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Accolades handed out in Region 1-1A football

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com 
In what is believed to be one of the most challenging football seasons ever as every team had to deal with a worldwide pandemic, the football season somehow managed to play out and now awards are being handed out to the season’s superlatives.

Recently, the coaches in Region 1 1-A acknowledged those who earned awards for their play in the 2020 season.

The Player of the Year award was presented to Cloudland’s Seth Birchfield. The back accounted for nearly 1,500 yards rushing and over 20 touchdowns on the season in leading Cloudland to the second round of the playoffs.

The Offensive Player of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year awards were presented to another standout Highlander in Eli Presswood who was an anchor on both sides of the football for Coach Scott Potter’s team.

Offensive Back of the Year went to Jellico’s Joseph Paul. Paul had 2,067 passing yards, 400 rushing yards, and accounted for 31 touchdowns on the season.

Unaka had the Defensive Back of the Year in Devin Ramsey. Ramsey had 56 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, and three fumble recoveries.

Cloudland’s Elijah Blair was tabbed as the Linebacker of the Year for the 2020 season.

The Wide Receiver of the Year was presented to Jellico’s Jordan King who recorded 63 receptions for 1,092 yards and 15 total touchdowns.

Unaka’s Daniel Shearl was honored as the All-Purpose Back of the Year. Shearl averaged 174.3 yards per game, had 50 tackles, two tackles for loss, three interceptions, nine passes broken up, and eight touchdowns.

Special Teams Player of the Year was given to Jellico’s Jason Kennedy.

The Coach of the Year was Unaka’s O’Brien Bennett and staff – Jake Jones, Brayden Buckles, and Mike Wallace.

The following players were honored with All-Conference recognition:

All-Conference Team
Cloudland: Bentley Gilbert, Caleb Sluder, Coy Laney, Chase Shell, Landon Johnson, Gage McKinney, and Maverick Simerly.
Unaka: Nathaniel Oaks, Colby Jones, Jordan Day, Drew Smith, Landon Ramsey, and Jamol Blamo.
Jellico: Carter Bolton, Kade Evans, John Paul, Alex Baird, and Trey Jefferson.
Hancock County: Devon Blevins, Tyler Gibson, and Brady Johnson.