The Daily Journal’s annual All-Area football team will (hopefully) be published Sunday, Dec. 23. Coaches can submit nominations via fax (842-2233) or e-mail (email@example.com).
As we’ve done the past two years, there will be both offensive and defensive players of the year. Also, I’ll again have an Iron Men category on the first team; I thought that worked out well last year, though I might tweak it a little to include guys who play offense and special teams but not defense.
So now, I’d like your thoughts on which players you think are worthy of consideration. There will be first, second and third teams. I don’t think I’ll be giving too much away by throwing some names out there of possible first-teamers.
• Quarterback: Bret Jefcoat (IAHS) and Michael Ledbetter (Shannon) are both strong candidates here. Jefcoat can do more with his legs, but Ledbetter’s numbers were phenomenal. Of course, having a top-notch, speedy receiving corps didn’t hurt. Can’t forget Jami Boland (Nettleton). Had some good running QBs, too, like Cortney Scott (West Point) and JoJo Pearson (Hebron Christian).
• Running back: Gee, Richard Freelon, maybe? The Bruce junior averaged about 210 yards per game. Like Jefcoat and Ledbetter, he is a Player of the Year candidate. Had a lot of good backs this year: Jeremy Cannon (New Albany), Ken Davis (Tupelo), Damien Hughes (Corinth), Deshawn McGaughy (IAHS), Reginald O’Briant (East Webster), Tyler Pritchard (Tishomingo Co.), Pat Shed (Starkville), the Ripley duo of Jaquise Cook and Michael Poole … need I go on?
• Receivers: The first place you look is Shannon, with William Green and Arceto Clark. And then to Aberdeen, with Rickey Bell and Tevin Blanchard. Of course, there’s Chad Bumphis (Tupelo), but he could be one of those all-purpose selections.
• Linemen: The hardest part of the team to pick, because everybody (including me) is too busy watching the ball. But here are some names: Quartney Cox (West Point), Brian Evans (Oxford), Ethan Flurry (IAHS), Clay Gholston (Baldwyn), Avis Shelton (West Point).
• Linemen: I’m blanking here. Fred Griffin (Aberdeen), Ryan Moore (Tish. Co.), William Shumpert (IAHS) …
• Linebackers: Keith Elliott and Adam Funk (Tupelo), Mark Hunt (Tish. Co.), Dante’ Jennings (Calhoun City), Ahmarus Swinney (Corinth) …
• Secondary: Arceto Clark (Shannon), Dominique Davenport and Jaymel Tyes (Baldwyn) … I’m blanking here, too, but that’s where you come in! Thoughts?