Some of the finalists for this year's Scrappy Moore Male Athlete of the Year award not only dominated their state competition but also were nationally recognized for their ability. All six finalists are multi-sport athletes.
The winner of the award will be announced at Thursday's Best of Preps banquet, which is set for 6 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center with Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota as the guest speaker. For information on the event or tickets, visit bestofprepschatt.com.
This year's finalists are Soddy-Daisy's Ty Boeck, McCallie's Hakim McMorris, Brainerd's Joseph Norwood, Chattanooga Christian's John Rhodes, Ringgold's Andre Tarver and Heritage's Cole Wilcox.
Boeck was a state Mr. Football semifinalist who led the area with 138.5 total tackles and had six for loss and three sacks. He also ran for more than 1,000 yards and scored 17 touchdowns and has signed to play for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In his final wrestling season he went 46-0 and won the Class AAA state title in the 220-pound weight class. The three-time region champion finished with 28 pins and was invited to compete in the National High School Coaches Association national tournament in Virginia Beach.
McMorris is a California-Berkeley track and field signee who repeated as the Division II-AA state champion in the decathlon in dominating fashion. He won seven events in compiling an astounding 7,277 total points, the most by any prep decathlete in the nation and 979 points ahead of his next closest competitor. His total set a McCallie record, and he followed that by winning the state title in the long jump and finishing second in the high jump. He was also a starting receiver for the Blue Tornado football team.
Norwood is a three-sport Best of Preps star who won the Small Class state decathlon as well as a state title in the triple jump and was second in the long jump and third in the 400-meter run. He also had 107 total tackles from his safety position in football with 10 for loss and five interceptions. In basketball he averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game.
Rhodes was a junior who led area baseball players with a .554 average, 13 home runs and 48 RBIs and was 19-of-19 in steal attempts. The Kentucky commitment also had three saves and 39 strikeouts in relief. As a wing in basketball he also earned Best of Preps honors by averaging 17 points, five rebounds, 3.9 assists and two steals per game.
Tarver is a Mississippi State baseball recruit who batted .452 and had six homers, 18 doubles and 52 runs scored, 34 RBIs and 21 stolen bases for the Class AAA state semifinalists. As a linebacker the junior had 113 total tackles, including nine for loss, while also netting 705 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Wilcox ended the baseball season with eight wins and a 1.67 ERA with 87 strikeouts while also batting .435 with eight homers and 42 RBIs for a Heritage team that reached the Class AAAA state final four. He ended the season with a .569 on-base percentage. Although he was ranked the No. 19 overall prospect in the recent major league draft, Wilcox turned down a pro offer and will play collegiately at Georgia. In basketball he averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds a game.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.