All-Lake Area: The Defense

MVP Bryce Witham 6-4 245 Sr DL Grand Rapids West Catholic
The rare high school athlete who combines all the physical tools with a non-stop motor. Witham imposed his will as both a lineman and tight end for West Catholic’s consecutive state championship teams. Heading into Saturday’s game with Lansing Catholic Central, Witham had 77 tackles and on the other side of the ball had 764 yards and 16 TDs receiving.

DL Jarrad Whited 6-2 230 Sr Vicksburg
He was an all-conference pick on both the offensive and defensive lines. Whited had 95 tackles, 14 of them behind the line including six sacks.

DL Tyler Tippens 5-8 260 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
With six more inches Tippes would be on everyone’s recruiting list. As it was, he’s a dominant high school nose tackle for Mona Shores’ Division 2 state runner-up team. He didn’t just draw in blockers, he dominated them. Tippens had 100 tackles including 10 sacks.

DL Rowland Sharp 6-3 250 Sr Muskegon
He did the dirty work on the interior of the line for Muskegon’s Division 3 state runner-up team. Sharp had 44 tackles with six sacks, and was also the Big Reds’ tight end.

DL Carter Masek 6-3 230 Sr East Grand Rapids
He was the top edge rusher in the Lake Area’s strongest conference, the O-K White. Masek had 52 tackles including 10 behind the line. He was a two-way starter for East’s playoff team and will sign with Miami-OH.

LB TJ Smith 6-1 215 Sr Muskegon
He was Muskegon’s only returning starter at linebacker and came through with a huge senior year for the D2 state runners-up Big Reds. Smith led Muskegon with over 100 tackles, including a three-sack effort against East Grand Rapids and a 73-yard TD on an interception return against Northview.

LB Jack Bates 6-3  230  Sr Grand Rapids Christian
On a Christian team whose season was in flux because of injury, Bates was a stalwart in the middle. He had 103 tackles, with eight behind the line and two sacks.

LB Luke Sage 6-0 185 Jr Boyne City
The defensive leader of Boyne City team that reached the Division 6 semifinals. Sage had 142 tackles, including 10 sacks, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

DB Jon Wassink 6-2 190 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian
He played defense as needed his junior season. Wassink played the corner full-time as a senior in addition to his quarterback duties and quickly became one of the Lake Area’s best cover men. Wassink had four interceptions, including one in South Christian’s Division 4 final win over Lansing Sexton. Offensively, he threw for 2,243 yards and 26 TDs and ran for 1,326 yards and 18 TDs. He’s committed to WMU.

DB Hunter Broersma  6-1  180  Jr  Muskegon Mona Shores
He missed Mona Shores’ state final because of an illness, and the Sailors certainly missed his game-breaking athleticism on defense, offense and special teams. Broersma had five interceptions and scored seven TDs.

DB Alezay Coleman 5-11 175 Sr Muskegon
Muskegon’s defense did its job in the D2 state final, holding St. Mary’s to seven points and Coleman had 13 tackles at forward field. On the season he had over 50 tackles, four interceptions and four TDs. Coleman is committed to Ferris State.

DB Tyler Bradfield 6-1 185 Jr Rockford
He led Rockford with 81 tackles. He’s a versatile, athletic playmaker who also had two picks, blocked a kick and returned a fumble for a TD. Bradfield will be a rare three-year letter-winner for the Rams.


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