Rock Hill South Pointe won the Observer’s Sweet 16 football championship this week. Now, quarterback Derion Kendrick has been named the Charlotte Observer’s All-Region offensive football player of the year.
The Observer names an all-region team for the best players in its coverage area outside Mecklenburg County. The newspaper will name the All-Mecklenburg team later.
Kendrick, a Clemson recruit, broke the school’s single-season passing yardage record (2,683) and tied for the most touchdowns thrown in a career. Kendrick, a U.S. Army All-American and the S.C. Gatorade Player of the Year, rushed for 1,196 yards and 19 touchdowns.
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▪ The All-Region defensive player of the year is Shelby’s Dax Hollifield, a candidate for the U.S. Army All-American national player of the year. Hollifield set school records with 629 career tackles and 129 tackles for a loss. Hollifield, who carries a 4.4 GPA, had 150 tackles this season with 7.5 sacks and 32 tackles for a loss. He’s one of six finalists for the U.S. Army All-America national player of the year award.
▪ The All-Region coach of the year is Morganton Patton’s Tom Eanes. Eanes lost senior quarterback Joe Eakin to a serious head injury in the season opener, losing a starter who accounted for more than 4,000 yards of offense and 43 touchdowns in 2016. Despite that, Eanes led the team to school records for wins (nine) and conference wins (five). Eanes also lost senior fullback William Brawley to a broken foot in Week 6, but Patton still posted consecutive winning seasons for the first time.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB: Derion Kendrick, Rock Hill South Pointe, 6-0, 181, SR: Threw for 2,683 yards and ran for 1,196. The Clemson recruit is a U.S. Army All-American and the S.C. Gatorade player of the year.
RB: McKinley Witherspoon, Lenoir Hibriten, 5-10, 180, JR: 2017 Northwestern Foothills offensive player of the year ran for 2,057 yards and 37 touchdowns. Averaging nearly 16 yards per carry, he had 2,542 all-purpose yards and 42 touchdowns for the first-time state champion.
RB: Jake Alexander, Belmont South Point, 6-1, 185, SR: Ran for 2,036 yards and 29 touchdowns for 12-1 conference champion. Named conference offensive player of the year, he’s the fourth player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards.
WR: Jamario Holley, Rock Hill Northwestern, 5-11, 180, JR: Had 75 catches for 1,178 yards and 18 touchdowns. He averaged 18 yards per punt return with one score and averaged 28.5 yards on kickoff returns with another score.
WR: Anthony Marple, Indian Trail Sun Valley, 6-2, 195, SR: Caught 79 passes for 1,106 yards and 16 touchdowns, returning from a torn ACL as a junior. Played QB for one game due to an teammate’s injury, throwing for 264 yards and three TDs.
TE: Mason King, Mountain Island Charter, 6-2, 210, SR: Conference player of the year caught 28 passes for 851 yards and eight touchdowns. Had 137 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions as a defensive back.
OL: Isaac Cochran, Concord, 6-5, 290, SR: Shrine Bowl pick was part of an offense that put up nearly 4,000 total yards. Conference champion wrestler last season was an all-conference football player this season.
OL: Caderreus Canaty, Rock Hill Northwestern, 6-3, 265, SR: Shrine Bowl pick was part of an offense that put up more than 4,000 yards this season.
OL: Larry Dowdy, Belmont South Point, 6-4, 265, JR: Two-time all-conference pick was captain of a 12-1 league champion and anchored an offense that accounted for more than 5,000 yards. Has recruiting interest from ACC, American Athletic Conference schools.
OL: Will McDonald, Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 6-2, 310, JR: First-team all-conference pick had 70 recorded pancake blocks and allowed no sacks for a team that set a school record with 4,100 yards rushing. Also played 15 snaps per game on defense.
OL: Dalton Haywood, Harrisburg Hickory Ridge, 6-1, 255, SR: Strongest player on team can squat 650 pounds and bench 335. Helped lead Hickory Ridge to a state quarterfinal appearance and more than 6,000 yards of offense.
ATH: Tyshaun Harris, Lincolnton, 5-11, 170, SR: Ran for 2,109 yards and 21 touchdowns; he had 305 yards receiving, four touchdowns, plus two kickoff return touchdowns. Harris averaged 25 yards on kickoffs and had 43 tackles on defense with four interceptions.
K: BT Potter, Rock Hill South Pointe, 5-10, 165, SR: Clemson recruit put 117 of 126 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. U.S. Army All-American was 12-of-17 on field goals with a long of 45. Also averaged 37.1 yards per punt for state champions.
KR: Cole Jackson, Lake Norman, 5-10, 180, SR: 2017 I-MECK specialist of the year ran for 786 yards and 10 scores. He averaged 25.1 yards on kick returns with two touchdowns, including a 99-yarder. Also averaged 27.9 yards on punt returns.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB: Sam Howell, Sun Valley, 6-2, 215, Jr.
