It is no secret that football talent is in abundance in north Alabama, most notably in Etowah County.
Six players from three Etowah County schools were named to the 2011 Alabama Sports Writers Association’s All-State football team, including Honorable Mention.
Darrin Peterson of Class 5A Etowah High School, Toby Pee of Class 3A Sardis High School and Daniel Warren and Chris Tinker of Class 3A Glencoe High School were named to their respective classification’s first team. Davey McCoy of Sardis and Blake Christian of Glencoe were given honorable mention.
Fans of Etowah Blue Devil football will not soon forget Peterson. “Petey” was doubtless the key player in a potent Etowah offense in 2011, which averaged 28.3 points per game. The senior caught 65 passes for 1,393 yard, while pulling down aerial 10 touchdowns.
Peterson was named Most Valuable Player of Class 5A, Region 7.
Toby Pee is quickly becoming a household name in Etowah County. The Sardis junior running back is not only one of the threatening offensive players in Etowah County, he is also one of the top backs in the state.
Pee was the central figure in Sardis’ offensive attack in 2011, rushing for 1,565 yards for 17 touchdowns on 165 attempts – 9.5 yards per carry. The speedy back caught 16 passes for 143 yards and four touchdowns en route to a first-team appointment in Class 3A. Sardis posted a 9-2 record in 2011 and finished at the top of Class 3A, Region 7.
Sardis head coach Gene Hill is not surprised by Pee’s success on the gridiron.
“Toby is an outstanding worker,” Hill said. “His success is accredited to his work ethic. He is in the weight room every day working to get better. He practices full speed and he plays full speed. His efforts off the field truly compliment his God-given talent. I have only seen maybe two players in all my years of coaching that match Toby in terms of talent. He had similar statistics last year and was MVP of the region. I expect the same from him next year.”
Pee was also named Most Valuable Player of Class 3A, Region 7.
Glencoe fielded one of the toughest defenses in Etowah County in 2011. Led by hard-nosed defenders Tinker and Warren, the Yellow Jackets allowed only 10.9 points per game en route to a 9-3 season.
Senior linebacker Warren led Etowah County with 167 tackles and earned a spot on the Class 3A first team.
Tinker also earned first team honors for Glencoe as a defensive back. The senior snatched seven interceptions and made 59 tackles in 2011.
Perhaps Tinker’s most important play of the season was in the first round against visiting Sylvania.
On fourth down in the waning minutes of the game, the Rams took a shot at the endzone to seal the victory. As the ball was about to drop into the hands of a wide-open Sylvania receiver on the goal line, Tinker came seemingly out of nowhere and swatted away the pass, sealing a 13-7 victory for Glencoe.
Tinker was tough offensively as well, leading the Yellow Jackets in receiving with 36 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns.
Sardis’ McCoy was given honorable mention in Class 3A . The senior linebacker led a stingy Lion defense, which allowed only 14 points per game. McCoy topped Sardis defenders with 123 tackles.
Glencoe’s Christian rounded out the county players with an honorable mention on Class 3A’s defensive squad.