Another season of football is in the books, and 2006 was a tough year for the county. August Christian was the lone Columbia County team to make the state playoffs again. Evans, Greenbrier and Harlem had some nice moments, but all in all it was a disappointing season. Several players performed at a high level, though, and they are part of the 2006 Columbia County News-Times All-County Football Team.
First Team Offense
QB - Tyler Bourdo: Augusta Christian, 5-9, 150 lb., Jr.
In a run-first offense, Bourdo still managed to throw for more than 900 yards, and his 14 passing touchdowns were more than any other Columbia County quarterback.
RB - Freddie Jones: Greenbrier, 5-9, 175 lb., Sr.
Rushed for 1,111 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's being recruited by several NCAA Division I schools, including Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Charleston Southern, The Citadel and Presbyterian.
RB - Barry St. John: Harlem, 5-9, 180 lb., Sr.
St. John has put together back-to-back solid seasons for the Bulldogs and has drawn interest from Valdosta State and Shorter College.
RB - Kyle Meeks: Augusta Christian, 6-1, 210 lb., Sr.
Meeks was a workhorse for the Lions. He rushed for almost 1,300 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
WR - Jonathan Nicely: Evans, 6-4, 210 lb., Jr.
He caught 20 passes for 361 yards (18.1 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. He's a great college prospect.
WR - Tyrone Bonds: Greenbrier, 5-9, 170 lb., Sr.
Bonds caught 38 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns. Colleges that have expressed interest in him include The Citadel, Valdosta State, Presbyterian and Charleston Southern.
WR - Josh Whitaker: Augusta Christian, 6-2, 210 lb., Sr.
The Lions did not throw the ball as much this year, but Whitaker was their go-to man. He led the entire Augusta area with 10 touchdown receptions this season, but he'll play baseball at Kennesaw State.
TE - Dylan Turner: Greenbrier, 6-2, 245 lb., So.
Turner caught 14 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He's young, but he could become a Division I prospect.
OL - A.J. Ortiz: Harlem, 5-10, 267 lb., Sr.
Anchored the Bulldogs' line this season and has Valdosta State, Georgia Military College and West Georgia looking at him.
G - Cameron Deborde: Evans, 5-8, 185 lb., Sr.
He's undersized but has heart of a lion. Deborde graded out at 85 percent for the season.
C - J.C. Saul: Augusta Christian, 5-10, 210 lb., Jr.
Saul was solid all season for the Lions and will anchor the line once again in 2007.
T - Zach Cooper: Augusta Christian, 6-2, 215 lb., Jr.
Cooper was the Lions' top lineman this season, helping lead the way for one of the best ground attacks in South Carolina Independent Schools Association.
T - Bo Phillips: Augusta Christian, 6-3, 235 lb., Sr.
The lone senior on the Lions' starting line this season; he had a solid campaign and helped key Augusta Christian's run to the SCISA title game.
Athlete - Brendan Gray: Harlem, 5-9, 180 lb., Sr.
Gray is fun to watch. He played quarterback and running back and was a great defensive back. West Georgia, Shorter, Middle Tennessee State and Central Florida have expressed interest.
PK - Alden Fisher: Augusta Christian, 5-11, 165 lb., Sr.
Fisher came back from a preseason injury to give another solid performance on special teams.
P - Kevin Millward: Evans, 6-0, 212 lb., Jr.
He was a first team all-state punter last season and continued his solid punting with a 40.3 yards per punt average, and 27 of his 38 punts were returned for zero yards or less. He will be punting on Saturdays after next season.
First Team Defense
DL - Ryan Alford: Evans, 6-3, 225 lb., Sr.
Alford had 36.5 tackles and four sacks. He also caused two fumbles and recovered two more. He was definitely a fun player to watch.
DL - Jermel Bennett:Lakeside, 6-1, 230 lb., Sr.
Bennett is a fiery competitor with a great motor. He's a three-year starter for the Panthers.
DL - Clayton Adams: Augusta Christian, 6-1, 210 lb., Sr.
Adams has been a standout for the last two seasons for the Lions.
DL/LB - Rick Stahman: Greenbrier, 6-2, 220 lb., Sr.
He tallied 92 tackles, eight for losses, and four quarterback sacks.
LB - Jacob Gibbs: Evans, 6-1, 215 lb., Sr.
Gibbs led the Knights with 85 tackles. He also had two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
LB - Maurice Dorsey: Harlem, 6-0, 220 lb., Sr.
He was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs and is an excellent college prospect, with interest coming from Auburn, Middle Tennessee State, West Georgia and Valdosta State.
LB - Mike Leverett: Harlem, 6-0, 200 lb., Jr.
Leverett will be heavily recruited next season. He's a great athlete with tons of potential.
LB - Patrick Tynan: Lakeside, 6-0, 200 lb., Jr.
He was all over the place for the Panthers this season and is a old-school player.
LB - Kyle Golden: Evans, 6-1, 175 lb., Sr.
He's a great athlete with 55 tackles, three batted down passes and two recovered fumbles. He will likely play baseball on the college level.
CB - Trey Henderson: Evans, 5-10, 175 lb., Jr.
He had 23 tackles and three interceptions and was a great addition to the Knights' team. He was also a weapon on offense with six touchdowns.
CB - Will Wright: Augusta Christian, 5-10, 170 lb., Sr.
Wright had a terrific two-year run for the Lions. He's an absolute ball hawk on defense.
S - Taylor Hensley: Augusta Christian, 6-0, 190 lb., Sr.
Hensley is a big hitter on the Lions' defense. He's also an excellent baseball prospect.
S - John Arena: Lakeside, 5-10, 175 lb., Sr.
He's a complete team player and the heart and soul of the Panthers, the kind of kid you root for.
Evans: WB David Smith, DL Mykel Green, DB Taylor Hooven, OL/DL Michael Heredia, OL Chandler Sims
Greenbrier: QB Nick Richards, PK Tripper Mischel
Harlem: P/PK Kenji Link
Augusta Christian: LB Travis Cerasuolo, DB Josh McDaniel, FB Jay Harmon, DL Orrealus Harris, OL Zack Herzwurm, OL Chase Corbin
Coach of the Year
Bruce Lane, Augusta Christian
Coach Lane has quietly built a big-time program at Augusta Christian. He guided the Lions to the 2005 SCISA Class AAA state title, but this year's coaching job might have been better. The Lions lost All-Everything quarterback Lee Banks, defensive star Jordan Yates, wide receiver Nolan Belcher and several other key players from the state championship squad but battled back to the title game. The Lions finished 10-3 this season, with their only SCISA losses coming to state champion Hammond. Lane is a class act, and Augusta Christian could do a 50-year nationwide search and not find a better ambassador.
Player of the Year
Freddie Jones, Greenbrier
This choice was a no-brainer. Jones had a monster season. Greenbrier's preseason hype was all about throwing the ball. However, when you have a back like Jones, you have to get him the ball. He finished the season with 1,111 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for more than 200 yards and another score. Also, Jones played his best in the big games as he became the first player in the 16-year history of the Comcast Game of the Week to be named player of the game three times in one season. He also was unstoppable in Greenbrier's bragging rights' victories over Evans and Lakeside. He is being courted by more than a half-dozen schools and should have no trouble adjusting to college ball.
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