The Charlotte Touchdown Club has handed out its final awards for the season, and several area players rightfully were recognized for their on- and off-the-field accomplishments.
Weddington and Ardrey Kell were two teams that finished the season differently than how they started.
The Warriors sprinted to a 6-1 record but stumbled down the stretch, winning just one of the next five games. Their early season success got them into the playoffs, where their 23-17 upset of South Point was thought to be the biggest of the opening round.
The Warriors' Buck Jones, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end/defensive end/middle linebacker, was awarded the 2011 Donnie Shell High School Defensive Player of the Year award.
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Jones recorded 101 tackles, including 10 for a loss, and maintains a 4.52 GPA. Jones also had six sacks and a fumble recovery and was awarded the Southern Carolina Conference Player of the Year.
Jones said early in the season that he has been talking with Clemson, Elon, Richmond and others, and would love to continue his football career next year.
Ardrey Kell started just 1-2 but was the best local team to lose four games by the time the year ended, and at 8-4 were on the Sweet 16 bubble all season.
Before getting blown out by Mallard Creek in the playoffs, Ardrey Kell had lost three close games: to Weddington, Marvin Ridge and Butler.
Behind the defensive line, anchored by Romeo Okwara and Ian Dibble, the Knights were known for a stingy defense and opportunistic offense.
A player who contributed to that success - 6-foot-2, 260-pound offensive lineman Matt Carrick - was named student athlete of the year.
Carrick was an all-conference selection on the field, maintained a 4.83 GPA and allowed just one sack.
Carrick was named a North Carolina Elite 100 prospect and is drawing interest from several colleges, including UNC Charlotte. He volunteers as a tutor and assistant baseball coach at Community House Middle School, was a member of the Presidential Honor Roll and is an AP Scholar with Honors.