Alba-Golden and Quitman each had players named to the District 10-3A DII post season honor team. Quitman’s Justin Blalock received one of the superlative slots as Newcomer of the Year.
Alba-Golden’s talented and versatile quarterback Zane Smith was named as the first team quarterback. Smith ran for 263 yards, threw for over 1,000 yards and booted nine point-after kicks. He scored seven times and threw for 10 more. He also added three interceptions on defense. Also named to the first team as a lineman was Quitman’s tough and talented Hunter Gilbreath, who rarely left the field while playing on both sides of the ball and special teams. Ryan Jackson of Alba-Golden made the first team defensive line.
Alba-Golden’s Head Coach Derek Smith was pleased with the Panthers representation. “Thought by the number of All-District accolades we got as a team that AG received a lot of respect from the other district coaches, “ Smith observed. “I thought that Zane for first-team QB and Ryan for first-team defensive end were very deserving, along with the other second team players who were selected. As you can tell, with the exception of Zane, Dylan, and Zach Ferguson everyone will be back next year which also excites me. So future looks good!”
The Panthers Zack Ferguson and Quitman’s Hugo Ramirez were named to the Special Teams Player of the Year. Quitman’s Trey Berry and Panther Jon Michael Chadwick were named Utility Players of the Year. The versatile Berry rushed for over 1,100 yards and had a 336 yard rushing game while scoring nine touchdowns. He also punted and played defense when needed.
On the second team for the Panthers were fullback Boedie Baker, receiver Tim Mitchell, offensive linemen Jacob Daily and Dylan Arenas. For Quitman, second team defensive honors went to Quitman’s Dylan Coe as a defensive back and David Tarno made the team as a lineman.
Honorable Mention spots for Alba-Golden went to Shawn Gaskill, Chris Chabaud, Braden Reynolds, Zack Kellis, Michael Gaskill, Kyle Hammond and Justin Raymond. Quitman Bulldogs earning Honorable Mention were River Chaney, Gavin Derryberry, Luke Pruden and Riley Flanagan.
Earning Academic All district status for Quitman were Justin Blalock, Hunter Batchelder, River Chaney, Riley Flanagan, Ty Holland, Josh Medlin, Brayden Miller, Gavin Oakes and Bryan Morris.
Quitman Coach Bryan Oakes was pleased with the Bulldog picks. “Overall, I am pleased by the Quitman Bulldogs selections for the 10-AAA all-district football team. I think, for the most part, our guys received the awards they were deserving of. I think it shows where the program is headed and what the student-athletes are able to accomplish by working hard and buying into the program,” Oakes commented. “I am extremely proud of senior offensive lineman #77 Justin Blalock being named Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year. He was asked to play on the junior varsity as a junior in order to refine his skill set and accepted this role without hesitation. This, in turn, was instrumental in the success we saw in the running game this year. I also think it is a testament to what type of young man he is and am so appreciative of his work ethic. I expect to see greater improvement in terms of success and the names that will be listed next year.”