2016 All-County football team
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
It’s a sad time of year as the 2016 football season has officially come to an end. We saw a fantastic football season by all of the teams across the Shelby County area, including a chaotic last couple of weeks to the season that sent several different teams to the playoffs. After it was all said and done, for the second consecutive season, nine teams across the county from the AHSAA, AISA and ACSC levels participated in postseason play.
Now that all of the teams have wrapped up postseason play after Briarwood’s impressive run to the semifinals, it’s time we take a look at the All-County teams. With the return of several prestigious players in the county, there were several standouts that deserve recognition this year, some of which won’t make the list, but are still deserving. We have compiled first and second team offenses and defenses, as well as a list of honorable mentions. Let’s dive in.
First Team offense
Quarterback: Zac Oden, senior, Montevallo. 221-392, 3,210 yards, 32 TDs and just six interceptions. 56.3 percent passer, averaged 267.5 yards per game and 2.7 touchdowns per game. He also ran for 373 yards and four TDs. His 3,210 yards passing is 17th best in Alabama history.
Quarterback Mathew Marquet, senior, Chelsea. 130-195, 1,486 yards, 16 TDs and five interceptions (three in one game). He also carried the ball 148 times for 1,036 yards and 17 TDs and didn’t lose a fumble all year. He averaged 229.3 yards per game, three TDs per game and had a completion percentage of 67.
Running Back: Zalon Reynolds, senior, Chelsea. 249 carries for 1,886 yards and 20 TDs. He averaged 171 yards per game, an incredible 7.46 yards per carry, and 1.8 TDs per game. Didn’t lose a fumble the entire year. Never got tackled on the first hit and broke 135 tackles on the year.
Running Back: Keyvontae Mayfield, senior, Shelby County. 1,332 yards and 15 T’s. Averaged 133.2 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
Running Back: Trezman Harris, Alex Dozier and Decorean Mickens, seniors, Calera. Okay, so the combination of running back’s at Calera was too great to pick one, and they were all deserving of first team honors. They combined for 281 carries, 2,165 yards and 33 TDs. That was good enough for an average of 180 yards and 2.75 TDs per game.
Offensive Line: Amari Kight, sophomore, Thompson. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound sophomore helped pave the way for the Warriors this season and is already getting Division 1 looks.
Offensive Line: Bredt Stover, senior, Spain Park. At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, he helped create pathway’s for Larry Wooden and D’arie Johnson who combined for 1,622 yards on the season.
Offensive Line: Will Baumbach, senior, Briarwood. A first-year starter on the offensive line, played center, guard, tackle and on the defensive line.
Offensive Line: Dalton Purcell, senior, Shelby County. 21 pancakes on the season, helped create space for a team that runs the ball on 90 percent of its offensive plays.
Offensive Line: Mackenan Thompson, senior, Calera. Helped block for a team that ran for 3,000 plus yards and has several college looks. He was an All-State honorable mention as a junior.
Wide Receiver: Tre’Shawn Brown, senior, Montevallo. 72 receptions, 1,100 yards and 11 TDs. He averaged 15.3 yards per catch and almost a touchdown per game. By far the best receiver in the county and got very strong consideration for Player of the Year.
Wide Receiver: Yatil Gant, senior, Calera. 39 receptions, 736 yards and six TDs. His yards don’t jump off the page, but averaged 18.9 yards per catch and helped lead the Eagles to a second-round playoff appearance.
Wide Receiver: Daqwan Bryant, junior, Montevallo. 62 receptions, 960 yards and nine TDs. Averaged 15.5 yards per catch and was just 40 yards shy of giving the Bulldogs two 1,000 yard receivers.
Athlete: Micah Murphy, senior, Evangel. 1,279 passing yards, 1,914 rushing yards and 19 TD passes. Second year in a row as the First-Team Athlete.
First team defense
Defensive Line: Demetrius Smith, senior, Montevallo. 105 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Led the county with those 13 sacks and his 23 tackles for loss were tied for first with linebacker Nick Mobley.
Defensive Line: Champ Stewart, senior, Briarwood. 84 tackles (46 solo and 38 assists), nine sacks, 29 quarterback hurries and 13 tackles for loss.
Defensive Line: Jordan Harmon, senior, Briarwood. 89 tackles, nine sacks, four batted balls, 29 quarterback hurries and 13 tackles for loss.
Defensive Line: Mackie McNeal, junior, Thompson. The 6-foot-5, 309 pounder had 65 tackles, six sacks, 17 tackles for loss and 20 quarterback hurries. His 17 tackles for loss, fourth in the county, and six sacks stick out.
Linebacker: Jackson Hughes, senior, Montevallo. 126 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He made plays all over the field for the Bulldogs this year.
Linebacker: Tyler Olds, sophomore, Montevallo. 153 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, six sacks, three fumble recoveries and one interception. The leading tackler in the county and third in tackles for loss.
Linebacker: Gabe Russell, junior, Briarwood. 143 tackles, four quarterback hurries and five tackles for loss. Second leading tackler in the county and the leading tackler on a great Briarwood defense.
Linebacker: Nick Mobley and Jalen Rayam, Thompson. Both of these guys are very deserving of first team spots. Mobley, a senior, was third in the county with 141 tackles and tied for the lead with 23 tackles for loss. Rayam, a junior, had 125 tackles and 15 tackles for loss of his own.
Linebacker: Jon Drake, senior, Pelham. 131 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks. Created an extra linebacker spot here because he is so deserving of this honor.
Defensive Back: Demarrius Farmer, senior, Spain Park. 36 tackles and three interceptions. Led the county with two pick-sixes. His three interceptions were a tie for fourth.
Defensive Back: Tyler Ferguson, senior, Calera. 35 tackles, three interceptions, one touchdown, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, four tackles for loss and four pass break-ups. Always seemed to be around the football.
