2022 All-Area Athletes & Teams

All-Area Athletes and Teams

All-Area Athletes & Teams

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Page 14 of 39

www.yoursun.com Page 15 By VINNIE PORTELL SPORTS WRITER The high school football season in our area seemed to have it all this year. The DeSoto County Bulldogs, under the leadership of new coach and athletic director Sam Holland, turned in a winning season a year after going winless. Lemon Bay didn't just make it to the playos for a third straight season, but also went undefeated the regular season in dominating fashion — with some heroic eorts along the way. A sophomore-laden Port Charlotte team re- bounded from a tough 1-3 start to eventually make it to the district champi- onship game. Charlotte swapped players around the field all season, but won when it mattered — beating the Pirates and making the regional playos once again. North Port, meanwhile, flashed real signs of progress under first-year coach Garon Belser. Oh, and the Venice Indians won a state championship. There were several standouts from each area team, with many title-winning Indians populating the top of any and every list one could make. Here's the 2021 Sun Preps All-Area football team: FIRST TEAM OFFENSE QB — RYAN BROWNE VENICE, SENIOR Browne made the most of his one year at Venice. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,636 yards and 31 touchdowns to seven interceptions while also rushing 106 times for 534 yards and eight more scores on the way to winning the 8A state final with a four-touchdown performance. The 6-foot-5, 210 pound senior stayed on the field for every game for an oense that averaged 44 points per game. RB — DA'MARION ESCORT VENICE, SENIOR Escort ceded rushes to backups this season as the Indians put a running clock on 12 of their 15 opponents, but he still managed to put up an impressive stat line. The senior Murray State commit rushed 229 times for 1,616 yards and 21 touchdowns along with two receptions for 73 yards and another score. OL — DAVID RANEY VENICE, SENIOR A three-year starter, Raney played every posi- tion on the line at some point in his career for the Indians, including both right tackle and right guard this season. The senior committed to Navy last spring and was the most experienced member of what coach John Peacock has called 'the best oensive line Venice has ever had.' OL — EVERETT BAKER LEMON BAY, SENIOR Baker has been the leader of the oensive line during the Mantas' resurgence. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound tackle helped block for a dominant oense during Lemon Bay's undefeated season this year. OL — MAVERICK MENZER CHARLOTTE, SENIOR The Tarpons didn't have one workhorse running back this season, but still overpowered several teams with a relentless rushing attack. Menzer, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound lineman, was a big reason why the Tarpons found so much success on the ground on the way to the regional playos. OL — ZACH ALLEN VENICE, SENIOR A three-year starting center for Venice, the 6-foot-1, 250- pound Allen proved to be essential in his senior season. He helped block for an oense that totaled over 6,000 yards and 85 touchdowns while going 14-1 across 15 games. OL — RILEY CLEARY VENICE, SENIOR A converted defensive lineman, Cleary protect- ed Browne's blindside all season long. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound left tackle eventually earned an oer to Murray State for his ef- forts, committing to play there in the last week of the season. Title-winning Indians headline All-Area team Several teams had seasons worth honoring this fall SUN PREPS ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM SEE FOOTBALL, 16A SUN FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS BLAKE Venice's Omari Hayes splits the Apopka defense to score an Indians' touchdown during the state championship game. adno=3847841-1

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