Cloudland and Unaka dominate Region 1 1A Football Awards

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Region 1 1A  Awards for the 2023 football season highlighted a commendable showcase of talent from Cloudland and Unaka high schools, with both securing numerous accolades.

At Cloudland, Auston Caraway stood out as Defensive Player of the Year, showcasing remarkable stats including 129 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, and two defensive touchdowns. Meanwhile, Kyle Birchfield claimed Offensive Back of the Year with an impressive record of 1,431 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. Grayson Cole, a standout freshman from Cloudland, earned Freshman of the Year honors with 775 yards, nine touchdowns, 31 tackles, and two interceptions.

Unaka also shone bright in the awards, boasting Marcus Shomaker as Offensive Lineman of the Year and Isaiah White as Receiver of the Year. White displayed his prowess with 43 receptions, 663 yards, 1035 all-purpose yards, and six touchdowns.

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The top accolade of Region MVP was bestowed upon Tray Jefferson from Jellico, who demonstrated exceptional versatility and contribution across various facets of the game.

Additional awards in the region included Offensive Player of the Year going to Caden Rose from Jellico and honors for defensive positions such as Jake Duffy as Defensive Back of the Year from North Greene, Chase Joyce as Defensive Lineman of the Year from Cosby, and Samuel Proffitt as Linebacker of the Year, also from Jellico.

The Special Teams Player of the Year title went to Colton Robbins from North Greene for his contributions, including three blocked punts and two touchdowns, while Diego Martinez from Jellico clinched the Specialist of the Year for his impressive accuracy in PATs and a 32-yard field goal.

Recognizing an all-around player, Josh Collins from Hancock County earned the Athlete title, showcasing 1,038 all-purpose yards, 87 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and multiple touchdowns across various game scenarios.

Brent Peel from Jellico was honored with the Coach of the Year award for his exceptional leadership and guidance throughout the season.

Cloudland’s players named to the All-Region team included Jacob Stinnett, Silas Burleson, Bryce Birchfield, Camden Peppers, Walker Gouge, Noah Young, Tristen Hoss, and Kingston Cole, while Unaka’s selections featured Tyler Smith, Micah Gray, Brynin Repass, Conner McKinney, and Jake Taylor. Both schools celebrated the academic prowess of their athletes with Cloudland’s Landon Barnett and Unaka’s Dylan Davidson earning Academic Scholar Athlete honors.