Brian Bembry, sr., Palmetto
Position: Defensive tackle
To his credit: A one-man wrecking crew who caused havoc in opposing backfields, the 6-foot-3, 267-pounder was a self-made disruptive force. He led the Tigers with 31 tackles for loss and had an astonishing 10 forced fumbles. He registered six sacks and had 61 overall tackles with 23 solos. Bembry had two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.
David Belvin, jr., Palmetto
Position: Defensive line
To his credit: The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder used his muscle and speed to register 61 tackles, including 14 solos. Strong, with quick feet, Belvin spent a lot of time disrupting opposing backfields with 14 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He had a blocked punt, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Kwanzi Jackson, jr., Manatee
Position: Defensive End
To his credit: The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder was a terror off the edge. He led the area with 25 sacks for 125 yards in losses and was credited with 27 quarterback hurries. Jackson was second on the Canes with 75 solo tackles. He had 84 total tackles and blocked two punts, forced two fumbles and recovered three fumbles.
Delvon Mayes, sr., Manatee
Position: Defensive Tackle
To his credit: The 6-foot-2, 319-pounder had 62 tackles, including 56 solos, and notched eight tackles for loss. He was credited with six quarterback hurries and was at his best against the best competition, registering seven solos tackles each against Georgia power Ware County and Orlando Dr. Phillips, when the Canes ended the Panthers' 37-game home win streak.
Sam Leonard, sr. Cardinal Mooney
To his credit: A true ball hawk, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound middle linebacker topped the Cougars and led the area with 122 tackles, including 42 solos. Despite playing off the line, he registered a team-high 17 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He was credited with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Ronnie McClellan, jr., Braden River
To his credit: McClellan led the Pirates with 80 tackles, including 57 solos. He registered two sacks and two interceptions he returned for 36 yards and had two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. He was instrumental in a district-clinching victory over Palmetto with 12 tackles (6 solos), three passes defended, two tackles for losses and an interception that sealed the game.
Nashon Smith, sr. Manatee
To his credit. Smith led the Canes with 104 tackles, including a team-high 76 solos. The 5-foot-11, 199-pounder had seven tackles for losses, five sacks for minus-24 yards and three quarterback hurries and one pass deflection. He registered a personal high of eight solo tackles each against Sarasota and St. Petersburg and a personal-high 14 tackles against Georgia power Ware County.
John Tauber, sr., IMG Academy
To his credit: The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder led IMG with 92 tackles, including 52 solos, and averaged 8.4 tackles per game with 17 tackles for loss. He had three pass breakups and one fumble recovery along with three sacks. He recorded double-digit tackles in seven games with a high of 12 against Trinity Christian Academy.
Wanley Desir, sr., Lakewood Ranch
To his credit: The versatile three-year starter can play linebacker or safety because of his blend of speed and strength. He led the Mustangs with 64 tackles and had 28 solos. Strong at playing the pass or run, the 5-foot-10, 195-pounder, had 16 tackles for loss, registered two sacks and picked off two passes.
JoJo Louis, jr. Braden River
To his credit: A ball hawk supreme, the 6-foot, 187-pounder was one of the state's most disruptive players. He led the area with eight interceptions for 119 yards, including two he returned for touchdowns. He had 39 tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and four pass breakups.
Saivion Smith, jr., IMG
To his credit: The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder topped the Ascenders with five interceptions and scored five defensive touchdowns on one interception and four fumble recoveries. He had three passes defended, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and three blocked punts. Smith finished with 67 tackles, including 52 solos and seven tackles for loss.
Antonio Henderson, sr., Manatee
To his credit: Registered 87 tackles, averaging 7.3 tackles per game, and had 67 solo tackles, 20 tackles for losses and two sacks. Henderson intercepted two passes for 20 return yards, had eight pass defenses, one forced fumble and two blocked punts. He had 14 solo tackles in a region final victory over Orlando Dr. Phillips.
Travon Rumph, jr., Manatee
To his credit: Rumph finished second on the Hurricanes with 95 tackles, averaging 7.3 per game. He had 54 solo tackles and 13 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with three blocked punts and was second with nine pass deflections. Rumph intercepted two passes. In tje region title game, he had 11 solo tackles (17 total) and three tackles for a loss.
Robby Howard, sr., Cardinal Mooney
To his credit: Howard averaged 47 yards per punt with a long of 60 yards. Due to his long hang time, only five of his 27 punts were returned. He punted nine times against ODA for 513 yards (57-yard average), averaged 47.4 yards on 22 kickoffs. Howas was successful on 3 of 4 field goal attempts with a long of 47.
-- Capsules by Alan Dell, Herald sports writer