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Pooler, McCray named first-team All-Region
Eight Newton players earn second-team honors

COVINGTON - Newton's Quenton Pooler and Demetrius McCray impressed several coaches during the season, leading to their first-team selections on the All-Region 2-AAAAA Football Team.

Pooler was picked as a fullback, while McCray made it as a safety.

The Rams also had eight players on the second team and 10 as honorable mention.

"I'm proud to have two (first-teamers), but I thought we should have had at least four," Newton coach Nick Collins said. "But, when you start voting and looking at guys from all over, it's tough when you don't make the playoffs. When you have two guys that are pretty close, that playoff kid usually gets the nod."

McCray led the region in interceptions with seven while breaking up seven other passes. He also finished the season with 40 tackles (25 solo, 15 assist and two for loss).

"Hands down, he was one of the few unanimous choices. Hands down, he was the best free safety in our region," Collins said. "A lot of people gave me flak about having our quarterback at free safety, but how can you argue with seven interceptions?"

Although Pooler did not have tremendous stats on offense - 270 yards on 72 carries - what really made the opposing region coaches take notice was when he did not have the ball.

"He impressed a lot of coaches in the region. Not only with his ability to run the football, he was very impressive in his blocking," Collins said. "When you go back and look at him on tape, he had some highlight-type blocks."

Pooler was also named a second-team linebacker, leading the Rams with 87 tackles - 53 solo and 34 assist. Twenty of his tackles were behind the line of scrimmage. He also had two sacks, caused a fumble, had an interception and led the team with seven big hits.

"He missed first team by a vote. He's a phenomenal player and did a lot of good things to help us out," Collins said.

Making the second team for the Rams were Jamal Hunte (TE), Derrick Clark (OL), Tim Aiken (OL), Davario Parker (DL), Ramardo Stewart (DL), Trevail Hicks (DB) and DeAndre Rashada (DB).

"DeAndre Rashada made second team safety for the second year in a row and he's only a sophomore. We were one vote away from having two second-team tight ends. We've got some guys that are in the mix that really have a good show for us," Collins said.

Newton's honorable mention selections were Gavin Blake (OL), Bart Lindsey (WR), Cadarius Terrell (TE), Travis Townley (OL), Justice Ejike (OL), Akeem Hunt (DB) with D.J. Hill earning the honors as a kickoff returner, running back and linebacker.

"I thought Akeem Hunt should have been at least second team at corner. I thought Fred Smith deserved at least honorable mention at running back. I thought we should have had the two tight ends at second team," Collins said. "Defensively, I thought Ramardo Stewart should have had a higher mention. But overall, when you add it up, it shook out the way it should've shook out."

SideBar: All-Region 2-AAAAA Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year: Mack Brown, M.L. King

Defensive Player of the Year: Nigel Mitchell-Thorton, Stephenson

Coach of the Year: Ron Gartrell, Stephenson

First Team

Offense

Quarterback: Kyle Dickey, Luella; Running Back: Mack Brown, M.L. King; Donovan Johnson, Union Grove; Raymond Sanders, Stephenson; Fullback: Quenton Pooler, Newton; Detray Shivers, Redan; Thomas Hendricksen, M.L. King; Wide Receiver: Detrick Bonner, Luella; T.D. Davis, Greenbrier; Roderick Sweeting, Luella; Travis Benton, Redan; Tight End: Stanley Elmore, Redan; Kenneth Baldrige, M.L. King; Center: Bryce Bell, M.L. King; Guard: Tobias Williams, Stephenson; Deandre Davis, M.L. King; Tim Stahman, Greenbrier; Tackle: Jan Michael-Coke, Redan; Michael Thornton, Stephenson; Mark Speir, Union Grove; Garrison Smith, Douglass

Defense

Defensive Tackle: Garrison Smith, Douglass; Michael Thorton, Stephenson; Tobias Williams, Stephenson; Olan Turner, Greenbrier; Defensive End: Josh Williams, Stephenson; Damien Whiten, Stephenson; Anthony Williams, Union Grove; Linebacker: Joel Knight, M.L. King; Nigel Mitchell-Thorton, Stephenson; Brontavious Riley, Douglass; Tyrone Cornelius, Stephenson; Drew Bullard, Union Grove; Cornerback: Sean Davis, Luella; Rodney Cofield, M.L. King; Jamal Peterson, Redan; Detrick Bonner, Luella; Safety: Roderick Sweeting, Luella; Demetrius McCray, Newton; Ashton Ballard, Douglass

Special Teams

Kicker: Kevin Roberts, Union Grove; Punter: Jordan Tarver, Stephenson; Long Snapper: Jordan Adams, Union Grove; Kickoff Returner: Travis Benton, Redan; Punt Returner: Travis Benton, Redan

Second Team

Offense

Quarterback: Akil Danfodio, Redan; Cameron Myers; M.L. King; Running Back: Michael Patrick, Douglass; Richard Barnes, Luella; Justin Smith, Redan; Fullback: Hersienne Beavoir, Luella; Denzel Hartley, Stephenson; Wide Receiver: Cory Phillips, M.L. King; D'Mario Gunn, Luella; Ben Turner, Greenbrier; Bryan Andrews, Greenbrier; Tight End: Jamal Hunte, Newton; Marcus Dallas, Luella; Alex Mosley, Union Grove; Guard: Tyler Rachels, Union Grove; Andrew Pepples, Luella; Derrick Clarke, Newton; Kevin Jamers, Greenbrier; Bryson Strickland, Union Grove; Walter Givens, M.L. King; Tim Aiken, Newton;

Defense

Defensive Tackle: Kendrick Hamm, Douglass; Marquis Hamm, M.L. King; T'Rell Mathias, Luella; Devario Parker, Newton; Defensive End: Ja'Mar Crockett, Luella; Dustin Lane, M.L. King; Ramardo Stewart, Newton; Linebacker: Rahmon Swain, M.L. King; Adrian Davis, Luella; Quenton Pooler, Newton; Dareon Myles, Union Grove; Jake Smith; Union Grove; Cornerback: Rodriguez Lowe, M.L. King; Caleb Lester, Douglass; Trevail Hicks, Newton; Danny White, Union Grove; Safety: Brian Fennell, M.L. King; DeAndre Rashada, Newton; Kenny Hartley, Stephenson; Brian Andrews, Greenbrier

Special Teams

Kicker: Colin Anderson, Stephenson; Punter: Brian Smith, Greenbrier; Long Snapper: Artravious Boyd, M.L. King; Kickoff Returner: Richard Barnes, Luella; Johnathon Aikens, Union Grove; Johnathon Blackley, Stephenson

Honorable Mention

Newton: Gavin Blaker, Long Snapper; D.J. Hill, Kickoff Returner; Demetrius McCray, Quarterback; D.J. Hill, Running Back; Bart Lindsey, Wide Receiver; Cadarius Terrell, Tight End; Travis Townely, Guard; Justin Ejike, Tackle; D.J. Hill, Linebacker;