8-AAAA all-region first team features Watts, Pats

CONYERS - Five Heritage players and Salem center Sam Watts received first-team honors on the All-Region 8-AAAA football team.

Joining Watts on the first team from Heritage were offensive lineman Adrian Crane, linebacker Corey Alford, defensive back Reggie Juin, defensive tackle Melvin Jones and defensive end Justin Jones.

Ten other local players were second-team selections on the team, which is voted on by the Region 8-AAAA football coaches.

Watts, a senior, anchored the Seminoles' offensive line this fall. He has already given a verbal commitment to Mississippi State.

Crane, a senior guard, graded out at 86 percent blocking efficiency for the Patriots.

Alford, a senior, recorded a team-high 124 tackles and eight tackles for loss for Heritage.

Juin, also a senior, had 43 tackles and four interceptions to lead the Patriots' secondary.

Melvin Jones, a senior, was a force in the middle of the Heritage defensive line, recording 82 total tackles, including 17 for loss.

At defensive end, Justin Jones recorded 10.5 sacks to lead the Patriots and recovered five fumbles.

Rockdale led the way with six players on the second team - running back Javon Lucas, offensive tackle Thomas Schimmel, center Kyle Geise, tight end Tyler Kelly, linebacker Rashaud Ferrell and defensive back Adrian Brown.

Lucas was the Bulldogs' leading rusher with 757 yards. He also added 349 receiving yards.

Ferrell had 43 tackles for the Rockdale defense, while Brown added 22 tackles and a team-high five interceptions.

Salem had two players on the second-team units - running back Corey Nedd and defensive end Brandon Hill.

Nedd, a senior fullback, rushed for 575 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns for the Seminoles.

Hill, a senior defensive end, registered four sacks and six quarterback hurries for Salem.

Rockdale wide receiver Ryan Culbreath, Salem defensive back Jasijah Smith, Salem defensive back Tyrell Wellington and Salem defensive end Dejone Butler were given honorable mention.

Clarke Central quarterback John Wilson was the Offensive Player of the Year, while Cedar Shoals linebacker Dee Dee Lattimore was the Defensive Player of the Year.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.