The Observer’s 2016 high school football all-star team was voted on by the Observer’s high school sports staff. Players had to be nominated by their coaches to be considered, and the team includes players in the newspaper’s primary coverage zone, from more than 100 schools in the following counties: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Union and portions of York County, S.C.
In all, more than 400 players were nominated.
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Vance’s Kingsley Ifedi is offensive player of the year
Kingsley Ifedi led Vance High to the N.C. 4AA Western Regional championship game and to victories over Butler and Mallard Creek in the same season. The Bulldogs and Mavericks have the state’s two most dominant programs over the past 10 years.
For that performance, Ifedi is the Observer’s offensive player of the year. He threw for a school-record 4,052 yards and a school-record 47 touchdowns. His passing yardage ranks No. 9 in Mecklenburg County history. His touchdowns rank No. 9. Ifedi also rushed for 1,092 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Ifedi’s 7,265 career passing yards rank No. 8 in county history and his 77 touchdowns rank No. 8.
QB: Kingsley Ifedi, Vance, 6-3, 210, Sr.
Comment: Accounted for 5,144 total yards and 64 touchdowns; fourth most total yards in NCHSAA history.
RB: Quavaris Crouch, Harding, 6-2, 215, So.
Comment: SoMeck offensive player of year had 1,598 yards, 20 TDs this season.
RB: Khamal Howard, East Mecklenburg, 5-11, 190, Jr.
Comment: 361 carries, school-record 2,332 yards (10th best Meck history) and 22 TDs; 2-time Southwestern 4A player of the year.
OL: D’Mitri Emmanuel, Marvin Ridge, OL, 6-3, 290, Sr.
Comment: Shrine Bowl pick had a 93 percent blocking grade, 41 pancake blocks and 5 sacks allowed in 364 attempts.
OL: Devin Smith, Butler, 5-11, 255, Sr.
Comment: Allowed one sack in 361 attempts; averaged 10 pancake blocks per game; Butler had more than 4,500 total yards
OL: TJ Moore, Mallard Creek, 6-6, 285, Sr.
Comment: Anchored a line that helped amass nearly 5,000 yards total offense; major college recruit.
OL: Eric Douglas, Mallard Creek, 6-4, 280, Sr.
Comment: Repeat All-Observer pick has committed to South Carolina
OL: Nic Derrico, Charlotte Catholic, OL, 6-2, 265, Sr.
Comment: 2-time All So-Meck 8 pick anchored line for offense that averaged 427 yards and 38 points per game.
TE: Jeremiah Hall, Vance, 6-3, 225, Sr.
Comment: Caught 55 passes for 1,002 yards – both school-records for tight ends. He had 16 receiving touchdowns.
WR: Sage Surratt, Lincolnton, 6-4, 210, Sr.
Comment: 130 catches for 2,104 yards; is NCHSAA record holder in several historical receiving categories.
WR: Emeka Emezie, Marvin Ridge, 6-3, 200, Sr.
Comment: Union Co.’s career leader in receptions (226), yards (3,584). Had 99 catches for 1,387 yards, 18 scores this season.
KR: Melvin Rouse, Charlotte Latin, 5-9, 175, Sr.
Comment: More than 1,000 yards total offense for 4-time private school all-state pick; returned 3 of 4 INTs for scores.
ATH: Derion Kendrick, Rock Hill South Pointe, 6-0, 197, Jr.
Comment: Led Stallions to S.C. 4A state title; 3,348 yards passing, 37 TDs; ran for 630 yards and eight TDs.
QB: Sam Hartman, Davidson Day, 6-1, 170, Jr.
RB: Xavier McClain, Lincolnton, 5-10, 200, Sr.
RB: Jack Brigham, Catholic, 5-9, 172, Sr.
OL: Grant Gibson, Mallard Creek, 6-2, 295, Sr.
OL: Dashawn Goings, Monroe, 5-10, 270, Sr.
OL: Jovaughn Gwyn, Harding, 6-3, 290, Jr.
OL: Jayson Gaston, Vance, 6-2, 245, Sr.
OL: Noah Keener, Lincolnton, 6-3, 275, Sr.
TE: Drake Delulliis, Providence, 6-6, 220, Sr.
WR: Kusegi Cureton, Butler, 6-1, 180, Sr.
WR: Nolan Groulx, Davidson Day, 5-11, 185, So.
KR: Eric Gallman, Mountain Island Charter, 5-11, 175, Sr.
K: Christian VanSickle, Charlotte Christian, 6-0, 185, Sr.
ATH: Dirk Cureton, Butler, 5-10, 180, Sr.
QB: Davis Cheek, Butler, 6-4, 190, Sr.
RB: Canaan Cox, Statesville Christian, 5-8, 170, Jr.
RB: Cole Jackson, Lake Norman, 5-10, 180, Jr.
OL: Josh Bennett, Charlotte Christian, 6-2, 240, Sr.
OL: Brock Hoffman, Statesville, 6-5, 305, Sr.
OL: Austin Reeves, Davidson Day, 6-0, 215, Sr.
OL: Alex Parker, Northwestern, 6-3, 205, Sr.
OL: Jon Rowe, Ardrey Kell, 6-3, 285, Sr.
WR: Cam Dollar, East Lincoln, 6-2, 195, Sr.
WR: Elijah Bowick, Myers Park, 6-1, 190, So.
WR: Jeremiah Miller, Sun Valley, 6-0, 173, Sr.
KR: Isaiah Ely-Bembry, Vance, 6-0, 190, Sr.
K: Brayan Diaz, Monroe, 6-0, 205, Sr.
ATH: Sam Howell, Sun Valley, 6-1, 212, So.