Jefferson Co. has four named All-State

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FAYETTE — Prior to this year, Jefferson County head coach James Herrington has only seen two of his players make All-State.

Now, Herrington can add four senior players to the list.

The Tigers’ Marcus Snyder and Dontrell Day were nominated to the MHSAA Class 3A All-State first team, and Robert Wells and Kiwaski Tenner were named to the second team.

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“I’ve been here (at Jefferson County) five years, and the only other two I’ve had to go All-State are Percy Turner and Larry Banks,” Herrington said.

“It definitely brings me a warm feeling, seeing these guys have success, because this is the same school I went to.”

Snyder was the Tigers’ inside linebacker, and led the team in tackling for the second year in a row with 135 tackles, including a 25-tackle game. Herrington said Snyder did a great job as defensive captain for the Tigers as well.

“He’s the best defensive player we have,” Herrington said. “He works hard and showed up every day, and I can’t say enough good things about him.

“He was our play caller on defense, and a coach on the field. All of our defensive play calls went through him, and he’s going to be sorely missed.”

Day was a four-year starter for the Tigers at left tackle, and Herrington said he didn’t give up a sack this season, tallying approximately 77 pancake blocks. At 6-foot-4 1/2, 330 pounds, along with a mean streak, Herrington said Day was a great lineman for him.

“He protected our blind side,” Herrington said. “With our quarterback being right-handed, left tackle is going to be the most key spot on the offensive line, and he anchored it well.

“He came in 6-foot-3 as a freshman, and we had a veteran line that year, so it was easy to put him alongside four seniors. It was a good investment that paid off.”

Speedy running back Robert Wells made second team for the Tigers, and Herrington said he was surprised that Wells didn’t make any All-Star games this year.

“He’s the fastest player I’ve ever coached,” Herrington said. “I’ve had some fast ones, but as far as raw speed, he’s by far the fastest and most deadly I’ve ever coached.”

Wells didn’t get acclimated with football until the middle of his junior year, when he came over from the school’s track team. Before that, he had worked with the football team as a trainer.

“We tried him at defensive back, and he didn’t do like we expected,” Herrington said. “We tried him at receiver, but he was kind of raw, then he got injured. When he came back, we put him at running back, and on his first player, he broke a run for 65 yards. He’s been running ever since.”

Wells holds a record at Jefferson County for the longest run from the line of scrimmage, with a 96-yard touchdown run. Herrington said he would have liked more time to work with Wells.

“He only played six games last year, and only contributed a year and a half total,” Herrington said. “A kid like that, you’d hate to see him go when he’s only contributed one and a half years.”

Rounding out the list is quarterback Kiwaski Tenner, who made second team. Tenner’s versatility allowed him to play several positions over the course of his career, Herrington said.

“He’s a four-year starter who was our No. 3 receiver his freshman year and a running back, receiver and defensive back his sophomore year,” Herrington said.

“He was our best complete athlete last year. There wasn’t anyone on the team who was more of a pure athlete than Kiwaski Tenner.”

Tenner moved to quarterback his sophomore and junior years after both of the Tigers’ starters went out each of those seasons. After last year, he was a mainstay at quarterback for Jefferson County.

“There was concern early that he would get the looks at quarterback because it was so demanding,” Herrington said.

“As soon as those reservations left, he had the betterment of the team in mind, got in there and worked, and improved himself. We couldn’t have gone as far as we did this year without him.”

With four players make All-State, Herrington said he wanted to extend his congratulations and thanks to each player.

“I wish them the best of luck and appreciate everything they’ve done for the football program and school,” Herrington said. “On behalf of the staff, I want to congratulate them and wish them the best in the future.”