Some championship teams rely on one or two players to carry them, but with 37 seniors this season, Snider is not one of those programs.
At 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in the final regular-season Class 5A poll, the Panthers have had a tremendous season up to now. To coach Kurt Tippmann, the primary reason is simple: balance.
“When you have 37 seniors and guys who have been in the program for three to four years, it is a big deal,” Tippmann said. “We have so many guys that contribute.”
That is reflected in The News-Sentinel All-Area Team, with a team-leading six Panthers named to the prestigious list.
The honors are spread over all three facets of the game, with three Panthers named on offense, two on defense and one on special teams.
“It has kind of worked out where we don't have just one guy getting all the praise,” Tippmann said. “We are sharing the load and keeping each other fresh."
Included on the All-Area Team for Snider are senior offensive linemen Ruben Holcomb and Travis Leonard. Both were named All-SAC First Team and have opened holes for the many running backs Snider has showcased throughout the season.
Senior Addison Dellinger also finds himself honored at tight end. Through the regular season, Dellinger's ability to stretch the field vertically with mismatches helped open up the Panthers running attack.
On defense, Nick Reese was honored for his solid play at defensive back and also for his abilities out of the offensive backfield, running for 604 yards in the regular season.
Weston Painter was an absolute monster on both sides of the ball in the trenches, while Josh Spitnale was honored as the top kicker in the area.
Other players receiving All-Area honors include (with regular-season stats when applicable):
* Quarterback: C.J. Jackson, North Side. The senior dual-threat signal-caller is the most dynamic playmaker in the area. A first-team All-SAC selection, Jackson has thrown for 1,684 yards and 21 touchdowns to go along with 910 yards rushing and 11 scores.
* Running back: Jason Nicodemus, Churubusco. As Nicodemus goes, so does the Eagles offense. The rusher has accumulated 1,639 yards and 26 touchdowns on 162 carries, averaging just more than 10 yards per rush.
* Running back: Anthony Moore, New Haven. The Bulldogs were expected to take a step back with the loss of Te'Vaughn Hurse, but Moore more than made up for the departure. Moore has rushed for 1,382 yards and 15 scores on 193 carries.
* Wide receiver: Isaac Griffith, Homestead. Despite seeing double teams a lot this season, the Indiana commit caught 29 balls for 597 yards for the high-flying Spartans offense.
* Wide receiver: Grey Fox, East Noble. Led the area in receiving yards with 938 on 63 catches. Helped the Knights average nearly 40 points a game.
* Offensive lineman: Anthony Martin, New Haven. Someone had to help open holes for Moore, and Martin was a big part of that. He also had nine sacks as a defensive lineman.
* Offensive lineman: Russell Collins, North Side. One of the more intimidating players in the area on both sides of the ball, Collins was a first-team All-SAC selection.
* Offensive lineman: Tim Brandt, Heritage. Brandt is a big reason the Patriots have one of the most balanced teams around, opening holes on the offensive side and plugging them up on defense at linebacker.
* Defensive lineman: W.R. Sanders, North Side. While the majority of the attention goes to Collins, Sanders is a stud in his own right with nine sacks on the season and a first-team All-SAC selection.
* Defensive lineman: Blake Bowers, Bishop Dwenger. At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, Bowers has the size to disrupt plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. He has done it all year while earning a first-team All-SAC honor.
* Defensive Lineman: Dan Beckman, Bishop Luers. This kid plays angry but in control, a perfect attitude for the D-line. He's a first-team All-SAC selection and a key cog in a defense allowing fewer than 15 points per game.
* Linebacker: Jaylon Smith, Bishop Luers. Despite his stats being down from a year ago, Smith dealt with plays that ran away from him and double-teams all season and still put up solid numbers. He's a U.S. Army All-American and first-team All-SAC pick.
* Linebacker: Anthony Linnear, North Side. The senior has amassed 50 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns this season. He also has accumulated more than 1,500 yards of offense and 16 scores. He's a first-team All-SAC selection.
* Linebacker: Drue Tranquill, Carroll. While brother Justin may have better stats in some areas, Drue is a true player in all three facets of the game, from returning kicks and notching interceptions to catching passes and punting.
* Defensive back: Terrance Fincher, Wayne. Led the area with seven interceptions for an improving Wayne program. He's a first-team All-SAC selection.
* Defensive back: Kendrick Mullen, Bishop Luers. Never the biggest player on the field, but never outclassed in athleticism, Mullen has four interceptions on the year and was a first-team All-SAC honoree.
* Defensive back: Marq Rogers, Concordia Lutheran. One of the more versatile players in the area, Rogers was honored as a first-team All-SAC member at DB but was second in the area in receiving in the regular season with 50 catches for 693 yards.
* Athlete: Donovan Clark, South Side. A junior who could be in the running for Player of the Year next season, Clark rushed for 1,000 yards on 128 carries this season and was a first-team All-SAC selection. He is also one of the best cover defensive backs in the area.
* Punter: Colin Brockhouse, Northrop. Not only can Brockhouse throw, he can kick too. The junior was one of the best at helping the defense with field position throughout the season. He also threw for 1,953 yards and 18 touchdowns at quarterback.