Names of 8 All-County Football Teams
Published Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at 1:22 PM
Editor-in-Chief Alec Etheridge
It was a special season for the local eight-man football team. While the Evangel Lightning won his fifth consecutive U.S. Championship and his ACSC State Championship, Cornerstone his Chargers put together his 6-5 season and took their first playoff victory. A year to play 8-a-side football.
The Lightning finished the season with a perfect 13-0, scoring over 41 points and giving up 28 or less every game en route to both championship wins. After defeating the Lighthouse 55-15 in the ACSC title game, he defeated the Tennessee Heat 49-0 in the national semifinals before defeating Freedom 55-26 in the national title game.
The Chargers saw one of the most successful seasons in recent history. After his 3-0 start to the season, Cornerstone eventually improved to his 5-2 in his first seven games and entered the postseason at 5-4. The Chargers then defeated North River Christians 72-51 in the first round for a playoff victory, earning redemption from a 52-48 loss early in the season. They lost to Springwood a week after him and he missed out on one win in the AISA eight-man state championship game.
Now it’s time to look back at these special runs by honoring the elite talent of this year’s eight All-County football teams.
Quarterback: Eli Whitfield, Sr., Evangel. The senior quarterback threw for 1,521 yards and he threw for 29 touchdowns on 81-123 passes, leading the Lightning to another national title. He threw for 101 touchdowns during his Evangel era.
Run back: Hunter Atkins, Jr., Evangel. Not only did Atkins gain a total of 1,207 yards on 98 carries, he also finished with 28 touchdowns and added 21 catches for 271 yards and five touchdowns.
receiver: Judah Thompson, Sr., Evangel. The second-best receiver of any eight-man team in the county, Thompson finished the year with 629 yards on 28 receptions and 16 touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown and added 77 yards to the ground.
receiver: Kyle Jones, Sr., Evangel. A strong blocker at his end, Jones has also shown solid prowess in his passing game. With just 12 receptions, he was able to total 312 yards and five touchdowns this season.
receiver: Noah Schober, Sophomore, Cornerstone. Finishing his sophomore season with less than 1,000 yards, he received 975 yards and he had 29 receptions for his 13 touchdowns, making him the top receiver in the county. He also finished second on the team with 70 tackles.
Offensive line: Jackson Tuell, Sr., Evangel. His three years at right guard, Tuell was the leader up front in offense totaling over 40 points in all games.
Offensive line: Ethan Starlings, sophomore, Evangel. Sterling has been a starter in his line of offensive left guards for his two years, and has been as reliable as anyone this season despite his age.
Offensive line: Carson Donovan, Jr., Evangel. Donovan, his four-year starter at the center, continued the Lightning’s offense as a consistent offensive lineman.
Offensive line: Malachi Adams, Grade 8, Cornerstone. A young and promising lineman, Adams finished the season as the leader of both teams. Not only was he strong in his line offensively, he recorded a total of 40 tackles on defense.
athlete: Zeke Adams, 2nd grade, Cornerstone. Still in his sophomore year, Adams was one of Shelby County’s most athletic playmakers this year. The Cornerstone quarterback and safety finished with 1,334 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, totaling 1,738 passing yards and 24 aerial touchdowns. This gave him a total of 39 touchdowns and more than 3,000 yards of his offense. He also finished with 80 innings, including five losses, and led the team with six interceptions as the Chargers’ leading tackler.
Kicker: Lucas Mast, Sr., Evangel. Mast finished his final season with the Lightning as a consistent kicker. He had 66 of 71 extra point attempts and was 1-1 on a 32-yard field goal.
Line of defense: Landon Alexander, Sophomore, Cornerstone. His third tackler for the Chargers behind Adams and Schober, Alexander made more than 50 total tackles, including his team-leading nine losses and his five sacks. .
Line of defense: Grady Watkins, Jr., Evangel. Watkins, his second-most tackler in Evangel this season, lost 13 times and he finished with 71 total tackles, including eight sacks.
Line of defense: Cole Romano, Jr., Evangel. Cole Romano has been football savvy this season with a total of 34 assists he tackles and he recorded 12 solo tackles and a total of 14 tackles. recorded 6.5 sacks.
Line of defense: Clay Stanton, Jr., Evangel. Lightning nose guard Stanton finished with 45 tackles, finished in double figures in tackles for loss, and added seven sacks.
Linebacker: Caden Jones Senior, Evangel. Jones, the Lightning’s leading tackler, had 104 total tackles this season and he recorded over 100 tackles. He also led the team with 16 tackles and finished with 3.5 sacks.
Linebacker: Hayden Black, Jr., Evangel. Another one of his losers in double-digit tackles, Black finished the season with 12 TFLs and added two sacks for a total of 54 tackles.
Linebacker: James Wilson, a sophomore at Cornerstone. Wilson finished his sophomore season with 50 tackles, including five losses, while adding two interceptions.
Secondary: Zion Thompson, Jr., Evangel. Secondary leader Thompson finished the season with the highest number of interceptions among his eight-man team. He also finished with 17 total tackles.
Secondary: Jackson Waugh, Jr., Cornerstone. Waugh, a playmaker on both sides of the ball, finished second in Cornerstone’s side with three interceptions and recorded a total of 20 tackles. He also offensively added 237 receiving yards and four touchdowns on eight receptions.