The spoils of a state championship season continue for McCallie's football program with seven Blue Tornado players being named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Division II-AAA all-state team. A total of 19 local players earned spots on the DII-AAA or DII-AA all-state teams.
The local players who made the AAA team include McCallie quarterback DeAngelo Hardy, receiver Eric Rivers, offensive lineman Austin Gentle, running back B.J. Harris, defensive linemen Jay Hardy and James Howard and defensive back Thompson Byrd. They're joined by Baylor running back Elijah Howard, linebacker Noah Martin and defensive back Riley Jenne.
Making it on the AA team are Boyd Buchanan athlete Eli Morris, defensive backs Eli Evans and Preston Edmondson and defensive lineman Hamilton Chadwell, as well as Chattanooga Christian running back JaMichael Baxter, defensive lineman Treveon Scott and linebacker Dee Hinton and Notre Dame running back Jeffrey Watkins and offensive lineman Jacob Brigman.
McCallie won its first state title since 2001 led by a defense that set a BlueCross Bowl record with nine sacks and allowed just 42 rushing yards in the championship game.
Jay Hardy and Howard each had two sacks in the title game, and Byrd returned an interception for a first-half score against Montgomery Bell Academy. Offensively the Blue Tornado averaged nearly 40 points per game, led by three-year starting quarterback DeAngelo Hardy, who signed with Kennesaw State in December and scored twice in the state final. Hardy threw for more than 1,500 yards and ran for 900.
Rivers joined the team after the season had begun but still finished with more than 800 receiving yards and ran for a touchdown in the championship game. Harris rushed for more than 1,500 yards — averaging nearly 140 per game with much of that total running behind Gentle. Rivers, Harris and Gentle are all juniors, and Howard is a sophomore.
Howard, a Mr. Football semifinalist and University of Tennessee commitment, ran for more than 1,600 yards in his first season with the Red Raiders. The junior is joined by classmate Jenne, who had 53 solo tackles and three interceptions, and senior linebacker Martin, who was among the area's top tacklers with 101.
The four Boyd Buchanan players helped the program turn things around from an 0-10 finish in 2018 to an eight-win 2019. Evans had more than 1,100 all-purpose yards and five interceptions on defense, Edmondson had 10 forced fumbles and 10 tackles for loss, junior quarterback Morris had more than 3,000 all-purpose yards and Chadwell finished with 11 tackles for loss.
Baxter, Hinton and Scott helped CCS to a seven-win season that included the program's first time to host a playoff game. The Buccaneers reached a state quarterfinal. Baxter ran for more than 1,100 yards and 13 TDs and Scott helped anchor the defense with five tackles for loss, while Hinton led the team with 89 total tackles.
Despite an injury-plagued season for Notre Dame, Watkins ran for 1,200 yards and 14 TDs (averaging 7.5 yards per carry), and Brigman had 81 pancake blocks.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.
TSWA All-State football teams
QB – Rube Scott Rhea (Fayette Academy), Caedan Clark (Jackson Christian); RB – Kevin Davis (Trinity Christian), Griffin Swinea (Davidson Academy); WR – Zack Tilley (The King’s Academy), Wesley Carlock (Univ. School of Jackson), Will Cisco (Jackson Christian); OL – J’Marion Gooch (The King’s), Cade Taylor (Univ. School of Jackson), Raleigh Seals (Univ. School of Jackson), Luke Austein (Fayette Academy), Tim Marmino (Fayette Academy), ATH – Kemari McGowan (Middle Tennessee Christian), K – Neill Kane (Friendship Christian).
DL – Blaine Verdung (Univ. School of Jackson), Chris Pillow (Davidson Academy), Kendyle Ball (Davidson Academy), Harris Adams (Nashville Christian); LB — Harrison Warren (Columbia Academy), Carter Craig (Univ. School of Jackson), AJ Quinn (Davidson Academy), Bryce Rawls (Davidson Academy); DB – Marshaun Bowers (The King’s), Ethan Petrowski (Tipton-Rosemark), Martease Edwards (Nashville Christian), William Spence (Nashville Christian); ATH – Ja’Chim Williams (The King’s); P – Ben Pledger (Univ. School of Jackson).
QB – Nick Semptimphelter (Battle Ground Academy), Cooper Riggs (Grace Christian-Knoxville); RB – Jamichael Baxter (Chattanooga Christian), Jeffrey Watkins (Notre Dame); WR – Jalen Geer (Grace Christian-Knoxville), Issac Smith (St. George’s), Kyle McNamara (Lipscomb Academy); OL – Dietrick Pennington (Evangelical Christian), Jacob Brigman (Notre Dame), Jarrett Mathews (Christ Presbyterian Academy), Jackson Bradley (Webb School-Knoxville), David Enoch (Christ Presbyterian Academy); ATH – Caleb Curcio (Grace Christian Academy); K – Zander Tonkin (Christian Academy of Knoxville).
DL – Hamilton Chadwell (Boyd Buchanan), Treveon Scott (Chattanooga Christian), Garrett Staley (Grace Christian-Knoxville), Luc Nadaud (Knoxville Webb); LB – Max Smith (Christian Academy of Knoxville), Austin Hill (Evangelical Christian), Dee Hinton (Chattanooga Christian), Langston Patterson (Christ Presbyterian Academy); DB – Eli Evans (Boyd Buchanan), Preston Edmondson (Boyd Buchanan), Carson Gagnon (Evangelical Christian), Antonio Stevens (Battle Ground Academy); ATH – Eli Morris (Boyd Buchanan); P – Jack Norris (Franklin Road Academy).
QB – DeAngelo Hardy (McCallie), Gerard Bullock (Ensworth); RB – Elijah Howard (Baylor), Jabari Small (Briarcrest Christian); WR – Eric Rivers (McCallie), Andre Turentine (Ensworth), Rory White (Pope John Paul II); OL – Cooper Mays (Knoxville Catholic), Austin Gentle (McCallie), Bryn Tucker (Knoxville Catholic), Marcus Henderson (Memphis University School), Eli Sutton (Brentwood Academy); ATH – BJ Harris (McCallie); K – Paxton Perry (Brentwood Academy).
DL – Jay Hardy (McCallie), Tyler Baron (Knoxville Catholic), Omari Thomas (Briarcrest), James Howard (McCallie); LB – Noah Martin (Baylor), Devyn Curtis (Brentwood Academy), Graham Holzapfel (Montgomery Bell Academy), D.J. Brown (Memphis University School); DB – Riley Jenne (Baylor), Cole Allen (Montgomery Bell Academy), Keshawn Lawrence (Ensworth), Cody Hopkins (Memphis University School); ATH – Thompson Byrd (McCallie); P – Paxton Robertson (Knoxville Catholic).