Butler High All-American Peter Kalambayi and Charlotte Catholics record-setting running back Elijah Hood are the 2012 Charlotte Observer All-Mecklenburg players of the year.
The coach of the year is West Mecklenburgs Jeff Caldwell, whose team put together the Hawks best season in four decades.
Kalambayi, 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, is a Stanford recruit who was so dominating that many teams ran away from him. This set up Butler linebacker Sean Wiggins for a big year. Wiggins had nearly 200 tackles. Kalambayi, who has the speed of a running back, is a top 100 national recruit and a finalist for the national high school linebacker of the year.
An A student taking honors classes, Kalambayi finished with 101 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles and three pass blocks. He was the top defensive player on Butlers N.C. 4AA state championship team.
Hood polished off the best-ever season of any Mecklenburg County running back, setting single-season records for yardage (3,309) and touchdowns (48). He will likely become the countys all-time leader in both categories next season. He has scholarship offers from the SEC, ACC and Big 12 schools, plus Charlotte, East Carolina and Notre Dame.
Back in August, Caldwell challenged his team to dream big. West Meck had won seven games the previous three seasons.
This year, the Hawks made their first playoff appearance since 2008 and won their first playoff game since 1989. West Mecks nine wins were the most at the school since 1988.
First Team Offense
QB: Will Grier, Davidson Day, 6-3, 190, Jr.: Gatorade N.C. player of the year and Associated Press all-state pick threw for 5,785 yards and 69 touchdowns, both county records. Accounted for nearly 7,000 yards of offense and 77 scores. Committed to Florida.
RB: Elijah Hood, Charlotte Catholic, 6-1, 215, Jr.: Rushed for county records in single-season yards (3,309) and touchdowns (48). Led his team to the N.C. 3A state finals and has scholarship offers from Charlotte, Clemson, ECU, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
RB: Josh Glisson, Butler, 5-10, 205, Sr.: Rushed 213 times for 1,544 yards and 27 touchdowns. Caught 27 passes for 587 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Southwestern 4A offensive player of the year has 2,805 career rushing yards, 1,121 career receiving yards and 51 scores.
TE: Jeb Blazevich, Charlotte Christian, 6-5, 230, Jr.: Offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others. Caught 30 passes for 379 yards and five touchdowns for the N.C. Independent Schools state champions and was an all-conference and all-state pick.
WR: Marquez North, Mallard Creek, 6-3, 215, Sr.: The states top recruit was I-Meck 4A offensive player of the year after catching 37 passes for 786 yards and 15 touchdowns. Also rushed 31 times for 674 yards and 12 scores before missing the postseason after undergoing shoulder surgery.
WR: Uriah LeMay, Butler, 6-3, 205, Sr.: Georgia recruit is ranked among the nations best at his position. Caught 52 passes for 1,041 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed 27 times for 264 yards and 16 touchdowns. Has a school-record 2,510 career receiving yards.
OL: Colin Porter, Charlotte Catholic, 6-4, 270, Sr.: Right tackle was top lineman on a team that averaged more than 370 yards of offense per game and had 5,500-plus yards for the season and 68 rushing touchdowns. Being recruited by Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Richmond.
OL: Joseph Moody, Butler, 6-2, 265, Sr.: 2012 Southwestern 4A all-conference pick was a three-year starter. This season, he played tackle, guard and center for the N.C. 4AA champions.
OL: Schuyler Coleman, Davidson Day, 6-5, 330, Sr.: UNC recruit was a private school and N.C. Associated Press all-state pick. Graded out better than 98 percent and was a punishing blocker.
OL: Tevin Lawshe, Mallard Creek, 6-4, 275, Sr.: All-conference lineman in the I-Meck 4A has committed to Charlotte. Was a three-year starter on one of the states top teams.
OL: Jack Knight, Myers Park, 6-5, 310, Sr.: Being recruited by UNC, ECU, Harvard, William & Mary and Davidson. Carries a 4.5 weighted GPA and was a four-year varsity player and three-year starter. Team captain was all-Southwestern 4A this year and allowed no sacks.
SPEC: Michael Radford, Charlotte Country Day, 6-3, 190, Sr.: Wake Forest recruit threw for 1,625 yards and 21 touchdowns. Ran 101 times for 707 yards. Was the Bucs team MVP and led the team to an upset of N.C. 3A public school state-finalist Charlotte Catholic.
K: Wes Medeiros, Charlotte Christian, 5-8, 150, Sr.: Made 49-of-49 PATs and was 12-of-17 on field goals with a long of 51. Scored 85 points and finished career by making 105 straight PATs. Also averaged 42.3 yards on 20 punts and put 10 punts inside the opponents 20.
