The Sardis Lions topped the list on the All-Etowah County football squad for 2011.
Lion head coach Gene Hill was named Coach of the Year and junior halfback Toby Pee was named Most Valuable Player. Eight other Lions were named to the first-team and five were given honorable mention.
Sardis finished the 2011 season with a 9-2 record in Hill’s first season as head coach.
“I credit our success this year to the hard work put in by our assistant coaches and players,” Hill said. “It’s not hard to sit back and organize a team when you have great assistants like we have here at Sardis. The coaches and players give maximum effort and they are the reason for this honor.”
Pee rushed 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.
“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 next year.”
Hokes Bluff quarterback Brad Robertson was named Most Valuable Offensive Player. Robertson completed 65-of-112 passes for 984 yards and seven touchdowns in his junior campaign.
Glencoe and Southside each placed two players on the offensive line. Senior Taylor Beggs and junior Scott Bradley represented the Yellow Jackets and seniors Hunter Hindsman and Justin Beasley represented the Panthers. Hokes Bluff’s Chance Ford, Gaston’s Seth Lancaster and Sardis’ Cole Wilson rounded out the offensive front-wall.
Backs were headed by Glencoe quarterback Harry Bright. The senior play-caller completed 110-of-209 passes for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to a 9-3 season.
Austin Brown complimented teammate Bright at the halfback slot. The Yellow Jacket senior rushed for 799 yards on 181 carries and notched 13 touchdowns.
Sardis halfbacks Dylan Kelley (senior) and Tyler Dixon (junior) represented the Lions. Kelley rushed for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns while Dixon added 658 yards and nine touchdowns. Combined with Pee’s numbers, the three Lions rushed for 2,935 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Gaston sophomore Braxton Collins slotted the final back position. The bruising fullback rushed for 911 yards on 126 carries while scoring 11 touchdowns for the Dawgs.
Glencoe’s Austin Hancock (junior) and Christopher Tinker (senior) led the receiving corps. Tinker was Bright’s favorite target, catching 36 passes for 566 yards and five touchdowns. Hancock was not far behind, snatching 28 passes for 534 yards and four touchdowns. Tinker was second in the county in receiving after Etowah’s Darren Peterson.
West End senior Colton Humphries caught 17 passes for 263 yards and five touchdowns. Hokes Bluff senior Chase Jakiel was the final piece to the receiving corps.
Southside sophomore Blake Devine and Glencoe junior Dalton Reid were named All-County Athletes. Southside senior Connor Morgan and Sardis senior Jeff Snead were named the top kickers in the county.
Defensively, Glencoe led the way. Senior linebackers T.J. Daugherty and Daniel Warren were named Co-Most Valuable Defensive Players. Warren led the county in tackles with 166 and Daugherty was third with 127.
Devonta Toles and Josh Jordan complimented their Yellow Jacket teammates as defensive backs. Toles led Glencoe with five interceptions. Jordan notched 68 tackles and grabbed three interceptions.
Other defensive backs included Hokes Bluff junior Dylan McKee (88 tackles), Sardis senior Juan Ramos (three interceptions) and Gaston’s Sean Love.
The defensive line consisted of West End’s Micah Moore (Sr.) and Tyler Browning (Jr.), Gaston’s Jeff Bogle (Sr.), Southside’s Skylar Stephens (Sr.), Sardis’ Ryan McElrath (Sr.) and Hokes Bluff’s Cameron Kellett (Sr.).
Sardis’ David McCoy (Sr.) and Tanner Greer (Sr.) led the linebacking crew. McCoy led the Lions with 123 tackles, while Greer added 105. Hokes Bluff’s Colton Shaw (Sr.) was second in the county in tackles with 138. West End’s Logan Moore (Sr.) and Southside’s Hunter Armstrong (8th grade) closed out the list.
Glencoe’s James Lindsey was named the best punter. The senior made many key punts, including one that pinned Sylvania inside their own 5-yard line in the final minutes of the Yellow Jackets’ first-round playoff victory.
Honorable Mention nominations were: Sardis’ Zach Childers, Braun Pee, Dan Williams, Blake Busha, and C.J. Feemster; Gaston’s Jordan McCartney, Lee Corey, Dustin Pollard, and Jamie Spraggins; Glencoe’s Chance Cassidy, Justin Martin, Blake Christian, Cam Lancaster, A.T. Michell, Aaron Benefield, Daniel Otwell and Sam Johnson; Hokes Bluff’s Austin Drake, Adam Adair, Jake Ingram, Braydon Hawk, Jake Ponder, Matthew Watkins, Nathan Heflin and Justin Blanton; Southside’s Chase Nobles, Tyler Carr, Dantley Coker, Colton Clay, Zach Howell and Cody Pylant and West End’s Butch Denny, Jason Denny and Levi Weems.