Panthers, Eagles dominate All-Etowah County football team

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By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Thirty-nine student-athletes make up the 2018 All-Etowah County Schools football team.
State playoff participants Southside and Hokes Bluff had the most players represented with 12 and 10, respectively. Seven players were selected from Sardis, followed by Glencoe with four and Gaston and West End with three each.
Highlighting the list is Hokes Bluff junior running back Darrian Meads, who was named the team’s Overall MVP. Meads finished with 2,634 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. For his career, Meads has rushed for 6,511 yards and 79 touchdowns. He recently was selected to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A All-State first team for the third straight year and as the Overall MVP for the All-Messenger football team.
Meads’ teammate Ashton Gulledge was named Offensive MVP after passing and rushing for a combined 1,732 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also started at strong safety, where he finished with 47 tackles. Gulledge made the all-state second team while being as the All-Messenger
team’s Overall Athlete.
Defensive MVP went to Southside junior lineman Chance Moon, who finished 74 tackles in spite of facing double teams most games.
Southside senior running back Kenneth Bothwell, Jr., and Southside senior defensive back Ryan Martin were selected Offensive and Defensive Athlete, respectively. Despite most defenses loading the box against him, Bothwell rushed for 1,387 yards and 21 touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 508 yards and another five TDs. Martin finished the season with 68 tackles and two interceptions from his safety position. Both well was picked for second team all-state and as The Messenger’s Offensive MVP.
Hokes Bluff’s Mike Robertson and Southside’s Ron Daugherty shared Coach of the Year honors. Robertson guided the Eagles to an 11-2 record and a third straight trip to the state quarterfinals, while Daugherty directed the Panthers from a 1-4 start to a 7-5 record, finished in second place in the region and notch the program’s first playoff victory in five years.
The all-county first team offense includes West End senior Jacob Jones at quarterback, Sardis senior Drew Vaughn, Gaston senior Kameron Hawkins and Glencoe senior Andrew Massarro at halfback; Southside senior Andrew Dunston at fullback; Hokes Bluff seniors Brayden Hill and Carson Eubanks, Sardis junior Jacob Hopper, West End junior Jeremiah Roberson and West End sophomore Eli Pearce at receiver; Gaston junior Cole Wadsworth, Glencoe senior Reed Holbrooks, Hokes Bluff senior Jack Busch, Southside sophomores Garrett Orr and Will Warrick, Sardis juniors Tre Dalrymple and Josh Scales and Hokes Bluff junior Pete Jackson at offensive line; and Southside junior Nolan Johnson at kicker.
The all-county defense features Glencoe senior Colton Stone, Hokes Bluff senior Jackson Fielding, Southside senior Brennon Stokes, Southside senior Blake Habyan and Sardis senior
Trent Presley at defensive back; Hokes Bluff sophomore Will Clemons, Glencoe senior Hunter Gray, Southside junior Zeke Hefner and Sardis senior Brandon Noblitt at linebacker; and Hokes Bluff junior Austin Elder, Gaston senior Lane Talbot, Sardis senior Tristen Holcomb; Southside seniors Ethan Stevenson and Jake Blankenship and Hokes Bluff senior Houston Edwards at defensive line.
Earning honorable mention recognition were Hokes Bluff’s Hayden Reeves, Jacob Heath, Ethan Whitcomb, Dylan Boatner, Patrick Vest, Hunter Burke and Austin Blevins; Southside’s Michael Rich, Blake Reed, Dakota Stevenson, Matthew Gilbreath and Bentley Howard; Sardis’s Mason Golden, Michael Turner, Mason Smith, Dylan Metcalf, Jay Owens, Temon Wilson and Luke Morris; Gaston’s Christian Farley, Kelly Davis, Gage McArthur and Malik Redmond; Glencoe’s Luke Booker, Jeremy Thompson, Julian Bethel and Read Shaneyfelt; and West End’s Hunter Tracker and Mason Barnett.

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