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Observer All-Region Football

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Observer All-Region Football: East Lincoln QB Garrett Young is top player

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

East Lincoln won its first N.C. state football championship earlier this month, completing the school’s first unbeaten season.

Now, Mustangs’ coach Mike Byus and quarterback Garrett Young are winning more awards. The pair take the Charlotte Observer’s All Region coach and offensive player of the year award.

The defensive player of the year goes to Monroe defensive back Jermany Hammonds.

Hammond, a 6-foot, 195-pound senior, had 73 tackles and 10 interceptions. He returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns. He also had 29 pass breakups plus a safety.

Hammonds was also dominant on special teams.

He had eight blocked punts, eight blocked point-after-touchdown attempts and he averaged 43 yards per punt attempt.

Byus, the All-Region coach of the year, also won the N.C. Associated Press state coach of the year this season, after leading his team to a win over three-time defending state champ Tarboro in the N.C. 2A final.

Byus, 51, is in his eighth season at East Lincoln, which averaged 41 points per game.

Young, a 6-2 senior, injured his knee during the regular season. He sat out a week and put off surgery to return. He finished with 3,724 yards, 45 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions.

Observer All-Region Football

First Team Offense

QB: Garrett Young, East Lincoln, 6-2, 180, Sr.: Passed for 3,724 yards and 45 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Led his team to the N.C. 2A championship with a perfect 16-0 record.

RB: Tyler Bray, South Point, 6-0, 185, Jr.: Rushed for Gaston County record 2,556 yards and 36 touchdowns. Offensive player of the year in Big South 3A.

RB: Zac Pollard, South Caldwell, 5-10, 190, Jr.: Ran 269 times for 3,073 yards and 36 touchdowns for a 12-1 team. Had four 200-yard games and four 300-yard games. More than 4,400 career yards and 54 scores in two seasons.

WR: Alex Asbury, Concord, 6-2, 175, Sr.: Caught 62 passes for 1,443 yards and 15 touchdowns for N.C. 3A state championship finalist.

WR: Emmitt Afam, Cuthbertson, 5-10, 185, Sr.: Caught 49 passes for 920 yards and 12 scores, plus 50 carries for 317 yards and seven scores. Named Rocky River offensive player of the year.

TE: Parker Swaringen, Concord, 6-2, 205, Sr.: 49 catches for 744 yards and eight scores for N.C. 3A state championship finalist.

OL: Roger Prince, Albemarle, 6-8, 315, Sr.: N.C. AP All-State pick will play at UNC. Prince was Shrine Bowl pick and was selected for the Offensive/Defensive Bowl in Houston, Texas.

OL: Adam Reece, South Caldwell, 6-2, 280, Sr.: Top lineman on 12-1 conference champion that averaged 432.3 yards per game, including 366.7 rushing. Left tackle had an average grade of 90 percent.

OL: Jemarcus Glenn, Monroe, 6-2, 260, Jr.: Key blocker on team that ran up more than 5,000 yards offense and 3,687 yards rushing.

OL: Jacob Cannell, Sun Valley, 6-3, 305, Sr.: Two-time all-conference pick graded out 93 percent and allowed one sack in 393 pass attempts.

OL: Connor Hogan, Porter Ridge, 6-4, 255, Sr.: Graded to 92 percent with 50 pancake blocks for two-time N.C. 4A state championship finalist. Didn’t allow a sack and carries 4.0 GPA.

SPEC: Mason Rudolph, Rock Hill Northwestern, 6-4, 210, Jr: QB has offers from LSU, Virginia Tech and threw for 3,990 yards and 41 touchdowns. He rushed for 604 yards and 10 scores and had a 36.8 yard punt average in 34 attempts.

K: Ryan Kendall, Cuthbertson, 5-9, 170, Jr.: Accounted for 120 of his team’s 349 points. Made 7-of-15 field goals with a long of 44; was 39-for-40 on PATs. Rushed 53 times for 253 yards, caught 25 passes for 486 yards and six touchdowns. He threw for 459 yards and three scores.

