Many Lake Norman-area football teams will remember 2012 for years to come.Three teams won state titles, while another earned state runner-up honors, and a few others had their best seasons in school history.East Lincoln went 16-0 to win the 2A state championship, while South Iredell (14-2) claimed the 2AA state title.Davidson Day (11-2) also won its second straight state title, this time winning the NCISAA Division II crown.SouthLake Christian (11-2) played in its first championship game, falling just short of the NCISAA Division III title.Hough won a school-best nine games and finished second in the I-Meck 4A behind state power Mallard Creek, while Lake Norman Charter (10-2) also had its best season yet, finishing second to East Lincoln in the SPC 1A/2A.Lake Norman offensive player of the year: Will Grier, Davidson DayWill Grier came into the 2012 season with big expectations after winning a state title last season.Grier exceeded those expectations, throwing for 5,785 yards and 69 touchdowns to lead the Patriots to another state title. The quarterback had an unofficial national record by throwing for 837 yards in a 104-80 win over Harrells Christian.Grier, a junior, has narrowed his college choices to five teams: Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, N.C. State and Oregon, in that order.Lake Norman defensive player of the year: Scott McMichael, East LincolnEast Lincoln middle linebacker Scott McMichael made big plays in every game, according to Mustangs’ coach Mike Byus, recording 166 tackles on the season.But in his final play on a high school football field, McMichael stopped Tarboro’s final drive with a tackle for a 5-yard loss on fourth-and-2.McMichael, a 6-foot, 215-pounder, now hopes his play will turn into an opportunity to play college football. He has interest from Concord University (W.Va.).Lake Norman coach of the year: Bobby Collins, HoughWhen Bobby Collins took the job at brand-new Hough High more than three years ago, he had a vision for the future.After building the program from scratch, going a respectable 6-15 in the first two seasons, Collins and the Huskies made big strides this season, reeling off nine straight wins (after a season-opening loss to Independence) to help the Huskies finish 9-3. This season marked the first time Hough reached the postseason.Collins will try to keep that momentum going into 2013 and look for the program’s first playoff win.All-Lake Norman football team Offense• QB – Will Grier, Davidson Day: All-state junior had eye-popping numbers all season long.• QB – Garrett Young, East Lincoln: Senior passed for a school and county record 3,605 yards and 45 TDs.• RB – LaChaston Smith, South Iredell: Virginia commit, the 2AA championship MVP, ran for 754 yards and 17 touchdowns despite early injuries.• RB – Dre’an Long, Hough: All-I-Meck senior rushed for 1,000 yards, 15 touchdowns.• RB – Joey Gass, SouthLake Christian: Eagles’ bruiser had 1,177 yards, 12 touchdowns as a senior.• ATH – Josh Ladowski, Lake Norman: Sophomore doubled as Wildcats’ quarterback and running back, running for 1,264 yards.• ATH – Chaz Surratt, East Lincoln: Freshman lined up at QB, WR and RB, while scoring 19 touchdowns this year.• WR – Aaron Seward, Davidson Day: Senior had 1,844 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns.• WR – Evan Gates, Davidson Day: Another all-state senior had team-best 74 catches for 953 yards, eight TDs.• WR – Jesse Earnhardt, East Lincoln: Speedy senior had a breakout year with 1,300 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.• WR – Demetri Allison, SouthLake Christian: Elon commit, a senior, had another all-state season with 49 catches for 1,063 yards, 12 TDs.• WR – Alex Scearce, Lake Norman Charter: SPC offensive player of the year, a senior, had 1,506 yards of total offense, 25 TDs.• OL – Jake McCreary, Hough: Three-year starter at the center, a junior, was key for Hough’s powerful running game.• OL – Thomas Bolen, SouthLake Christian: All-state senior helped power Eagles’ rushing attack to 3,173 yards.• OL – Caleb Campbell, East Lincoln: All-SPC senior tackle powered potent Mustang front, key to Mustangs’ 42 points-per-game output.• OL – Alex Gourley, South Iredell: All-CVAC center as a freshman, he was team’s co-offensive player of the week six times.• OL – Schuyler Coleman, Davidson Day: 6-6, 350-pound senior tackle was an all-state selection.
Defense• DL – Julius Bowe, South Iredell: CVAC Defensive Player of the Year had a monster senior year.• DL – Deandre Coleman, Mooresville: Senior had another All-I-Meck season while leading the Blue Devils in tackles.• DL – Blake Dueitt, Hough: All-I-Meck senior, a Ball State commit, had eight sacks, 17 hurries.• DL – Dallas Smith, East Lincoln: 6-2, 300-pound senior was a force for the Mustangs in the middle for the last three seasons.• DL – Kenny Bumgarner, SouthLake Christian: Eagles’ all-state senior had 115 tackles, 14 sacks.• LB – Scott McMichael, East Lincoln: Senior had a conference-best 166 tackles for state champs.• LB – Eythan Kramm, South Iredell: All-CVAC senior had more than 160 tackles on defense and 13 rushing touchdowns.• LB – Brian Jones, SouthLake Christian: The all-state senior and Oasis Shrine Bowl MVP, had 138 tackles.• LB – Ryan Lemke, Hough: Senior came back from injury to lead Huskies with more than 100 tackles.• DB – Scott Miller, South Iredell: All-CVAC senior safety had 165 tackles on the year.• DB – Jordan Brown, Davidson Day: Versatile senior had 116 tackles for Patriots’ defense, 28 touchdowns to earn all-state honors.• DB – Akeem Barringer, Hough: All-I-Meck junior led a stingy Hough secondary that forced more than two turnovers per game.• DB – Jesse Seaford, Lake Norman: The senior, an All-I-Meck pick, had six interceptions for the Wildcats.
Special teams• K – Tim Gawert, Hough: I-Meck Kicker of the Year, a junior, had 11 field goals, 36 PATs.• P – Destry Barnwell, Hough: The junior, the I-Meck Punter of the Year, averaged 36 yards per boot.• RET – Dominique Heath, Hopewell: Versatile junior was a scoring threat every time he touched the ball for the Titans.