Santoro named D-III Northwest District Offensive Player of the Year

Bellevue senior Jalen Santoro was voted the Division III Northwest District Player of the Year.
Mark Hazelwood
Nov 16, 2012

The rewards of an outstanding season continue to come in for Bellevue senior quarterback Jalen Santoro.

The 6-foot, 155-pound Santoro will guide the Redmen (11-1) in a Division III Region 10 championship game vs. Napoleon (11-0-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Donnell Stadium in Findlay.

Thursday night, the shifty QB was named the Division III Northwest District Offensive Player of the Year. Through 12 games, Santoro has completed 79 of 126 attempts for 1,355 yards with 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The dual threat has ran 267 times for 1,752 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground for the Redmen.

Also in Div. III, Clyde senior running back Brad Smith was a repeat unanimous selection after running for 1,503 yards and 23 touchdowns in just eight games for the Fliers. Smith missed two games with a high ankle sprain.

For Perkins, running back Mitchell Benkey (937 yards, 13 TDs) was also a first team selection at running back alongside Smith and Rossford's Ian Solar.

Also playing a big role for Benkey and the Pirates was offensive lineman Geno Zappa (6-5, 275). He also earned first-team district honors Thursday.

The Pirates had one first-teamer on the defensive side of the ball in senior linebacker Aaron Mawhirter (6-3, 230).

Santoro wasn’t the only Bellevue player to fare well Thursday night, as three of his teammates were also first team selections.

Senior right tackle Austin Perry (6-3, 280), senior defensive back Nick Raifsnider (5-10, 155) and senior punter Dalton Jarvis (6-1, 210) also earned first team honors at their respective positions.

A pair of four-year starters on the defensive side of the ball for Clyde also received top honors Thursday.

Defensive lineman Bennett Brown (5-10, 250) and linebacker Thomas Glick (6-1, 225) both were first team selections for the Fliers.

Brown made 67 tackles (14 for loss) with eight sacks and intercepted a pass this season.

Glick was Defensive Player of the Year in the district last season.

Read more in Friday’s Sandusky Register.