A senior quarterback and a sophomore linebacker headline the Charlotte Observer’s 2018 All-Mecklenburg high school football team.
Each year, the Observer names an all-star team for the 162 schools in its 14-county region. The All-Observer team ran on Christmas Day. In addition, the newspaper names the All-Mecklenburg team for the schools in Mecklenburg County.
The All-Mecklenburg offensive player of the year is Charlotte Christian quarterback Garrett Shrader, a Mississippi State recruit who led his team to back-to-back N.C. Independent Schools’ Division I state championships. Charlotte Christian also became the second team to win the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll.
This season, Shrader repeated as CISAA conference player of the year, throwing for 1,952 yards and 22 touchdowns in 11 games. He ran for 808 yards and 17 touchdowns on 117 carries. Shrader played sparingly in several of his team’s games this season due to blowouts.
The All-Mecklenburg Defensive Player of the Year is Vance’s Power Echols.
Echols is the first sophomore to win I-MECK 4A Player of the Year. The league is generally considered the state’s best. Echols had 160 tackles, 19 for loss and nine quarterback sacks. He has more than 15 Division I scholarship offers.
Echols’ coach, Aaron Brand, led Vance to a school-record 14 wins and the school’s first appearance in the N.C. 4AA state championship game. Vance, which lost 21-14 to national power Mallard Creek in the regular season, lost 9-7 to Wake Forest in the state finals. Wake Forest, another national power, won its 45th straight game and its third straight state title.
Brand is the All-Mecklenburg Coach of the Year.▪ Brand and Echols won All-Observer coach and defensive player of the year. Sun Valley’s Sam Howell was offensive player of the year.
All-Mecklenburg First-Team Offense
QB: Garrett Shrader, Charlotte Christian, 6-4, 200, Sr.: Mississippi State recruit was Big South Player of the Year, throwing for 1,952 yards and 22 touchdowns in 11 games. He ran 117 times for 808 yards and 17 scores.
RB: Charles Mincey Jr., Mallard Creek, 5-10, 180, Sr.: Co-I-MECK 4A Offensive Player of the Year ran 74 times for 1,032 yards and 12 touchdowns. He caught 11 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
RB: Michael Neal, Charlotte Catholic, 5-11, 175, Sr.: Ran 129 times for 1,125 yards, averaging nearly 9 yards per carry for back-to-back N.C. 3A state champs. Led team in total offense (1,822 yards).
TE: Andre White, Vance, 6-1, 225, Sr.: Had more than 1,400 yards rushing and receiving and accounted for a school-record 25 touchdowns.
WR: Elijah Bowick, Myers Park, 6-1, 215, Sr.: Virginia Tech recruit caught 62 passes for 1,424 yards and 17 TDs. Posted third straight 1,000-yard season.
WR: Porter Rooks, Providence Day, 6-2, 190, Jr: Top 50 national recruit was all-state. Caught 58 passes for 728 yards, 11 TDs. Ran for three scores.
OL: Billy Hambrook, Charlotte Catholic, 6-3, 270, Sr.: Villanova recruit was a 2018 Shrine Bowl selection. Helped lead the Cougars to back-to-back N.C. 3A titles.
OL: Ikem Ekwonu, Providence Day, 6-5, 290, Sr.; OL: NCISAA all-state pick has committed to N.C. State. Allowed two sacks and was 3-year starter.
OL: Sammy Henderson, Charlotte Christian, 6-5, 275, Sr.: Started 33 straight games for back-to-back N.C. Independent Schools state champs. All-state pick.
OL: Malik McGowan, Charlotte Catholic, 6-4, 315, Jr.: All-conference pick has started all 47 games at left tackle since coming to Catholic. Major Power 5 recruit.
OL: Anthony Carter, Butler, 6-5, 285, Jr.: Two-time All-Observer and All-Mecklenburg pick, Carter helped pave way for the Bulldogs to rush for more than 2,200 yards and average 6 yards per carry. Holds five Division I offers.
SPEC: Muhsin Muhammad, Myers Park, 6-0, 175, Jr: Had more than 1,000 receiving yards, eight scores, plus two punt return TDs and averaged 36.5 yards as punter.
K: Cam Lewis, Hough, 5-11, 190, Sr.: Hit 58-of-62 PATs and 8-of-14 field goal attempts, including two misses of more than 55. Made two 52-yarders to set school record.
KR: Jeremiah Rossier, Olympic, 5-11, 215, Sr.: All-conference pick in SoMeck had 563 yards, eight touchdowns receiving and averaged nearly 26 yards per kick return.
All-Mecklenburg Second-Team Offense
QB: Kennique Bonner-Steward, Hough, 6-3, 215, Sr.; RB: Jabari Dalton, South Mecklenburg, 5-10, 180, Sr.; RB: Jamal Worthy, Butler, 6-1, 215, Jr.; WR: Nolan Groulx, Hough, 5-11, 185, Sr.; WR: Nyier Clark, Vance, 6-0, 185, Sr.; TE: Ricky Kofoed, Charlotte Christian, 6-3, 225, Sr.; OL: Chance Carroll, Hough, 6-3, 280, Jr.; OL: Triston Miller, Charlotte Country Day, 6-6, 290, Sr.; OL: Parker Moorer, Mallard Creek, 6-5, 295, Sr.; OL: Juwan Truesdale, Myers Park, 6-5, 305, Sr.; OL: Jordan Daniels, North Mecklenburg, 6-3, 285, Sr.; KR: Khafre Brown, West Mecklenburg, 5-11, 180, Sr.; K: Matt Dennis, Myers Park, 5-11, 160, Soph.; SPEC: Keyon Lesane, Butler, 6-0, 190, Sr.
