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Brown: All-Columbia County football team revealed

Posted: December 12, 2017 - 3:59pm  |  Updated: December 12, 2017 - 5:03pm
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Evans quarterback Damekus Taylor is the Columbia County Player of the Year after recording 44 total touchdowns and pacing the Knights' high-powered offense. Chris Gay/Staff
Evans quarterback Damekus Taylor is the Columbia County Player of the Year after recording 44 total touchdowns and pacing the Knights' high-powered offense. Chris Gay/Staff

The 2017 football season was great in many ways. First, we had five of our seven teams earn postseason berths. Also, several teams and players posted record-breaking seasons and performances. While that is great for fans and even those who cover our teams, it does make the task of compiling an All-County Team extremely difficult. For example, there are six running backs who would easily be first team All-County selections in almost any other season. So, I was not looking forward to trimming this excellent group down to a first and second team.

Here is the All-Columbia County Football Team:

Coach of the Year: Lem Lackey (Evans)

This was not a complete runaway. Todd Booker did an excellent job at Harlem, while Damien Postell replaced 33 graduating seniors, but still managed to earn a home playoff spot and pick up the school's first playoff victory. However, it was impossible to ignore what Evans accomplished this season. The Knights were among the highest-scoring teams in the entire state, averaging 43.6 points per contest. They scored 42 or more points in 10 of their 12 games and finished with 523 points, a record that might stand for quite some time. The Knights did this despite having a bit of an undersized offensive line and a quarterback starting on the varsity for the first time. Evans won the region with an unblemished mark and scored 69 points in their opening round playoff win over Drew.

Offensive Player of the Year: Corey Watkins (Sr., Evans)

Watkins combined with Damekus Taylor to form an excellent 1-2 punch for the Knights. He has game-breaking speed and was a threat to take it to the house every time he touched the ball. In the season, he rushed for 1,434 yards and 19 touchdowns on 193 carries. He also averaged 28.2 yards per kickoff return and 14.1 yards on punt returns with a pair of return TDs. He also chipped in on defense with 34 tackles and 2 interceptions, taking one back for a score. Has committed to Furman.

Defensive Player of the Year: Greggory Rodgers (Sr., Grovetown)

"Rhino" led the area with 146 tackles. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound standout had 14 or more tackles six times, including a season-high 19 tackles versus Evans. He has offers from Florida Tech, Millsap College, Cumberland University and Culver-Stockton College. Rodgers will also play for Team Georgia in Border Bowl V next month. Compiled an impressive 309 tackles over the last three seasons.

Columbia County Player of the Year: Damekus Taylor (Jr., Evans)

In most seasons, more than a half-dozen players in the county put up numbers worthy of Player of the Year consideration. However, because of Damekus Taylor, this was not one of those seasons. In my opinion, Taylor made this an easy choice. He transferred in from Thomson this off-season and became a starter for the first time in his prep career. Well, he ran the Evans offense with the poise of a seasoned veteran, guiding the Knights to 523 points, a region title and a spot in Class AAAAAA's Final 16 teams. Along the way Taylor put up astonishing numbers, including an area-best 44 total touchdowns.

First Team Offense

QB Damekus Taylor (Jr., Evans) This was one of the few easy choices. Taylor, in his first season as a varsity starter, threw for more than 1,400 yards and 15 TDs. He also ran for more than 1,400 yards and 29 more scores. The 44 total TDs is a county record.

Athlete Corey Watkins (Sr., Evans) Watkins turned in a sensational 2017. He amassed 1,434 yards on the ground, with 19 TDs. He also had a punt return, kickoff return and interception return for scores. He has committed to Furman.

RB A.J. Brown (Jr. Harlem) Do not let his 5-foot-8, 165-pound frame fool you. Brown is a beast with the ball in his hands. This season, he rambled his way to 1,570 yards and 19 TDs on the ground. He has been selected to play for Team USA in the International Bowl.

RB D'Angelo Durham (Sr., Grovetown) Came on strong late in the season. Finished with 1,109 yards and 19 scores on the ground. First team All-Region selection who will play in Border Bowl V.

RB JQ Brown (Jr., Greenbrier) Rushed for more than 100 yards in nine of 10 games this season. Brown recorded 20 rushing TDs and finished with 1,422 yards on the ground. First team All-Region.

WR Parker Wingard (Sr., Augusta Christian) Set school record and led county with 52 receptions for 761 yards and 6 TDs. Served as kicker, making 23 of 26 extra points and all five of his FG attempts. Also, averaged nearly 25 yards on kickoff returns.

WR Graham Tulowitzky (Sr. Lakeside) Caught 40 passes for more than 600 yards and six TDs. Was selected first team All-Region. Also, a standout in lacrosse for the Panthers.

WR Braxton Wharton (Sr. Grovetown) Broke school records with 614 yards and five touchdowns on 34 catches. First team All-Region selection.

OL Waylin Bell (Sr., Harlem) The 6-foot-3, 295-pound Bell was all-region and all-area for three consecutive years. Has been selected to play in Border Bowl V.

OL Sam Knight (Sr., Evans) Team leader for a Knights offense that set a school record with 43.6 points per contest. Excellent footwork.

OL Gray Nichols (Sr., Evans) All-region choice and co-captain of offense. Transferred from Lakeside this season and stabilized the Evans offensive line and helped open holes for one of the highest-scoring teams in Georgia.

OL Eric Chatman (Sr., Greenbrier) The 6-foot-3, 300-pound standout has nearly a half-dozen scholarship offers. First team, all-region and picked to play for Team Georgia in Border Bowl V.

OL Zach Demchak (Sr., Grovetown) Anchored the Warriors offensive line and served as a team captain.

