The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 13, 2012

Defensive phenoms

By Cam Huffman
Sports Editor

— Our list of five finalists for The Register-Herald Offensive Player of the Year stirred a great deal of debate and got high school football fans around the area talking.

Visitors to The Register-Herald (Official) Facebook page made their votes known, and our five-person sports staff voted on the winner.

But before that award is announced on Friday, it’s time to release the five finalists for The Register-Herald Defensive Player of the Year, which will be handed out next Friday.

The group includes some athletes that excelled on both sides of the ball and others who were known mainly for their defense.

The group is an impressive one, and, as it was on offense, selecting a winner will be a difficult task.

Let us know your thoughts by visiting the Facebook page and commenting on the player you believe most deserves the award.

Isaiah Brown (Summers County) — Brown put up huge numbers on the offensive side, but he made the Class AA second team as a defensive player, where he shined in the Bobcat secondary. Brown’s athleticism made throwing the football tough, and he made a number of touchdown-saving tackles.

Austin Hill (Nicholas County) — The 6-foot-1, 280-pound defensive lineman played a huge role in helping the Grizzlies to their first-ever playoff victory. Hill finished the season with 105 assisted tackles, 26 solo stops, 10 sacks, four tipped passes and a pair of fumble recoveries. Hill moved from defensive end to nose guard to provide a force in the middle.

Anthony Hosea (Woodrow Wilson) — Helping lead the Flying Eagles to a 6-4 regular season and a Class AAA playoff berth, the 6-foot, 221-pound defensive tackle finished the year with 116 tackles, 47 solo stops, and 12 sacks. He had three crucial sacks late in the game against Hurricane, and he had a season-high four against Riverside.

Hosea also had three fumble recoveries and blocked a field goal.

Harold Messinger (Independence) — A second team Class AA All-State selection, the 5-foot-8, 257-pound senior was a force on the Patriots’ defensive line. He finished the year with 49 tackles, five sacks and three fumble recoveries, helping Independence to a 5-5 season.

Tyler Parker (Greenbrier West) — Aside from averaging 100 yards rushing per game on offense, the senior linebacker made a huge impact on the other side of the ball, as well. In helping the Cavaliers to a 10-2 season as a playoff victory, Parker had 84 total tackles four interceptions and a forced fumble. He was also the team’s punter, averaging 36.4 yards per punt and changing field position.