The Cherokee County Gridiron Club held its annual banquet Monday night, and the top award-winners included, from left, Creekview’s Connor Dulmage and Cherokee’s Blace Brown, the Players of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year Justin Agner from Woodstock and Defensive Player of the Year Peter Rohan from Sequoyah.
Photo special to the Tribune
The Cherokee County Gridiron Club added five new members to its hall of fame and announced its players of the year during its annual awards banquet Monday night. Cherokee’s Blace Brown and Creekview’s Connor Dulmage were named Co-players of the Year. Brown, the 2013 Cherokee Tribune Offensive Player of the Year, was a member of the Warriors’ defense before making a move to wide receiver prior to the start of his senior season. Also named the Region 5AAAAAA Offensive Player of the Year and a member of the Class AAAAAA all-state second team, the 6-foot, 175-pound senior finished the season with a school-record 80 receptions for 1,137 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Dulmage is also no stranger to awards. The senior was a two-way player for the Grizzlies, playing both receiver and defensive back. He was named the Cherokee Tribune Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the Class AAAAA all-state first team. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior led Class AAAAA with eight interceptions, returning four for touchdowns. He finished the season with 98 tackles, while also leading Creekview with 55 receptions for 696 yards and 12 touchdowns. Dulmage finished the season as the leading scorer in Cherokee County. Other players earning player of the year awards were Woodstock’s Justin Agner (offense) and Sequoyah’s Peter Rohan (defense). Sequoyah’s Jake Garner was named the running back of the year, while Cherokee’s Spencer Ashley and Creekview’s Kyle Wilkie were named co-quarterbacks of the year. Also recognized were Woodstock’s Reagan Amos (receiver), Creekview’s Michael Shaw (offensive lineman), Etowah’s Chandler Steele (defensive lineman) and Cherokee’s Michael Bean (linebacker). Woodstock’s Chris Mowery and Sequoyah’s Billy Lummus were named co-defensive backs of the year. Five of the county’s high schools saw former players inducted into the hall of fame. Members of the 2013 class included Chris Pruitt (Cherokee), Collins Wold (Creekview), Tyler Hodgson (Etowah), Patrick Hall (Sequoyah) and Andrew Soucy (Woodstock). One of the requirements for entry into the Hall of Fame is that the player must have graduated more than five years ago, meaning that it will still be a few years before River Ridge has any eligible candidates. Other superlative winners for 2013 were Etowah’s Edwin Alfaro, the kicker of the year, and Creekview’s Ben McClellan, the punter of the year. Meanwhile, Sequoyah’s Lex Lauletta was named the special teams athlete of the year. For each of the county’s six high schools, two seniors were named to the all-county academic team, while Iron Will and Iron Man awards were also presented to an athlete from each team. Those named to the academic team were Cherokee’s Brandon Hrouda and Aubrey Sharp, Creekview’s Joseph Sorrentino and Nick Fahrnbauer, Etowah’s Ben Rowell and Gentry Cromwell, River Ridge’s Steven Spears and James Smith, Sequoyah’s Nick Falco and Lex Lauletta and Woodstock’s Andrew Lenhart and Tyler Baggett. The Glynda O’Brien Academic Scholarship — named after the wife of former Woodstock football coach Mike O’Brien — was presented to Cherokee’s Alec Riggins, the top academic performer. The Iron Will Award is presented to the comeback player of the year for each program, while the Iron Man Award goes to the top performing player in workouts. Those receiving the Iron Will Award were Jordan Freeman (Cherokee), Austin Murphy (Creekview), Marshall Sturdivant (Etowah), Omari Reeves-Miller (River Ridge), Sam Rogers (Sequoyah) and Jean Boereau (Woodstock). The Iron Man recipients were Calvin Mayo (Cherokee), Logan Ridings (Creekview), Bronson Rechsteiner (Etowah), Ian Schumacher (River Ridge), Jake Garner (Sequoyah) and Baggett. Members of the Gridiron Club all-county team, as voted by the coaches were also announced. The offense included quarterback John Oliver (Etowah), running backs Brandon Engle (Etowah), Raishod Devezin (Etowah), Isaiah Rodgers (Creekview), Blake Johnston (Cherokee), tight end Nick Cable (Woodstock) and wide receivers Chandler Wold (Creekview), Andrew Harris (Cherokee), Derrion Rakestraw (Sequoyah) and Alex Motsinger (Woodstock). Also on the team were offensive linemen Blake Jacobs (Woodstock), Brad Morgan (Etowah), Nick Searcy (Etowah), C.J. Collins (Sequoyah), Logan Witherow (Cherokee), Austin Brown (Sequoyah), Daniel McKune (Sequoyah), James Egan (River Ridge) and Mayo. Mason Tucker of Sequoyah was the punter of the year and Rowell was the athlete on the team. Members of the all-county defense included defensive backs Desmond Austin (Sequoyah), Nick Fahrnbauer (Creekview), Devon Mercer (Cherokee), Stanlee Logue (Etowah) and Spears. Also on the team were linebackers Logan Ridings (Creekview), Ethan Wheeler (Woodstock), Keith Gordon (Etowah), James Arnold (Etowah), Chris Riddle (Sequoyah), Falco and Hrouda. Defensive linemen named to the team were Branden Johnson (Sequoyah), Gilberto Terrientes (Sequoyah), Preston White (Etowah), Sorrentino, Sharp, Baggett and Omari Reeves-Miller. An assistant coach from each program was also given the Ray Face Coach of the Year Award, named after the late Sequoyah assistant. Those winners were Matt Ely (Cherokee), Seth Deering (Creekview), Brett Vavra (Etowah), Mike Britt (River Ridge), Greg Key (Sequoyah) and Josh Smerker (Woodstock). The Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented an award for the county’s top head coach, which went to Etowah’s Dave Svehla. Kennesaw State football coach Brian Bohannon, a Cherokee County resident, was the night’s keynote speaker.