2008 All County team announced

Published 7:23 pm Thursday, November 27, 2008

Straughn led the way to a successful football season this year, making its presence known by winning seven straight games and making it to the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

The Tigers help make up nine out of the 24 players on the 2008 Andalusia Star-News All County Football team.

Coach of the Year

Trent Taylor, Straughn

Tigers head coach Trent Taylor is this year’s Coach of the Year.

Taylor’s Tigers (8-3, 5-2 in Class 3A, Region 1) entered the Class 3A playoffs in the first round to play Slocomb, but were defeated. They were one of only two county teams to advance to the playoffs this year — Opp was the other.

Taylor said he is honored to be the Coach of the Year and that he is “fortunate” to have the right kind of coaching staff helping him along the way.

“Football is a little bit of a different game,” Taylor said. “The head coach is only as good as his assistants to be quite honest. I’m just real fortunate to have some real good guys to work with.”

Taylor added that no matter how the season is going, the workload is the same.

“Nothing changes, you work as hard on the years when you’re struggling a little bit as you do on the years when you’re doing good,” he said. “You have to have players to be successful no doubt about it. I think really and truly as far as that kind of stuff is concerned … Coach (Ray) Wilson, Coach (William) Wall and Coach (John) Fussell. Those guys, they do as much coaching as I do. In football, one guy can’t do it all.”

The runner up Coach of the Year is Jack Whigham of Opp.

Player of the Year

Ryne Taylor, Straughn

Tigers quarterback Ryne Taylor, this year’s Player of the Year on the All-County team, was 121-for-213 passing for 1,673 yards this season. Taylor had 15 touchdown passes and had an average of 152.1 passing yards per game.

Taylor said there are also many other athletes that could be considered as well.

“I’m surprised,” Taylor said. “To me, there are several athletes in Covington County like Nico (Johnson), you’ve got the Scarborough kid from Opp and especially C.J. Richardson. I’m surprised and very happy.”

Taylor said at the beginning of the season, the team set some goals going into the mix.

“We set some goals early in the season,” he said. “One of the main things was to improve. I think we obviously reached that goal. Everybody’s dream at the beginning of the season is to play at the state championship.

“Of course only two teams can, out of each division. One of our goals was to beat Andalusia, to improve and I think all the seniors kind of wanted to let everybody know what Straughn was really all about. Over the past few years, that has kind of slipped away and we wanted to make sure to get it back on track.”

The runner up is Andalusia’s Nico Johnson.

On the offensive side of the ball, Straughn makes up four slots out of 11 on the team.

Straughn’s Ryne Taylor at quarterback — Taylor was 121-for-213 for 1,673 yards, threw 15 touchdown passes for an average of 152.1 yards per game.

Andalusia’s C.J. Richardson, running back — Richardson had 129 carries for 982 yards, five touchdowns and made six receptions for 614 yards and one touchdown.

Opp’s Richard Davis, running back — Davis ran for 1,008 yards and scored 14 touchdowns.

Straughn’s Trae Bowen, tight end — Bowen made 19 receptions for 253 yards, averaged 13.3 yards per catch and 25.3 yards per game.

Straughn’s Chase Parker, Opp’s Garrett Grider, Andalusia’s Jeffrey Moore and Straughn’s Jayme Dubose make up the offensive line.

Florala’s Shane Taunton, wide receiver — Taunton had 19 receptions for 405 yards and one touchdown.

Red Level’s D.J. Sankey, wide receiver.

Straughn’s Jakim Felton, wide receiver — Felton had 36 receptions for 462 yards and seven touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Andalusia’s Nico Johnson takes the top spot for the linebackers’ position.

Johnson had 78 tackles, 32 assists, one fumble recovery, one blocked punt and 11 interceptions.

Opp’s Chris Carlton and Straughn’s Eric Samuel take the No. 2 and 3 spots in the linebacker position.

Carlton had 119 tackles and one interception.

Florala’s Evan Robbins, Straughn’s Jerrod James, Opp’s David Bromlee and Andalusia’s Chris Kelley make up the defensive line.

Pleasant Home’s Ethan King, Straughn’s C.J. Christopher, Opp’s Erwin Spears and Andalusia’s O’Brien Curry fill the defensive back positions on the team.

Spears had 49 tackles and two interceptions on the year and Curry had 22 tackles and 10 assists.

The punter is Straughn’s Cole Armstrong and kicker is Andalusia’s Gillis Jones.

The All-County team was compiled by Star-News sports editor Andrew Garner. Each of the six county coaches were invited to nominate players to the team.