Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Aaron Swafford (19) beats the last Peabody tackler for the Tigers's second touchdown. The Meigs County Tigers faced the Peabody Golden Tide in the TSSAA AA football championship at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville on December 7, 2019.

Deep playoff runs translated into an impressive group of all-state selections for four Chattanooga-area Class 1A, 2A and 3A prep football teams. Red Bank and Tyner each had three named in its respective classification, while Meigs County and South Pittsburg each had six honored on this year's Tennessee Sports Writers Association lists.

In Class 3A, Red Bank was the only area team to have players earn the recognition, with receiver Lucas Brown, linebacker Clark Lockerby and defensive lineman Cameron Bell, while in 2A Tyner had receiver Jeremiah Batiste, defensive back Martavius Ryals and defensive lineman Deviante Felder.

Also in 2A, Meigs County's all-state brigade was led by quarterback Aaron Swafford, a three-time state Mr. Football award finalist, along with offensive linemen Malachi Hayden and Chris Wood, athlete Will Meadows, defensive lineman Montana Lowe and linebacker Canyon Grant.

In 1A, South Pittsburg's Ronto Tipton — a Mr. Football finalist — was joined by receiver Jaylyn Hubbard, offensive linemen Jared Stone and Coale Gamble, defensive lineman Blaine Pittman and linebacker J.J. Beene.

Meigs County finished as Class 2A state runner-up, and South Pittsburg's only loss of the season came in the 1A semifinals. Red Bank reached the 3A quarterfinals and Tyner, which won its third straight Region 3-2A title, advanced to the second round.

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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Ronto Tipton (7) celebrates his fourth quarter interception for the Pirates. The South Pittsburg Pirates visited the Greenback Cherokees in the semifinal of the TSSAA Class A football championships on November 29, 2019.

Brown, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga signee, led the area with 948 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, while Lockerby was the area's fourth-leading tackler with 91 stops and Bell had 11 tackles for loss for a defense that allowed just 11 points per game.

Batiste, a Miami (Ohio) signee and 2018 Mr. Football finalist, had more than 700 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, while Ryals — who also had more than 1,500 total yards on offense — led the Rams with 87 tackles, 16 for loss and 12 sacks. Felder had 13 tackles for loss to anchor Tyner's defensive line.

Swafford, who signed with the Naval Academy, ran for more than 2,000 yards and threw for more than 1,100. Hayden, only a junior, and Wood led the Tigers with a combined 110 pancake blocks, while Meadows compiled more than 1,400 total yards and 13 TDs and averaged more than 22 yards per kickoff return.

Grant had 98 total tackles and eight for lost yardage, and Lowe led the Meigs defense with 11 tackles for loss and 59 total tackles.

Tipton, who had more than 1,000 total yards and 18 TDs on offense, intercepted three passes (he has 18 career interceptions) and made 37 solo tackles for a Pirates defense that allowed just nine points per game.

Hubbard had more than 500 receiving yards but had to fill in after the Pirates' starting quarterback was injured in the playoffs, and he ran for more than 300 yards with nine TDs.

Beene finished with 87 tackles, 10 for loss, and returned one of his two interceptions for a score.

Stone and Gamble led South Pittsburg in pancake blocks and earned the highest blocking grades on a team that ran for more than 3,800 yards. Pittman had 32 solo tackles, 10 for loss, and led a defense that allowed fewer than 75 rushing yards per game.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

TSWA All-State


QB – Trey Foster (Austin-East), Donoven McCallister (Upperman); RB – James Moore (Stratford), Drew Jackson (Loudon); WR – Keon Smith (Austin-East), Cedric Watkins (Pearl-Cohn), Lucas Brown (Red Bank); OL – Brackston Alford (Alcoa), Eli Mitchell (Alcoa), William Griffin (Pearl-Cohn), Eli Patrick (Covington), Bo Rowland (Gatlinburg-Pittman); ATH – Isaiah Ligon (Austin-East); K – Zeke Rankin (Alcoa).

DL – Grey Carroll (Alcoa), Desean Wade (Pearl-Cohn), Cameron Ware (Sheffield), Cameron Bell (Red Bank); LB – Clark Lockerby (Red Bank), Lareko Burton (Covington), Hunter Ballard (South Gibson), Cam Burden (Alcoa); DB – Isiah Cox (Alcoa), Caden Tallett (Alcoa), Tory Bradley (Covington), Dewain Trotter (Pearl-Cohn); ATH – Myles Stark (Covington); P – Bryson Flynn (Gatlinburg-Pittman).


QB – Aaron Swafford (Meigs County), Cooper Baugus (Peabody); RB – Terry Wilkins (Fairley), Nick McClendon (Forrest); WR – Jeremiah Batiste (Tyner), Eli Hammonds (Peabody), Taylor Groves (East Robertson); OL – Malachi Hayden (Meigs County), Chris Wood (Meigs County), Preston Perdue (Lewis County), Tate Garvin (Forrest), Rafe Hannah (Peabody); ATH – Will Meadows (Meigs County); K — Levi Kapp (Riverside).

DL – Deviante Felder (Tyner), Bryce Franks (Peabody), Montana Lowe (Meigs County), Collion Hullum (Mitchell); LB – Canyon Grant (Meigs County), Jarel Dickson (Peabody), Hunter Barnhart (Oneida), Nazario Jaurez (Riverside); DB – Nate Brackett (Rockwood), Martavius Rylas (Tyner), Colton Smith (Riverside), Trevor Griffin (Eagleville); ATH - Deramus Carey (Watertown); P – Kolby Morgan (Oneida).


QB – Tanner Snyder (Lake County), Braden Carnes (Greenback); RB – Larry Tubbs (Lake County), Brandon Lawton (Huntingdon); WR – Holden Willis (Greenback), Jaylen Hubbard (South Pittsburg), Duke Stinnett (Greenback); OL – Campbell Puckett (Lake County), Tyler Jeffries (Greenback), Dylan Stewart (Coalfield), Jared Stone (South Pittsburg), Coale Gamble (South Pittsburg); ATH – Hunter Ensley (Huntingdon); K – Cole Edwards (Huntingdon).

DL – Derrell Bailey (Greenback), Tari Frierson (Mt. Pleasant), Blaine Pittman (South Pittsburg), Ethan Beasley (Mt. Pleasant); LB – Daniel Schaar (Coalfield), J.J. Beene (South Pittsburg), Bo McLemore (Huntingdon), Cody Wildridge (West Carroll); DB – Ronto Tipton (South Pittsburg), Izaiah Matheny (Lake County), Jeremiah Bryant (West Carroll), Jordan Key (Monterey); ATH – Wyatt Rutgerson (Greenback); P – Fischer Ely (Oliver Springs).