|Polk leads pack of local All-Region 7-1A selections |
|Messenger Player of the Year Pat Polk heads a list of five Union City High School football players recently named to the all-region team from 7-1A. |
Four of the Tornadoes’ five honorees were seniors with quarterback Brett White, wide receiver Taylor Bruff and linebacker Darrin Dickerson joining Polk, who made the glitter unit as a running back. Junior safety Camron Sherwood represented UC’s fifth selection to the team.
South Fulton, which failed to win a region game for the second straight season, placed two players on the squad with receiver Corbin Hawks and linebacker Skylar Cherry — both juniors — receiving accolades.
League champion and Class 1A state runnerup McKenzie had the most selections for the squad — eight — and also boasted the overall region most valuable player in quarterback Derek Carr, who was a Mr. Football Back of the Year finalist.
Regional runnerup Bruceton, which put seven players on the team, boosted by the Offensive and Defensive MVPs in running back Chad Jordan and end Alex Matlock. Both were also Mr. Football finalists representing the Tiger program.
Gleason’s Noah Lampkins, who piloted the Bulldogs to their first winning season in 12 years and beat both Bruceton and Union City on the way to making the state playoffs, was named the 7-1A Coach of the Year.
The Tornadoes’ all-region contingent was led by Polk, who was his team’s leading rusher (881 yards), scorer (96 points), No. 2 receiver (21 catches, 282 yards) and accumulated over 1,600 all-purpose yards as a running back/receiver/kick returner.
Polk had two returns for touchdowns and also was in on 31 tackles with an interception on defense.
White earned his spot by throwing for 1,326 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing over 58 percent of his pass attempts (112-of-197) and also tacked on another 536 yards and nine scores rushing.
The sure-handed Bruff was steady all season, grabbing 27 aerials for 279 yards and a team-high six receiving TDs.
He was a two-way member and part of the UC secondary with 28 stops and a pick.
The trio was a big part of a Twister offense that averaged over 325 yards and 29 points-per-game.
Defensively, Dickerson and Sherwood were lauded from a Purple and Gold unit that admittedly struggled throughout the season while giving up 355 yards and 27 points on average each time out.
Still, Dickerson was often around the action, recording a team-best 77 tackles. Forty of those were solo stops, and he had six for lost yardage and four fumble recoveries.
Sherwood, despite missing considerable playing time with injuries, nonetheless was a bandit in the secondary with team-high three interceptions. He also was in on 42 total hits, 32 of the individual variety.
He also had 100 yards rushing for the season as a slot man and caught five passes.
A request for a comment from the UCHS coaching staff on the selections was not returned.
South Fulton’s delegates on the team will both return for their senior season next fall as part of Kelly Spivey’s first Red Devil squad.
Hawks had an average of nearly 22 yards-per-catch on each of his 18 grabs for SF with two of those going for touchdowns. He also tied for the team-lead in tackles with 51 and snagged one of only two interceptions for the Redmen.
Cherry, despite missing a good bit of time with injuries, was fourth on the Devil tackle chart with 44 hits. He doubled as a part-time fullback and had a touchdown among his 14 carries.
Union City’s Ben Woods was lauded as one of three managers of the year by a vote of league coaches.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.