By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Pace Ozmint polished off his prep football career in style on Wednesday (Jan. 13) in Montgomery.
The Glencoe High senior was recognized as a finalist for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s 2015 Class 3A Back of the Year award during the Player of the Year Banquet sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
Ozmint finished third in the voting behind Piedmont quarterback Taylor Hayes and Colbert County running back Kearvae Qualls.
“This past season was a great one,” said Pace Ozmint. “I was able to play offense as well as defense. I feel a little out of place being here su-rrounded by all of this talent, but I’m honored to be here. It was great playing for Glencoe, especially playing for my dad (Lee Ozmint). It made us closer as a family.”
As first team All-State selection at defensive back for the third straight season, Ozmint served in a variety of roles for the 2015 Yellow Jackets, finishing with over 1,540 total yards and 16 touchdowns while starting at halfback, receiver and kick returner.
On defense, Ozmint had a team-high 104 tackles (six for a loss) and three interceptions from his safety position. He also had four pass break-ups and two fumble recoveries.
Ozmint helped Glencoe post a 9-2 record and make the state playoffs for the seventh straight year.
Pace’s brother Thomas, currently a freshman at the University of West Alabama, was a 3A Back of the Year finalist in 2014.
“Pace is a play maker; he makes things happen on offense and defense,” said Lee Ozmint. “God has truly blessed me to allow me to coach my two boys, and their accomplishments is icing on the cake. To have them achieve what they did is a blessing.”
Spanish Fort senior quarterback Tyler Johnston was named the Mr. Football Award winner. He finished with 148 points and eight first-place votes from the ASWA’s prep committee, while Clay-Chalkville senior quarterback Ty Pigrome, the 2014 runner-up, had 139 points with four firsts.
Gordo senior linebacker Ben Davis was third with 80 points, Clay-Chalkville senior wide receiver T.J. Simmons was fourth (69) and Austin senior offensive lineman Deonte Brown was fifth (68).
Johnston becomes the first quarterback to win the Mr. Football award since Carver-Mont-gomery’s Jeremy Johnson in 2012 and the seventh from the Mobile area, joining Tommy Compton (Vigor, 1982), Darrell Williams (Vigor, 1988), DeMarco McNeil (Blount, 1998), JaMarcus Russell (Williamson, 2002), Julio Jones (Foley, 2007), and T.J. Yeldon (Daphne, 2011).
The vote totals for each award are as follows:
Class 1A Back: Terence Dunlap, Maplesville, 36; Grayson Wakefield, Decatur Heritage, 26; Tommy Spivey, Brantley, 23.
Class 1A Lineman: Cameron Longmire, Georgiana, 19; Tanner Swinney, Hackleburg, 15; Devan Wallace, Maplesville, 14.
Class 2A Back: Chadarius Townsend, Tanner, 66; Dilan Kilpatrick, Fyffe, 63; Peyton Gi-lliland, Cleveland, 50
Class 2A Lineman: Austin Lewter, Tanner, 63; Blaine Hudson, Elba, 50; Ethan Jones, Fyffe, 44.
Class 3A Back: Taylor Hayes, Piedmont, 78; Kearvae Qualls, Colbert Co., 65; Pace Ozmint, Glencoe, 55.
Class 3A Lineman: Ben Davis, Gordo, 53; Austin Troxell, Madison Aca., 41; Neonta Alexander, Piedmont, 29.
Class 4A Back: Kaleb Barker, Priceville, 78; Tre’ Nation, Leeds, 68; Noah Ard, Cordova, 48.
Class 4A Lineman: Josephus Smith, Leeds, 68; Dee Nalls, Fayette Co., 46; Sterling Jones, St. James, 36.
Class 5A Back: Jordan Bentley, Guntersville, 55; Ostin McPherson, St. Paul’s, 47; Demarcus Williams, Jackson, 39.
Class 5A Lineman: Marlon Davidson, Greenville, 69; Quinnen Williams, Wenonah, 59; Darius Whitfield, St. Paul’s, 45.
Class 6A Back: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, 79; Ty Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville, 75; T.J. Simmons, Clay-Chalkville, 45
Class 6A Lineman: Deonte Brown, Austin, 81; Lyndell Wilson, Carver-Montgomery, 56; Thomas Johnston, Spanish Fort, 51.
Class 7A Back: La’Mical Perine, Theodore, 20; Henry Ruggs III, Lee-Montgomery, 13; Kyriq McDonald, James Clemens, 10.
Class 7A Lineman: Labryan Ray, James Clemens, 17; Walter Pritchett, Central-Phenix City, 15; Carlton Martial, McGill-Toolen, 11.
ASWA Super 12: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort; Ty Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville; Ben Davis, Gordo; T.J. Simmons, Clay-Chalkville; Deonte Brown, Austin; La’Mical Perine, Theodore; Marlon Davidson, Greenville; Lyndell Wilson, Carver-Montgomery; Jordan Bentley, Guntersville; Quinnen Williams, Wenonah; Kaleb Barker, Priceville; Kyriq McDonald, James Clemens.
Mike Goodson and ASWA Chairman Paul Beaudry contributed to this article