One of the area's most talented group of athletes helped lead Red Bank's football team to the Class 3A semifinals this season. That group's accomplishments have now been recognized as four Lions players were named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association's all-state team.
The TSWA released its all-state selections for Class 3A and 4A Tuesday with a total of six Hamilton County players earning recognition. The 6A and 5A teams were announced on Monday, with 2A and 1A scheduled to be released on Wednesday and all three Division II classes announced on Thursday.
The all-state teams for cross country will be announced on Friday and golf will be released on Saturday. Volleyball and girls' soccer all-state teams will be announced in early January.
Red Bank's foursome, which helped claim 10 wins and only suffered one on-field loss, included running back Lumiere Strickland, offensive lineman B.J. Ragland, defensive lineman Cameron Bell and defensive back Recko Trimble. They were joined in 3A by Brainerd defensive back Xiyeer Lattimore, with East Hamilton safety/linebacker Blaine Savage earning a spot on the 4A team.
Strickland led the Lions offense with 1,311 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, most of which came behind the blocking of Ragland, who has signed with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and will begin his collegiate career in just a couple of weeks as an early enrollee.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Bell, who has offers from more than 20 college programs, finished with 10 sacks, eight tackles for loss and 41.5 solo stops. Trimble, only a junior, intercepted four passes and finished with 28.5 solo tackles. He already has offers from South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Duke and North Carolina State, among others.
"That just showcases the type talent we have at Red Bank High School," Lions coach Christ Brown said. "Lumiere is as complete an overall player as I've coached. He's extremely knowledgeable and a tenacious competitor.
"BJ is tremendously athletic for his size and Cam could play all four positions on the defensive line. He's just a very gifted and special player. Recko has yet to scratch the surface of his ability. He's an effortless runner and one of the most physical safeties anywhere. I'm excited to see what the future holds."
Lattimore had 31.5 tackles and four interceptions, along with 14 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He also compiled more than 1,700 offensive yards and 21 TDs, but projects on the defensive side in college.
Savage had 92 tackles, nine more for loss, three fumble recoveries and blocked two punts for East Hamilton.
"Xiyeer is the ultimate overcomer," Brainerd coach Tyrus Ward said. "The things he's had to deal with on and off the field these last four years have been remarkable. On the field he was able to lead us on the offensive side and shut one side of the field down on the defensive side.
"He shown our younger players what determination looks like. He's always had a no-quit mentality and just his presence on the field will be missed."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.