Barry’s South Georgia Players & Coaches of the Year – Large Schools

article submitted by site contributor Barry Every



Overall Player of the Year

Michael Barrett, QB, 6-1/205, Lowndes (2018) – Barrett led his team to a (10-3) mark as the Vikings made it to the State Quarterfinals. He completed 132 of 213 passes (62%) for 2,753 yards and 27 touchdowns versus six picks. Barrett also ran the ball 168 times for 1,283 yards and 21 scores.

Offensive Player of the Year

Jay Saunders, QB, 5-11/170, Colquitt County (2017) – After starting the season (0-4) the Packers ran off eight straight wins while capturing the Region Title. Saunders completed 197 of 325 passes (60.6%) for 2,915 yards and 23 touchdowns versus nine interceptions. He also ran the ball 62 times for 328 yards and four scores.

Defensive Player of the Year

Cody Thompson, LB, 6-2/210, Tift County (2017) – The Blue Devils made the playoffs for only the second time in eight years. Thompson led the team in total tackles (106) and solo stops (69). He also led the Blue Devils with 14 tackles for loss while recording two sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one INT.

Coach of the Year

Randy McPherson, Lowndes (10-3/3-1) – The season did not get off to a great start losing to bitter rival Valdosta in the opening week of the season. After going (12-9) over the previous two seasons the preverbal hot seat was burning. Lowndes quickly turned things around finishing second in the Region and making it to the State Quarterfinals. The Viking offense averaged a whopping 45.7 points per contest in 2016.


Overall Player of the Year

Jake Fromm, QB, 6-3/210, Houston County (2017) – Fromm’s assault on the all-time passing record may have come up just short but he still put up mind boggling numbers in just ten games. He completed 246 of 386 passes (63.7%) for 3,919 yards and 41 touchdowns versus nine interceptions. Fromm added 351 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 106 carries.

Offensive Player of the Year

Tobias Oliver, QB, 6-2/170, Northside (2017) – Oliver led his team to an (11-3) record and a spot in the State Semifinals. He completed 131 of 218 passes (60%) for 1,604 yards and 16 touchdowns versus seven picks. He also ran the ball 224 times for 1,460 yards and 16 scores.

Co-Defensive Players of the Year

Derick Newton, DE, 6-1/260, Coffee (2018) – The Trojans made it to the Quarterfinals for only the second time in the last 33 years. Newton led the Region with 33 TFL’s and 21 sacks. He also recorded 96 tackles, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 11 games.

Aubrey Solomon, DT, 6-4/295, Lee County (2017) – Interior defensive lineman are not usually the teams leader in TFL’s and sacks. This past season Solomon recorded 17 TFL’s, 12 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries. He also recorded 82 total tackles and three forced fumbles.

Coach of the Year

Alan Rodemaker, Valdosta (14-1/4-0) – For starters the Wildcats won the Region Title in possibly the toughest Region, regardless of classification, in the State of Georgia. They then beat Tucker 17-7 in the GHSA State Championship Game. This was all accomplished in Coach Rodemaker’s first season at the helm. It marked the first State Title for Valdosta since 1998. In their five playoff games the Wildcat defense only rendered 9.6 points per game.


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