Carr named 6A Lineman of the Year

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 By Paul Beaudry For ASWA

Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent

Although he graduated from Southside in December and is enrolled at Auburn University, Tyler Carr added a few more awards this week for his standout high school football career.

At the Alabama Sports Writers Association Player of the Year banquet on Wednesday (Jan. 14) in Montgomery, Carr was named the ASWA Class 6A Back of the Year and selected to the ASWA Super 12 list.  

Carr, who signed a football scholarship with Auburn in December, helped the 2014 Panthers post a 9-3 record, win the region championship and earn a berth in the second round of the state playoffs. 

Also recognized were Glencoe seniors Thomas Ozmint and Mason Brown who were finalists for the Class 3A Back and Lineman of the Year awards, respectively. 

Carr was unable to attend the event due to academic commitments at Auburn.

“It’s just a huge honor for Tyler, for our teams and for communities of Southside and Rainbow City,” said SHS head football coach Ron Daugherty. “I don’t think any kid from this area has won the lineman award, so it’s really special. Tyler has been a dominant factor for us up front pretty much his whole high school career and especially since he moved to the offensive side of the ball. 

“Tyler’s very deserving of the award because of the hard work he’s put in with many hours of extra drills. I’ve told people this before, but even if Tyler was 6-6 and 330 pounds and wasn’t a good football player, I’m very blessed to have him on the team and having his family help out. 

“As far as for our program, I think one of the biggest thing is that Tyler never once acted like the big recruit in front of the other kids. He was always a teammate first, and our kids got to see him go to work and have his shins bleeding on the bleachers during the summer just like everyone else. Tyler’s work ethic and character really carried over into our program, and that helps our younger kids to understand that the most important things to do in terms of leadership is right now in January in the weight room.” 

Ozmint finished with 2,737 all-purpose yards and 29 touchdowns. He rushed for 2347 yards while adding 450 yards in pass receiving and kickoff and punt returns. Brown led the Yellow Jackets with 141 tackles, including 19 for a loss. 

Brown also had seven quarterback sacks, an interception and forced two fumbles. 

Ozmint and Brown helped the Yellow Jackets finish with a 13-1 record, post the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1979, win the Class 3A, Region 7 title and gain the program’s first berth in the state semifinals since the 1996 season.

“I am proud of these guys, and it’s a big deal for them to be here,” said GHS head football coach Lee Ozmint. “Not many schools are represented here today, and Glencoe has two players here. When Thomas and Mason were freshmen, they would go after each other so hard in practice that they would at times knock each other out. They gave 100 percent everyday. 

“We had a great season and this team had a special bond. They are a special group of young men, and Thomas and Mason are just a representation of the others on the team. These guys exemplified the character of the Glencoe team.”

“It is a great honor for me to represent the entire defensive unit here,” said Brown. There was a lot of trust on our defensive unit, and we were strong to-gether. Every member of Glencoe’s team deserves to be here.” 

“It’s a huge honor to be included in this group of young men,” said Thomas Ozmint. “It’s a great honor to be recognized as one of the top players in the State of Alabama.”

Madison Academy’s Ke-rryon Johnson was named Mr. Football. Johnson, a 6-1, 205-pound senior, bounced back from injuries as a junior to help the Mustangs to their third-straight state title by rushing for 1,659 yards and 25 touchdowns, caught 22 passes for 598 yards and eight TDs and had 71 tackles, forced five fumbles and picked up six interceptions, returning three for touchdowns.

The three-time first-team All-State selection was the Class 3A Back of the Year, MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and the Under Armour All-American Bowl and has committed to Auburn.

Since the ASWA first released point totals in 2003, Johnson’s win was the closest three-player race since 2004 when 15 points separated Hoover’s Jarod Bryant, Pinson Valley’s Desmond Jennings and Trinity’s Tommy Trott. 

Johnson picked up 148 points and eight of the 13 first-place votes from the ASWA prep committee. Dale County’s Jamarius Henderson, the Class 3A Lineman of the Year, and Clay-Chalkville quarterback Ty Pigrome, the 6A Back of the Year, tied for second with 137 points each and Shades Valley ru-nning back Keith Mixon was fourth with 81 points. Central-Tuscaloosa’s Lester Cotton and Fyffe running back Austin Stiefel were fifth and sixth with 62 and 47 points, respectively.

All six players were selected for the ASWA Super 12 team, along with Carr, Dora’s A.J. Smoot, Keaton Anderson of Florence, Troy Dixon of UMS-Wright and Hoover’s Darrell Williams and R.J. Arnold.

The Back/Lineman of the Year vote totals are as follows: 

Class 1A Back: Tyler Crumpton, Phillips, 60; Kendarius Bradley, Maplesville, 44; Chandler Rigdon, Chickasaw, 36.

Class 1A Lineman: Tyler Armstrong, Maplesville, 48; Jake Mintz, Cedar Bluff, 38; Justin Foster, Donoho, 28. 

Class 2A Back: Austin Stiefel, Fyffe, 67; Peyton Gilliland, Cleveland, 51; DeAnthony Holcombe, Washington County, 44. 

Class 2A Lineman: Deshon Kilpatrick, Sweet Water, 63; Austin Lewter, Tanner, 62; Dakota Newsome, Fyffe, 52

Class 3A Back: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, 70; Thomas Ozmint, Glencoe, 44; Zack Simbeck, Lauderdale County, 35.

Class 3A Lineman: Jamarius Henderson, Dale County, 56; Jeffery Whatley, Dale County, 37; Mason Brown, Glencoe, 30. 

Class 4A Back: Troy Dixon, UMS-Wright, 55; Kyle Nalls, Fayette County, 53; Octavius Matthews, North Jackson, 47. 

Class 4A Lineman: Anfernee Jennings, Dadeville, 70; Josephus Smith, Leeds, 45; Riley Cole, Oneonta, 40. 

Class 5A Back: Brandon Baynes, Tallassee, 50; Ostin McPherson, St. Paul’s, 46; ShaKeith Tyes, Calera, 45.

Class 5A Lineman: A.J. Smoot, Dora, 47; Lester Cotton, Central-Tuscaloosa, 37; Richard McBryde, Charles Henderson, 31. 

Class 6A Back: Ty Pig-rome, Clay-Chalkville, 68; Keith Mixon, Shades Valley, 46; Chris Weaver, Sa-raland, 36. 

Class 6A Lineman: Tyler Carr, Southside, 71; Keaton Anderson, Florence, 69; Darryl Williams, Bessemer City, 54. 

Class 7A Back: Grey Jackson, Fairhope, 31; Traveon Samuel, Central-Phenix City, 25; Maceo Booker, James Clemens, 24. 

Class 7A Lineman: R.J. Arnold, Hoover, 36; Darrell Williams, Hoover, 27; Kenny Thomas, Prattville, 22. 

Publisher/Editor Chris McCarthy contributed to this article.

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