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High School Football: Athens linebacker named area's top defender
Athens linebacker Mitch Rider, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Ohio AP Southeast All-District football team.
Joining Rider as members on the Division III First Team were fellow Bulldogs DeVon Sharp (running back), Skylar Schwarzel (receiver), Trevor Sorrell (defensive line), Chris Russell (defensive back), and Nick Stanley (defensive back).
Cody Mack and Travis Taylor gained Honorable Mention accolades.
Ryan Adams was named co-Coach of the Year along with Andy Hall from Jackson.
Rider is currently receiving interest from some smaller Division I schools.
“I haven’t gotten any offers yet or anything, but I really want to play in college somewhere. I want to try to play D-1,” Rider said. “OU has contacted me a little bit, as well as Akron and Indiana State.”
Rider led the Bulldogs in tackles this year. He had 80 during the regular season, good for an average of eight per game.
Sharp led the Bulldogs in rushing and scoring. He finished the regular season with 1,287 yards on the ground o with 22 scores. He averaged 128.7 yards a game and 6.8 yards a carry. His 1,687 total yards also led the team.
Schwarzel led the team in receiving yards with 579 and added two scores. He finished second in total offense with 861 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Nick Stanley led the team in interceptions with seven. Sorrell finished second in tackles with 52 and Russell third with 43.