All-Lake Big School Defense

MVP Kenneth Finley  6-3  285  Sr  DL  Muskegon
Muskegon is making its second straight appearance in the Division 2 state final, with a defense built on the capable shoulders of Finley. What really separates Finley, besides the size, the strength and speed, is his motor. He demands so much attention and creates so much havoc on the right side of the line, it opens things up for teammates to make plays. Not that Finley isn’t making them himself. In the regular season he had 17 tackles for loss, including seven sacks. As is the Big School Offensive MVP, Zeeland West’s Jordan VanDort, Finley is verbally committed to Western Michigan.

DL Ryan Gruszka  6-4  215  Sr  Comstock Park
From pass rush specialist to every down impact player, Gruszka was a key member of the first undefeated regular season team in Comstock Park history. He had 70 tackles in the regular season, including seven sacks. Gruszka was also a standout tight end.

DL Jacob Howe  6-2  240  Sr  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Cornerstone of the Lake Area’s stingiest defense. In the regular season Howe had 84 tackles, including 11 sacks. He also rushed for four TDS and was the Huskies’ kicked and punter.

DL Buck Tottingham  6-0  220  Sr  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
From a talented overall roster, Tottingham was called by Reeths-Puffer coach Kyle Jewett the Rockets’ best player. He’s a two-way lineman, a center and defensive tackle, who was a tough cover because he could both bull rush his man, or make him miss. In the regular season Tottingham had three sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered three fumbles.

LB Wyatt Batdorff  5-10  180  Sr  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Projects as a college safety, but was a terrific high school linebacker for a lock-down defense. Played so fast and hard, hit like a much bigger man. Also made an impact with his relentless special teams coverage. Batdorff led Forest Hills Northern with 104 tackles.

LB Brent Showers  5-11  220  Sr  Rockford
Classic middle linebacker who has done it on the big stage for years, leading Rockford in tackles the past three seasons. With that veteran savvy, Showers had a knack for ending up in the right spots, and when he did there was as good chance a big hit was ensuing. As a senior he led Rockford with 120 tackles, including 23 behind the line of scrimmage.

LB Quinton Sweeney  6-3  220  Sr  Wayland
Wayland was one of the Lake Area’s happiest stories, going from a win-less 2012 to making the playoffs. When you have players like Sweeney, can’t be held down forever. He was Wayland’s leading tacker and also started at tight end on one of the Lake Area’s most prolific rushing offenses.

DB Sam LaRoche  6-0  190  Sr  Comstock Park
Had a career notable for LaRoche’s knack for stepping up to make big plays, and Comstock Park certainly provided him with the opportunities to play in games that mattered. He made 50 tackles with four interceptions and three passes broken up.

DB Mickey Losey  6-0  180  Sr  Portage Central
He filled in admirably at quarterback in the playoffs and was the Mustangs’ kicker, but where Losey really made his impact was on defense. It didn’t matter where he was on the field either, whether making 11 interceptions, or three sacks.

DB Kyler Shurlow  6-1  195  Sr  Lowell
He put up silly stats as Lowell’s quarterback. But unlike a lot of QBs who may see spot minutes in the defensive backfield when a team needs their best athletes out there, Shurlow was an every down corner for the Red Arrows, and a good one. Oh, about that offense — Shurlow threw for 1,944 yards and 28 TDs, and ran for 889 yards and 18 TDs.

DB Jordan Waire  6-1  175  Sr  Muskegon
A soft spot last year, Muskegon’s secondary was much improved in 2013 and gave the Big Reds stoppers at all three levels of the defense. Waire only allowed two passes completed against him during the regular season.

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