TSSN’s Season-End Football Awards: Overall Performance Catergory

**This is the First of a Four-Part Series of Season-End Awards**

As we look back on another marvelous football season in the Valley, there’s no question there are a few athletes we couldn’t have done it without, including our award winners below.

This article is the first in a three part series of awards that will be released throughout this week as we transition from the gridiron to the hardwood.  These payers have exemplified what it means to be an elite player from the Valley, and although these awards are completely fan-voted, we as a staff felt the represented the region on and off the field just as much.

Our Individual Position and Team-based awards will release on Tuesday and Wednesday along with our staff picks on Thursday.  But for now, we’ll release our winners for the Wigfall® Trophy Award (Player of the Year), ‘The Donnie’® Coach of the Year Award, Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Offensive Player of the Year Award.

The Wigfall Trophy® Award

And The Winner Is…

15205548_10210182655095711_243290295_oHunter Davenport

(Linebacker/Fullback, Sequatchie County)

The senior linebacker and fullback for the Indians has had a spectacular season, including several nominations ranging from the the region to the State.  A Mr. Football Runner-Up in the Lineman Category and a semifinalist in Back Category, Davenport showed his worth easily eclipsing 1,000 yards rushing this season on his way to a semifinal appearance in Dunlap against the State Champion Alcoa Tornadoes.  Davenport is a stand-up guy on both sides of the field and off of it with character to boot. He was a shoe-in for this award, but it was the fans that thought he made the cut.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

img_3202Jacob Saylors

(Running Back/Wide Reciever, Marion County)

Saylors has had an outstanding year making things happen on offense and blasting whoever lines up against the Warriors.  Also a kickoff returner, Saylors can plug and play into several facets of the game, giving him a versatility unparalleled by most in the region.  Saylors was a dark horse for the award early in the season, but as time went on, Saylors name kept popping up in the stats consistently.  And those stats were not small by any measure.  Saylors, much like his teammates, is an athlete with a lot of character, thus why he was nominated for the award.


Coach of the Year Award

And Your Winner Is…

img_3212Joey Mathis

Marion County

As a first-year head coach, Joey Mathis took over the reigns of an extremely elite program that had little trouble with their title run in Class 2A.  Mathis is a man very much behind the scenes who was promoted to head coach when Ricky Ross left for McCallie in the offseason.  He even admits he forgot he was the head coach on the first day of spring practice when waiting for the head coach to speak.  He may have stepped into a goldmine of a situation with two Mr. Football finalists on defense, but Mathis is a coach the community wanted, and they were not let down at all with their third state title run in as many years.  Mathis is also up for a State-Wide Coach of the Year Award for efforts in his first head coaching tenure at any school.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

Timg_8565racy Malone


Malone filled in for R.C. Helton who resigned after the 2015 season, but he may bring stability to a program that has not a very storied history in relation to the other Valley schools.  Feilding a very young team, Malone helped led the Tigers to the second round for the second consecutive season, and nearly landed them in the quarterfinals with a close loss to Columbia Academy.  This season’s record for Malone was not the best, but he was faced with a slate of extremely tough teams from higher classifications outside of their region.

Defensive Player of the Year Award

And Your Winner Is…

img_3024Alex Kirkendoll

Linebacker, Marion County

A semifinalist last season and a winner this year in the Mr. Football awards, Kirkendoll has been an integral part of the Marion County defense:  their bread and butter.  Although there are solid and effective pieces around him, Kirkendoll continues to impress folks at the next level with his domination in the trenches and outside the tackles.  Accumulating 10 tackles in the Title Game, Kirkendoll has three years of Varsity experience and will leave a huge hole in the Marion County defense in years to come.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

12180761_10206991466757997_45844668_o-e1445662893506-1000x658Kyle Cates

Linebacker, Sequatchie County

Cates has a lineage of great players in his family that came before him, but he’s came past that pressure to be apart of Sequatchie County’s One-Two Defensive punch as the Indians set out on a 13-1 season.  With experience on both sides of the ball, Cates goes where he’s needed, whether that be on the defensive side slashing ball-carriers and taking names or catching a pass down the middle as a tight-end,  Cate has shown his worth across the field, especially on the defensive side of things.

Offensive Player of the Year

And Your Winner Is…

img_3427Hunter McClain

Fullback/Linebacker, Marion County

McClain has been an integral part of the Marion County machine that made it to Cookeville this season, but he has been a playmaker for several of his playing years.  Capping his career off with a touchdown in the State Title game is something to remember, but so is his Mr. Football Finalist career where only one player trumped him, teammate Alex Kirkendoll.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

14556643_653363841512349_9184420919261168572_oEthan Barker

Quarterback, Sequatchie County

When he’s been needed this season, Ethan Barker has made the play or at least gave it to someone who could.  And although his rushing statistics are impressive, late in the season Barker was throwing with pinpoint accuracy to targets like Hunter Davenport, Austin Stevens, and the occasional Alec Hudson or Adam Pickett downfield.  With another year to go in Dunlap, Barker is sure to shred defenses while keeping them on edge with his dual-threat status.

Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter@RCS_Chandler!


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