Local gridders finalists for state award

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 By Chris McCarthy/Publisher/Editor

A week after being tabbed as first team All-State selections, a trio of local high school football players have earned additional recognition.

Southside senior tackle Tyler Carr, Glencoe senior running back Thomas Ozmint and Glencoe senior linebacker Mason Brown were selected as finalists for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Back/Lineman of the Year awards. 

Carr was named as a Class 6A Back finalist, while Ozmint and Brown were selected as Class 3A Back and Lineman finalists, respectively. 

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

Ozmint rushed for 2,316 yards and 27 touchdowns on 299 attempts while catching 14 passes for 199 yards and two scores. He also returned 10 punts for 203 yards. 

Brown finished with a team-high 141 tackles – including 19 for a loss – and seven sacks. He also forced two fumbles. Ozmint and Brown helped the Yellow Jackets to the Class 3A state semifinals, a 13-1 record, a region title and an undefeated regular season.

All three players made the All-Etowah County and All-Region first teams. 

The class winners, along with the 2014 Mr. Football award, will be revealed at the annual Player of the Year Banquet on Jan. 14 in Montgomery. The event is sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. 

The 42 finalists are listed below.

Class 7A Back

Maceo Booker, running back, James Clemens; Grey Jackson, quarterback, Fairhope; Traveon Samuel, Athlete, Central-Phenix City

Class 7A Lineman

R.J. Arnold, linebacker, Hoover; Kenny Thomas, offensive line, Prattville; Darrell Williams, linebacker, Hoover

Class 6A Back

Keith Mixon, Athlete, Shades Valley; Ty Pigrome, quarterback, Clay-Chalkville; Chris Weaver, Athlete, Saraland

Class 6A Lineman

Keaton Anderson, linebacker, Florence; Tyler Carr, offensive line, Southside; Darryl Williams, offensive line, Bessemer City

Class 5A Back

Brandon Baynes, running back, Tallassee; Ostin McPherson, running back, St. Paul’s; ShaKeith Tyes, running back, Calera

Class 5A Lineman

Lester Cotton, offensive line, Central-Tuscaloosa; Richard McBryde, linebacker, Charles Henderson; A.J. Smoot, defensive line, Dora

Class 4A Back

Troy Dixon, running back, UMS-Wright; Octavius Matthews, Athlete, North Jackson; Kyle Nalls, running back, Fayette County

Class 4A Lineman

Riley Cole, linebacker, Oneonta; Anfernee Jennings, defensive line, Dadeville; Josephus Smith, defensive line, Leeds

Class 3A Back

Kerryon Johnson, running back, Madison Academy; Thomas Ozmint, running back, Glencoe; Zack Simbeck, Athlete, Lauderdale County

Class 3A Lineman

Jamarius Henderson, Athlete, Dale County; Mason Brown, linebacker, Glencoe; Jeffery Whatley, defensive line, Dale County

Class 2A Back

Peyton Gilliland, quarterback, Cleveland; DeAnthony Holcombe, running back, Washington County; Austin Stiefel, running back, Fyffe

Class 2A Lineman

Deshon Kilpatrick, offensive line, Sweet Water; Austen Lewter, offensive line, Tanner; Dakota Newsome, linebacker, Fyffe

Class 1A Back

Kendarius Bradley, defensive back, Maplesville; Tyler Crumpton, wide receiver, Phillips; Chandler Rigdon, Athlete, Chickasaw

Class 1A Lineman

Tyler Armstrong, linebacker, Maplesville; Jake Mintz, offensive line, Cedar Bluff; Justin Foster, defensive line, Donoho

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