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Hood, Allen top Charlotte Observer’s All-Mecklenburg football team

By Langston Wertz Jr.

Charlotte Catholic’s Elijah Hood and Mallard Creek’s Ikeem Allen are the Charlotte Observer All-Mecklenburg high school football offensive and defensive players of the year for 2013.

Both players had amazing seasons.

Hood, a national player of the year finalist, repeats in this spot after rushing for a Mecklenburg County record 3,690 yards and a county-record 53 rushing touchdowns. He led his team to the N.C. 4A Western Regional championship game.

He ends his career as the county’s all-time leading rusher and all-time leader in rushing touchdowns. Hood has committed to North Carolina.

Allen anchored a defense that, among the starters, allowed only four points per game. He was defensive most valuable player of the Mavericks’ N.C. 4AA championship, a 59-21 win against Wake Forest.

Allen finished the season with 89 tackles, including 41 for losses. The Ball State commit had 13 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and he returned an interception for a touchdown.

Butler coach Brian Hales is the All-Mecklenburg coach of the year. Hales lost 16 starters and several prep All-Americans from a 2012 N.C. 4AA state champion. Hales nutured a young team to a share of the Southwestern 4A championship with Rocky River (though Rocky River beat Butler head-to-head to earn a higher playoff seed). Butler eventually reached the N.C. 4AA Western Regional semifinal, one game away from a repeat state championship appearance.

2013 Charlotte Obsever All-Mecklenburg Team

The 2013 Charlotte Observer All-Mecklenburg team was selected by the Observer’s high school sports staff. This team is comprised of the top Mecklenburg County players. The All-Region team, for the top players outside of Mecklenburg County, ran in Monday’s paper and is available at

On Christmas Day, the All-Observer team will run, listing the top overall players in the entire coverage area. Players had to be nominated by their coaches to be considered.

Offensive player of the year: Elijah Hood, Charlotte

Defensive player of the year: Ikeem Allen, Mallard Creek

Coach of the year: Brian Hales, Butler

First Team Offense

QB Will Grier, Davidson Day, 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Sr.: Completed 314 of 446 yards for 4,989 yards and a N.C. record 77 touchdowns. He ran 115 times for 1,252 yards and 13 TDs. Grier is a finalist for U.S. Army national player of the year.

RB Elijah Hood, Charlotte Catholic, 6-0, 215, Sr.: Top-15 national recruit rushed for a Mecklenburg County record 3,690 yards and a county record 53 rushing touchdowns. Like Grier, Hood is a U.S. Army national player of the year finalist.

RB Lawrence Pittman, Mallard Creek, 5-11, 210, Sr: Ran 211 times for 2,039 yards and 20 touchowns for nationally ranked N.C. 4AA champions.

OL Tony Adams, Independence, 6-2, 310, Sr.: N.C. State recruit made the Southwestern 4A all-conference team for the third time. He graded 87 percent this season. Will enroll in college in January.

OL Bentley Spain, Providence, 6-6, 285, Sr.: Nationally ranked North Carolina recruit is a U.S. Army All-American. Had 82 pancake blocks and carries a 4.0 GPA.

OL Mason Veal, Ardrey Kell, 6-6, 290, Jr.: Left tackle blocked for an offense that had more than 4,000 yards this season. Allowed only one sack and made the SoMeck 8 all-conference team.

OL James Brace, Butler, 6-3, 300, Sr.: Started 15 games for an offense that averaged 43 points. Had 34 pancake blocks and graded 93 percent for All-Southwestern 4A team.

OL Jacob McCreary, Hough, 5-11, 284, Sr.: Four-year starter for the Huskies was a 2013 Shrine Bowl pick and all-conference player in the MECKA 8.

TE Jaylen Samuels, Mallard Creek, 6-1, 220, Sr.: Led unbeaten team to N.C. 4AA state title. Ran 108 times for 1,406 yards and 39 TDs, fourth-most in county history. Also caught 49 passes for 932 yards and 16 TDs. His 55 totals touchdowns is a single-season county record.

WR Austin Proehl, Providence, 5-10, 175, Sr.: 89 catches for 1,190 yards and eight touchdowns. Was a SoMeck 8 all-conference pick and has committed to North Carolina.

WR Michael Stevens, Davidson Day, 6-0, 180, Sr.: 66 catches for 1,344 yards and 18 touchdowns. On defense, had three interceptions and a sack. Also averaged 24 yards per kick return; private school all-state pick committed to play defensive back at Kansas State.

KR Dominique Heath, Hopewell, 5-8, 170, Sr.: Kansas State commit played wide receiver, running back and defensive back. He had 50 catches for 910 yards and 10 yards. Rushed for 550 yards and five touchdowns. Had more than 1,900 yards total offense and was MECKA 8 special teams player of the year.

K: Tim Gawert, Hough, 5-10, 175, Sr.: Made 8 of 11 field-goal attempts, with a long of 50 yards. Hough star also nailed 56 of 58 extra-point attempts.

ATH Anthony Ratliff, Butler, 6-2, 200, Jr.: QB completed 151 of 253 passes for 2,558 yards and 34 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. Had a QB rating of 183.4. Also ran for 1,655 yards on 195 carries and 20 TDs. Named Southwestern 4A Offensive Player of the Year.

