The Chattanooga area is well represented in all classifications of this year’s Tennessee Sports Writers Association all-state football teams.
Eleven area teams had multiple players named TSWA all-state, including Baylor, McCallie, Notre Dame, Hixson, East Hamilton and South Pittsburg all with at least three.
“It’s great for those young men because they’ve worked so hard and been able to be a part of a program that’s been building,” East Hamilton coach Ted Gatewood said. “To see them get rewarded for that work is awesome.
“It’s also awesome for our program because we’re still a fledgling program, so for people outside our area to recognize our program is pretty special, too.”
Baylor’s Rafael Gaglianone, who previously was named the state’s kicker of the year and is a Wisconsin commitment, was joined by teammates George Porter (running back) and Ryan Parker (linebacker) on the Division II-AA team. Also on that were McCallie offensive lineman Cam Walker, defensive back C.J. Fritz and linebacker Andrew Busby. Walker and Fritz have committed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
McMinn County offensive lineman Hunter Priest is the lone area player on the Class 6A all-state team, but seven made the 5A list, including East Hamilton receiver Tony Francois, linebacker Austin Gatewood and defensive back Tre Herndon, a Vanderbilt commitment. Joining the Hurricanes in 5A were Ooltewah offensive lineman David Nobles and defensive lineman David Strickland and Cleveland quarterback Austin Herink and athlete D.J. Jones.
In 4A, Hixson running back Isaiah Robinson, offensive lineman Charles Franklin and linebacker Kedrick Bradley were joined by Signal Mountain offensive lineman Harrison Moon, one of the top-rated junior prospects in the state, and Sequoyah defensive back Alex Stakely.
Hixson’s trio led the Wildcats to the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history, and Robinson set the school’s rushing record along the way.
“It’s really an honor that those kids made it,” Hixson coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “It’s the whole team, and the things we’ve accomplished the last couple of seasons to get noticed. We won the district and had a shot to make the semifinals, so obviously those kids and their teammates worked hard to earn that type of recognition.”
Notre Dame defensive back Kareem Orr, also one of the state’s top junior prospects, made the 3A all-state team along with teammates Robert Kidwell (offensive line) and Tyler Enos (linebacker), Polk County running back Zach Miller and offensive lineman Tanner Plemons, Tyner defensive back Willie Stewart, McMinn Central linebacker Gage Johnson and Sequatchie County linebacker Blake Cates.
Marion County junior Blake Zeman, a Mr. Football finalist who led the area in scoring, tackles for loss and fumble recoveries and was one of the area’s top rushers, earned a spot on the 2A list at linebacker. He was joined by Boyd-Buchanan quarterback Jim Cardwell, one of the most valuable all-round players on any team this season, Silverdale Baptist Academy’s Josh Rogers (linebacker) and Lincoln Phillips (defensive line) and Tellico Plains linebacker Devin Collier and defensive lineman Bryce Carter.
In 1A, state runner-up South Pittsburg had four all-state players: running backs Jajuan Lankford, a Mr. Football winner, and Kahlil Mitchell, who ran for more than 1,400 yards, plus three-year offensive-line starter Ricky Fehr and linebacker Payne Mosley, who was named the BlueCross Bowl defensive MVP. Whitwell running back Clay McHone, who rushed for more than 1,400 yards, also made the 1A list.
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.
TSWA ALL-STATE TEAMS
• Coach of the Year: David Meske (Knoxville Webb)
QB – A.J. Long (Friendship Christian School), Dean Brown (St. George’s), RB – Cole Heotis (Evangelical Christian), Mitchell Bodiford (Univ. School of Jackson), Kortney Morris (First Assembly Christian), FB— Robby Strachan (Knoxville Webb), WR – Austin Orr (Univ. School of Jackson) Ridge Palmer (King’s Academy), OL – Joe Irby (Franklin Road Acad.), Andrew Wood (Friendship Christian), Jacob Still (St. George’s), McKenzie Hill (Evangelical Christian), Jarin Wordin (Donelson Christian Acad.), Cole Sams (Knoxville Webb), TE – Eric Arnold (Univ. School of Jackson), ATH – Steven Hollis (Friendship Christian), Jason Maduafokwa (King’s Academy), K – Blake Grosch (Friendship Christian).