Second Team Offense
Riley Ferguson, Butler, 6-2, 185, Sr., QB; Jarrett Harris, Olympic, 5-11, 185, Sr., RB; Isaiah Robinson, Independence, 5-10, 210, Jr., RB; Jaylen Samuels, Mallard Creek, 6-1, 220, Jr., TE; Aaron Seward, Davidson Day, 6-0, 185, Sr., WR; Dequan Barnes, Independence, 5-11, 165, Sr, WR; Joe Hurney, Charlotte Catholic, 6-0, 278, Jr., OL; Sterlin Houston, West Mecklenburg, 6-5, 300, Jr., OL; Brandon Floyd, South Mecklenburg, 6-4, 265, Sr., OL; Reavis Ford, Charlotte Country Day, 6-3, 285, Sr., OL; Des Lawrence, Charlotte Christian, 6-0, 173, Sr., SPEC; Alex Gakenheimer, Charlotte Country Day, 6-2, 175, Sr., K
First Team Defense
DL: StephAn Askew, Mallard Creek, 6-0, 215, Jr.: Tallied 17.5 sacks plus 10 tackles for loss on a defense that allowed just seven points per game. Also had 47 tackles for a team that was nationally ranked during the season.
DL: Jalen Cousar, Butler, 6-0, 245, So.: All-conference pick in the Southwestern 4A had 87 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 12.5 additional tackles for loss for the N.C. 4AA state champs.
DL: Karrington King, Charlotte Catholic, 6-1, 205, Sr.: Defensive end had 101 tackles, seven tackles for loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and nine pass breakups for the N.C. 3AA Western regional champions.
DL: Adrian Robinson, Charlotte Christian, 6-5, 232, Sr.: 70 tackles, 12 for loss plus six sacks, three pass deflections and 11 quarterback hurries. The private school Shrine Bowl pick has offers from Colorado State, Massachusetts and Coastal Carolina.
LB: Peter Kalambayi, Butler, 6-4, 240, Sr.: Finalist for Dick Butkus national linebacker of the year award. Stanford recruit had 101 tackles, 11 for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles and three pass blocks.
LB: Larenz Bryant, Vance, 6-1, 215, Sr.: South Carolina recruit rushed 183 times for 1,694 yards and caught nine passes for 147 yards. Scored 22 total TDs and had four 2-point conversions. On defense, had 84 tackles, nine sacks, six pass deflections and an 80-yard interception return for a score. Runner-up defensive player of the year.
LB: Sean Wiggins, Butler, 6-3, 235, Sr.: Ball State recruit was defensive MVP of the N.C. 4AA state championship game and Southwestern 4A co-defensive player of the year. Wiggins had 187 tackles, 25 for loss, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and four interceptions.
DB: Channing Stribling, Butler, 6-2, 180, Sr.: MIchigan recruit was Butlers top two-way player. Had 31 tackles, nine interceptions, 10 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Also started at wide receiver.
DB: Jack Tocho, Independence, 6-1, 185, Sr.: Speedy N.C. State recruit was Southwestern 4A co-defensive player of the year. Returned two of his seven interceptions for scores. Had three kick-return TDs and 55 tackles.
DB: Van Smith, West Mecklenburg, 6-1, 178, So.: Recruited by Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Appalachian State. Had 39 tackles and five interceptions, one of which he 92 yards for score. Two-time all-conference pick also had four sacks and five tackles for loss.
DB: Brian Walker, Mallard Creek, 5-10, 180, Sr.: Though teams often threw away from him, UNC recruit had 13 pass breakups and six interceptions. A two-time I-Meck 4A all-conference pick.
P: Mitch Lochbihler, Charlotte Catholic, 6-6, 245, Sr.: Averaged 42 yards per punt with superior hang time. Scored 79 points as a kicker. Has signed with Elon.
KR: Bryon Fields, Providence Day, 5-10, 175, Sr.: Duke recruit at defensive back had 67 tackles, four interceptions. Rushed four times for 264 yards, four TDs. Caught 49 passes for 851 yards and six TDs. Was named MVP of N.C./S.C. private school Shrine Bowl.
Second Team Defense
Grant Polofsky, Butler, 6-2, 260, Sr., DL; Travis Brown, Victory Christian, 6-0, 225, Sr., DL; Michael Stanback, Country Day, 6-1, 285, Jr., DL; Blake Dueitt, Hough, 6-2, 246, Sr., DL; Kirk Donaldson, Vance, 6-3, 250, Sr., DL; Renardo Jones, Garinger, 6-0, 185, LB; Kevin Kirchmer, Charlotte Catholic, 6-1, 200, Sr., LB; Evan Patrick, Olympic, 6-0, 225, Sr., LB; Jerome Beatty, Vance, 5-11, 180, Sr., DB; Tafon Mainsah, Charlotte Catholic, 5-11, 170, Sr., DB; David Moore, Butler, 5-10, 175, Sr., DB; Adrian Byrd, North Mecklenburg, 6-3, 175, Sr., DB; Ben Kepley, Charlotte Country Day, 6-2, 175, Sr., P; Sidney Lawson, Rocky River, 5-10, 185, Sr., KR
All-Mecklenburg offensive player of the year: Hood, Catholic
All-Mecklenburg defensive player of the year: Kalambayi, Butler
All-Mecklenburg coach of the year: Jeff Caldwell, West Mecklenburg