SYRACUSE - Cortland Haines, John Czech and Mike Watson aren't just three of the Jamestown Red Raiders' best, they're three of the best football players in the state.
Just ask the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Haines and Czech, both All-Western New York selections and the Red Raiders' co-defensive Most Valuable Players, were selected to the second and third defensive teams, respectively, while Watson was an honorable mention when the NYSSWA released its Class AA all-state football team on Wednesday.
Needless to say, it was a fitting end to three stellar careers.
Haines, who Orchard Park coach Gene Tundo once called "a bulldozer" for his bruising style of play, was second on the Red Raiders with 93 tackles and led the squad, which finished the season ranked fourth in Western New York and 13th in New York State, in sacks with four.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder also carried the ball on several occasions and made the most of the opportunity. In just seven carries he gained 37 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Czech, meanwhile, was Jamestown's leading tackler. The 6-foot-4 defensive lineman wrapped up opposing players 112 times - that's an average of 11 per game - during the 2012 season while also recording a sack and a team-high 17 hurries.
And just for good measure, Czech blocked a field goal.
Meanwhile, Watson contributed all over the field for Jamestown but in the end earned honorable mention honors for his play at linebacker.
Along with his 22 catches for 292 yards and four touchdowns, the senior was third on the team with 74 tackles, an interception and three sacks.
Just 12 more Section 6 football players were selected to the all-state team from Class AA.
They include first-teamers Qadree Ollison and Ryan Hunter of Canisius and Michael Senn of Orchard Park; second-teamers Mitch Wilson (Orchard Park) and Pat Haley (Canisius); third-team choice Ben Holmes of Orchard Park; fourth-team selection James Chambers of Lockport; and honorable mentions Denzel Benton (Canisius), Adam Belica (Orchard Park), Sean Murphy (Bishop-Timon), Connor Eddy (Orchard Park) and Kyle Abernathy (Canisius).