On offense, standout senior running back Cody Benesh was the Back of the Year, and senior guard Aiden Markley was the Lineman of the Year for the Roughriders.
Western Reserve went 9-1 in the regular season, including a perfect 7-0 mark in the FC. The Roughriders qualified for the Division VI state playoffs, where they fell in a 50-41 shootout in the first round vs. Carey.
In 11 games this season, Benesh ran 303 times for 2,225 yards and 33 touchdowns. Markley was first team at guard, as was senior classmates Dalton Webb at center and Dayne Braden at tackle. Together, the two helped block for Benesh and teammates as the Roughriders averaged 416.3 yards and 35.4 points per game this season.
Also earning first team on offense for the ‘Riders was receiver JJ Weisenberger, who finished with 38 catches for 539 yards and 3 TDs during the regular season.
On defense, senior Tyler Ramage (61 tackles, 1 sack) was a first team selection at inside linebacker for Western. Braden (47 tackles, 5 sacks) was first team on the defensive line, as was Webb (55 tackles, 7 sacks) at outside linebacker and Benesh (82 tackles, 1 INT) in the defensive backfield.
Second-year head coach Ty Stevenson was voted Coach of the Year after leading the ‘Riders to a big turnaround. Western was 2-8 in 2018, but jumped to the nine wins this season, including the program’s sixth FC title and fourth playoff appearance — the first since 2012 for both.
St. Paul (9-3, 5-2) had four players on the first team, led by senior safety Lars Livengood — the FC Defensive Back of the Year. In 11 games, Livengood finished with 63 tackles, seven interceptions, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Joining him on the first team included senior running back Cam Caizzo (1,380 yards, 17 TDs), junior defensive lineman Ben Meyer (57 tackles, nine sacks) and sophomore inside linebacker Will Stieber (122 tackles, three sacks, four fumble recoveries and one interception).
Plymouth (7-3, 4-3) put senior guard Jaden Oney on the first team, while senior safety Walker Elliott (60 tackles, 3 INTs) was first team in the defensive backfield.
Rounding out area first team selections was South Central senior quarterback Evan Legg, junior receiver David Lamoreaux and senior punter John Hale.
Legg was 143-of-271 passing for 2,086 yards and 23 TDs for the Trojans (5-5, 3-4). Lamoreaux was on the receiving end of 48 catches for 822 yards with 16 TDs, while Hale punted 36 times with a 37.8 average.
Earning second team for champion Western Reserve was sophomore quarterback Jude Muenz, junior Luke Wyers at both tight end and inside linebacker, and Webb at kicker.
Justin Butler was second team at running back and inside linebacker for St. Paul, while Meyer was second team at guard. Other second team choices for the Flyers were junior outside linebacker Steven Deleon and junior defensive back Adam Baker.
The Plymouth quartet of seniors Lukas Montgomery (RB), Peyton Young (OC), Scott Jennings (OT) and Dylan Van Fleet (DT) were second team for the Big Red.
Senior receiver Timmy Jayes and Lamoreaux (DB) were second team for South Central.
Monroeville senior Anthony Dublo (WR) and junior Zeb Schafer (DL) were second team choices for the Eagles. New London senior Chase Clouse (ILB) and junior Kenyon Cathey (DB) also earned second team for the Wildcats.
All-Firelands Conference football teams
First team offense
Quarterback: Evan Legg, South Central, Sr.
Running back: Cody Benesh, Western Reserve, Sr.; Cam Caizzo, St. Paul, Sr.; Sage Baith, Crestview, Sr.
Receiver: JJ Weisenberger, Western Reserve, Sr.; David Lamoreaux, South Central, Jr.
Center: Dalton Webb, Western Reserve, Sr.
Guard: Aiden Markley, Western Reserve, Sr.; Jaden Oney, Plymouth, Sr.
Tackle: Travis Dubois, Mapleton, Sr.; Dayne Braden, Western Reserve, Sr.
Tight end: Kameron Goon, Crestview, Sr.
Kicker: Levi Kibler, Crestview, Sr.
Offensive Back of the Year: Cody Benesh, Western Reserve.
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Aiden Markley, Western Reserve.
