The Laney defense was among the best in a decade for the Bucs and Cayman Czesak played a big role at inside linebacker as Czesak was named Mideastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year following a vote by the leagues seven coaches.
Including Czesak, Laney had six players receive all-conference selections on defense. The Bucs allowed 13.2 points per game en route to an 8-5 overall mark, 4-2 record in league play and first playoff win since 2011. Laney held high powered Wake Forest to just one touchdown in its final game of the season, a 7-6 defeat in the second round of the 4AA tournament.
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Czesak showcased his ability to move sideline to sideline each week. His fierceness in the middle led to a team-high 171 total tackles, three sacks, one interception and seven forced fumbles. Czesak had season-high 20 total tackles in a 13-0 setback to Hoggard on Oct. 14. He averaged 12.5 tackles per game finished his high school career and finished with 35 solo tackles.
- DL– Joe Barbera, Ashley: Barbera was among the top run stuffers across the region. The junior will be back for one more season under Coach Jeff Turner.
- DL– Chris Nixon, Topsail
- DL– Jomaious Williams, New Hanover: A North Carolina Shrine Bowl selectee, Williams had 11.5 tackles for loss. He finished with 69 total tackles, 3.5 tackles, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
- DL– Ryan Daborowski, Laney: Daborowski was a force to reckon with coming off the edge. He had 57 tackles, 12 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries this season for Laney.
- LB– Grant Daley, New Hanover: Daley was a player of the year candidate coming off a broken in 2015. Daley returned to action as a junior this season with 154 total tackles. He had a 96 yard fumble recovery for touchdown in New Hanover’s second round playoff game.
- LB– Jimmy Cochran, West Brunswick: Cochran had a fumble recovery in the Trojans playoff game against Northern Guilford. He also played a big role in West Brunswick’s biggest win of the season, a 26-14 victory against New Hanover.
- LB– Cullum Crowley, Hoggard: Crowley emerged as a key asset for Hoggard as the Vikings ran off six straight wins before falling in the third round of the state playoffs. He had 66 solo tackles (87 total), one interception and 3.5 sacks as a senior.
- DB– Reece Moulton, Hoggard: Moulton had three interceptions, with eight pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one punt block.
- DB– Shyion Jennings, New Hanover: Jennings had four interceptions, three pass deflections and 42 total tackles.
- DB– Tariq Thomas, West Brunswick
- DB– Toney Williams, West Brunswick
- P– Alex Sniffen, New Hanover: Sniffen averaged 43.5 yards per kick on 33 punts this season.
- PK– Jorge Lopez, Topsail:
- SP– Bryant Sasser, Hoggard
- SP– Grant Szaloky, New Hanover
- DL– McKenzie Frazier, Hoggard: Frazier will be one of the top returners back on the Hoggard defense next season. As a junior, 43 solo tackles, six tackles for loss, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks.
- DL– Travone McGhee, Laney: McGhee was one of the elite pass rushers at defensive end. He ended his senior year with 59 tackles and four sacks.
- DL– Khalil Toney, New Hanover: Toney paired with teammate Jomaious Williams in stopping the run up front. He had 28 tackles and four tackles for loss.
- DL– Landon Romano, Hoggard
- LB– Tyler Moore, Laney: Moore had 70 total tackles paired alongside Cayman Czesak at linebacker.
- LB– Nas Brown, New Hanover: Brown had 133 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
- LB– Christian Hollar, Hoggard: Hollar averaged seven tackles per game and finsihed with 94 total tackles this season.
- DB– Sean Ross, Ashley
- DB– Isaiah Kemp, Hoggard: Kemp will be one of the top defensive backs in the area moving into next season. The sophomore had 44 tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
- DB– Kymel Bloodworth, Laney: Bloodworth had one interception and two fumble recoveries.
- DB– Elijuwuan Boone, Laney: Boone has received offers to play at the college level. The Laney defensive back had two interceptions, six pass breakups and one blocked field goal.
- P– Raymond Bowen, South Brunswick
- PK– Westley Gaines, New Hanover: Gaines connected on 48 of 52 extra point attempts, including a 34 yard and 19 yard field goal tries.
- SP– Jacob Stadsvold, Topsail
- SP– Greg Bown, Ashley