DL – Andrew Campbell (Knoxville Webb), Gage Thompson (Knoxville Webb), Carter Parkey (Battle Ground Acad.), Drew Slomski (King’s Academy), LB – Keeling Hunter (Franklin Road Acad.), Joseph Patterson (Univ. School of Jackson), Brant Mitchell (Knoxville Webb), Bennett Harrison (Knoxville Webb), DB – William Brown (St. George’s), Christian Santiago (Harding), Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville Webb), Matthew Melton ( Knoxville Webb), Brock Beeler (Knoxville Webb), P – Andy Deatherage (King’s Academy).
• Coach of the Year: Ricky Bowers (Ensworth)
QB – Tyler Swafford (Brentwood Acad.), RB – George Porter (Baylor), D’Andre Ferby (Ensworth), Colton Neel (Memphis Univ. School), WR – Devin Perry (Memphis Univ. School), C.J. Sanders (Brentwood Acad.), Kiambu Fentress (Ensworth), OL – Alex Bars (Montgomery Bell Acad.), Drew Richmond (Memphis Univ. School), Cam Walker (McCallie), Parker Wade (Ensworth), Tucker York (Brentwood Acad.), TE – Xavier Forrest (Ensworth), D.J. Palmore (Christian Brothers), ATH – Brandon Taylor (Brentwood Acad.), K – Rafael Gaglianone (Baylor)
DL – Jashon Robertson (Montgomery Bell Acad.), Derek Barnett (Brentwood Acad.), Michael Sawyers (Ensworth), D.J. Mott (Montgomery Bell Acad.), Jackson Pittman (Brentwood Acad.), LB – Jonah Reels (Brentwood Acad.), Andrew Busby (McCallie), Hunter Travis (Ensworth), Ryan Parker (Baylor), James Prather (Memphis Univ. School), Tim Hart (Memphis Univ. School), Max Stoffer (Father Ryan), Hunter Bledsoe (Briarcrest), DB – Donovan Sheffield (Ensworth), Rico McGraw (Ensworth), C.J. Fritz (McCallie), P – Gary Wunderlich (Memphis Univ. School).
• Coach of the Year: Darren Bowling (Union City)
QB – Shandon Lyle (Midway), Jaylen Montague (Humboldt), RB – Kahlil Mitchell (South Pittsburg), Jajuan Lankford (South Pittsburg), Jordan Anderson (Greenback), Clay McHone (Whitwell), FB – Ricky Henry (Union City), WR – Hunter Cope (Greenback), Colter Swafford (Dresden), OL – Zach Stewart (Coalfield), Benson Napier (Coalfield), Alex Givens (Nashville Christian), Ricky Fehr (South Pittsburg), Tristan Jernigan (Union City), Austin Gullett (Humboldt), ATH – Austin Whitehead (Cloudland), Stone Riner (Cornersville), K – Cace Cook (Union City).
DL – Hayden Hester (Midway), Marshun Cox (Humboldt), Ben Kendall (Dresden), Darius Wade (Humboldt), Lucas Titlow (Greenback), John Ross Rudolph (Clarksville Acad.), LB – Samuel McCloud (Greenback), Payne Mosley (South Pittsburg), Daniel Bituli (Nashville Christian), Ryan Hill (Coalfield), Mason Carnett (Cloudland), DB – Zach Wilkins (Coalfield), Aaron Powers (Oakdale), JaVonte Moffatt (Union City), Jacob Swint (Sunbright), Andrew Clore (Coalfield), P – Brock Moore (Greenback).
