PLAYER OF THE YEAR

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    Taylor Lamb
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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TAYLOR LAMB

It’s been quite a year for the Calhoun quarterback. A year ago at this time he was finishing his sophomore season in Greenville, S.C., where he was a receiver and quarterback-in-waiting. However, when father Bobby Lamb lost his job as the coach at Furman University and subsequently was hired to revive the program at Mercer, a huge upheaval in his life began. Taylor Lamb ended up playing for his uncle Hal, and despite a rocky start he led the Yellow Jackets to a 15-0 season and their first state championship in 59 years. Guiding the team’s spread offense like a seasoned veteran, Lamb passed for 3,635 yards and 40 touchdowns against only nine interceptions as Calhoun averaged 44 points per game.

“Losing three [state finals] to the same team was hard for these seniors, so it was great to finally help bring them a title,” said Lamb, who was also voted the Georgia Sports Writers’ Association Class AA offensive player of the year. “It was a great season and a great accomplishment. When I first got here I had to prove myself to my teammates, and over time I think I did that, and we progressed from there. I don’t think I could have asked for more.”

COACH OF THE YEAR

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    Hal Lamb
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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HAL LAMB

Any coach in any sport at any level would envy Hal Lamb’s accomplishments. Entering this season he had coached Calhoun to 10 region titles in 12 years, four of those ending in the state championship game. But he lacked a state title, earning the Yellow Jackets a growing reputation as the Buffalo Bills of Georgia high school football. All that ended this year as the Jackets won that elusive championship against the team that had defeated them three consecutive years in the title game. The Buford Wolves, boasting as many as eight major college recruits, came in ranked in nearly every national poll, but Calhoun survived a late rally that sent the game into overtime, winning 27-24 to complete a 15-0 season.

FIRST TEAM

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    Tre Bonds
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Tre Bonds

DALTON

- Senior running back

- The former receiver took over for injured Tre Beck in game four and totaled 1,548 yards and 17 TDs.

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    Mikhail Creech
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Mikhail Creech

OOLTEWAH

- Senior receiver

- He had 39 catches for 744 yards and eight touchdowns.

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    Barrett Gouger
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Barrett Gouger

BAYLOR

- Senior lineman

- The Vanderbilt commitment was a Mr. Football lineman of the year for the Division IIAA state runners-up.

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    Justin Houston
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Justin Houston

BRADLEY CENTRAL

- Senior running back

- He rushed for more than 1,100 yards against a tough schedule and had another 500 receiving yards.

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    Tyler King
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Tyler King

CALHOUN

- Senior lineman

- The 6-2, 280-pound center was Class AA all-state after helping the Jackets offense to 44 points a game.

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    Elias Ortega
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Elias Ortega

DALTON

- Senior lineman

- The 6-1, 310-pound left tackle helped a rushing offense that averaged more than 300 yards per game.

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    Jon Patton
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Jon Patton

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN

- Senior receiver

- He had 58 catches for 963 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games for the Eagles. Jon Patton

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    Reese Phillips
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Reese Phillips

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN

- Junior quarterback

- In his first year as the QB starter, he threw for 1,895 yards with 21 TDs and only four interceptions.

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    Matt Reilly
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Matt Reilly

NOTRE DAME

- Senior receiver

- He led the area with 1,240 receiving yards and 20 touchdown receptions.

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    Henrique Ribeiro
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Henrique Ribeiro

BAYLOR

- Senior kicker

- He made three field goals from beyond 50 yards and was the TSSAA Mr. Football kicker of the year.

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    Maleek Rooks
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Maleek Rooks

BRAINERD

- Senior athlete

- He totaled more than 2,200 all-purpose yards and 17 TDs on offense and intercepted four passes.

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    Austin Sanders
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Austin Sanders

BRADLEY CENTRAL

- Junior lineman

- Already a University of Tennessee commitment, he had 40 pancake blocks and was Class 6A all-state.

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    Tye Youngblood
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
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Tye Youngblood

McCALLIE

- Senior lineman

- The Blue Tornado’s most dominant blocker, he was named to the Division II-AA all-state team.

SECOND TEAM

CHASE BEARD Baylor Lineman Senior

LUKE BRANTLEY Chattooga Lineman Senior

BRYCE COPELAND Bradley Central Quarterback Junior

CEDRIC EDWARDS Soddy-Daisy Running back Senior

ADAM GRIFFITH Calhoun Kicker Senior

RHETT HARPER Southeast Whitfield Receiver Sophomore

JAJUAN LANKFORD South Pittsburg Running back Sophomore

DANIEL McCLURE McCallie Running back Senior

JESSE SANDELL Bledsoe County Lineman Junior

BRANDON SMITH Bledsoe County Athlete Senior

DEREK ST. JOHN Polk County Lineman Senior

JAMES STOVALL Bradley Central Receiver Senior

RAYNARD WILLIAMSON Tyner Lineman Senior

THIRD TEAM

SHAUN ANDERSON Ringgold Running back Senior

PATRICK BENSON Bradley Central Lineman Senior

CODY BRANHAM South Pittsburg Lineman Senior

DARRELL BRIDGES Ridgeland Running back Junior

CESAR DIAZ North Jackson Kicker Junior

JERRY FAIN Sequatchie County Running back Senior

AUSTIN FULTS Grundy County Lineman Senior

GANNON HAMPTON Dade County Lineman Junior

AUSTIN LAMB Sequatchie County Lineman Junior

BEN LAMB Calhoun Receiver Senior

JUSTIN MATHIESON Hixson Athlete Senior

MATTHEW OELLERICH Baylor Quarterback Senior

BEAU SIMMONS CCS Receiver Senior

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