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Honors rolling in for Panthers

LANETT — Post-season honors are starting to pour in for the 2A state champion Lanett High Panthers. The Alabama Sports Writers Association’s (ASWA) 2017 All-State football teams have been announced, and Lanett has more players mentioned than any other school in the state. Eight Panthers have been named to the first team or the second team.

They are quarterback Kristian “Ken Ken” Story (6-2, 205, Soph.), defensive back Trikweze Bridges (6-3, 175, Jr.), athlete Terrion “Ty” Truitt (5-8, 160, Sr.), and defensive linemen Baraskious “Boo Rock” Dowdell (6-2, 240, Sr.) and D’terrion Glaze (6-0, 195, Jr.) on the first team, and wide receiver Anquaevious “Long” Pollard (6-6, 195, Sr.), defensive back Kaleb Thomas (5-10, 195, Jr.), and linebacker Ja’Won Howell (6-1, 195, Sr.) on the second team.

There are ten all-star teams, seven from the public school classifications and three from the independent school classifications, or AISA. The 10 champions placed 55 players on the first or second teams, or receiving honorable mention notice.

Class 6A champion Pinson Valley had five players on the first team. The state champions in the other classifications, 7A Hoover, 5A St. Paul’s, 4A UMS-Wright, 3A Hillcrest-Evergreen and 1A Sweet Water, each had three selections.

The next step in the path for Alabama’s Mr. Football comes this weekend when the ASWA reveals the finalists for the back and lineman of the year in each class. The winners, along with Mr. Football and the Super 12 team, will be announced at the annual Player of the Year Banquet presented by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association, be held in Montgomery on January 17.

Running back Asa Martin Jr. of Austin High in Decatur was recently named the Alabama Player of the Year by Gatorade.

LaFayette High’s record-setting running back, Robert Houston (5-7, 182, Sr.) was a 2A first team All-State selection along with team mates JaQuavion Boston-Gaines (5-9, 150, Jr.), a defensive back, and Lajareon Bryant (6-0, 235, Jr.), a defensive lineman. Another Bulldog, Omar Boston (5-8, 170, Sr.), was named to the second team as a linebacker.

Chambers Academy’s C.J. Lyons (5-10, 170, Jr.) and Springwood’s Zach Guy (6-3, 290, Sr.) made the AISA’s first team All State. Offensive lineman Brinson Sheffield (5-11, 230, Sr.) of Chambers Academy made the second team.

While the players received attention for winning titles, not one coach of the year in any class came from a team that won a championship. They included Laron White of Sparkman in 7A. Tim Perry of Wetumpka in 6A, Matt Glover of St. Clair County in 5A, Bart Lockhart of Dora in 4A, Taylor Leathers of Colbert Heights in 3A, Daniel Merchant of Sulligent in 2A and Eberne Myrthil of Marengo in 1A. The AISA coach of the year was Glynn Lott of Macon-East.