• Coach of the Year: Kevin Creasy (Trousdale County)
QB – Kyle Akin (Trinity Christian), Devin Smith (Grace Christian), Jim Cardwell (Boyd-Buchanan), RB – Kenyan Harper (Trousdale County), Chris Hale (Eagleville), Zak Neary (Adamsville), ATH – Braxton Baugus (Trenton), Dejuan McQuarters (Mitchell), TE – Andy Eddins (Grace Christian), WR – Eli Parker (Trinity Christian), Jacob Wallis (Adamsville), Chase Diggs (Trinity Christian), OL – Nathan Morris (Grace Christian), Colton Williams (Adamsville), Denzel Murphy (Mitchell), Austin Sampson (Huntingdon), Jackson Adcock (Trinity Christian), K – Bryce Couch (Oneida).
DL – Tyler Brown (Rockwood), Taidrian Seay (Trousdale County), Lincoln Phillips (Silverdale Baptist Acad.), Stephen Anderson (Trinity Christian), Bryce Carter (Tellico Plains), LB – Blake Zeman (Marion County), Tyler Bush (Huntingdon), Devin Collier (Tellico Plains), Adam Kilby ( Wartburg), Josh Rogers (Silverdale Baptist Acad.), Logan Morris (Peabody), Jacob Dengler (Adamsville), DB – Cole West (Oneida), Nathan Silver (Grace Christian), Tyler Garrott (Trinity Christian Acad.), Trey Hickey (Middle Tenn. Christian), Dylan Ford (Hampton), P – Cas Crenshaw (Peabody).
• Coach of the Year: Gary Rankin (Alcoa)
QB – Hunter Zimmerman (Fairview), Isiah Upton (East Nashville), Connor York (Upperman)
RB – Jaquez Tyson (Alcoa), RB – Zach Miller (Polk County), Tyler Coe (Chuckey-Doak), WR – Whitaker Cunningham (Christian Acad. of Knoxville), Thomas Richard (Christ Presbyterian Acad.), Nic Harvey (Fairview), Robert Stephenson (Upperman), ATH – Malik Love (Alcoa), Nikia Cathey (Westwood), Jaquail Williams (Austin-East), OL – Kyle Malik Mitchell (Alcoa), Paul Adams (Christ Presbyterian Acad.), Ryne Reynolds (Westview), Tanner Plemons (Polk County), Robert Kidwell (Notre Dame), K – Cal Bradshaw (Westview).
DL – Patrick Ely (Upperman), Braylon Young (Alcoa), Zac Wright (Alcoa), Jonathan Decker (Alcoa), LB – Garrett Wall (Fairview), Jay Hockaday (Christ Presbyterian Acad.), Gage Johnson (McMinn Central), Tyler Enos (Notre Dame), Blake Cates (Sequatchie County), Keller Maples (Alcoa), Spencer Brien (Gatlinburg-Pittman), DB – Willie Stewart (Tyner), Brandon Teeter (Alcoa), John Riley McLaughlin (Alcoa), Ty Brown (Westview), Kareem Orr (Notre Dame), P – Kristen McKinney (Milan).
