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All-area defensive unit is ‘upperclassmen only’ group

Posted: December 22, 2011 12:50 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Nearly mirroring their offensive counterparts, which appeared in last Fridays’ edition of the Chronicle-Independent, the 2011 C-I Kershaw County Coaches’ All-Area defensive squad features 12 seniors with three juniors mixed in on the 15-player unit.
Here is your 2011 Kershaw County Coaches’ All-Area Football Team’s defensive team:

Defensive Line – Allen Jenerette, Jr., Lugoff-Elgin – Jenerette did not skip a beat in moving from the offensive line to defensive end for the Demons this past season … The 6-foot, 220-pounder, who is also one of the state’s top 220-pound wrestlers, had 38 tackles with 30 solo stops with seven of those resulting in loss of yardage … Jenerette also had a sack, five quarterback pressures and recovered a team-best three fumbles.

Defensive Line  – Ladricus Turner, Sr., Lugoff-Elgin – A second-year transfer from Spring Valley, Turner gave the Demons a strong presence over center for two seasons … In an injury-shortened senior campaign, he rang up 31 tackles, 24 of those solo … The 5-foot-10, 260-pounder had three tackles for loss of yardage, a quarterback sack and a forced and recovered fumble.

Defensive Line – Jonathan Williams, Sr., Lugoff-Elgin – Williams was a player who could disrupt an offense with his strength and quickness … The 5-foot-8, 230-pounder could play inside or outside … Williams registered 51 tackles and had a team-high 12 quarterback pressures and a sack with six tackles for loss of yardage.

Defensive Line – Sheldon Wright, Sr., Camden – A three-year starter at tackle, the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder was third on the Bulldogs with 65 tackles … His five quarterback sacks led Camden as did his 11 quarterback pressures … Wright was tied for second on the team with 12 tackles for loss of yardage

Linebacker – Myles Dunham, Sr., North Central – Dunham was one of the most pleasant surprises for the Knights on both sides of the football … In addition to patrolling the edge on defense, he was also asked to play offense and was a nice compliment at fullback to tailback Tavarus Porter as he gained 73 yards on 14 carries while scoring a touchdown and adding a two-point conversion run.

Linebacker -  Hamid Mathis, Sr., Camden High – Mathis finished fifth on the team with 57 tackles --- with 41 solo stops --- from his outside linebackers’ post. … The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder had a team-best 14 tackles for loss of yardage to go along with a pair of sacks … He had one interception, which he returned for a 36-yard touchdown.

Linebacker  – Josh Ruiz, Sr., Lugoff-Elgin – About the only place you were unable to find Ruiz was on the L-E bench …  A starter on offense, defense and special teams, the 5-foot-8, 175-pound, third-year starter was fourth on the team in tackles with 58 stops --- 45 solo --- from his safety post. Ruiz broke up 10 passes, forced and recovered a fumble and had an interception … On offense, Ruiz rushed for 293 yards on 40 carries, for an average of 7.3 yards per carry, while scoring a pair of touchdowns. He was also the Demons’ primary punt returner while also returning kickoffs, as well.

Linebacker  –  Fidel Wise, Sr., Camden High – Wise sat out the entire 2010 season with an ankle injury, but made up for that as a senior and was named to played in the North-South All-Star Game … The 6-foot, 240-pound inside linebacker led the Bulldogs with 107 tackles, with 66 solo stops. He was tied for second on the team with 12 tackles for loss of yardage. He also recovered three fumbles and broke up four passes. Wise scored one time on six carries.

Defensive Back – Brandon Brown, Jr., Lugoff-Elgin – Brown blossomed as a starter this year and turned in a 56-tackle season with 47 primary hits … The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder had six hits behind the line of scrimmage with two quarterback pressures and a sack … He also broke up two passes while forcing and recovering a fumble.

Defensive Back – Zack Caulder, Jr., Camden – A first-year starter at cornerback for Jimmy Neal’s troops, Caulder quickly made a name for himself as a hard-hitter who came up quickly against the run … Was fourth on the team with 59 tackles and broke up a pair of passes … Also adept on special teams on which he blocked two kicks.

Defensive Back – Shaq McClinton, Sr., North Central  – McClinton came from out of nowhere to earns a starting job in the Knights’ secondary … Was a linchpin of a unit which gelled as the season went along and became a strength for Louis Clyburn’s charges.

Defensive Back – Derrick Miller, Sr., Lugoff-Elgin – Miller was the Demons’ leading tackler with 69 tackles of which 56 were solos … The athletic 5-foot-11, 177-pounder was also used as a running back on offense, but his main stint was on defense … Registered a sack and an interception in his final campaign.

Defensive Back – Alex Young, Sr., Camden High – Young waited his turn and won the safety job as a senior after having been a backup the previous season … A heady performer who rang up 33 tackles in his final campaign while breaking up four passes … Was also a vital member of special teams, blocking a pair of kicks.

Athlete – Dustin Valez, Sr., Camden Military Academy – Valez was a player who started the season at cornerback before adding the role of the lead tailback to his chores for Will Rice’s offense … His duties also included returning punts and kicks and being a general tough guy for the Spartans.

Punter – Chris Platenberg, Sr., Lugoff-Elgin – The first-year varsity starter proved to be a worthy successor to the Demons’ string of specialists … Platenberg averaged better than 32 yards per punt with a long of 47 yards, but it was his ability to hem opponents deep in their own territory which made him a valuable defensive weapon … In a game with West Florence, he averaged better than 37 yards on six punts with half of those landing or being downed inside the WF 10 yard line.

Honorable Mention: Camden (Darren Chestnut – Defensive Line; C.J. Martin – Defensive Line); Lugoff-Elgin (Markus Kershaw – Linebacker; Dalton Simons – Defensive Back/Athlete); North Central (Reggie Outten – Defensive Line; Dustin McCathern - Linebacker; Chris Vazquez – Defensive Back; Clarence Williams – Athlete)

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