What’s your preference when starting the foundation for a football defense?
A presence in the middle who always seems to be around the football? Then linebackers Trevor Brock of Fowlerville, Cauy Hendee of Pinckney or Tommy Lappin of Hartland are your type of players.
How about a fierce edge rusher who blows up passing plays before they ever get started? You’re probably looking for a defensive end like Ethan Martin of Hartland.
What about a ball hawk in the secondary who makes quarterbacks regret throwing his way? Pinckney free safety Alex Wasyl was a threat to intercept any pass thrown in his area.
They all performed different tasks at a high level, making it a difficult choice to select the Defensive Player of the Year in Livingston County.
Below is the case for each of the five players, as well as a fun poll for entertainment purposes only. The Defensive Player of the Year will be chosen by the Livingston Daily sports staff.
Trevor Brock, Fowlerville
It was a rough season for Fowlerville, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but Brock continued to play at a high level.
The senior linebacker finished second in the county with 119 tackles to go with three sacks and an interception. Brock was first team all-county and received honorable mention all-state last season when he finished second in the county with 120 tackles.
Cauy Hendee, Pinckney
Hendee was the heart of a defense that helped Pinckney reach the state playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time.
The senior linebacker had 115 tackles, more than twice as many as Pinckney’s No. 2 tackler. He had 12.5 for losses and three sacks. Last season, he led the county with 140 tackles.
Tommy Lappin, Hartland
As if Lappin didn’t contribute enough as Hartland’s leading rusher and receiver, he led a county that is strong at the linebacker position with 132 tackles. It normally takes a week or two of playoff games to reach that number, but Lappin did it in nine games.
The senior linebacker also had three sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
Ethan Martin, Hartland
Even as it became evident on game film that Martin was a destructive force up front, he was able to overcome double teams to keep getting to the quarterback.
Martin set a school record with 14 sacks, including four in Week 8 against Howell. The senior defensive end was by far the leading tackler among defensive linemen with 85.
Alex Wasyl, Pinckney
Someone needed to outfit Wasyl with his own turnover chain this season.
Wasyl had seven interceptions, three more than anyone else in Livingston County, and blocked a punt to eventually set up a touchdown. He was dangerous once he picked off the ball, gaining 137 yards and scoring one touchdown on interceptions. He also had 47 tackles.