• Coach of the Year: Rob Black (Fulton)
QB – Penny Smith (Fulton), Zack Finchum (Greeneville), Dylan Wieger (Sullivan South), RB – Daryl Rollins-Davis (Fulton), Ke’Shawn Vaughn (Pearl-Cohn), Ethan Thomas (Elizabethton), Jamal Jones (Trezevant), Keyon Crisp (Bolivar), Isaiah Robinson (Hixson), WR – Xavier Hawkins (Fulton), Kenton Baker (Giles County), Gabriel Scott (Trezevant), ATH – Hank Black (Carter), Hays Culbreth (Greeneville), Montavious Lagrone (Dyersburg), OL – Akeem Cooperwood (Fulton), Michael Scates (Fulton), Logan Irwin (Knoxville Catholic), Carlos Johnson (Pearl-Cohn), Harrison Moon (Signal Mountain), Charles Franklin (Hixson), K – Wyatt Price (Knoxville Catholic)
DL – Torrey Mabone (Trezevant), Marcus Rhea (Giles County), Tyler Stokes (Fulton), Josh Silvey (Knoxville Catholic), Jake Sell (Greeneville), Connor McIntire (Dyersburg), LB — Kedrick Bradley (Hixson), Nicholas Clay (Trezevant), David Hamilton (Knoxville Catholic), Hunter Boyd (Crockett County), Hayden Gregory (Pearl-Cohn), D.J. Campbell (Fulton), Sydney Jackson (Fulton), Davion Browning (North Side), DB – Will Martinez (Catholic), Trevor Wright (Greeneville), Domonique Williams (Fulton), Lennox Roper (Fulton), Cameron Ordway (Giles County), Alex Stakely (Sequoyah), P – Aaron Medley (Marshall County).
• Coach of the Year: James Counce (Henry County)
QB – Ethan Jeffers (Campbell County), LeEarl Patterson (Melrose), Austin Herink (Cleveland), RB – Dorian Carter (Beech), Matthew Fox (Anderson County), Nathan Cottrell (West), WR – Brandon Donaldson (Henry County), Drake Powell (Clinton), Cornellius Sturghill (Melrose), Tony Francois (East Hamilton), OL – Jeffrey Marshall (Henry County), Matthew Pyke (Anderson County), David Nobles (Ooltewah), Mason McNutt (South-Doyle), Leon Humphrey (West), ATH – Joc Bruce (South-Doyle), D.J. Jones (Cleveland), Montrell Pardue (Northeast), K – Bryan Rammel (Henry County).
DL – Terry Fultz (Ridgeway), Ray Taylor (Memphis East), Khalil Watford (West), Hunter Lane (Gibbs), David Strickland (Ooltewah), Xavier Schulter (Lincoln County), LB – Cody Underwood (West), Noah Hoxie (West), Nick Bailey (Campbell County), Dennis Tharpe (Henry County), Austin Gatewood (East Hamilton), DB – Shontel Thompson (Henry County), Jospeh Elkins (Campbell County), Kyland Tate (Memphis East), Alex Burch (West), Max Bacon (West), Tyler Eddings (Shelbyville), Tre Herndon (East Hamilton), P – Hunter Sumner (Oak Ridge).
• Coach of the Year: George Quarles (Maryville)
QB – John Garrett (Maryville), Cedrick Wilson (White Station), RB – Denzel Harding (Siegel), Shawn Prevo (Maryville), Justin Martin (Overton), Isaiah Johnson (Rossview), Matt Thompson (Morristown East), WR – Josh Malone (Station Camp), Van Jefferson (Ravenwood), Cody Carroll (Maryville), OL – Jack Jones (Oakland), Charles Mosley (Brighton), Bruno Reagan (Clarksville), Caleb Singleton (Blackman), Hunter Priest (McMinn County), Thomas Burton (Whitehaven), ATH – Jauan Jennings (Blackman), Deddrick Thomas (Memphis Central), K – Harrison Reed (Siegel), K – CJ Stafford (Houston).
DL – Dylan Jackson (Maryville), Nick Sensabaugh (Dobyns-Bennett), Austin Barrett (Oakland), Bryson Harris (Rossview), LB – Kevin Prather (Oakland), Antonio Allen (Blackman), Nick Peters (Siegel), Austin Mosier (Blackman), Petera Wilson (White Station), Josh McMillon (Whitehaven), DB – RaShaan Gaulden (Independence), Emmanuel Smith (Oakland), Ugo Amadi (Overton), Braden Schwardt (Hendersonville), Vic Wharton (Independence), Jimmy Keys (Southwind), Molefei Maat (Cordova), P – Corey Fatony (Franklin).
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 23 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including nine in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation at the Associated ...