All-Mecklenburg Third-Team Offense
QB: Drake Maye, Myers Park, 6-4, 190, Soph; RB: Joseph Morris, Vance, 5-10, 180, Soph; RB: Quasean Holmes, Butler, 5-10, 200, Jr.; RB/H: Evan Pryor, Hough, 5-10, 180, Soph; WR: Will Kakavitsas, Providence, 6-1, 170, Sr.; WR: Elijah Metcalf, Mallard Creek, 5-8, 160, Soph; OL: Hayden Malchesky, Myers Park, 6-0, 290, Sr.; OL: Tre Richburg, Butler, 6-2, 265, Jr.; OL: Leo Arredondo, Butler, 6-1, 260, Soph; OL: Hudson Reynolds, Providence Day, 6-1, 260, Sr.; OL: David Lange, Charlotte Country Day, 6-3, 265, Sr.; SPEC: Preston Brown, West Mecklenburg, 6-0, 195, Sr.; K: Eddie Czapliski, Providence, 6-1, 185, Soph.; KR: James Maye, Rocky River 5-9, 185, Sr.
All-Mecklenburg First-Team Defense
DL: Kedrick Bingley-Jones, Providence Day, 6-4, 260, Sr.: Florida recruit is top 250 national prospect. He had 78 tackles, 13 sacks, two safeties.
DL: JT Whitmore, Mallard Creek, 6-3, 235, Jr.: All-conference pick had 52 tackles (36 for loss), 15 sacks, 20 quarterback hurries and two interceptions.
DL: Stephen Sings, Vance, 6-3, 225, Jr.: 60 tackles, 12.5 sacks for a N.C. 4AA state championship finalist. Sings also had 21 tackles for loss.
DL: Jacolbe Cowan, Providence Day, 6-5, 265, Jr: All-state star is top 150 national recruit. Had 36 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks, plus four forced fumbles.
LB: Power Echols, Vance, 6-1, 200, Soph: I-MECK 4A Defensive Player of the Year had 160 tackles, 19 for loss, nine quarterback sacks and five forced fumbles.
LB: Jacob Roberts, Mallard Creek, 6-0, 220, Sr.: All-conference Shrine Bowl pick had 115 tackles, 33 for loss and six sacks. Also had three interceptions.
LB: Jake Harkleroad, Myers Park, 5-11, 205, Sr.: Had 154 tackles, three sacks for N.C. 4AA semifinalist. In final three playoff games, he had 57 tackles.
DB: Tyus Fields, Hough, 5-10, 185, Sr.: School’s No. 2 all-time leader in tackles. He had 42 tackles this season plus two interceptions and 12 pass breakups.
DB: Obi Egbuna, Charlotte Christian, 5-11, 180, Sr.: North Carolina recruit had 41 tackles, five tackles for a loss plus five interceptions, two sacks and two blocked field goals. Returned one interception and one field goal block for scores.
DB: Trey Bly, Myers Park, 5-8, 160, Sr.: Charlotte 49ers recruit had 49 tackles, plus seven interceptions. He has 16 career interceptions.
DB: Xavier Marshall, Vance, 6-1, 205, Sr.: Had eight interceptions for N.C. 4AA state finalist, plus 83 tackles and three forced fumbles.
PR: JB Awolowo, Charlotte Christian, 5-10, 175, JR: Returned 14 punts for 248 yards, two scores. Had 253 yards receiving, 284 yards in kick returns, 54 tackles.
P: Conner Maynard, Hough, 6-2, 185, Sr.: First-year punter averaged nearly 42 yards per attempt with a long of 68. He had 16 of 42 punts downed inside the 20.
All-Mecklenburg Second-Team Defense
DL: Noah Kyei, Mallard Creek, 6-2, 270, Sr.; DL: Gio Paez, Hough, 6-3, 295, Sr.; DL: Kevin Coss, Charlotte Catholic, 6-2, 240, Sr.; DL: Nick King, Charlotte Catholic, 6-2, 255, Sr.; LB: Aristotle Bowles, Olympic, 5-10, 215, Sr.; LB: JT Killen, Charlotte Christian, 6-2, 200, Sr; LB: Osita Ekwonu, Providence Day, 6-2, 220, Sr.; DB: Zyone Easterling, Rocky River, 5-11, 175, Sr.; DB: Gabe Jeudy, Ardrey Kell, 6-2, 175, Sr.; DB: Jalen Frazier, Hough, 5-10, 180, Sr.; DB: Brian Jacobs, Charlotte Catholic, 5-9, 160, Sr.; P: Dylan Weybrecht, Olympic, 5-10, 200, Sr.; PR: Justin Olson, North Mecklenburg, 6-3, 195 Sr.
All-Mecklenburg Third Team Defense
DL: Raevon Freeman, Butler, 6-1, 215, Sr.; DL: Ari Rodriguez, Charlotte Catholic, 6-0, 290, Sr.; DL: Nate Lynn, Vance, 6-3, 265, Sr.; DL: Kaci Seegars, Ardrey Kell, 6-2, 265, Soph; LB: Jaylon Sharpe, Rocky River, 6-2, 230, Sr.; LB: Stephon Thompson, Vance, 6-2, 225, Jr.; LB: Trent Simpson, Mallard Creek 6-3, 218 Jr.; DB: Jeremiah Gray, Charlotte Christian, 6-2, 200, Sr.; DB: Demarcus Griffin, Olympic, 5-10, 175, Sr.; DB: J’Trell Washington, Mallard Creek, 5-10, 175, Sr.; DB: William Watts, North Mecklenburg, 5-11, 160, Sr.; P: Montigo Moss, South Mecklenburg, 6-0, 183, Jr; PR: Jamik Edmunds, West Mecklenburg, 5-10, 165, Sr.