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Column: Some football takes related to local players, teams

Brunswick High and Glynn Academy players make headlines.

Today seems like a good time to do a news and notes column.

So, that’s the plan for this piece.

It will focus on football with a local flavor.

So, here goes:

All-Region Honors

With the high school season winding down, regions all over the state are starting to announce their all-region teams for the 2018 campaign.

Once the playoffs are finished, all-state honors will awarded.

Of course, teams also will be holding their year-end banquets and giving out their own awards here pretty soon.

And, other awards such as those handed out by different media outlets and organizations will also be presented soon.

This week, Region 2-6A which includes the league champion Glynn Academy Red Terrors and Brunswick Pirates named their all-region squads which were selected by the region coaches.

Glynn Academy senior defensive lineman Marlon Taylor was named the Defensive Player of the Year while Glynn head coach Rocky Hidalgo was named the Coach of the Year.

The region’s Offensive Player of the Year award went to Bradwell Institute senior quarterback Vincent Gilbert while the Overall Player of the Year honor when to Bradwell senior running back Kevin Harris who is committed to South Carolina.

The Terrors had 11 players named to the respective first-teams. Those players from the offense were senior quarterback Sam Wagner, junior running back Nolan Grant, senior receiver Quantavious Bostic, senior lineman Shane Wells and sophomore lineman Trevor Timmons.

The defensive players were junior lineman Torrez Davis, senior linebackers EJ Thomas and Tyshaun Wallace, junior defensive back Byron Bacon and senior defensive back Travis Clinch.

Junior kicker Chase Gabriel was also first-team.

For Brunswick, six players made the first-team including junior receiver Chey Foy, sophomore receiver Xavier Bean, junior tight end Mitch Richburg, senior offensive lineman Warren McClendon, sophomore linebaker A.J. Wilson, junior defensive back Devin Lafayette.

Several Terrors and Pirates also earned honorable-mention recognition.

For Glynn, those were junior offensive lineman Drez Wilcox, senior offensive lineman Jimmy Decker, sophomore running back Caden Hutchinson, sophomore receiver TJ Lewis, junior defensive lineman Jordan Swain, junior defensive lineman James Dyal, senior linebacker Tyshawn Lang, sophomore defensive back Jaiden Miller and senior long snapper Reese Snow.

For Brunswick, those were sophomore defensive end Octavious Butler, junior defensive end Justin Akra, junior linebacker Ryan Buckley and junior defensive back Freddie Towns, senior running back Jaylen Trimmings, senior offensive lineman Brett Hall and junior receiver Marlon Carmena.

BHS lineman earns another award

In addition to earning all-region distinction, Brunswick standout McClendon earned another honor this week.

The senior offensive lineman has been chosen as the Atlanta Falcons Power Player of the Week which is sponsored by Georgia Power.

McClendon will run out of the tunnel with the Falcons team on Sunday prior to their game against the Baltimore Ravens at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He will be wearing his Brunswick jersey and will be carrying the flag with the Falcons logo.

For every home game, the team chooses a varsity high school player who embodies commitment and leadership on the field, in the classroom and in his community.

The student-athlete receives four tickets, a parking pass and four pregame sideline passes. The athlete is also presented a $500 grant for his school’s athletic department.

The players have to be nominated for the award.

McClendon is committed to the University of Georgia and is expected to early enroll in January.

Deejay back on his game

Former Glynn Academy star Deejay Dallas had been struggling with the also struggling Miami Hurricanes.

But this past Saturday, the former GA quarterback who is now playing running back returned to his usual form in Miami’s victory over Pittsburgh.

A few weeks back, Dallas, a sophomore, lost two fumbles on a muddy and rainy night against Duke as the Hurricanes lost 20-12 to the Blue Devils.

The next week, he fumbled again on a kick return deep in Miami territory against Georgia Tech and the Yellow Jackets would score a touchdown off the turnover while going on to win 27-21.

Following the Tech game, Miami running backs coach Thomas Brown suggested Dallas visit the school’s new sports psychologist.

Dallas took his advice and felt it helped him as he noted that he was his own worst enemy.

In Saturday’s 24-3 victory over the Panthers to end the regular season, Dallas finished the game with 110 all-purpose yards. He returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and also scored on a 3-yard run.

“You’ve got to put that pride aside,” Dallas told the media this week when talking about visiting the mental doctor. “You’ve got to set a goal and if you want something, you’re going to go get it,” Dallas said. “I felt like that was the process that I needed to go through in order for me to achieve what I wanted to achieve, in order for me to help the team.

“Like I told my coaches, that was my first time ever fumbling my whole entire life. Anybody who knows me from back home knows DeeJay never fumbles. I just had a lot on my mind. I’m good now. Everything is settled so I’m back to myself.”

Miami coach Mark Richt was glad to see Dallas snap out of his funk.

“He’s kind of his old self with his great spirit,” Richt said. “To make that run that he made was pretty spectacular. He finally got through the wall, got some good blocks off to the left side, but he had to get there first and did a good job on that. He just found a way to get into the end zone.

“I say it all the time, but he loves football. He loves this team. He loves this school. He loves his teammates. He loves his coaches. He’s been that way since recruiting. That guy was solid as a rock. No matter what was going on, he was solid. He’s been recruiting his tail off for the future and he still does. I’m proud of him.”

You can see the punt return by Dallas here.

Former BHS player makes big play

Tracy Walker, a former Brunswick Pirate, made a memorable play two games ago for the Detroit Lions.

The rookie safety, who has seen limited playing time thus far this season, made his first career interception in the Lions’ Week 11 game against the Carolina Panthers. Walker picked off a Cam Newton pass when he stripped away the ball from receiver Curtis Samuel.

His teammate and cousin Darius Slay, also a former BHS standout, was covering on the play as well.

You can see the interception by Walker here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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