All-Area Football Defense: Player of the Year and First Team
Loyola's Luke Ford, the Pioneer Press Football Defensive Player of the Year, loves watching movies. He's photographed outside the Wilmette Theatre on Nov. 28. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 6, 2012 6:30PM
Simply one of the best all-around players in the Chicago area, Luke Ford was the Catholic Blue’s MVP and headlined one of the best defenses in the state. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Loyola safety, who will play at Holy Cross, had four interceptions and also scored 11 offensive TDs on 35 catches to help the Ramblers advance to the state semifinals for a fourth season in a row.
In his free time, Ford enjoys going out to see movies with family and friends.
When did your love of cinema start? “My dad used to take me to the theater when I was younger, and it was — and is — something we’ve been able to do together.”
What’s your favorite movie? “I am a fan of the classics, and I like seeing the movies that won an Oscar for Best Picture. But I am all over the board. Sports movies also interest me. My favorite movie is ‘Amadeus.’ It was an award-winner in the 1980s.”
What are some current movies you recommend and/or want to see soon? “I saw the new James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ on Thanksgiving. Javier Bardem was one of the best Bond villains I’ve ever seen. I’m really looking forward to seeing ‘Lincoln.’ ”
ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL — Darby Goodwin
The 6-0, 225-pound Loyola senior nose tackle was a roadblock for runners and posted 10 sacks. Goodwin earned the Catholic Blue’s defensive MVP honor for the Ramblers, who played in the state semifinals for the fourth season in a row.
DL — Mark Rosenquist
A monster on the line, the 6-3, 300-pound Lake Forest Academy senior finished with seven tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Rosenquist earned all-state honors in Class 6A and was named the Catholic White’s defensive player of the year.
DL — Brian Allen
Following a family member never is easy, but the Hinsdale Central junior clearly has separated himself from older brother Jack Allen, now playing at Michigan State. The 6-2, 275-pounder was one of the most dominant linemen in WSC.
DL — Tom Kutschke
The 6-5, 240-pound senior’s nonstop motor powered Lake Forest to one of the program’s best-ever seasons as the Scouts reached the Class 6A semis. The NSC Lake’s defensive player of the year finished with 19 tackles for loss and 14 1/2 sacks.
LB — Noah Meyer
Slightly undersized at 5-10 and 195 pounds, the Maine South senior played huge for the Hawks by totaling 17 tackles for loss and two interceptions. The CSL South’s co-defensive player of the year helped the Hawks to 21 wins in two seasons.
LB — Patrick Hart
The 6-1, 225-pound senior got the Fenwick Friars back on track after they missed the playoffs a year ago. The Catholic White’s MVP recorded 19 tackles for loss, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Hart scored three defensive TDs.
LB — Cody Sullivan
The 6-0, 220-pound Loyola senior had a game to remember in the team’s 19-7 win over Palatine in the Class 8A quarterfinals by intercepting three passes. Sullivan, who averaged nearly eight tackles a game, finished with six picks on the 11-2 season.
LB — Adam Morrison
Called the “heart and soul” of the defense by Leyden coach Tom Cerasani, the 6-2, 225-pound senior was the WSC Gold’s defensive player of the year. He is drawing interest from several Midwestern colleges.
DB — Luke Ford
See Player of the Year Q & A.
DB — James Williams
An important piece of the Niles West Wolves’ first playoff team since 2004, the 6-0, 180-pound senior had 12 tackles for loss and earned the CSL South’s co-defensive player of the year.
DB — Joey Salata
Libertyville coach Mike Jones said the senior was the “face of Wildcat football.” Primarily a defensive player, the 5-10, 195-pounder stepped in at running back against Lake Zurich and finished with 125 yards in the team’s 3-0 win. On defense, Salata had three interceptions and two tackles for loss.
P — Cameron Green
Also a receiver for the Stevenson Patriots, the sophomore averaged nearly 37 yards per punt. The 6-3, 180-pounder caught 31 balls for 516 yards and six TDs.
PR — Robert Spillane
A threat to score any time the ball was in his hands, the 6-2, 215-pound Fenwick junior finished with 15 TDs on 140 touches and totaled 1,036 yards.
— Matt Harness