TSSN’s Season-End Football Awards: Individual Performance Category

**This is the Second 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 second in a three part series of awards that will be released throughout this week as we transition from the gridiron to the hardwood.  These players 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 Big Hog® Trophy Award (Player of the Year), The Bull Rush® Trophy Award, Kicker of the Year Award and the Specialist of the Year Award.

The Big Hog Trophy® Award

Offensive Lineman of the Year

And The Winner Is…

img_7848Ishmael Avila

Marion County

Avila was voted to our preseason First Team All-Valley Squad, and rightfully so as he helped the Warriors to a Cookeville appearance for the third year in a row.  Avila really flourished over the summer to become an elite lineman in the Valley who can push most anybody around.  And when you’ve got Avila and some other key guys on the line, it’s easy to bust off for a 50-yard run.  And who doesn’t love those.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

13987984_1793622960880959_4349442235604689950_o-1Drew Daniels

South Pittsburg

Daniels may not have been voted a Mr. Football semifinalist like teammate Mitch Butner, but Daniels’ role on this team has been great.  Finishing off a regular season slate with nine straight wins means that thehy guys in the trenches have to be ready at all times to protect the ones who protect the rock.  Although these roles may seem minimum, if you’ve any success, you owe it to those guys in the trenches.

 The Bull Rush Trophy® Award

Defensive Lineman of the Year

And Your Winner Is…

IMG_9192John Higgins

Sequatchie County

John Higgins is a natural-born leader who pulled the Indians together, along with Hunter Davenport and Kyle Cates, as they made a semifinal run before running out of steam against Alcoa.  Higgins came back from injury in the offseason and wasn’t expected to play for at least a good part of the season, but he found himself in the trenches against South Pittsburg in week one, making a difference down low.  From that point on, Higgins has made a name for himself as he slashes knees and ask questions later.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

img_3250Corey Tucker

Marion County

A Preseason All-State Defensive Lineman, Tucker has made a difference on both sides of the trenches, but squeezing and powering past the offensive line is what he does best.  Tucker has flourished under first-year head coach Joey Mathis piling up bodies from the backfield in a hurry.  He was also voted onto our Preseason First Team All-Valley squad along with other Warrior teammates, but he has proven to not only be a First-Team player, but he’s shown enough ability to bring home some hardware.  Runner-Up’s not that bad, no is it?

The Vinatieri-Stephen Trophy® Award

And Your Winner Is…

13938465_1793644637545458_5164893391139673307_nGabe Boring

Bledsoe County

Boring has come with acclaim for years as he claimed All-State Punter and Kicker Status in Class 2A during the preseason and sweeping the preseason Valley accolades on that front as well.  Boring also won the Punting competition at the Sequatchie Valley Jamboree and came within a few feet of winning the field goal competition.  There’s not much that Boring can’t do on the kicking front as he’s sure to get some offers heading into the offseason.


And Your Runner-Up Is…

wisconsin-badgers-logo-sport-logonoid-com-dazx6e-clipartAustin Nunley


Just as impressive from the kicking tee, Nunley has really blossomed in the past year, claiming first-team status on our All-Valley team in the preseason.  Nunley has come in clutch for the Tigers, helping them to score points from farther out than most teams could dream of.  Tracy Malone walked into a great situation on special teams, but he’ll only have another season with the one-foot wonder that is Austin Nunley.  He’ll still have the competition of Boring as both are juniors this season.

The Hester Trophy® Award

Specialist of the Year

And Your Winner Is…

img_3329Jacob Saylors

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.

And Your Runner-Up Is…

13988065_1793644604212128_2225355093828432131_oJoseph Lilly

South Pittsburg

A name to be reckoned with all across the Valley, Lilly helped the Pirates to a Semifinals run while picking up an All-Valley 1st Team Nomination in the Preseason.  Lilly was also clocked as the fastest Skill player at the Sequatchie Valley Jamboree earlier this year.  And if you need someone to pull off the kickoff return on a whim, Lilly was your man, unless you lined up against him.

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


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