Division I, Class A Lineman
Coltin Blevins, South Pittsburg
Division I, Class A Back
Jacob Tucker, Perry County
Division I, Class AA Lineman
Terrell Rollins, Greeneville
Division I, Class AA Back
Charlie High, CAK
Division I, Class AAA Lineman
Jay Guillermo, Maryville
Division I, Class AAA Back
I'Tavius Mathers, Blackman
Division II-A Lineman
Brewer Congleton, Knoxville Webb
Division II-A Back
Caleb Blance, Knoxville Webb
Division II-AA Lineman
Barrett Gouger, Baylor
Division II-AA Back
Cornelius Elder, Ensworth
Kicker of the Year
Henrique Ribeiro, Baylor
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Barrett Gouger tilted the large wooden trophy he had just been handed upward so he could inspect the name inscribed, just to be certain.
"I just wanted to make sure it was actually my name on it, that I was really the winner," Gouger, Baylor's senior two-way tackle, said after being named the state's Division II-AA Mr. Football Lineman of the Year on Monday at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center.
"When I first heard my name called, it was more of a relief," Gouger said, "but I just had to double-check that there wasn't a mistake and I wasn't walking off with a trophy that had somebody else's name on it."
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Vanderbilt commitment became the fourth Baylor player to win a Mr. Football award, and minutes later he was joined by teammate Henrique Ribeiro, the Mr. Football Kicker of the Year.
"That's pretty special for our program to have two guys win the award in the same year," Red Raiders coach Phil Massey said. "That's a first for our school, and having Jacob [Huesman] win Back of the Year last year makes this the first time we've ever had back-to-back years to have kids win the award."
Ribeiro, a Brazilian boarding student who is in his first season of handling the kicking duties for Baylor, has kicked four field goals of 50-plus yards, including a 57-yarder, and has had just four kickoffs that didn't sail through the end zone for touchbacks.
"Hopefully a lot of college scouts will hear about this and see my stats and what I can do and take an interest now," Ribeiro said. "This is an unbelievable award."
South Pittsburg senior guard and middle linebacker Coltin Blevins was named Class 1A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year, while Pirates sophomore runner Jajuan Lankford was one of three finalists for 1A Back of the Year, which went to Perry County quarterback Jacob Tucker.
"My legs were shaking while I was standing there in front of all those people," said Blevins, who will add his newest hardware to last year's state-title-game MVP award. He is the fourth player from his program to be a Mr. Football.
"I don't get nervous before games, but I was today. This was pretty awesome to win this, but as soon as I get back to the fieldhouse today it's time to go to work and get ready to try and win another championship."
South Pittsburg and Baylor are playing for state titles later this week at Tennessee Tech. The Red Raiders will play Ensworth at 8 p.m. EST Thursday in a rematch of last year's title game the Tigers won in the closing seconds. South Pittsburg will try to defend its championship against unbeaten Wayne County at 1 p.m. EST Friday.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 23 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including nine in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation at the Associated ...