ASWA names Mr. Football finalists
By PAUL BEAUDRY
Seven athletes who were major contributors to state championship teams have a chance to win an individual title next month, as the Alabama Sports Writers Association announced its 42 finalists for the 30th annual Mr. Football Award today.
Three backs and three linemen in each of the Alabama High School Athletic Association's six classes as well as one for the Alabama Independent Schools Association were selected as finalists in their categories, which will be announced at the annual Player of the Year/ Mr. Football banquet at the Alabama Activity Center in Montgomery on Jan. 18, 2012.
The nominees were chosen by the ASWA prep committee at its all-state meeting, from a list provided by from sports writers who cover high school events as well as from the state's head coaches.
Two of the seven came from the same team - Class 3A champion Handley, as offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman and linebacker Chris Dillard were named finalists for Lineman of the Year in that class. Austin Golson of Class 6A Prattville, and defensive lineman E.J. Sledge of AISA 3A champ Bessemer Academy were also linemen of the year finalists in their respective classes.
Quarterback Dustyn Moseley of Class 4A champion Jackson was named as a Back of the Year finalist in his class, as was Michael Lindsey of Class 2A winner Elba and Edgewood Academy's Sam Coleman, the AISA's Class 2A champion.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association, the Back and Linemen of the Year winners will be announced at the banquet, in a return to a format that was in place prior to 2007. For the past three seasons, the winners were announced prior to the event. It will also be the first time the Player of the Year banquet has not been held in Birmingham since its inception in 1998.
In addition to Handley, six other schools have two players named finalists: Class 1A Linden placed defensive back Anthony Robinson and linebacker Terris Lewis, Class 2A American Christian had quarterback Austin Grammer and defensive lineman Kyle Sappington, Class 3A Leeds had running back Ladarius Rodgers and defensive lineman Javiere Mitchell, Class 5A Hueytown has quarterback Jameis "Jaboo" Winston and defensive lineman Chris Rabb, while Class 6A Daphne placed running back T.J. Yeldon and defensive lineman Ryan Anderson among the finalists.
ASWA 2011 Mr. Football Finalists
Class 6A Back
Trae Elston, Oxford, DB, Sr., 6-0, 183
Class 6A Lineman
Ryan Anderson, Daphne, DL, 6-2, 250
Class 5A Back
Maurice Crews, Eufaula, RB, Sr., 5-9, 185
Class 5A Lineman
Dee Liner, Muscle Shoals, DL, Jr., 6-4, 255
Class 4A Back
C.J. Cutts, Bibb Co., RB, Sr., 5-9, 205
Class 4A Lineman
Rod Crayton, Dadeville, DL, Jr., 6-0, 290
Class 3A Back
Ladarius Rodgers, Leeds, RB, Sr., 5-11, 215
Class 3A Lineman
Bradley Bozeman, Handley, OL, Jr., 6-4, 325
Class 2A Back
Austin Grammer, American Christian, QB, Sr., 6-2, 210
Class 2A Lineman
Kemond Gauntt, Reeltown, LB, Sr., 6-1, 170
Class 1A Back
DeMarko Hall, Pickens Co., WR, Sr., 5-10, 185
Class 1A Lineman
Damien Davenport, McIntosh, OL, Jr., 6-2, 255
Xavier Bond, Glenwood, RB, Sr., 6-0, 185
Blake Glaze, Springwood, LB, Sr., 5-11, 195
Brantley won an amazing 62 consecutive region games between 2002-2010.