RB: Ishod Finger, Metrolina Christian, 5-6, 170, SR.
RB: Cameron Davis, North Stanly, 5-9, 185, JR.
WR: Max Brimigion, Weddington, 6-0, 175, JR.
WR: Landon Parker, Mount Pleasant, 6-3, 185, SR.
TE: Dylan Blair, Lake Norman, 6-3, 200, SR.
OL: Collin Burch, Cheraw (SC), 6-3, 245, SR.
OL: Parker Gaines, Lincolnton, 6-4, 295, SR.
OL: Jeremy Davis, Kannapolis Brown, 6-1, 290, SR.
OL: Dustin Barnhardt, Mount Pleasant, 6-2, 285, SR.
OL: Josh Headlee, Boone Watauga, 6-5, 280, SR.
ATH: John Erby, Chester (SC), 5-10, 180, SR.
K: Nick Sciba, Clover (SC), 5-11, 165, SR.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL: Eli Adams, Rock Hill South Pointe, 5-11, 218, SR: Virginia Tech recruit had 95.5 tackles, 17 sacks and 27 QB pressures. Shrine Bowl pick also named SCFCA Palmetto Champions upper-state lineman of the year.
DL: Dean Arriviello, South Iredell, 6-1, 220, SR: All-conference star had 26.5 sacks, 71 tackles and 13 tackles for a loss. He also caused two fumbles and had two fumble recoveries.
DL: Josh Belk, Lewisville (SC), 6-4, 310, SR: Clemson recruit and U.S. Army All-American had 115 tackles, 11 QB sacks and 34 tackles for a loss. Belk forced seven fumbles and blocked five extra points or field goals.
DL: Rick Sandidge, Concord, 6-5, 290, SR: Major college recruit and Shrine Bowl pick had 78 tackles, 12 sacks. Three-time all-conference pick and 2016 All-Observer selection.
LB: Dax Hollifield, Shelby, 6-2, 235, SR: Three-time state champion is a finalist for U.S. Army All America national player of the year. Had 150 tackles, 7.5 sacks, two caused fumbles.
LB: DeAngelo Huskey, Rock Hill South Pointe, 5-9, 152, SR: A hybrid LB/SS, Huskey had 147.5 tackles, six QB sacks and four interceptions. He scored two defensive touchdowns for the four-time state champions.
LB: BJ Ramseur, Boiling Springs Crest, 5-11, 225, JR: Big South defensive player of the year had 143 tackles, including 11 for a loss. He also had a blocked punt for the Chargers. Division I recruit.
DB: Miles Simon, Lenoir Hibriten, 6-1, 192, SR: Shrine Bowl pick was MVP of the N.C. 2AA state championship game. He had 52 tackles, 10 interceptions and three return touchdowns. He had nine pass breakups.
DB: Tyreke Hollis, Lincolnton, 6-0, 165, SR: Led team in interceptions with seven and had 49 tackles. Three-time all-conference pick caught 48 passes for 703 yards and 10 scores.
DB: Garrett Williams, Harrisburg Hickory Ridge, 6-2, 180, JR: 68 tackles, three for a loss. Had three interceptions, a fumble recovery and 18 pass breakups. Williams scored two defensive touchdowns and more than 500 yard return yards.
DB: Lannden Zanders, Boiling Springs Crest, 6-1, 175, JR: All-conference pick had 54 tackles, six interceptions, a blocked field goal and two blocked punts. Rarely came off the field.
P: Skyler DeLong, Fort Mill Nation Ford, 6-4, 180, SR.: Alabama recruit is a U.S. Army All-American. He averaged 40 yards per punt and had 16 downed inside the 20. He had 27 touchbacks on 36 kickoffs.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL: Phillip Davis, Belmont South Point, 6-0, 316, Sr.
DL: Chandler Medeiros, South Iredell, 6-3, 250, Sr.
DL: Stormy Mosteller, Lawndale Burns, 6-4, 240, Sr.
DL: Ryan Matz, East Lincoln, 6-4, 240, Sr.
LB: Roy Artolozaga, Indian Trail Sun Valley, 6-1, 225, Sr.
LB: Storm Monroe, Mooresville, 5-11, 215, So.
LB: Jaylon Scott, Shelby, 6-2, 225, Jr.
DB: Tahj Reid-Stanley, York, 5-10, 170, Sr.
DB: Jake Horstcamp, Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 6-0, 160, Sr.
DB: Tony Davis, Gastonia Hunter Huss, 6-2, 185, Jr.
DB: Tim Smith, Fort Mill Nation Ford, 6-4, 190, Sr.
P: Noah Haney, Lenoir Hibriten, 6-2, 234, Sr.
PR: Taye Dula, West Caldwell, 6-0, 190, Sr.