Camren Torneden, sr., Free State High
For the second straight season, Torneden proved to be one of the top quarterbacks in Kansas, combining for 2,211 yards of total offense and leading the Firebirds (8-3) to the Class 6A state quarterfinals. Torneden was better through the air (1,276 yards) than the ground (935) in 2009.
Kirk Resseguie, sr., Free State High
Resseguie more than answered the Firebirds’ question at tailback, rushing for 1,099 yards and 17 touchdowns in leading Free State to a monster season. In addition to his stellar season on offense, Resseguie anchored the Free State D at middle linebacker and was among the team leaders in tackles and sacks.
Keene Niemack, sr., Free State High
Viewed largely as an under-the-radar weapon as a junior, Niemack was able to shed the stealthy label during his senior season. In addition to bringing toughness and physicality to the Free State defense, Niemack finished the year as the team’s leading receiver (358 yards, 23 receptions and 4 touchdowns) and earned all-league honors as a punt returner.
Michael Lisher, sr., Free State High
The anchor of the Free State offensive and defensive lines followed up an all-state season as a junior with another monster year in 2009. In addition to delivering sound fundamentals and big-time plays — in both the pass and the run game — Lisher emerged as an undisputed team leader in 2009, as he helped lead the Firebirds on another run into the playoffs.
Brandon Barnes, sr., Oskaloosa High
Barnes earned first-team all-Delaware Valley honors at running back and safety. He exploded for 1,725 yards and 17 TDs on the ground and added 119 yards and 2 more TDs as a receiver. He was the Bears’ second-leading tackler, with 94, and also had a sack, five interceptions and two pass break-ups. His 1,700+ yards on the ground ranked him fifth in Kansas among all classes and third in Class 3A.
Hogan Randall, sr., Veritas Christian
Randall becomes the first Veritas player to make the All-Area team, largely because of his ability to play both ways and dominate at the 8-man ranks. Randall led the Eagles with 161 total tackles (16 per game) and also added an interception on defense. Offensively, he carried the ball 76 times for 438 yards, good for an average of 5.8 yards-per-carry. He also added nine TDs and eight two-point conversions.
Brad Phillips, sr., Perry-Lecompton High
Phillips, a team captain, played free safety and was a receiver/running back for the Kaws this fall, and he finished the year with 1,388 all-purpose yards (557 rushing, 332 receiving and 499 in returns) and nine TDs. From his free safety position he added 43 solo tackles and 15 assists. He also had three interceptions and two pass break-ups.
Jeremy Carlisle, jr., Tonganoxie High
At 5-9, 165 pounds, Carlisle was hardly the prototypical size for a quarterback this fall. It didn’t matter. He finished the season with 1,105 yards and 16 TDs on the ground and added 586 yards and 7 more TDs through the air in leading the Chieftains to 40 touchdowns and more than 3,000 yards of total offense. The junior burner also won the “Iron Chief” award in the summer.
Evan Cleveland, sr., Eudora High
Despite not starting the season at quarterback, Cleveland finished the season as one of the most dangerous QBs in the area. His 1,045 rushing yards and 12 TDs and 691 yards and 6 more TDs through the air made him a big-time dual threat. What’s more, he was sacked just once all season. Defensively, he finished third on the team with 42 tackles and added an interception.
Boomer Mays, jr., Eudora High
Mays was good on the ground as a running back this season, rushing 113 times for 684 yards and nine TDs, but he was a flat-out beast on the defensive side of the ball. From his spot at linebacker, he led the team with a whopping 146 tackles, included 93 solo stops. His tackle total accounted for more than half of his team’s total.
Honorable Mention: Alex Courtney, EJ Field and Shane Cassatt, McLouth High; Jake Buscher and Mark Newell, Oskaloosa High; Dylan Burford and Lyle Logan, De Soto High; Jon Ward, Santa Fe Trail High; Ethan Scott and Nick Bennett, Veritas Christian; Trent Robb, Perry-Lecompton High; Jeremy Maus and Dane Gonser, Tonganoxie High; Tyrae Jenkins, Chris Gaston and Taylor Coleman, Lawrence High; Matt Acree and Chris Mayer, Mill Valley High.