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Aidan Ortega named to North/South All-Star game

TACKLE: Southwood’s Aidan Ortega (67) chases down a Manchester running back during the Knights game against the Squires last fall.

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@wabashplaindealer.com

For the second consecutive season, the Southwood football program will have a representative in the North/South All-Star game. After a stellar season anchoring Southwood, Aidan Ortega will be the 10th Knight to represent the program in the summer contest.

The 53rd North/South All-Star game will take place on Friday, July 12 at North Central High School. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.

Ortega earned All-Region honors earlier in the year and will be one of six representatives from his region to earn a spot in the contest. Last season, Carson Blair represented the Knights in the contest, marking the first appearance by a Knight since 2017.

This season, Ortega, who is on the All-Star roster as an offensive lineman, had vital roles on both sides of the ball for Southwood. Offensively, Ortega anchored a veteran defensive line that powered the Knights to an 11-1 record. Southwood averaged a staunch 237.3 rushing yards per game, helping back Gabe Lloyd to 1,756 yards this season.

Ortega also featured on the offensive line last season when the Knights shattered school records, racking up an 11-2 mark on the year while setting records for most total yards, most passing touchdowns, most total touchdowns and most points per game on the year.

Defensively, Ortega and the line was just as dominant as the Knights finished with one of the top defenses in the state. Southwood had four shutouts on the season and allowed more than six points just twice in the regular season. The Knights allowed just 5.4 points per game defensively in the regular season, finishing a perfect 9-0 in the process.

Southwood also earned back-to-back Three Rivers Conference titles, doing so in dramatic fashion with an overtime victory over Tippecanoe Valley. The 22 wins over the last two seasons are the most in consecutive seasons dating back to 1994 and the only back-to-back seasons with double-digit win totals.