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Football - All-County Defense Player of Year

Akers' linebacking fortunes put opponents' down on their luck

Akers' linebacking fortunes put opponents' down on their luck

December 14, 2008|By MARK KELLER

SMITHSBURG -- Alex Akers is more than a little modest about his success as a linebacker.

"You just get lucky most of the time when the play comes your way," the Smithsburg senior said.

If luck has that much to do with it, count Akers as the luckiest guy on the field. Akers spearheaded a Smithsburg defense that allowed just nine points a game in the regular season and shut out four opponents. He topped the 100-tackle mark for the second straight year, finishing with 120 on the season.

For those reasons, Akers was selected as The Herald-Mail's Washington County Defensive Player of the Year.

And for the record, Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff isn't buying the idea that Akers is simply lucky.

"One thing he does which is tremendous, he just knows where the ball is," Orndorff said. "You don't coach that. It's just an innate thing. He's one of the best we've ever had come through the program."

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Akers also isn't chalking all of his success up to luck. He's worked at learning the linebacker position since he played for the Smithsburg Jets in the Washington County Junior Football League.

"I've been playing linebacker ever since I started playing football," Akers said. "Coach Jay (Hartley) has been with us since then and he moved up to high school when we did. He and (defensive coordinator) Terry Verdier both made a big impact on me."

Akers' impact on the Leopards defense is undeniable. Orndorff said his presence in the middle made opposing offenses keep track of where he was.

That presence also strengthened the other Smithsburg linebackers -- Tyler Scott and Alex's younger brother, Nieko.

"I think between the three of them we had one of the best groups of linebackers at Smithsburg ever," Orndorff said.

Orndorff compares Akers favorably to another outstanding Smithsburg linebacker, Matt Feiser, who was The Herald-Mail's All-Area Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.

"He reminds me a lot of Feiser," Orndorff said. "He doesn't have an off button. He rarely ever gets fooled and if he does, he usually ends up making the tackle anyway. If he were 6-1 or 6-2, Division I schools would be knocking down the door to get him."

Akers does hope to play football at the college level. He said he's considering an ROTC program and has his eyes on several nearby colleges, including McDaniel, Shippensburg and Shepherd.

"Whoever gets him is going to be lucky," Orndorff said.

ALL-COUNTY FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback: Kyle Orndorff, Smithsburg, Senior
Running Back: Brandon McLean, Boonsboro, Junior
Running Back: Erick Parker, Smithsburg, Senior
Running Back: Tyler Scott, Smithsburg, Senior
Wide Receiver: Jordan Barr, St. James, Senior
Wide Receiver: Josh Conway, Smithsburg, Senior
Wide Receiver: Anthony Winters, North Hagerstown, Soph.
Tight End: Sean Colgan, Boonsboro, Senior
Lineman: Quinton Fogle, Smithsburg, Senior
Lineman: Colby Martin, Boonsboro, Senior
Lineman: Taylor Metzger, Smithsburg, Senior
Lineman: Eddie Seabright, Boonsboro, Senior
Lineman: Taylor Young, St. James, Senior
Kicker: Tommy Wagner, St. James, Soph.

ALL-COUNTY FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Lineman: Ben Benner, South Hagerstown, Senior
Lineman: Preston Button, North Hagerstown, Senior
Lineman: Broc Kline, Boonsboro, Senior
Lineman: Jeb Slick, Smithsburg, Senior
Linebacker: Alex Akers, Smithsburg, Senior
Linebacker: Nick Harvey, Hancock, Junior
Linebacker: John Moser, South Hagerstown, Senior
Linebacker: Greg Pheabus, North Hagerstown, Junior
Def. Back: Cortez Boyce, Williamsport, Senior
Def. Back: Alec Nelson, North Hagerstown, Senior
Def. Back: Seth Poffenberger, Boonsboro, Senior
Def. Back: Cody Snavely, Boonsboro, Senior
Punter: Cory Shank, South Hagerstown, Senior
Utility: Mike Russ, St. James, Senior

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