HighSchoolElite.com's Class A All-State

    And the winner is.... Our '99-'00 Class A Player of the Year is Leo's 6'9" DePaul signee, Andre Brown.

    "He creates shots for other people on the team just with his presence," says Andre's coach Mike Manderino. What Coach Manderino is referring to, is the constant double and triple teaming that Andre puts up with night in and night out. With half the opposing team doubling down on Andre it's no wonder that Leo guards Jamal Thompson & Will Washington find themselves with such good looks at the hoop. 

    Throughout his career Andre has been a dominating force. As a freshman he started off at Brother Rice High School, playing some on sophomores soon afterward being moved up to Varsity. Then, as a sophomore he transferred schools, siting that "the bus ride to Brother Rice was to long" and Leo was right down the street from his home. As a sophomore at Leo, Brown led his new team downstate and along the way captured Class A All State honors, being the only sophomore on the ballot. The following year Leo moved up in population and therefore changed classes to the larger Class AA. In Class AA Andre continued his dominating ways, garnering All-State honors once again, this time initiating the record as the only player to ever be both Class A and AA All-State. That, however, wasn't the end of Leo's nomadic ways.

    This year Leo was moved back down to Class single A and they are doing better then ever. The Associated Press had Leo ranked #1 in their end of the regular season voting. With the help of Andre's solid play, putting up 23 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks per game, Leo is sure to be a serious competitor for the Class A title this year.

    Now just think if Andre weren't being double and triple teamed every night.

1st Team-

Levar Seals 6'3" Junior Guard Providence St. Mel-
An outstanding athlete, Levar can do so many things with the ball. He's jump shot continues to improve, as it looked streaky at the beginning of the year and now is right on stride from beyond the arc. Ideal at the shooting guard spot, Levar is a clutch shooter that is putting up 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals a game this year. Only a junior, many of the nation's top programs are on hot pursuit to get an early edge for Levar's services. Among those are DePaul, Syracuse, Purdue, Arizona, Tulane, Wisconsin, Marquette, USC and FSU. Look for his St. Mel Knights to get downstate next year as they return all 5 starters.
Coach's Comments-Billy Garrett- He's definitely a big part of the reason that we've had the success that we've had this year. He's a great player. Levar is averaging 23 points against the toughest schedule in the state. Next year we will be the best team in the country!
Clint Cuffle 6'7" Senior Forward Riverton-
Clint is a terrific is an athletic and versatile forward that can do it all. He averaged an impressive 24 points and 12 rebounds for his 23-3 5th ranked Riverton Hawks. Forced to do more of the Hawks dirty work because of lack of size, Clint has shown why he is truly a great player. He sacrifices for the good of the team. Clint has signed on to play with the University of Evansville for next season.
Coach's Comments-Jeff Koger- For the past three years Clint has been a starter and he has given us 20 points and 11 rebounds. He's biggest strength is his consistency. He's not a verbal leader but is building on that in the long run. All he wants to do is win!
Pierre Pierce 6'3" Junior Guard Westmont-
Able to play either guard position with equal ease, Pierre is a hot commodity among college recruiters. He's a scorer (averages 29 points) in that he can create shots when there is nothing there. Yet he is a perfect point guard (averages 6.5 assists) because he has a great handle on the ball and has no problem weaving in and out of defenders with his rapid first step. DePaul and Illinois are among the colleges mentioned with Pierre's name.
Coach's Comments-Craig Etheridge- He is an outstanding player that excels on both ends of the court. He is a fierce competitor that is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Barry Welsh 5'10" Senior Guard Abingdon-
Also, able to play both guard spots, however Barry will undoubtedly be a point guard in college because of his height. Already committed to Indiana State, the Sycamores are getting a terrific player that put up some nice all-around numbers this year. Averaging 20 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals while leading his Abingdon Commandos to a 23-4 record was no small feat for the 4-year starter.
Coach's Comments-Jim Youngman- He is a great player. Has won a lot of big games down the stretch for us. Some of his strengths are his ball-handling and slashing. He could be a great playmaker if that's what he's focused on being. 
Andre Brown 6'9" Senior Forward Leo-
Our '99-'00 Class A Player of the Year, Andre is a dominant offensive player with an arsenal of moves that are nearly unstoppable. Also a terrific rebounder no rebound is safe if it's in the area of Mr. Brown. Leading his Leo Lions atop the Class A rankings, Andre has averaged 23 points and 13 rebounds all while being double and triple teamed.
Coach's Comments-Mike Manderino- He's lead us in scoring and rebounding. He's been the MVP of the Batavia Tournament and the Lincoln Way Christmas Tournament. He's the best big man that I've seen.


