Plenty of talent to go around in area

Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 21, 2014

Admittedly, the All-Metro Player of the Year Award was no layup.

On Christmas day, we will unveil our selection for the award that we as a sports staff voted on as the best player out of the 11 schools in our coverage area.

Before making our decision, we took into consideration what Wyatt Boothe meant to Cathedral (accounted for 36 total touchdowns), the excellence of Centreville’s Casey Haygood (totaled 31 touchdowns), the flash of Ferriday’s Dontrell Domino (racked up 1,882 rushing yards), the brilliance of Catheral’s Dee Fleming (averaged 9.4 yards per carry) and Natchez High School’s seemingly one-man army Sidney Davis (10 receiving touchdowns, seven rushing touchdowns, six passing touchdowns and two forced fumbles at the 5A level).

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Once that has sunk in, one can fully understand how difficult the decision was, as all five of those young men were more than deserving. Stay tuned for our decision.

In the mean time, how about a few awards I created to hold us over?

• Breakout performer of the year: Trinity’s Kevontaye Caston. Before the season, sophomore Cade Wells generated the most hype for his team. Wells was visibly fast, athletic and versatile, and most certainly looked the part with his physical frame. Wells’ play on the field didn’t disappoint, as he led the Saints in tackles with 114 and provided 15 total touchdowns. However, his teammate Caston came out of nowhere and dominated the stat column. Take a gander at these gaudy stats — 1,800 passing yards, 700 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 25 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, three touchdowns on special teams or defense.

• Play of the year: Ferriday’s Ronald Williams to Shannon Morales in double overtime to beat Block. On Sept. 20, a day after the game was postponed because of lightning, Ferriday High School and Block High School played in a memorable double-overtime contest. The height of that game came in the second overtime period when Ferriday faced a third-and-17. Down 26-20, the Trojans needed to score. Williams, who played quarterback for Ferriday, dropped back to pass and launched a pass toward a triple-covered Morales in the end zone, who tipped the ball in the air and caught it on a second effort in the back of the end zone. The play setup a successful two-point conversion, giving Ferriday a 28-26 win.

• Most fun to watch in open space: ACCS’ Trey Fleming. The best highlight in the area can easily go to Fleming because of his sick dance moves on the gridiron. Any time Fleming was the recipient of a designed screen or returned a punt, you almost knew something special was about to happen. Fleming, along with Lester Wells and Torrey Smith, made ACCS one of the most enjoyable to watch teams in the area.

• Leader of the year: Cathedral’s Dee Fleming. “Yes, sir,” “No, sir” and a lot of leading by example are what you can expect from Fleming. Even better, when his team faced adversity during the season, Fleming would just bite down on his mouthpiece and increase his intensity on the field, elevating his play even higher.

• The “eye test” award: Ferriday’s Allen Cummings. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, Cummings has First-Team All-Metro talent. Unfortunately, he won’t earn it with his 371 receiving yards and one touchdown reception, but those who watched him play know how big-time he is. Ferriday was a run-first team, and having a back like Domino will certainly justify that strategy, but anytime the Trojans needed to go 10 yards or further on third down, you automatically knew Cummings was about to be targeted. Nine times out of 10 he came down with the catch, proving that he was clutch.

• Co defensive players of the year: Cathedral’s James Allen Coley and ACCS’ Lester Wells. At linebacker, Coley totaled 140 tackles, while Wells racked up 98 tackles and six interceptions at safety. Yeah, I think those numbers speak for itself.