Second Team

BJ Beecher, Concord, 6-7, 200, Sr., QB; Kalif Phillips, Kannapolis Brown, 5-10, 180, Sr., RB; David Burgess, Freedom, 5-8, 180, Sr.; Dupree Hart, Rock Hill Northwestern, 5-8, 155, So., WR; Rontavius McClure, Rock Hill Northwestern, 6-6, 220, Sr., WR; Josh Medlin, South Rowan, 6-1, 185, Sr., TE; Jacob Beachum, Sun Valley, 6-2, 300, Jr. OL; Kyree Connor, Hickory, 6-1, 275, Sr., OL; Alex Sims, Rock HIll South Pointe, 6-3, 325, Sr.; Zach Panek, Cuthbertson, 6-1, 285, Sr., OL; Will Robertson, North Rowan, 6-4, 265, Sr., OL; Eric McCauley, Shelby, 6-5, 300, Sr.; Chandler Johnson, Newton-Conover, 5-11, 180, Sr., K; Albert Funderburk, Sun Valley, 6-0, 195, So., SPEC

First Team Defense

DL: Darian Roseboro, Lincolnton, 6-4 260, So.: Had 107 tackles, including 28 for loss and eight sacks. Also forced four fumbles, recovered four fumbles and had four pass deflections. Offers from UNC and Duke.

DL: Tray Watkins, Chase, 6-3, 240, Sr.: Had 79 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles. Two-time conference defensive player of the year.

DL: Julius Bowe, South Iredell, 6-2, 250, Sr.: Conference defensive player of the year had 65 tackles, 19 for a loss and 4.5 sacks while being constantly double-teamed.

DL: Avery Worsham, Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 6-1, 205, Sr.: 90 tackles, 10 sacks, 21 QB pressures and 20 tackles for loss for the N.C. 4A Western Regional champion.

LB: Lee Wright, York, 6-0, 200, Sr.: 140 tackles, four sacks, four interceptions for Shrine Bowl pick. Carries a 4.7 GPA.

LB: Tristan Mumford, Statesville, 6-1, 240, Sr.: Shrine Bowl picked and East Carolina recruit. Threw for 1,904 yards and 16 touchdowns; rushed for 677 yards. On defense, had 70 tackles, five sacks plus an interception and 99-yard fumble recovery returned for scores. North Piedmont player of the year.

LB: Daishon Davis, South Point, 6-10, 210, Jr.: 199 tackles in 13 games including 120 solo tackles. Also had three interceptions, four caused fumbles, two fumble recoveries. Big South defensive player of the year.

DB: Chris Duffy, Porter Ridge, 5-11, 190, Sr.: Ran for 1,452 yards and 23 scores for N.C. 4A championship finalist. On defense, had 55 tackles with three interceptions, nine pass breakups and six tackles for a loss.

DB: Jermany Hammonds, Monroe, 6-0, 195, Sr.: 73 tackles and 10 interceptions plus 29 pass breakups for Rocky River all-conference star.

DB: Breon Borders, Statesville, 6-1, 170, Sr.: Duke recruit had 91 tackles, six interceptions, 14 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns.

DB: Scott Miller, South Iredell, 5-10, 180, Jr.: Three-time all-conference pick led team with 156 tackles and had three interceptions, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

P: Matt Wogan, Porter Ridge, 6-2, 200, Sr.: Averaged 44 yards per punt with a long of 72 yards. Also made 12 field goals with a long of 58. Put 95 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone. Oregon recruit.

KR: Kerrion Moore, Hunter Huss, 5-8, 177, Jr.: Returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, each more than 70 yards. Big South conference special teams player of the year scored twice on defense and ran for 970 yards and 13 scores and intercepted four passes.

Second Team

Dane Rogers, Crest, 6-3, 250, Sr., DL; Lee Autry, Albemarle, 6-3, 270, So., DL; Ryan Dilworth, Porter Ridge, 5-10, 260, Sr., DL; Triston Thompson, Monroe, 6-2, 190, Sr., DL; Quinton Patterson, Crest, 6-1, 225, Sr., LB; Jordan Starnes, South Stanly, 6-3, 224, Sr., LB; Logan Stoodley, West Rowan, 6-0, 225, Sr., LB; Keion Adams, Salisbury, 6-3, 230, LB; Kasaun Coney, North Rowan, 5-11, 180, Jr., DB; Jesse Seaford, Lake Norman, 5-6, 150, Sr., DB; John McNair, Central Cabarrus, 6-2, 185, DB; James Caldwell, Freedom, 5-10, 185, Sr., DB; Blake Brewer, Concord Cannon, 6-1, 190, Sr., P; LaChaston Smith, South Iredell, 6-0, 225, Sr., KR

All-Region coach of the year: Mike Byus, East Lincoln

All-Region offensive player of the year: Garrett Young, East Lincoln

All-Region defensive player of the year: Jermany Hammonds, Monroe

Note: This week, the Observer is naming its annual all-star teams from fall sports. Coming up: all-Meck football (Monday) and all-Observer football and the top 50 recruits (Christmas). The all-Observer tennis, golf, volleyball and soccer teams ran in earlier editions. They are available at charlotteobserver.com/preps

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