Second Team Offense

QB: Kelvin Hopkins, Independence, 5-9, 170, Jr.

RB: Elijah Deveaux, Charlotte Christian, 6-1, 205, So.

RB: Isaiah Robinson, Independence, 5-10, 211, Sr.

OL: Jake Helms, Davidson Day, 6-1, 265, So.

OL: Chris Lutzel, Southlake Christian, 5-11, 215, Jr.

OL: Omar Todman, Mallard Creek, 6-0, 250, Sr.

OL: Brian Chaffin, Charlotte Christian, 6-2, 275, Jr.

OL: Derrick Freeland, Mallard Creek, 6-0, 230, Sr.

TE: Jeb Blazevich, Charlotte Christian, 6-5, 225, Sr.

WR: Bo Hines, Charlotte Christian, 6-1, 185, Sr.

WR: Workpeh Kofa, Independence, 6-3, 180, Sr.

ATH: Robert Washington, Southlake Christian, 5-11, 195, So.

KR: Trey Ellis, Ardrey Kell, 5-7, 155, Sr.

K: Jackson VanSickle, Charlotte Christian, 6-0, 175, Jr.

First Team Defense

DL: Ikeem Allen, Mallard Creek, 6-1, 280, Sr.: Defensive MVP of the N.C. 4AA final was part of a starting unit that allowed four points per game. Finished with 89 tackles, 41 for a loss and 13 sacks. He forced five fumbles, recovered three fumbles and had an interception for a score. Ball State commit.

DL: Stepha’n Askew, Mallard Creek, 6-2, 220, Sr.: Had 78 total tackles, 32 tackles for a loss and forced seven fumbes. He had 22 sacks this season and has 39 over the past two seasons. MECKA 8 all-conference pick.

DL: Robert Dinkins, Olympic, 6-2, 235, Sr.: North Carolina commit had 55 tackles and three sacks while facing constant double teams. All-conference pick in the SoMeck 8 4A.

DL: Jalen Cousar, Butler, 6-0, 270, Jr.: Had 97 total tackles, 25 tackles for a loss and four sacks. Two-time Southwestern 4A all-conference pick was a 2012 All-Mecklenburg pick.

LB: Cayson Collins, Berry, 6-2, 210, Sr.: North Carolina recruit was named SoMeck 8 4A Defensive Player of the Year. Collins had 139 tackles, with 16 for a loss. He recovered five fumbles.

LB: Isaac Stewart, Butler, 6-2, 230 Sr., LB: Had 125 tackles, 10 for a loss and two sacks. Two-year starter was All-Southwestern 4A pick. Stewart has committed to Louisville.

LB: Tony Reid, Mallard Creek, 6-0, 192, Sr.: Reid had 90 tackles, 11sacks and four interceptions. He blocked six punts and scored on two of them. He forced three fumbles.

DB: Shaun Wilson, West Mecklenburg, 5-9, 177, Sr.: Duke recruit was a Shrine Bowl pick. Also one of the state’s top running backs. Wilson led North Carolina with eight tackles at the Shrine Bowl.

DB: Cameron Mattison, Mallard Creek, 6-0, 182, Sr.: Toledo recruit was a Shrine Bowl pick and all-conference in the MECKA 8 4A.

DB: Jaire Alexander, Rocky River, 5-11, 165, Jr.: Southwestern 4A co-defensive player of the year had 48 tackles, seven interceptions, four forced fumbles and 14 pass breakups.

DB: Mark Fields, Hough, 5-11, 183, Jr: Division I recruit has 4.3 speed in the 40-yard dash; made the MECKA 8 all-conference team this season.

PR: Deion Washington, Independence, 5-7, 150, Jr: Southwestern 4A all-conference pick had 65 tackles at DB, 13 pass breakups. On special teams, he had three punt returns for a score and one kick return for a score. He averaged 21 yards per punt return.

P: Corbin Daly, Ardrey Kell, 6-3, 200, Sr.: One of the nation’s top recruits at his position, Daly averaged 44 yards per punt with nine downed inside the opponents’ 10. Will play in U.S. Army All American game next month.

Second Team Defense

DL: Garrett Bradbury, Charlotte Christian, 6-3, 245, Sr.

DL: Zach Gilbert, South Mecklenburg, 6-3, 250, So.

DL: Jahfari Sommersel, Independence, 6-0, 225, So.

DL: Tajai Liles, Hopewell, 6-0, 180, Jr.

LB: Danny Dunning, Rocky River, 6-0, 190, Sr.

LB: Lamar Briggs, Davidson Day, 6-1, 210, Sr.

LB: Carter Sheridan, Charlotte Latin, 6-0, 210,Sr.

DB: Stephen Griffin, South Mecklenburg, 6-3, 195, Jr.

DB: Van Smith, West Mecklenburg, 6-0, 185, Jr.

DB: Clifton Duck, Butler, 5-9, 145, So.

DB: Adonis Alexander, Independence, 6-1, 170, Jr.

PR: Melvin Rouse, Charlotte Latin, 5-8, 150, Fr.

P: Blake Queen, Southlake Christian, 6-1, 205, Sr.

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