Glencoe’s Stone highlights All-Messenger football team

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor

A number of factors contributed to Glencoe High’s success this past football season, none more so than the player who engineered the Yellow Jacket offense. 

Dylan Stone’s production via both his arm and his legs earned the senior quarterback Player of the Year honors for the 2014 All-Messenger high school football team.

Stone finished with a combined 2,979 offensive yards and 37 touchdowns to help Glencoe to a 13-1 record, the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1979, the Class 3A, Region 7 title and the program’s first berth in the state semifinals since the 1996 season.

Operating a read-option formation that requited him to decide whether to run, hand off or throw within a few seconds, Stone rushed for 1,845 yards and 27 touchdowns and threw for another 1,134 yards and 10 scores. He directed an offense that averaged just under 40 points per game. 

“Dylan’s simply the best quarterback I’ve ever coached,” said GHS head football coach Lee Ozmint. “Since he’s been our quarterback the last two years, we’ve pretty much led in all aspects of the offense, including passing when we needed to. As far as his intelligence for the game, Dylan’s IQ is off the charts. He called all the audibles and he did some things with the zone-read that (University of Oregon quarterback) Marcus Mariotta would have been proud of. He called all the audibles.”

Ozmint also pointed out Stone’s toughness and leadership ability.

“Dylan played with a strained knee in two or three games right in the middle of the season and wouldn’t tell us. He also played with a broken finger from Week 3 to the end of the season. He was both a vocal leader and someone that led by example. Every day, Dylan demanded more of himself and demanded more of the others around him. He’s just the perfect example of what a quarterback should be.”

Ozmint believes that Stone can play college football if provided the opportunity.

“There is no double in my mind that Dylan could play at the next level if a team showed interest, but he’s graduating in the top 10 of his class and did very well on his ACTs, so he has other options.”

A couple of Stone’s teammates also earned special recognition. 

Glencoe senior running back Thomas Ozmint is The Messenger’s Offensive MVP after finishing 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. 

Glencoe senior linebacker Mason Brown is The Messenger’s Defensive MVP after leading the Yellow Jackets with 141 tackles, including 19 for a loss. He also had seven quarterback sacks, an interception and forced two fumbles.

Southside’s Holt Keeling is The Messenger’s Overall Athlete. The senior wingback rushed for 1476 yards and 16 touchdowns on 128 carries and caught 12 passes for 345 yards and five TDs. He also had 31 punt returns for 521 yards and a touchdown and ran back 17 kickoff returns for 536 yards and two scores. On defense, Keeling recorded 37 tackles along with four interceptions. 

Taking The Messenger’s Offensive Athlete award is Coosa Christian senior quarterback Johnny Grizzard, who accumulated 2,341 yards via the air and on the ground. He threw for 1,725 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 616 yards and 10 scores.

Southside junior Hunter Armstrong is The Messenger’s Defensive Athlete. From his middle linebacker spot, he led the Panthers in tackles with 113 while adding six sacks. As the team’s punter, Armstrong kicked 24 times for a 40.5-yard average. He also saw duty at fullback and quarterback.

2014 All-Messenger Football Team

Player of the Year 

Dylan Stone, Glencoe

Offensive MVP

Thomas Ozmint, Glencoe

Defensive MVP

Mason Brown, Glencoe

Overall Athlete

Holt Keeling, Southside

Offensive Athlete

Johnny Grizzard, Coosa Christian

Defensive Athlete

Hunter Armstrong, Southside

Coach of the Year

Lee Ozmint, Glencoe

First team offense

Quarterback: Ahmad DeRamus, Gadsden City

Running back: Paul Ruiz, Etowah; Keenan Lewis, Sardis

Receiver: Wesley Grizzard, Coosa Chri-stian; Phillip Ward, Hokes Bluff; Austin Hallmark, Sardis

Line: Tyler Carr, Southside; Nolan Boatner, Gadsden City; Ty Minshew, Glencoe; Devin Chappell, Gaston; Dustin Herman, Hokes Bluff

Kicker: Carter West, Southside

First team defense

Line: Chrishun Young, Etowah; Chance Duncan, Glencoe; Zack Oglesby, Gadsden City; Ben Mills, Southside

Linebacker: Blair Edwards, Gadsden City; Darius Moore, Etowah; Javonte Pope, Gaston

Secondary: Pace Ozmint, Glencoe; Jesse Hubbard, Sardis; Albert Douglas, Gas-ton; Dalton Roberts, Glencoe

Punter: Bradley Pruett, Hokes Bluff

Second team offense

Quarterback: Hunter Grant, West End

Running back: Aleric Williams, Southside; Mitchell Smith, Gaston

Line: Drake Burger, Coosa Christian; Dakota Johnson, Etowah; Jeff Ford, Glencoe; Jamahl Jelks, Gadsden City; Logan Hillbrandt, Sardis

Receiver: Jace Mills, Coosa Christian; Darnell Mooney, Gadsden City; Andrew Willis, Glencoe

Kicker: Joseph Bright, Glencoe

Second team defense

Line: Luke Mackey, Glencoe; Tristan Stimpson, Southside; Tyler Moody, West End; Torrez Boyd, Gadsden City

Linebacker: Brian Noblitt, Sardis; Noah Click, Hokes Bluff; Dalvin Lewis, Westbrook Christian

Secondary: Oman Smothers, Etowah; Dustin McWhorter, Southside; Fisher Simmons, Hokes Bluff; Dante Rudolph, Gadsden City

Punter: David Webb, Gadsden City

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