King, Ridley top Democrat 2001 All-Area team

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 16, 2001

This year the former All Metro football team, last seen in 1999, has a new name, but the penchant for showcasing the top prep talent in the Miss-Lou certainly hasn’t changed.

With eight area teams making the postseason, it’s no surprise that the selections would be difficult and the team itself, extremely deep.

Headlining this year’s squad is Player of the Year Chad Ridley, an all-purpose athlete from Trinity Episcopal, who led the Saints on a thrilling ride to a 12-2 mark and the MPSA Academy A state championship.

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The Democrat’s Coach of the Year nod went to Saints head coach David King, who took a group of undersized and inexperienced, but scrappy warriors to the top.

&uot;It’s an honor to coach this team,&uot; King said. &uot;Fans in this area are really spoiled because there’s some great football players around that take the field every Friday night and there’s some great programs throughout the area.&uot; Other area playoff teams fared well, beyond Trinity’s seven total selections.

The Ferriday Trojans, whose potent offensive juggernaut reached the second round of the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs, are represented by All-Stater Tyrrence Taylor at quarterback.

The first team backfield certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at either. Chances are if you love to see a good ground game, then Ferriday’s Brennan Smith, WCCA’s Stephens McVea and Wilkinson High’s Carl Cage are the ticket, having churned out 5,000 yards between them. McVea shattered a host of scoring records at WCCA and led the entire MPSA in rushing.

The receiving corps boasts plenty of speed, as well with Josh Bush and John Vincent.

What’s that? You say you’re a fan of defense?

The first team front four alone combined for 280 tackles and all of them led outstanding defenses that held opponents to few points.

Perhaps the most intriguing player is a seldom-seen, jack-of-all-trades in Block’s Charles Branch.

Branch could have made the team at several positions, as he wore many hats as the team’s quarterback, running back, wide receiver, punter and safety.