Charlotte Country Day beat Charlotte Latin to win its first state title since 2004; Latin played in its eighth straight championship game in the process. And after a down season in 2009 - by Charlotte Catholic standards - the Cougars bounced back to go 14-1.Meanwhile, Ardrey Kell and South Mecklenburg emerged as contenders in an impressive Southwestern 4A conference.So with all these talented teams, which players emerged as the best?Here is what we think:All-South Charlotte News Coach of the Year: Jim Oddo, Charlotte Catholic. Some people might have thought legendary coach Oddo was slipping when Catholic finished 7-5 and didn't win the conference title in 2009.But Oddo, 74 years old and in his 37th year as head football coach at Charlotte Catholic, might never have been better than this season, as the Cougars made it to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3AA Western Regional championship with a relatively young team.While Oddo's overall success is no surprise, achieving that success in such a dominant fashion against a brutal schedule is, as Catholic has taken down Charlotte Latin, state champion Charlotte Country Day, Providence, South Mecklenburg, A.L. (Kannapolis) Brown and Weddington in the process. The Cougars also went a perfect 6-0 to reclaim the ME-GA 7 conference title.All-South Charlotte News Player of the Year: Justus Pickett, Ardrey Kell. Pickett has been a standout for the Knights since he stepped on campus. This season he eclipsed even his lofty standards, rushing for more than 2,300 yards and 30 touchdowns, while accounting for more than 3,000 yards overall as an all-purpose threat. Pickett, recruited by Auburn, Florida, West Virginia and Stanford, averaged an eye-popping eight yards per carry and nabbed six of the top 25 individual rushing performances in Mecklenburg County history this season alone.
Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2010
Knights' Pickett runs into record books
All-South Charlotte News football team
QB - Morgan Roberts, Charlotte Country Day: All-state quarterback led Bucs to state title.
RB - Justus Pickett, Ardrey Kell: One of the best single seasons in county history with more than 3,000 yards of total offense.
RB - Josh Covington, Providence Day: Runner had county-best 378 yards in one game.
RB - Steven Bevilacqua, Charlotte Catholic: 1,700-plus yards and 28 touchdowns.
WR - Matthias Farley, Charlotte Christian: Notre Dame commit had 10 touchdowns.
WR - Wake Hamilton, Charlotte Country Day: All-state wideout Roberts' top target.
WR - Ben England, Providence: Standout in potent Panther passing attack.
WR - Tyler Miess, Charlotte Latin: All-state pick blossomed in first year as starter.
TE - Darren Albertson, Myers Park: Big, athletic tight end was solid for Mustangs.
UTIL - Nick Johnson, Charlotte Catholic: Rushed for 1,100-plus yards; four returns for TDs.
OL - Jack Hartpence, Charlotte Catholic: Major part of area's best rushing attack.
OL - Ward Showalter, Charlotte Country Day: Paved way for Bucs' state title run.
OL - Jack Taylor, Providence Day: All-state blocker made big holes for Covington.
OL - Nick Davidson, Ardrey Kell: Panther's offensive coordinator Jeff's son making name for himself.
OL - Casey Blaser, South Mecklenburg: Major talent in run-first offense.
DL - Adam Farley, Charlotte Catholic: Richmond commit a massive force on both sides of ball.
DL - Kyler Brown, Charlotte Christian: Duke commit follows in older brother's footsteps.
DL - Garrett Keenan, Charlotte Catholic: Senior playmaker had 68 tackles, 5.5 sacks.
DL - James Howe, Charlotte Country Day: All-state defender key in stopping run game.
LB -Derek Passenant, Charlotte Country Day: Tackling machine led defense.
LB -Robert Stack, Providence Day: All-state leader of hard-hitting defense.
LB - Colton Walls, Charlotte Latin: Clemson commit follows in father Wesley's footsteps.
LB - David Jackson, Ardrey Kell: Hard-hitting linebacker a major force on defense.
DB - Mac Sanders, Providence Day: Big-time playmaker on best Charger team in years.
DB - Michael Campbell, South Mecklenburg: Versatile player on both sides of ball.
DB - Jack Brodowicz, Charlotte Catholic: More than 100 tackles, 5 INTs.
DB - Derek Battle, Providence: Big-time skills, size - one of area's most versatile players.
K - Paul Griggs, Charlotte Latin: All-state kicker a major weapon for Latin.
P - Garrett Huneycutt, Charlotte Christian: Named all-state as punter.
**The South Charlotte News area does not include Butler, Rocky RIver or Independence High Schools.