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December 25, 2012

Linton kicker is ground-breaking all-star football player

TERRE HAUTE — The Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association, as has been mentioned before, is a ground-breaking organization in itself, organizing schools that might be 100 miles apart — Cumberland to Cascade, for instance, or Turkey Run to Olney — into a unit that puts on an all-star week and hands out college scholarships every spring.

The WVFCA also chooses the All-Wabash Valley team every year, and in doing so this year has come up with something else that’s new: the 30-player first team includes a female for the first time.

Linton’s Dyllanne Deischer, a consistent source of extra points the last three years for a team that was often far enough ahead that field goal attempts weren’t necessary or even sportsmanlike, is the first-team kicker.

Deischer is one of six Miners on the first team, giving the Miners — who fell one excruciating play and a few painful inches short of an appearance in Indiana’s Class A championship game — the most selections on that unit.

Also chosen from the Miners were running back Koye Kaiser, who had approximately 50 touchdowns the past two years; interior linemen Taylor Kanen (offensively) and Ethan Lannan (defensively); defensive back Cole Bradbury, also a dangerous wide receiver; and linebacker Dane Rupska, whose ability to play just about any position makes him the obvious choice to lead the 2013 edition of the Southwest Seven Conference champions.

If you notice a Linton name missing, that’s because Austin Karazsia, one of the state’s most prolific passers ever, was a second-team choice.

He was edged for first-team quarterback honors by Purdue-bound Danny Etling of Terre Haute South, whose throws to another first-teamer, wide receiver Tyler Seibert, gave the Braves one of the most dangerous combos in the state. Also earning first-team honors for South were offensive lineman Junior Berry and punter Jeremy Patterson.

Terre Haute North, enjoying its most productive season since joining the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, had five first-teamers and four more players on the second team, giving the Patriots the biggest representation among the 56 players chosen for the two teams.

Patriot first-teamers are led by Class 4A all-state tight end Calvin Blank and include three more future Division I players — receiver/safety/linebacker Austin Lewis, lineman A.J. Grady and linebacker Lee Davis — plus junior defensive back Ricky Brookins.

Another team that had one of its best seasons in a while was North Vermillion, and the Falcons have three first-team players — running back Kody Zumwalt, defensive lineman Dakota Uplinger and defensive back Brayden Woodard. Don’t be surprised if Woodard is the first-team quarterback a year from now.

Three Putnam County schools combined to send five more first-team players. Greencastle, undefeated until a sectional championship showdown with eventual Class 3A state champion Indianapolis Chatard, is represented by defensive lineman Dustin Williams and quarterback Nick Gilliam, the offensive at-large pick; North Putnam, always well represented on this team, has offensive lineman Eric Davis and linebacker Grant Bryan; and South Putnam’s representative is a two-time first-team all-stater, lineman Ryan Chestnut.

Also having two first-team choices are North Central, where linebacker Dante Rehmel was among the state’s leaders in tackles the past two years and where Chase VanSchoyck set the Indiana single-game rushing record this fall, and Mattoon, represented by receiver Skyler Hartbank and linebacker Mitch Hirsch.

Casey’s perennial deep run into the Illinois Class 2A playoffs resulted in defensive lineman Matt McCown earning a first-team berth. The Warriors also had three second-team selections, and coach Jim Sullivan was one of the WVFCA’s two Coach of the Year honorees; he’ll match wits with Linton’s Steve Weber six months from now in the annual all-star game.

Also getting first-team accolades are West Vigo’s Andy Velazquez, the Vikings best cornerback the past three years, and Owen Valley’s Larry Shaffer, a linebacker named the defensive at-large player.

North’s four second-team choices are linebacker Vasco Billberry, running back Brother Scank, defensive back Kai Stratten and punter Zach Potter.

Casey and Greencastle each have three players on the second unit: offensive lineman Shawn McCown, linebacker Dalton Livvix and defensive back Josh Blome of the Warriors and receiver Mac Shuee, offensive lineman T.J. Bollman and defensive back Tyler Scott of the Tiger Cubs.

South Putnam (running back Lucas Lorian and defensive lineman Jacob Williams) and Mattoon (offensive lineman Ryan Paige and defensive lineman Ben Vieth) each have two second-team players, and so does Sullivan. Running back Brooks Weszely and receiver Michael Hutchcraft represent the Golden Arrows.

Players who are their school’s only second-team representatives are Karazsia; defensive back Dillon Bell of South; offensive lineman Lucas Clark of North Vermillion; receiver Jameson Brewer of North Putnam; offensive lineman Jacob Riley of West Vigo; tight end Robbie Foster of Rockville; kicker Daniel Littlejohn of Marshall; defensive lineman Anthony Helm of Olney, linebacker Kurtis Fleek of Oblong; and defensive lineman Derrick Nicholas of Robinson.

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