Cream of the Crop
by LaVonte Young
Dec 22, 2013 | 2156 views |  0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home
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Monteo Garrett
Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home

Monteo Garrett
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East Central Alabama is well represented in the 2013 Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State. Six players in The Daily Home coverage area earned All-State honorable mention honors.

The Munford Lions had two players to make the All-State team in quarterback Monteo Garrett and defensive back Tavon Lawson. This is the first time that the Lions had a pair of players to make the All-State since 1998.

“I think it is a great honor and it is well deserved,” Munford head coach Will Wagnon said. “Both of them had an outstanding year and they will be missed a lot, but they have opportunities to move on and keep playing, so I am happy about that. They are all state football players, but they are all state kids too and that is the most important thing.”

Munford quarterback Monteo Garrett earned honorable mention in Class 4A. The senior quarterback threw for 1,908 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. The dual threat quarterback also rushed for over 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.

“First off I would like to thank God,” Garrett said. “I would like to thank my coaches. Coach Wagnon has been with me since I was a freshman and the other coaches have been with me since I was a sophomore. I want to thank them because they have pushed me to be the best that I can be. From sophomore to my junior year that was one of my goals. Not trying to be selfish, but that was one of my goals to be an All-State quarterback. That was one of my goals and it is a blessing to be an all stat quarterback.”

Garrett played a major role in leading the Lions to an historic season. The senior quarterback led the Lions to the AHSAA Class 4A semifinals this season and to a 12-2 record. It has been since 1992 since both feats have been accomplished.

“Coach Wagnon sat me down coming into the season he moved a couple guys over to offense and told me that I was going to me more of an explosive passer, because everybody knew what I could do with my feet. Personally, I wanted to be a better passer. Cherokee County game I had 30 yards passing and over 100 yards passing with four touchdowns. I just wanted to prove to everybody that it is not just my feet, but I can also throw the ball too.”

Tavon Lawson earned honorable mention honors as defensive back. Lawson recorded 50 tackles, which included 2.5 for a loss and an interception. Lawson had a total of eight kick or punt returns for a touchdown, but only two of them counted including one against Guntersville in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs.

The hard hitting safety played a major role in Munford’s success on defense. The Lions only allowed 13 points per game before losing to Oneonta 35-21 in the semifinals. Munford defense shut down the explosive offenses of JO Johnson and Guntersville in the postseason.

“It feels good all the accomplishments that I had throughout my high school career,” Lawson said. “It feels good to be recognized on the 4A level. They say 4A is the toughest football besides 6A. It is a great accomplishment.”

Lawson had over 50 tackles on the season from the safety position. Munford defense only allowed 13 points per game through 15 games.

“Our team just came together,” Lawson said. “We knew that if we made to the second round it wouldn’t be an accomplishment, so we deep down that we had to go further. Like Coach Wagnon says if you win every day, you win every rep it will take care of itself on the field and that is what happened- it took care of itself and our team came together as one.”

Sylacauga’s Ian Floyd earned Class 5A honorable mention honors as running back. Floyd rushed for 1,474 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season.

“It caught me off guard, but it feels good,” Floyd said. “Everything I ever worked for has paid off.”

“I think that is the second running back in the last three years that we’ve had,” Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith said. “De’Morise Bledsoe made in 2010, so I think that is great. That is an attribute Ian and his offensive linemen and the people that are around him. He is a hard worker. Ian is living proof, he is one of those guys that made a bad decision in ninth grade and did not play. He came back and worked his tail off and had a great career for us and that shows you how important it is for kids to work hard in the weight room.”

Floyd played a huge role in leading the Aggies to an 8-4 record on the season and to the second round of the AHSAA playoffs for the first time since 1998. He rushed for four touchdowns and 166 yards in Sylacauga’s win over Valley in the first round. He is the second Aggies running back to earn All-State honors in Griffith’s tenure at Sylacauga.

“I have to thank my offensive line, my coaches and my team as a whole,” Floyd said. “I want to thank my defense for giving us the ball back. I enjoyed the season; we accomplished a lot this year. Our 11th grade year we were the first team to defeat Briarwood and this year we were the first team to make the playoffs two years in a row and we were the first team to make to the second round. It is crazy to know I played a big part in it.”

The Lions Golden Bears had two players to earn honorable mention All-State honors in Zay Caldwell and Jauntavius Johnson.

“They work hard to get that position,” Lincoln head coach Brad Wallace said. “It is always when you get things sent into the state you have some guys get picked up and added to the all-state team. I am real proud of their effort and what they accomplished.”

Johnson was a force on the defensive line for the Golden Bears. The junior had 79 tackles on the season. He also rushed for 10 touchdowns on the season.

“That’s one of the things that I strived for coming into the season,” Johnson said. “I just came out and played hard and tried to get a ‘W’.

Caldwell was one of the leaders in the state in interceptions with eight. The sophomore threw for 300 yards and rushed for 300 yards.

“I was just trying to make plays for my team,” Caldwell said. “I just had one of those years that I really succeeded . I am just going to keep on trying to do what I have been doing.”

Wallace was pleased how Caldwell performed in his first season as a starter at the defensive back position.

“Going into the seventh ball game he has seven picks in seven games,” Wallace said. “He is in the 10th grade, so he is going to get better as he matures and more comfortable in the system. I think he got real comfortable back there. He got better and better – I am looking forward to big things happening for him next year.”

Fayetteville’s Steve Brasher earned All-State honors as a defensive lineman. Brasher led the Wolves with 67 tackles and 12 sacks. He also scored a touchdown on fumble recovery in Fayetteville’s last game of the season against Holy Spirit.

“We are very proud of Steve,” Fayetteville head coach John Limbaugh said. “He is our first All-State football player. We are looking for him to go somewhere and play on the next level. He did a great job for us as a senior and I know he is going to do a great job where he goes to play college ball. We are very proud him. Hopefully, he will lead the way for many more.”

“It was one of my goals during summer work outs,” Brashear said. “I told coach Limbaugh that I was going to try to make All-State and I am proud to be here.”

The Wolves went 6-4 on the season, which is their best record since the 2007 season.

“Our offensive line carried us all year,” Limbaugh said. “Obviously, we had a big year from those guys, they played a tremendous part in our success. We did have a 6-4 year; I felt there are a couple of games that we should have won. One game we were just turnover ridden and we had 26 points off turnovers in the TC game. In the other game that got away from us was the Notasulga game. We really had that game but we let it get away from us. Throughout the year we learned how to win. We did some things that we have never done before. It was a big year for us and we are very excited about that. On offensive that we have ever had in a season and that was we 333 points. We had our longest win streak with four games. We did some new things this year very well, we are excited about the future whether we go to 2A or stay at 1A. We are still excited about it. We have learned how to play the game now we have to put what we have learned in practice into next season. We had eight seniors and those guys were the foundation that we needed. All of our seniors did a good job of pushing the other players hard. Steve was a big leader and we appreciate everything that he did.”

Brashear said he enjoyed being on a winning football team for the first time in his career.

“I had fun this year,” Brashear said. ” I got to experience winning. We went from 2-8 last year to 6-4 this year. Coach Limbaugh and all the coaches had a major part in that getting us on the right track and working hard.”