High School Football

Meet the best high school football players in Belleville

One of the longest ongoing traditions in Belleville reached its 75th year when the local Rotary clubs honored the All-City High School Football team Monday.

Twelve players from each side of the line of scrimmage, representing Belleville East, Belleville West and Althoff Catholic High School are considered for the annual honor. They are selected by a vote of the three schools’ coaches.

Neither the Crusaders, Lancers or Maroons posted a winning record in 2019, each team finishing with a record of 3-6. But first-year coaches Brian Edgar of West and Michael Harrison of East set a tone for the remainder of the annual banquet — held this year at Bel-Air Bowl — by emphasizing the traditions long established in Belleville high school sports.

“You always here coaches talk about rebuilding brick by brick, but can’t begin to rebuild if you don’t already have a strong foundation, and that’s what we have here in Belleville,” Edgar said.

Harrison told the players: “You should know how lucky we are because, in other towns, they don’t have the support, or the attention, or the traditions you get to experience here tonight.”

Althoff 12th-year head coach Ken Turner first joked how he went from being the youngest to speak at the annual banquet to become the dean of Belleville coaches. But he closed his remarks by reminding his players that winning isn’t the only goal of competition.

“You guys worked hard, you showed up every day and you did the things you need to do that prepare you, not just for success on the football field, but off the field in whatever else you go on to do,” he said.

Keynote speaker Richard Avdoian, a psychologist, speaker and leadership coach picked up on the theme with a speech on being thankful and mindful.

The 2019 All-City High School Football Team follows:


Offensive MVP: OL Nick Greenwood

Defensive MVP: DL Mack Harris

Belleville East

Offensive MVP: QB Lucas Maue

Defensive MVP: DL Hayden Howard

Belleville West

Offensive MVP: RB Jordan Bruce

Defensive MVP: LB DeJuan Byrd

All-City Offense

Quarterback: Lucas Maue, Belleville East. jr. (132-241, 1,409 yards, 12 TD, 84.79 rate)

Running Back: Jordan Bruce, Belleville West, sr. (148 carries, 915 yards, 8 TDs, 6.2 avg.)

Running Back: Curtis Sharp, Althoff, sr. (115 carries, 697 yards, 2 TD)

Wide Receiver: Nick Alberico, Althoff, sr. (30 catch, 507 yards, 4 TD, 16.9 avg.)

Wide Receiver: Yogi Flager, Belleville East, sr. (61 catch, 631 yards, 5 TD)

Wide Receiver: Joey Kossina, Belleville West, sr. (21 catch, 379 yards, 4 TDs)

Offensive Line: Alvin Gulley, Belleville West, jr. (6-2, 250 lbs)

Offensive Line: Carlos Blanco, Belleville East, sr. (6-3, 290)

Offensive Line: Nick Greenwood, Althoff, sr. (5-11, 220)

Offensive Line: Josh Suttles, Belleville East, sr. (5-10, 273)

Offensive Line: Marcus Gates, Belleville West, sr. (5-10, 240 lbs)

Kicker: Logan Seibert, Belleville West, jr. (20 PAT, 8 FG, 44 points)

All-City Defense

Defensive Line: Hayden Howard, Belleville East, sr. (49 tackles, sack, 3 fumble rec.)

Defensive Line: Nolan Schmidt, Althoff, sr. (43 tackles, 4 sacks)

Defensive Line: Alvin Gulley, Belleville West, jr. (10 tackles, sack)

Defensive Line: Mack Harris, Althoff, sr. (49 talkes, 4 sacks)

Linebacker: Rick Smith, Althoff, jr. (52 tackles, sack, 2 fumble rec.)

Linebacker: DeJuan Byrd, Belleville West, sr. (25 tackles)

Linebacker: Shamario Williams, Belleville East, jr. (67 tackles)

Defensive Back: Bryson Ivy, Belleville East, jr. (49 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 fumble rec.)

Defensive Back: Nick Alberico, Althoff, sr. (53 tackles)

Defensive Back: Henry Walker, Belleville West, sr. (31 tackles)

Defensive Back: Bruce Harris, Belleville East, jr. (29 tackles)

Punter: Alex Maxim, Belleville East, jr. (37 punt, 36.41 avg.)

Dean Criddle has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat for 32 years as a sports writer. Dean graduated from SIUE with a double major in journalism and English, is married and lives in Belleville.