WHEELING - There's a cliche that defenses are always ahead of the offenses in all-star games.
Ohio head coach Eric Schumacher believes he's got the pieces in place for a stout defensive unit when the Buckeye State meets West Virginia on July 29 in the 67th-annual Rudy Mumley Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Charity Football Classic.
Schumacher has chosen his defensive linemen and linebackers, which will report to training camp at Bethany College on Sunday.
"Our defensive linemen are pretty agile and quick and we think our linebacking corp will be one of the strengths of our team," Schumacher said. "Our linebackers will probably be the focal point of our defense and our defensive linemen should allow them to make some plays. Our guys have the speed to go side-to-side well."
Here's a capsule look at the players:
LESHAWN LUKE, Steubenville - This former Big Red linebacker was a tackling machine for coach Reno Saccoccia's squad.
The 5-foot-7, 200-pounder recorded 112 tackles and an interception from his linebacker spot. Offensively, he ran for 567 yards and nine touchdowns. Luke was named team MVP and special mention all-district.
The son of Kim and Charmayne Morgan of Steubenville plans to attend Mount Union.
GREG RING, Buckeye Local - This former Panther was a two-way tackle for former coach Anthony Barsch's team last season.
The 6-1, 332-pounder had 61 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and eight blocked kicks.
Ring was a first-team all-OVAC, all-Buckeye 8 and all-Eastern District. He was also a standout in basketball.
The son of Georgette Burge of Yorkville is undecided about his college plans.
MATT SHURINA, Harrison Central - This former Huskie standout was a two-way tackle for coach Justin Kropka's team.
The 5-10, 200-pounder had 55 tackles, three sacks, three tackles for loss and he forced a fumble. For his fine season, Shurina was named first-team all-Eastern District and all-Buckeye 8.
Along with football, Shurina was a standout in wrestling, qualifying for the Division II state tournament each of his last two season.
The son of Robert and Frances Shurina of Cadiz plans to attend Heidelberg University.
ERIC BLACK, Meadowbrook - This former Colt was a tackling machine for coach Jesse Wells' squad last season.
The 5-11, 210-pounder was in on 110 tackles, including 68 solo and eight for loss. He broke up six passes, forced two fumbles, picked off a pass and blocked a kick. Black was a first-team all-OVAC, all-ECOL and all-Eastern District pick.
The son of Dwaine and Spring Black of Cumberland plans to attend Marietta College.
SHANE CRUM, Shenandoah - This former Zep was a two-way standout for coach Tim Wilson's squad.
The 6-1, 220-pounder ran for 1,076 yards and had 80 tackles from his linebacker spot. Crum was a first-team all-OVAC, all-Eastern District, all-PVC and honorable mention all-Ohio.
The son of Steve Crum and Sherry Morrison plans to attend Mount Union.
MIKE DALTO, Bridgeport - This former Bulldog was a standout along the defensive line for coach Rudy Vavrock's team.
The 6-1, 260-pounder made 70 tackles, had seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss last season. Dalto was a first-team all-OVAC and all-Eastern District pick. He was also a Big 22 Award finalist.
The son of Mike and Missy Dalto of Lansing is undecided about his college plans.
MATT HAMMOND, Shadyside -- This former Tiger was tough to block as a standout for coach Mark Holenka's team.
The 6-1, 190-pounder had 87 tackles, five sacks, three blocked punts, three blocked kicks and a fumble recovery. He had 100 tackles and 18 sacks as a senior.
He was third-team all-Ohio as a senior, first-team all-Eastern District, all-OVAC and was nominated as a Block of Granite.
The son of Clyde and Kathy Hammond of Shadyside plans to attend Belmont College.
BRANDYN HEATH, Beallsville - This former Blue Devil wore all sorts of hats for coach Dave Caldwell's team.
The 6-1, 150-pounder was the Blue Devils' tailback, nose guard and place kicker. He was a first-team all-District and all-OVAC pick.
The son of Michael and Patti Heath is undecided about his future plans.
SETH RUTLEDGE, Conotton Valley - This former Rocket becomes the first player from his school to ever earn a spot in the game after a strong senior season. He was an all-OVAC performer each of the past two seasons.
Along with football, Rutledge was a member of the basketball team and served on the OVAC Varsity Board.
The son of John and Marsha Rutledge plans to attend Owens Community College.
JESSE STOUDT, Barnesville - This former Shamrock was a wrecking ball on the defensive side for coach Luke Johnson's squad.
The 6-0, 220-pounder had 104 tackles, six sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception from his linebacker spot. He finished his career with 317 tackles. Stoudt was a second-team all-Ohioan at linebacker after being chosen first-team all-Eastern District and all-OVAC.
The on of George and Sheri Stoudt of Barnesville plans to attend Tiffin University.