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No sequel in works for Rebels’ fab four

No sequel in works for Rebels’ fab four
Unfortunately, for Obion Central head football coach Shawn Jackson, his “Fantastic Four” of All-Region 7-3A players will not be getting together for a sequel.
A trio of Rebel seniors and one junior were selected recently by a vote of coaches to the league’s postseason glitter unit.
Senior defensive lineman Austin Hopper and junior wide receiver Patrick Haskins head that list on the 7-3A first team. Wide receiver Hunter Calhoun and quarterback Jackson Yeager — both seniors — were selected to the league’s second team.
And while having four All-Region performers from his squad is a delight to Jackson, the OC mentor wishes he could’ve had another chance with the seniors.
“I wish that I would’ve had these seniors their whole careers,” Jackson said. “I know things would have been different, but they did lay a foundation for our program for the future and I’m proud of that.”
One of those seniors who helped in what Jackson claimed was the groundwork for turning around the Central program, which was winless the past two seasons, was Austin Hopper.
Hopper began the season playing on both sides of the pigskin, but after OC’s fourth game, he was put exclusively on the defensive line.
All totaled, Hopper, a 6-foot-4, 255-pounder made 41 tackles, recorded a sack and forced a fumble en route to claiming a spot on the All-Region team.
“I wish I had one more year with him,” Jackson said. “He’s a tough and physical kid who hurt his shoulder against Dyersburg, but he never missed a down. Not everyone was aware of that, but he also played the last game of the season with strep throat and he turned in his usual numbers despite being sick.”
Joining Hopper as a first team selection is the only All-Region Rebel set to return next season.
Jackson expects Haskins to move to quarterback next season, but he thrived as a wideout in 2008. All totaled, the 6-foot junior made 53 catches for a total of 927 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also threw for one touchdown and he ran for an additional six-pointer.
“Patrick had one of the best years of any high school player I’ve ever coached,” Jackson said. “It is unbelievable what he did last season. He is really dedicated to the team and easy to work with from a coach’s standpoint.”
Calhoun, who made the All-Region second team for a second straight season, played in just eight games before he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during practice prior to the team’s game against Haywood.
In those eight games, Calhoun hauled in 26 catches for 535 yards with a pair of TDs.
Finally, Yeager aced the test that was his first season as a high school quarterback, totaling 1,991 passing yards and 16 touchdowns on 152-of-309 passing during the recently-completed campaign.
“What he (Yeager) did was amazing,” the OC mentor said. “He came in with no scrimmages or spring play under his belt. All he had was the 10 games to make the best of.
“The bad thing is that we dropped 15 touchdowns and tipped four other passes that turned into interceptions. Had we not done that, his numbers would have been even more impressive.”
Aside from the quartet chosen to the first and second teams, junior Blake Boyd was named to the league’s honorable mention list along with seniors Mark Kissell and Chase Roney.
Bret Shelton also gained Region 7-3A accolades as an All-Academic team member.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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