First team defense
Line: Ben Meyer, St. Paul, Jr.; Dayne Braden, Western Reserve, Sr.; Caden Hill, Crestview, Sr.
Inside linebacker: Will Stieber, St. Paul, So.; Tyler Ramage, Western Reserve, Sr.; Will Bolin, Crestview, Sr.
Outside linebacker: Dalton Webb, Western Reserve, Sr.; Sage Baith, Crestview, Sr.
Backs: Lars Livengood, St. Paul, Sr.; Cody Benesh, Western Reserve, Sr.; Ross Kuhn, Crestview, Jr.; Walker Elliott, Plymouth, Sr.
Punter: John Hale, South Central, Sr.
Defensive Back of the Year: Lars Livengood, St. Paul.
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Caden Hill, Crestview.
Coach of the Year: Ty Stevenson, Western Reserve.
Second team offense
Quarterback: Jude Muenz, Western Reserve, So.
Running back: Justin Butler, St. Paul, Sr.; Lukas Montgomery, Plymouth, Sr.
Receiver: Timmy Jayes, South Central, Sr.; Anthony Dublo, Monroeville, Sr.
Center: Peyton Young, Plymouth, Sr.
Guard: Ben Meyer, St. Paul, Jr.; Garrett Hunt, Crestview, Sr.
Tackle: Hayden Morse, Crestview, Jr.; Scott Jennings, Plymouth, Sr.
Tight end: Luke Wyers, Western Reserve, Jr.
Kicker: Dalton Webb, Western Reserve, Sr.
Second team defense
Line: Logan Burkhart, Crestview, Sr.; Dylan Van Fleet, Plymouth, Sr.; Zeb Schafer, Monroeville, Jr.
Inside linebacker: Justin Butler, St. Paul, Sr.; Luke Wyers, Western Reserve, Jr.; Chase Clouse, New London, Sr.
Outside linebacker: Steven Deleon, St. Paul, Jr.; Kameron Goon, Crestview, Sr.
Backs: Adam Baker, St. Paul, Jr.; Evan Hamilton, Crestview, Jr.; Kenyon Cathey, New London, Jr.; David Lamoreaux, South Central, Jr.
Punter: Ross Kuhn, Crestview, Jr.
Honorable mention offense
Quarterback: Gage Scurlock, Mapleton, Sr.; Peyton Wilson, New London, Sr.; Myron Stoll, St. Paul, Jr.
Running back: Chase Shifflet, Crestview, Jr.; Josh Stevens, Plymouth, Jr.
Receiver: Beau Galbraith, Mapleton, So.; Cory Hipp, Western Reserve, Jr.; Jaden Keys, New London, Sr.; Parker Ruble, New London, Sr.
Center: Mason Ringler, Crestview, Fr.
Guard: Bo Music, South Central, Sr.; Daniel Smith, Monroeville, Jr.; Wes Breedlove, Western Reserve, Sr.
Tackles: Brody Service, St. Paul, Sr.; Sam Tokarsky, St. Paul, Jr.; Keegan Ousley, Plymouth, Jr.
Tight end: Jace Barber, Plymouth, Sr.; Marcus Adams, Plymouth, Sr.
Honorable mention defense
Inside linebacker: Dillon Kern, Mapleton, Jr.; Blaine Wheeler, South Central, Jr.; Cody Stewart, Monroeville, Jr.
Outside linebacker: Bryar Ramey, Mapleton, Jr.; Carson Roe, Western Reserve, So.; Isaac Popa, New London, Sr.; Timmy Jayes, South Central, Sr.; Gunner Howell, Monroeville, Jr.; Noah Smith, Monroeville, Sr.; Nick Ritchey, Crestview, Sr.; Jesse Ruffing, St. Paul, Jr.; Jay Cook, South Central, Sr.
Backs: Nate Perkins, Western Reserve, Sr.; Connor Morse, Crestview, So.
W. Reserve 7-0 9-2
St. Paul 5-2 9-3
Crestview 5-2 7-4
Plymouth 3-4 7-3
South Central 3-4 5-5
Monroeville 2-5 3-7
Mapleton 1-6 1-9
New London 1-6 1-9