Cleaning house… Cyclones dominate Region 1-4A All-Conference team

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, December 12, 2019

With the way the Elizabethton Cyclones dominated the regular-season and playoffs on their way to the 2019 BlueCross Bowl Class 4-A Championship, it wasn’t much of a surprise when the Region 1-4A All-Conference team was announced that the Cyclones continued that domination.
Conference coaches didn’t have to scratch their heads too much on picking many of the top awards for the 2019 season.
It all started with the Player of the Year award which was given to sophomore quarterback Bryson Rollins. Rollins was a field general that wasn’t afraid to do it with his feet or his arm.
After settling in at the QB position after the Science Hill game, Rollins guided his team to a perfect 15-0 record and capped it off with being named the MVP of the state title game.
Senior Cade Maupin, who transferred to Elizabethton at the first of the season from Dobyns-Bennett, was selected as the Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Maupin who was thought in line to take over the QB role when he arrived soon transitioned to the role of a bruising running back that turned on the jets when he cleared the line of scrimmage.
In his one season with the  Cyclones, Maupin rushed for well over 1,000 yards in helping lead the team offensively to the state title.
On the defensive side of the football, there wasn’t a presence more dominating than junior linebacker Deuce Morton who was selected the Defensive Player of the Year.
Morton, coming off an individual state wrestling title from 2018, was a not only a vocal leader but also a leading tackler in almost every game the Cyclones played this season.
A physical player, Morton wasn’t afraid to take on any runner, receiver or quarterback that was in his area and left his mark with every hit.
The Athlete of the Year went to junior wide receiver Parker Hughes who played wide receiver and free safety for the Cyclones this season.
Hughes presented a problem for opposing offensive and defensive coordinators as on offense with any 50-50 ball thrown his way, Hughes wasn’t going to be denied and once the catch was made Hughes was a terror to bring down.
On defense, many coaches opted to throw away from the sure-handed defender.
Senior defensive tackle Joseph Kechter was pegged as the Defensive Lineman of the Year for Region 1-4A. Kechter was like a ship’s anchor as opposing offenses couldn’t do much in the way of handling Kechter who not only solidified the line but took on the role of teacher and leader to the front defensive unit this season.
Placekicker Jaxton Holly was tabbed the Specialist of the Year for the region. Holly will forever be remembered for booting a long field goal as time was expiring to defeat Greeneville in the regular season.
Holly was solid all season in all aspects of his kicking game from extra points, field goals, and kickoffs.
Coach Shawn Witten who was responsible for taking all the pieces of the 2019 Cyclone team and putting the puzzle together that led to the state championship was named the Region 1-4A Coach of the Year adding to his growing list of accolades for the season.
Witten who completed his 13th season at the helm of the football program has come close several times to reach the state title game but did his best job yet in getting his multi-talented team to pull together and take Northeast Tennessee by storm on their way to the championship.
The All-Conference team from Elizabethton includes TE Remington Tyree, OT Cole Morganstern, OG Wes Erwin, DE Zach A. Hartley, WR Zach C. Hartley, C Colby Garland, OG Owen Slagle, DE Carson Stresemann, OT Conner Johnson, and LB Jordan Haynes.

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