The Etowah Blue Devils placed 8 players and a coach on the Class 5A, All-Region 7 team, with 3 more players given honorable mention.
Sam McCorkle was named Class 5A, Region 7 Coach of the Year as he continued to steer the Etowah Blue Devil football program in the right direction with a consecutive playoff appearance in 2011. McCorkle led the Blue Devils to the Class 5A, Region 7 championship in 2011. In 2011, Etowah earned its first playoff victory since the first round of the 2005 playoffs. The Blue Devils finished the 2011 football season with a 10-2 record and were Region 7 champions. In three seasons at the helm, McCorkle has accumulated a 20-13 overall record.
Senior split end Darrin Peterson was named Most Valuable Player of Region 7. “Petey” was Etowah’s go-to guy offensively during his 2011 senior campaign. The standout receiver led the Blue Devils with 65 receptions for 1,393 yards – an average of 21.43 yards per catch. Peterson used his size and speed to menace defensive backs. The powerful receiver is best known for his ability to catch passes while taking hard hits in the secondary. Peterson also returned 3 kickoffs for touchdowns.
Etowah quarterback Dalton Wadley was named Region 7 Most Valuable Offensive Player. The senior was the focal point of the Blue Devil offense in 2011, completing 130/236 passes for yards 2,173 yards. Wadley joined an elite group of Blue Devil quarterbacks to pass for over 2,000 in consecutive seasons, which include Freddie Kitchens and Patrick Nix. The bruising quarterback was second in rushing for Etowah, tallying 577 yards on 98 carries.
Sophomore tailback Devin Horton rushed for 1,012 yards on 163 carries in 2011 – an average of 6.2 yards per carry. Horton is expected to lead the Etowah offensive attack in 2012.
Senior Sean Patton has been the mainstay of the Blue Devil offensive line for four years. Patton has started at center for Etowah since his freshman season in 2008. Patton missed a few games early in 2011 but returned to anchor the veteran line en route to 10 wins.
Etowah defensive players were also given All-Region 7 honors.
Ladonnus Palmore was named Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year. The lineman amassed 35 tackles and 11 assists in 2011. Palmore led the Blue Devils in fumble recoveries (5) and blocked punts (3).
Dylan Tucker led the Blue Devils with 76 solo tackles and 22 assists in 2011. The junior linebacker is expected to lead the Etowah defense in 2012.
Senior Dakota Hammett tallied 43 tackles and 18 assists for the Blue Devils in 2011. The senior lineman will be sorely missed next season.
Raheem Gibbs was named Defensive Athlete of the Year for Region 7. The senior linebacker recorded 40 tackles and 13 assists in 2011.
The Southside Panthers also placed players on the All-Region 7 team.
Offensive lineman Hunter Hindsman, place kicker Conner Moran and linebacker Hunter Armstrong were given All-Region 7 honors. Hindsman and Moran were seniors. Armstrong, however, is an eighth grader and should be the mainstay of the Panther defense for the next five years.
Four Panthers and three Blue Devils were given All-Region 7 honorable mention honors. Southside’s Tyler Carr, Blake Devine, Dantley Coker and Justin Beasley along with Etowah’s Zac Dean, Jared Harris and Ethan McMullins extended Etowah County’s honors.
Class 5A, Region 7 consisted of Etowah, Southside, Fort Payne, Albertville, Boaz, Madison County, Scottsboro and Arab. Other players included:
Madison County’s Jordan Chunn was named Defensive MVP. Monterio Burchfield (WR), Brandon Gurley (WR), John Dye (OL), LaQuante Bone (DB), Alex McCord (LB), Austin Finley (DL). Albertville’s Jaron Looney (RB), Austin Smith (WR), Tyler Tidmore (OL), Nathan Spence (PK), Tanner Jones (DB), Jacob Champion (Head Hunter) and Dylan Ogle (DL). Fort Payne’s Dale Jackson (QB), Jordan Bethune (RB), Darius Turner (WR), Ladarin Jones (WR), Trey O’Daniel (OL), Luke Jennings (Offensive Athlete), Zac Magnusson (DB), Luke Bobbitt (Head Hunter), and Dalton Veal (Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year). Boaz’s Tyler Martin (RB), Josh Kerr (Offensive Lineman of the Year), Casey Wood (DB), Brandon Holland (LB) and Terrell Woods (DL). Scottsboro’s Cale Patterson (OL), Zach Bradford (P) and Justin Stern (LB). Arab’s Ryne Rush (DB) and Grant Lake (Head Hunter).