SULLIVAN TWP. — The most productive defensive lineman in Medina County got his due Tuesday when the Division III and IV All-Ohio teams were released by the Associated Press.
Junior defensive end John Guilford was honored as a D-IV first-team member, becoming the first Pirate to earn that distinction since running back Stefan Mullins in 2003.
“I’m speechless, really,” Guilford said. “I never really figued I would get an award like this.
“I just wanted to be better than everyone else and I was really hoping the team would succeed as a whole, too.”
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Guilford dominated for Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division champions with 18 tackles for loss. What really made him stick out among the top players in all of Ohio, however, was a whopping eight blocked punts/kicks.
Black River seniors Jake O’Connor (DB) and Jon Sas (LB) were named to the special mention unit.
O’Connor capped his career with 302 points, including 144 this fall when he played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, outside linebacker, kicker, punter, kick returner and punt returner. Sas, who was a second-team choice as a junior, compiled 89 tackles despite missing nearly three games with injury.
Buckeye senior Carlton Watkins was a third-team choice in D-III after leading the county with 60 receptions for over 900 yards. His reception total ranks fifth in area single-season history.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.