2nd Team-

Ameer Watts 5'10" Senior Guard Rockford Christian Life-
Ameer is a Khalid El-Amin type point guard that will kill you with his heart alone. Averaging 22 points, 6 assists and 4 steals along with sensational outings that included a triple-double and a 40-point game. He has the three P's. He can post, pop (shoot the jumper) or penetrate equally well. Unsigned, Ameer's college list goes like so: Boston U, Dayton, NIU, Notre Dame & Maine.
Coach's Comments-Frank Hood- He brings leadership and excellent play. He's a very competitive player and he will do whatever it takes to win.    
Dusty Bensko 6'5" Junior Forward Pleasant Plains-
A 'tweener, Dusty doesn't really have a position, however excels at multiple spots. He is solid taking the ball to the hoop yet likes to bang with the big boys in the paint. With his team having only 2 losses Dusty has averaged 23 points, 8 rebounds and three assists while shooting 61 percent from the field. Although Dusty would make a solid D1 basketball player his future is probably on the baseball diamond as he is expected to be drafted in the next baseball draft.
Coach's Comments-Cliff Cameron- He's meant an awful lot for us. He's such a competitor and hates to lose. He's a very good passer and I don't have to worry about him making bad decisions. However, his first love was baseball. But there is still a possibility of both (baseball and basketball at the next level), even though Dusty is expected to be picked in the major league baseball draft next season.
Rhet Wierzba 6'4" Senior Guard Farmington-
Rhet started off the season with a bang, picking up right where last year's star Seth Nelson left off. Then, unfortunately Rhet was kicked in the face during a scramble for a loose ball and forced to miss 6 games. When Rhet returned from the injured list he continued his old ways and finished the regular season averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Rhet is an outstanding student as well (scored a 32 on the ACT and has a 4.0 average) and should be picked up soon enough by some college.
Coach's Comments-Tom Wierzba- Rhet is our team leader both on and off the floor. With his presence on the floor he makes our other players better - this I feel is the true quality of a good player. His scoring average was 22.4 pts. per game (consistency was the key with a low of 17 and a high of 31). Before his injury, Rhet led our team in scoring, assists, rebounds, steals and charges take. So you can see he has been a complete player for our ball-club.
Bryan Boerjan 6'8" Junior Forward Rock Falls-
Bryan is a post player as he is adept at scoring and rebounding down on the low blocks. However, he has taken his game to new lengths this season adding a smooth jumper to his arsenal. Averaging 15 points and 9 rebounds for the defending state champions, Bryan certainly has a bright future ahead of him. Colleges look out for this young man.
Coach's Comments-Thom Siegel- He has continued to improve his all-around game as the season has progressed. He started the year mostly on the low blocks until he got more comfortable outside the lane. Early on he was getting doubled down on hard because teams didn't respect our outside shooting. Since, Christmas, his numbers and confidence have steadily improved.
Tyler Hackstadt 6'3" Senior Guard Okawville-
Tyler is a a returnee from last year's AP All-State team. However, various injuries have kept him from fulfilling his full potential this season. As of now current colleges that seem to be interested in him are Drake, Michigan St, Evansville, SW Missouri State and Witchita State.
Coach's Comments-David Luechtefeld- Unavailable for comments.

3rd Team-

Mitch Koester 5'11" Senior Guard Teutopolis-
Averaging 20 points per game this season helped Mitch break one of his many school records. Koester is not only the Wooden Shoe's all-time leading scorer but he is also second in assists and broke his own mark of 132 three-point field goals made in a season with his total this year of 212 three-pointers.
Coach's Comments-Ken Crawford- Mitch is going to Purdue on a baseball scholarship. He loves basketball to death but this is going to be his last year.
Brandon Krug 6'6" Junior Forward Dwight-
Brandon is a quick power forward that is able to do so much on the floor. This season the Dwight forward averaged 21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals per game. Only a junior and with loads of potential, Brandon is currently being recruited by NIU, ISU, Bradley, Indiana State and Wis.-Milwaukee. His recruiting/profile will undoubtedly increase as he is scheduled to play with Larry Butler's Illinois Warrior team this summer.
Coach's Comments-Eric Long- He was a nice player for us last year, but his game has really exploded this year. One of the things that makes him so tough is the fact that he has a 6'11" wing span. This allows him to play more like he is 6'9" instead of 6'6". He has tremendous athletic ability as evidenced by the fact that he has over 35 dunks this season. Although he plays in the post for us, his future is really at the 3 or 4. He is the best pure shooter from the 3 we have and is very comfortable taking the ball to the hoop. We also use him to help us bring up the ball on the press. He is a great kid with outstanding work ethic.
Phil Snheider 6'5" Senior Forward Nokomis-
Phil is a small forward type that is capable of going in with the big boys down low. While leading his Nokomis team to a 22-7 season record. Phil finished with such grand stats as 19 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Coach's Comments-Steve Kimbro- He's been our leader offensively for the last two years. He's an outstanding athlete and individual. He always finds the open players on the floor and that just makes us a better ball club.
Jake Sottos 6'0" Junior Guard Monmouth-
Second year starter, Jake Sottos is a sharp shooting point guard. This year he has played very impressively for Monmouth in big games. Averaging 25 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals Jake is getting looked at by Western Illinois the most but his recruiting is sure to increase if he continues to perform like he has this year as a junior.
Coach's Comments-Chuck Grant- Jake has been a big part of our success. When we played Abingdon I think he did a great job with 16 points and 10 assists against Barry Welsh. He's a legitimate D1 player.
Eric Ottens 6'7" Junior Forward Fulton-
Team co-captain, Eric Ottens, averaged an impressive 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots per game for his 24-1 Fulton team. Ottens is able to play any position on the floor for his 13th ranked Steamers. Colleges that are currently interested in Eric are Marquette, Illinois State, Iowa State, Wisc.-Green Bay and NIU.
Coach's Comments-Barry Bauer- Eric is a 6'7" junior who plays G/F/C for us. He is a great post player, is our second best ball handler, and second best three-point shooter. He has been amazing in the post few weeks.




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