By Tim Chambers
The 2016 All Johnson-Carter football team is a Neapolitan flavor featuring Elizabethton, Happy Valley and Hampton as the key flavors. The Cyclones and Warriors reached the quarterfinals before suffering close losses to Alcoa and Austin East.
The Bulldogs were once again their steady self, finishing the season at 10-2. Cloudland and Johnson County logged nine players between them on the squad. Only one player was selected from Unaka.
Elizabethton’s Cory Russell was a unanimous choice for Player of the Year honors. The talented sophomore was involved in 36 touchdowns including 29 rushing. He ran for over 1400 yards averaging 8.1 yards per carry and threw for seven TDs.
Happy Valley’s Austin Hicks unanimously took the Defensive MVP award. The standout senior amassed 170 tackles, six sacks and four fumble recoveries. He also scored 14 touchdowns and ran for 840 yards of the offensive side.
Picking a top offensive player was nearly impossible. Hampton’s Adam McClain and Cloudland’s Noah Arnett posted unheard of numbers and for that reason will share the award.
McClain logged 2149 yards rushing and averaged 10.1 yards per carry. He scored 29 touchdowns and 22 two-point conversions. His 220 points were tops in the area.
Arnett was just as impressive in his first year as the main featured back. The senior set a school rushing record with 2313 yards. He scored 32 touchdowns and averaged 8.1 yards per carry. He finished the year with 202 points.
Elizabethton’s Johnny Ray Woodby and Cameron Coleman share Lineman of the Year honors. Woodby collected 61 tackles and four sacks despite being doubled team the entire year. He will definitely spend his Saturday’s play at the college level next season.
Coleman was Lineman of the Year for Region 3-A. He ended the year with 71 tackles and five sacks.
Happy Valley’s Dylan Street was a no-brainer for our All-Purpose MVP. Street logged 2,295 all-purpose yards including 24 touchdowns and one interception.
Elizabethton’s Shawn Witten and Happy Valley’s Jason Jarrett will share Coach of the Year honors after putting up nearly identical numbers.
Both coaches finished 11-2 and took their teams into the state’s quarterfinals.
Johnson County placed three players on the first team offense and one on the defensive side.
Nathan Arnold was selected as the team’s quarterback after putting up some impressive numbers despite playing in only 10 games. The 6’2 junior threw for 1631 yards completing 105-of-177 passes for a 59% completions rating. He tossed 13 touchdown passes and ran for five more. He also accounted for 311 yards rushing. Arnold will likely gather lots of looks if he puts up numbers next season like he did in 2016.
Elizabethton’s Connor Johnson and Johnson County’s Shane Greer proved to be two of the best receivers in Northeast Tennessee.
Johnson had 51 receptions for 1043 yards and 16 touchdowns in 13 games. Greer finished with 40 receptions for 840 yards and 10 TDs in 10 games. Both players averaged 21 yards per catch.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.