Carter County athletes receive top conference honors

Published 3:32 pm Monday, November 12, 2018

For 2018, three Carter County athletes landed at the top of the conference awards list.

The Mountain East Conference recently named Happy Valley’s Dakota Cochran as its Player of the Year.

Happy Valley’s Michael Harrah was selected as the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year, while Hampton’s Logan Spake received the Lineman of the Year nod.

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For Cochran, a senior,  it was a year of changes as he moved from the running back position into the quarterback spot, from where he helped give the Warriors a late-season spark as they battled to take a share of the conference crown. Offensively, Cochran provided the Warriors with 982 total offensive yards while scoring 90 points which included two passing TDs. On defense, Cochran, who was the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year, had 154 tackles, ten tackles for loss, eight sacks, four interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

“Dakota is a special football player, and he has been for four years here,” said Happy Valley head coach Jason Jarrett. “He has really got to shine these past two years. He is a great athlete and linebacker. He is a special kid. Even though he is a great football player, he is just as good as an individual. That is a credit to the moral and values that he possesses.”

While Cochran was wreaking havoc on defenses and offenses, Harrah, the Warriors kicker, was helping HV flip the field and keep opponents pinned deep. In 2018, Harrah had 18 touchbacks on kickoffs while averaging 33.3 yards per punt. The senior kicker also booted through 23-of-26 point-after attempts. He also registered a 42-yard field goal this season.

“Anytime you have a guy that can flip the field position, that is definitely a key weapon,” said Jarrett about Harrah, who came into his senior season as a top-rated punter. “Special teams is a third of the game. We really strive to be the best that we can in that. We spend a lot of time on the execution of special teams.

“Michael helped us force teams to drive 80 yards instead of 40 or 50 yards,” added Jarrett. “That really helped our defense out a lot. With 18 touchbacks, that really gave them a long field to try to put points on the board.”

Playing both sides of the ball, Spake played a key role for the Bulldogs offensively and defensively. Blockers like Spake, allowed Hampton running back Lane Potter record over 1,000 yards rushing in 2018, said Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford.

“Well he was a kid that for two years never missed a day in the weight room,” said Lunsford. “He is just a super hard worker. Did whatever you told him. He played with reckless abandonment. He went hard all the time. Those big guys on the inside never get the recognition that the need and Spake did a really good of doing his job all of the time.”

Other Awards

Coach of the Year: Scotty Verran, South Greene

Offensive Player of the Year: Levi Myers, South Greene

Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Eduardo Gonzalez, Cosby; Damien Starnes, South Greene

First Team All-Conference:
South Greene: Nick Hopson, Jake Lawing, Tristian Biddy, Caleb Parkins, Chase Carter,
Tanner Dyer, Ethan Heater, Christian Craddock
Hampton: Alex Hardin, Lane Potter, Andrew Carden, Manpreet Kohli, Caleb Oaks,
Isiah Greenwell, Caleb McKinney, Hayden Birchfield
Happy Valley: Luke Naylor, Josh Hyatt, Luke Roberts, Cameron Slone, Dylan McKeehan, Bart Wilson, Matthew Lawson, Blake Young
Sullivan North: Yancy Dolan, Zach Scott, Kyle Fields, Tyler Fugate
Cosby: Hunter Workman

Second Team All-Conference:
South Greene: Hunter Buss, Payton Tweed, Luke Myers, John Summers, Kyle Ofeldt, Trevor Heater, Corey Houser, Spanky Gilliam

Hampton: Aiden Vines, Conor Jones, R.D. Ward, Matt Hughes, Jonah Jones, Macon Barden,
McKinley Kuhn

Happy Valley: Jordan Campbell, Kamden Richardson, Will Tittle, Andrew Little, Drew Turner
Bryce Carter, Gabe Nickles, Eli Ayers, Noah Stevens
Sullivan North: Zeb Winters, Tyler Bowman, Austin Adams, Vance Rupe, Jacob Bolling
Cosby: Ethan Shults, Tony Shults, Steven Freshour, Chase Williamson, Treston Packwood