Rockies top All-NLC lists with conference co-champ Concord

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s Northern Lakes Conference co-champion football team was honored with seven all-conference picks for the 2012 season, and head coach John Barron was named NLC Coach of the Year, it was announced Tuesday.
The Rockies, who finished in a two-way tie with Concord for the NLC championship with a 6-1 league finish, were given seven picks on the first team and a trio of honorable mention selections.
Quarterback Ike Kastner, offensive linemen Adam Lacefield, Dan Samuelson and Heath Wolfe, running back Sam Stevens, defensive back Brady Ruffing and linebacker Ethan Sampson were all named to the All-NLC first team list, while defensive lineman DeAndre Pickford, offensive lineman Trenton Pletcher and defensive back Keyser McCrammer were all tabbed on the league’s honorable mention list.
Barron — who moved to 69-30 in his ninth year at the helm of the Rockies — was given Coach of the Year honors as Plymouth won six straight after scuffling to a 1-2 start and 0-1 NLC start with players serving out early suspensions.
The Rockies began their conference run with a 34-0 shutout on the road at Northridge Sept. 9 when Kastner rejoined the lineup and the team unveiled its new odd-front defense. Plymouth went on to outscore its NLC opponents 219-85 in the final six weeks of the regular season.
Conference co-champion Concord was also honored with seven first-team All-NLC picks and three HM selections, while third-place Warsaw, which handed Plymouth its only conference loss en route to a 5-2 league mark, was given five first team and three honorable mention picks. NorthWood and Wawasee, which tied for fourth place at 4-3 in the league, were each given four first team nominations and two HM picks, Goshen and Elkhart Memorial were given two first team and two honorable mention selections after finishing sixth and seventh, respectively, in the conference, and Northridge was given one first team and one HM pick after finishing its NLC schedule winless.