CHS’ Upton named region offensive MVP

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NATCHEZ — In a region that featured a state championship team and a slew of great athletes, it was a local quarterback who was named the offensive most valuable player.

Cathedral junior signal-caller Caleb Upton was named offensive MVP of Region 4-1A as voted on by the region coaches.

In addition, nine other Cathedral players made the All-Region first team, and four others made either second team or honorable mention.

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The Cathedral coaching staff was also named coaching staff of the year in the region.

Mount Olive running back/quarterback Ruben Duckworth was named region MVP while Mount Olive’s Tim Feazell was named defensive MVP.

Region 4-1A was the toughest region in Class 1A this past season, with three of the region’s four playoff teams making the south state semifinals, and Mount Olive winning its second consecutive state championship.

Upton said the award came as a surprise to him, seeing how many great athletes are in the region.

“I was just excited and honored to receive it,” Upton said. “Playing in a region with a guy like Ruben Duckworth, and all these good players in our region, I just felt honored.”

Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said Upton put in a lot of hard work and was deserving of the honor.

“He is really well-respected throughout the region,” Rushing said. “This is really his first year as a full-time starter in high school. He did a tremendous job of learning the scheme. It really is a huge accomplishment.”

The Cathedral players who were named to the All-Region first team were JaDarius Ealey, Josh Callaway, Semmes White, Daniel Huffines, Tyler Flemming, Adam Kaiser, Carl Hammitte, Matthew Golden and Tyler Jordan.

Khalil Brice, Kyle Bradley and Dakota Vaughan were named to the second team and Will Jones and Tyrin McDuffie were named honorable mention.

“We had the most out of anybody in the region,” Rushing said. “I’m very proud of that. They are very deserving.”

Rushing also was proud of the fact that he and his staff were named best coaching staff in the district.

Rushing and his staff improved Cathedral’s win total by six this year, going from a 4-7 record in 2009 to a 10-3 record and region championship this season.

“I can’t say enough about my assistant coaches,” Rushing said. “They work tremendously hard throughout the week. It doesn’t just happen at practice, there’s a lot of watching film and scheming.”

And Rushing said the quality of his assistant coaches makes his job as head coach that much easier.

“I believe in the guys I have,” Rushing said. “They do a great job and are passionate about the job they do. One thing a good coach does is surround himself with good people and let them do their jobs. I basically just let them coach.”