josh Bray to get a first down and set up an eventual touchdown. Ava would go on to win in overtime and advance to its first state title game.
Stats: 276 carries, 1,620 yards, 26 TD; 10 rec, 155 yards, 2 TD; 153 tackles, 15 TFL, 8 sacks, 1 INT, 5 fumbles forced
Honors: Class 2 First-Team All-State LB, Class 2 Defensive Player of the Year, Class 2 First-Team All-Region RB & LB, SCA Back of the Year, First-Team All-SCA RB
Blake Tash, Joplin
A 31-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the state’s biggest class in the state’s toughest football conference is tough to beat. He consistently put his teammates in a place to succeed. His arm made it so opposing defenses couldn’t load the box against Gatorade Player of the Year Isaiah Davis. In Joplin’s playoff run, Tash threw for 307, 246, 247, 247 and 236 yards for 13 touchdowns.
Stats: 197-for-260 (76%), 2,787 yards, 31 TD-3 INT; 43 carries, 164 yards, 2 TD
Honors: Class 6 First-Team All-State QB, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region QB, First-Team All-COC Quarterback
Trent Thompson, Webb City
Thompson was the Class 4 all-region defensive player of the year for his defensive end spot. He tallied 68 total tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks for a Webb City squad that shutout both defending state champion Ladue Horton Watkins and Platte County in the state semifinals and championship. In the state quarterfinals, Webb City held a Camdenton squad that came averaging 49 points per game to a season-low 34 points.
Stats: 68 total tackles, 10 TFL, 3.5 sacks
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State DL, Class 4 Region Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-COC DL
Jed Brandon, Willard
Stats: 137 tackles, 4 TFL, 4 INT, 2 PBU, 1 sack
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State DB, Class 4 First-Team All-Region DB, First-Team All-COC DB
Oscar Campa, Carthage
Honors: Class 5 First-Team All-State DL, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region OL/DL, First-Team All-COC DL, Second-Team All-COC OL
Eathen Dinwiddie, Bolivar
Stats: 261 carries, 2,465 yards, 30 TD
Honors: Class 4 Second-Team All-State RB, Class 4 Second-Team All-Region RB
Eli Eminger, Joplin
Stats: 104 total tackles, 3 TFL, 3 INT, 3 fumble recoveries
Honors: Class 6 First-Team All-State DB, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region DB, First-Team All-COC DB
Grant Goltra, Webb City
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State OL, Class 4 First-Team All-Region OL, First-Team All-COC OL
Brayden Lidgard, West Plains
Stats: 237 carries, 2,010 yards, 28 TD; 27 rec, 420 yards, 5 TD
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State RB, Class 4 First-Team All-Region RB, First-Team All-Ozark Conference RB
Ryan Maasen, Camdenton
Stats: 77 tackles, 9 TFL, 3.5 sacks
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State LB, Class 4 First-Team All-Region LB, Ozark Conference Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Ozark Conference LB
Alex Martini, Carthage
Stats: 84 tackles, 12 sacks, 19 TFL
Honors: Class 5 First-Team All-State DE, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region TE/DE, First-Team All-COC DE, Second-Team All-COC TE
Tyler Mueller, Carthage
Stats: 1,947 total yards, 28 TD
Honors: Class 5 First-Team All-State RB, Class 5&6 First-Team All-Region RB, First-Team All-COC RB
Darin Oplotnik, Fair Grove
Stats: 95 total tackles, 18 TFL, 11 sacks, 4 blocked kicks
Honors: Class 2 First-Team All-State DE, Class 2 First-Team All-Region DE, Class 2 Second-Team All-region OL, Mid-Lakes Defensive Player of the Year, Unanimous First-Team All-Mid-Lakes OL & DL
Nate Swofford, Ava
Stats: 42-for-60 (70%) passing, 1,006 yards, 13 TD-2 INT; 186 carries, 1,511 yards, 18 TD; 63 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 INT
Honors: Class 2 Offensive Player of the Year, Class 2 Second-Team All-State QB, Class 2 Region Offensive Player of the Year, Class 2 First-Team All-Region QB & DB, First-Team All-SCA QB
Tanner Bays, Lincoln
Stats: 88 total tackles, 33 TFL, 10 sacks, 4 fumbles forced, 4 fumble recoveries
Honors: Class 1 First-Team All-State DE
JD Bishop, Lamar
Stats: 73 carries, 817 yards, 13 TD; 57 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries
Honors: Class 2 First-Team All-State DB, Class 2 First-Team All-Region DB, Class 2 Second-Team All-Region DB, Unanimous First-Team All-Big 8 West DB
Mason DeVasure, Lebanon
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State OL, Class 4 Second-Team All-Region OL, First-Team All-Ozark Conference OL
Cooper Ezard, Camdenton
Stats: 80 rec, 1,031 yards, 17 TD
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State WR, Class 4 First-Team All-Region WR, First-Team All-Ozark Conference WR
Jayce Haven, Thayer
Stats: 135 carries, 1,046 yards, 12 TD; 59-for-124 passing, 947 yards, 15 TD; 64 total tackles, 7 PBU, 9 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR;
Honors: Class 1 First-Team All-State DB, Class 1 Second-Team All-State Returner, Class 1 First-Team All-Region DB, Class 1 Second-Team All-Region Punter & Returner, Class 1 Third-Team All-Region QB, First-Team All-SCA DB & Punter
Colten O’Hara, Pierce City
Stats: 75-for-129 passing, 1,026 yards, 15 TD; 125 carries, 793 yards, 18 TD; 40 total tackles, 8 TFL, 2 INT
Honors: Class 1 Second-Team All-State Athlete, Second-Team All-Region QB & DB, Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Southwest Conference QB, Second-Team All-Southwest Conference DB
Treaghan Parker, Webb City
Stats: 78 total tackles, 3 TFL, 6 INT
Honors: Class 4 First-Team All-State DB, Class 4 First-Team All-Region DB, First-Team All-COC DB
Bowen Preddy, Cassville
Stats: 166 carries, 1,085 yards, 22 TD; 17 rec, 539 yards, 8 TD; 84 tackles, 5 PBU, 1 fumble recovery; 17 KOR, 366 yards, 1 TD
Honors: Class 3 Second-Team All-State RB, Class 3 Region Offensive Player of the Year, Class 3 First-Team All-Region RB, First-Team All-Big 8 West RB
Jamen Smith, Buffalo
Stats: 85-for-168 (50.6%) passing, 1,467 yards, 19 TD-6 INT; 135 carries, 1,250 yards, 18 TD;
Honors: Class 3 First-Team All-State Athlete, Class 3 First-Team All-Region QB & Returner, Ozark Highlands Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-OHC QB & Returner
Gavin Watts, Glendale
Stats: 338-for-549 (61.6%) passing, 4,436 yards, 43 TD; 134 carries, 405 yards, 7 TD
Honors: Class 5 Third-Team All-State QB, Class 5&6 Second-Team All-Region QB
Trey Wilson, Seneca
Stats: 224 carries, 1,892 yards, 20 TD
Honors: Class 3 Second-Team All-State RB, Class 3 First-Team All-Region RB, Big 8 West Offensive Player of the Year, Unanimous First-Team All-Big 8 West RB