Local football player finalist for state award


Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy 

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Clete O’Bryant recently received an additional accolade for the 2023 football season.
Fresh off being named ASWA First Team All-State and the Overall Player of the Year for the All-Messenger football team, the Coosa Christian junior was selected as a finalist for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A Lineman of the Year award.
O’Bryant (pictured above at right) was a key factor in the Conquerors’ run to the Class 1A state title game, lining up at linebacker, running back, tight end, wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner, in addition to being a member of the team’s kick coverage unit. His primary spot was at linebacker, where he amassed 125 tackles (including 23 for a loss), two sacks, three interceptions, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. He spearheaded a defense that posted eight shutouts in 15 games, including four in a row. The Conquerors allowed an average of only 6.5 points a game to finish the year as the top scoring defense in all AHSAA classifications. On offense, O’Bryant rushed for 465 yards and five touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 345 yards and four TDs.
O’Bryant and the other 48 finalists from all AHSAA classifications and the AISA will be recognized at a banquet on January 16 in Montgomery, during which the Back and Lineman of the Year winners, the Super All-State team and Mr. Football award winner will be announced.

ASWA 2023 Back/Lineman of the Year finalists
Class 7A back
Cam Coleman, Central-Phenix City; Anquon Fegans, Thompson; Perry Thompson, Foley
Class 7A lineman
Isiai Faga, Central-Phenix City; Jordan Ross, Vestavia Hills; Bradley Shaw, Hoover

Class 6A back
K.J. Lacey, Saraland; Jaylen Mbakwe, Clay-Chalkville; Ryan Williams, Saraland
Class 6A lineman
D.J. Barber, Clay-Chalkville; Malik Blocton, Pike Road; Sterling Dixon, Spanish Fort

Class 5A back
Cam Phinizee, Russellville; Ronnie Royal, Gulf Shores; Clarence Taylor, Pleasant Grove
Class 5A lineman
Zion Grady, Charles Henderson; Brandon Purifoy, Vigor; Q.B. Reese, Ramsay

Class 4A back
Fluff Bothwell, Oneonta; Jacob Cornejo, Cherokee County; Caleb McCreary, Catholic-Montgomery
Class 4A lineman
Tae Diamond, Cherokee County; Joseph Phillips, BTW-Tuskegee; Jon Welch, Sipsey Valley

Class 3A back
Ken Cherry, Madison Academy; K.J. Jackson, St. James; Ethan Wilder, Gordo
Class 3A lineman
Reese Baker, Madison Academy; Jaxon Colvin, Geraldine; Kentonio Kelly Jr., Mobile Christian

Class 2A back
Logan Anderson, Fyffe; Kamore Harris, B.B. Comer; Preston Lancaster, Tuscaloosa Academy
Class 2A lineman
J.J. Boatright, Locust Fork; J.J. Faulk, Highland Home; Tucker Wilks, Fyffe

Class 1A back
Alvin Henderson, Elba; Brayden Huebner, Leroy; Cale Tittle, Lynn
Class 1A lineman 
Clete O’Bryant, Coosa Christian; Tim Parnell, Leroy; Korbit Sommerville, Pickens County

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