OL Wyatt Jonske (Sr., Lakeside) Graded out at 95 percent on the season. Zero bad snaps from his center position. Three-year starter who is also an excellent student.

Kicker Max Tyler (Sr., Evans) Made 64 of 67 PATs and 8 of 11 FGs on the season with a long of 49 yards. Also posted an astonishing 64 touchbacks on 82. Top kicker in the entire area this season and among the strongest legs in county history.

First Team Defense

DL Coby Germany (Sr., Evans) Has committed to Mercer. 52 total tackles and 14 tackles for loss. First team All Region and a steal for Mercer.

DL Cornelius McCord (Sr., Grovetown) 6′0″, 275 lbs. Served as the anchor for the Warriors defense and had 45 tackles on the season.

DL Hinson Fowler (Sr., Augusta Prep) 6′3″, 275 lbs. Has one of the best motors I saw all season. Four-year starter who tore his ACL late in the season, which hurt Augusta Prep's postseason run.

DL Carlos Carter (Sr., Lakeside) 6′0″, 260 lbs. Posted 60 tackles and 16 tackles for loss. Was impossible to block one-on-one. First Team All-Region.

DL Tarael Hooks (Sr., Greenbrier) 6′0″, 235 lbs. Team Captain and Second Team All-Region.

LB Jonathan Cole (Sr., Greenbrier) First Team All-Region choice and leading tackler for the Pack. Also, an excellent return man.

LB D.J. Lewis (Sr., Evans) Led Evans with 103 tackles, including 64 solo stops. First Team All-Region Pick and has committed to Limestone.

LB Gregg Rodgers (Sr., Groveotwn) Led the area with 146 tackles. Has nearly a half-dozen college offers and will play in Border Bowl V. First Team All-Region.

LB Shamar Cofield (Sr., Grovetown) Finished second on the team with 94 tackles. Also rushed for nearly 500 yards and 7 TDs. Accepted a spot as a preferred walk-on at UNC-Charlotte.

LB Triston Williams (Sr., Harlem) Led the Bulldogs with 112 tackles on the season. First Team All-Region in Region 4-AA. Extremely physical.

DB Dedrick Holmes (Jr., Evans) Led the county and region with 10 interceptions. Also had 49 tackles and was First Team All-Region. Getting looks from Division I schools.

DB B.J. Stone (Sr., Augusta Prep) Solid at defensive back, picking off two passes. Also, rushed for a county-best 1,650 yards and 18 TDs. First Team All-State and Augusta Chronicle Independent School Player of the Year.

DB Myles Jackson (Jr., Grovetown) Led team with 5 interceptions. Getting looks from Cincinnati, UGA and East Carolina. 64 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Big-time hitter.

DB Tayquan Tucker (Sr., Harlem) Excellent one-on-one cover skills. Had a team-high 5 interceptions. First Team All-Region.

DB Derrick Canteen (Jr., Evans) Got better as season went on. Had 43 tackles and 4 interceptions. Was named Second Team All-Region.

Athlete Jahmar Bingham (Sr. Grovetown) Super all-around athlete. Turned Grovetown's season around when he took over at QB. Accounted for nearly 1,200 yards of offense and 11 TDs in 8 games as starter. On defense, broke up 5 passes and had 2 interceptions. Has multiple scholarship offers.

Punter Jeremy Glidewell (Soph., Harlem) Maxpreps Freshman All-American Punter in 2016. Averaged 40.1 yards per punt this season. Also, made 40 of 43 PATs.

Second Team Offense

QB Hayden Harrison (Sr., Greenbrier)

RB Cameron Garnett (Fr., Harlem)

WR Breshawn Willis (Sr., Evans)

WR Will Dorn (Sr., Augusta Prep)

WR/TE Connor Warren (Sr., Evans)

OL Michael Staples (Sr. Evans)

OL Stone Shugarts (Jr., Greenbrier)

OL Trejen Graham (Jr., Grovetown)

OL Dequan Dorsey (Jr., Harlem)

OL Jay Waters (Jr., Lakeside)

OL James Garnett (Sr., Augusta Prep)

Kicker Donavan McLean (Sr., Grovetown)

Second Team Defense

DL Ben Prescott (Sr., Evans)

DL Kyle Bryant (Jr., Grovetown)

DL Simeon Barrow (Soph., Grovetown)

DL Jarrod Harris (Sr., Harlem)

DL Zachary Wade (Jr., Lakeside)

LB John Arneman (Soph., Lakeside)

LB Zack Pye (Jr., Lakeside)

LB Charlie Azbell (Sr. Greenbrier)

LB Bryce Atchison (Jr., Greenbrier)

LB Brendan Maddox (Sr., Harlem)

DB Phenix Jenkins (Sr., Evans)

DB Jonathan Hogan (Jr., Grovetown)

DB Justin Franklin (Jr., Lakeside)

DB Cameron Jackson (Sr., Lakeside)

DB Jamir Malone Jr., (Grovetown)

Honorable Mention

Augusta Christian: Sam Roberson, Alex Cornette, Ernest D'Antignac, Chase Beale

Augusta Prep: Palmer Bachelder, Glen Owen

Evans: Shalaan Price, Nathan Clem, Joe Fran Star Graham, Jayden Simpkins, Christian Rodriguez

Greenbrier: John Waters, Levi Lloyd, Ayden Panzella, Jaden Smith, Knox Smith, Coleman Fleming

Grovetown: Ben Butler, Taylor Youngblood, Lamar Price, Jelani Shakir, Manny Bryson, Jermarvien Fraley, Jeremiah Williams, Latrell Walker

Harlem: Jody Cooper, Cail Dixon, Logan Etterle, Kevin Jones, Kelvin Burns, Joe Odom

Lakeside: Will Childers, Jamal Benjamin, Kyler Worthington

 

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