Defensive Back: Carson Donnelley, junior, Briarwood. 78 tackles, 10 pass break-ups and five interceptions. Just a junior, his five interceptions were second in the county. Will be a force in the secondary for the Lions next year.
Defensive Back: Myles Brown, junior, Thompson. 43 tackles, seven interceptions, 14 pass break-ups, four tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. Led the county with seven interceptions and may be the best DB in the county.
Kicker: Tyler Thomas, senior, Chelsea. 49-54 on PAT’s, 8-10 on field goals, 10 touchbacks and opponent’s started at their own 29-yard line on average.
Second Team Offense
Quarterback: William Gray, senior, Briarwood. 116-178, 1,650 yards, 22 TDs and five interceptions through the air. QBR of 178.2. Also ran 189 times for 689 yards and 12 TDs.
Running Back: Larry Wooden, senior, Spain Park. 134 carries for 741 yards and 13 TDs. Also had 69 receptions for 615 yards and two TDs. Averaged 123.3 yards and 1.4 TDs per game.
Running Back: JR Tran-Reno, sophomore, Briarwood. 155 carries for 984 yards and five TDs. Also caught the ball 19 times for 255 yards and three TD’s. As a sophomore averaged 88.5 yards per game and more impressively 7.1 yards per touch.
Offensive Line: Houston Needham, senior, Chelsea. The 5-foot-11, 235-pound senior was the coach on the field and another anchor to help Reynolds become Player of the Year.
Offensive Line: Colin Gammon, senior, Montevallo. 6-foot-1, 285 pounds, helped protect the top quarterback in the county.
Offensive Line: Will Mullins, senior, Spain Park. A two-year starter on the offensive line, helped block for two of the better running backs in the county in Johnson and Wooden.
Offensive Line: Alan Brown, freshman, Pelham. Had 35 pancakes on the year and graded above 90 percent for the year. Deserved recognition for his outstanding play as a freshman.
Offensive Line: Jake Byers, senior, Evangel. A lot of guys could’ve taken this last spot, but Byers is just one of those guys that deserves recognition. He moved positions during the year to take over as the center and captain of the offensive line. Truly unselfish and what this sport is about.
Wide Receiver: Carson Eddy, junior, Briarwood. 33 receptions, 471 yards and six TDs. Led the Lions in receiving as a junior.
Wide Receiver: Kolby Kwarcinsky, senior, Briarwood. 29 receptions, 452 yards and three TDs. Averaged 15.6 yards per catch and was a senior leader for Briarwood.
Wide Receiver: Jake Busby, senior, Helena. 33 receptions, 480 yards and five TDs. Averaged 14.5 yards per catch for the Huskies.
Athlete: Derrick Bush, senior, Pelham. 20 carries, 151 yards and four touchdowns. Had 30 kickoff returns for 541 yards and a touchdown. Two fumble recoveries, 54 tackles and four tackles for loss.
Second Team Defense
Defensive Line: Damon Wright, senior, Spain Park. 51 tackles, four sacks, 13 tackles for loss and one interception. A three-year starter for the Jags.
Defensive Line: Nick Norris, senior, Montevallo. 62 tackles, nine tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
Defensive Line: Justin Watson, senior, Helena. 61 tackles, three sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Linebacker: Jaramy Dozier, senior, Calera. 90 tackles, four fumble recoveries and 12 tackles for loss.
Linebacker: Ethan Housel, senior, Briarwood. 134 tackles and 11 tackles for loss. Head coach Fred Yancey said Housel was his most improved player.
Linebacker: Mark Hand, sophomore, Briarwood. 132 tackles. Yancey said he is the best athlete on the team as a sophomore.
Defensive Back: Bennett Miles, senior, Briarwood. 128 tackles and seven pass break-ups.
Defensive Back: Bryson Hardy, senior, Chelsea. 64 tackles and three interceptions.
Defensive Back: Nash Adams, senior, Helena. 67 tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions.
Defensive Back: Zavien Kelly, junior, Vincent. 43 tackles, four interceptions and one kick return touchdown.
Kicker: Diego Martinez, junior, Montevallo. 36.1-yard punting average, three punts inside the 20, 44-47 on PATs, 7-11 on field goals with a long of 39 yards.
Honorable Mention Offense
Tyler Henderson, freshman quarterback, Kingwood. Riley Davis, senior quarterback, Helena. Hunter Howell, senior quarterback, Spain Park. D’arie Johnson, junior running back, Spain Park. Daniel Salchert, senior running back, Oak Mountain. Brad Baggett, senior running back, Evangel. Nicolas Blackburn, junior running back, Pelham. Devon Walker, senior running back, Helena. Jo-Jo Joiner, senior wide receiver, Cornerstone. Jay Vickers, senior wide receiver, Chelsea. Thomas Jordan, senior wide receiver, Spain Park. Dionte Tolbert, junior wide receiver, Helena. Luke Miskelley, senior wide receiver, Briarwood. Drake Smith, senior wide receiver, Kingwood.
Honorable Mention Defense
Jalyn Miller, senior linebacker, Chelsea. Mingyu Lee, senior linebacker, Oak Mountain. Jackson Murphy, junior linebacker, Oak Mountain. Houston Hollis, senior linebacker, Spain Park. Ryan Jewel, sophomore linebacker, Pelham. Cade Pugh, senior linebacker, Helena. Jordan Davis, senior defensive lineman, Oak Mountain. Cedric Tooson, sophomore defensive lineman, Spain Park. Douglas Henze, senior defensive lineman, Spain Park. Regan Wortham, defensive lineman, Chelsea. Zach Nelson, junior defensive back, Oak Mountian. Rodney Pettway, senior defensive back, Pelham.