All-Hillsborough County football
Tri-Players of the Year
QB, Armwood, Sr.
Why we picked him: On a team rife with talent, he emerged as the most valuable player. A pure quarterback endowed with intelligence, a collegiate-level arm and nimble feet, Grady amassed 3,061 total yards, saving some of his most valiant efforts for the postseason. With his top two ball carriers ailing, Grady ran for 385 yards and six TDs in the Hawks’ first three playoff games. Then, with his backfield intact for the Class 4A state semifinal rematch against Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, he flourished in play-action, throwing for 278 yards and three TDs. His last two completions — 28 and 12 yards — in the final 19 seconds set up the winning field goal in the Hawks’ wild 22-20 victory.
Most impressive accomplishment: Facing adversity head on, and conquering it, against Dwyer. The 19-second scoring drive Grady engineered came immediately after Dwyer had taken a 20-19 lead on a third-and-10 TD pass. “Just being down and fighting back the way we did, that was probably one of my proudest moments,” he said.
Future plans: Grady, an honors student seeking a school where he can play quarterback, will visit USF, Iowa State and Wake Forest next month. When his football career ends, he intends to pursue medicine; he wants to be a heart surgeon.
Did you know? Like former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano following the Wolfpack’s 1983 NCAA title game win, Grady didn’t know what to do or whom to hug when Ash Dudney kicked the winning 44-yard field goal against Dwyer. Instead, he tossed his helmet and went running in circles.
QB, Jefferson, Sr.
Why we picked him: He led the Dragons to their first state title with a 44-34 Class 3A championship win over Miami Norland, all while rewriting the state passing record books. He owns Florida high school records for single-season passing touchdowns (56), single-season passing yardage (4,451), career touchdown passes (109) and career passing yardage (10,384). He also became the third county player to win the Florida Mr. Football award, given annually to the top high school player in the state.
Most impressive accomplishment: Williams’ greatest attribute might be how he was able to will his team to victory, even on nights when he wasn’t at his best. Take Jefferson’s 28-27 state semifinal win over St. Augustine, when he converted two third and longs and fourth and short before scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He took the Dragons on his back from the start of the state final, throwing for 151 yards, rushing for 73 and accounting for touchdowns on each of the Dragons’ first five possessions.
Future plans: Williams has committed to Division I-AA Bethune-Cookman, and though he figures to get some late Division I-A attention, his pledge appears solid. Williams has said after college he’d love to return home and coach high school football.
Did you know? Williams’ mother, Nikita, is a Jefferson alum who played basketball and was a dancerette. She also attended Bethune-Cookman before entering the Army.
James Wilder Jr.
RB/DE, Plant, Sr.
Why we picked him: He was simply the most physically dominating two-way player we’ve seen in the bay area in years. Pegged the nation’s top senior recruit by MaxPreps over the summer, he lived up to his preseason billing. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder led the Panthers to the verge of a third straight state title, rushing for 1,597 yards and 22 touchdowns , and recording 75 tackles and eight sacks.
Most impressive accomplishment: Wilder said being a finalist for Florida Mr. Football — he placed third in overall voting — was his proudest moment, but we would point to his performance in the Class 5A state semifinal against Lakeland. Wilder ran for 235 yards and five touchdowns, both season highs, in a 48-6 win, making one of the state’s top programs look like a JV team.
Future plans: Wilder has committed to Florida State and while college coaches hope he can be swayed, he seems solid in his commitment there.
Did you know? While most project Wilder, the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer RB James Wilder Sr., as a defensive player because of his size and ferocity, Wilder says he doesn’t like to hit people. “It’s only when people start talking trash and then I get mad,” Wilder said. “But I think defense is kind of boring.”
QB: Phillip Ely, Plant, Sr. Threw for 2,731 yards, 26 TDs; finished career 28-3 as a starter
OL: Jordan Prestwood, Plant City, Sr. 6-foot-6, 277-pound converted TE committed to FSU
OL: DeVonte Danzey, TBT, Sr. Interior blocker provided daylight in power run game
OL: Cody Waldrop, Armwood, Jr. Burly guard could be among top recruits of 2012
OL: Kevin Reeves, Jefferson, Sr. 6-foot-2, 305-pound guard anchored solid line
OL: Tony Posada, Plant, Sr. Michigan commit (6-5, 325) was Panthers’ sole returning starter
RB: Conner Powers, Newsome, Sr. County’s top rusher (1,851 yards); 10 100-plus-yard games
RB: J.J. Hubbard, Robinson, Sr. Ran for more than 400 yards, six TDs in playoffs
RB: Dazmond Patterson, Plant City, Jr. Tallied 1,751 total yards (1,232 rushing), 18 touchdowns
WR: Chris Moore, Jefferson, Sr. Cincinnati commit led bay area with 1,572 yards, 22 TDs
WR: Andre Davis, Jefferson, Sr. 6-foot-3 human highlight film had 1,296 yards, 13 TDs
UT: Danny Taylor, Spoto, Sr. Did it all — 964 rush yards, 716 receiving yards, 13 TDs, 85 tackles, three INTs
H-back: Joe Worth, Newsome, Sr. Two-way star had 24 catches for 401 yards
PK: Andres Vasquez, Sickles, Jr. His eight field goals included a 44-yarder
QB: Patton Chillura, Jesuit, Sr.
OL: Richie Reay, Robinson, Sr.
OL: Alain Del Rio, Jefferson, Sr.
OL: Robbie Amor, Jesuit, Sr.
OL: Andre Gunn, Hillsborough, Sr.
OL: Cameron Dees, Armwood, Jr.
RB: Matt Jones, Armwood, Jr.
RB: Darius Lee, Brandon, Sr.
RB: Cary White, Sickles, Sr.
WR: Tyron Baker, Spoto, Sr.
WR: Austin Aikens, Plant, Jr.
H-back: Kyle Wilcox, Armwood, Sr.
UT: Ruben Gonzalez, Robinson, Sr.
PK: Harold Gussman, Newsome, Sr.
DL: Tyriq McCord, Jefferson, Jr. Backfield menace had county-high 181/2 sacks
DL: Anthony Chickillo, Alonso, Sr. Miami commit averaged 12.3 tackles, had 18 sacks
DL: David Tinsley, Armwood, Sr. Hawks’ top D-lineman had 77 tackles, seven sacks
DL: Shawn Council, Brandon, Sr. 5-foot-7 wrecking ball had 81/2 sacks for 9-2 Eagles
LB: Ramik Wilson, Jefferson, Sr. Defensive leader of 3A champ had 90 tackles, 18 sacks
LB: Anthony Harrell, Jesuit, Sr. Wake Forest commit (98 tackles) led team to 10-0 regular season
LB: Eric Striker, Armwood, Jr. Fleet ’backer had 16 sacks for area’s best defense
LB: Keith Lewis, Freedom, Sr. D-I recruit averaged 11.6 tackles, blocked three kicks
DB: Nick Addison, Spoto, Sr. Two-way standout had 80 tackles, 12 pass breakups, two INTs
DB: Nelson Agholor, Berkeley Prep, Jr. Top 2012 recruit had three interceptions
DB: Leon McQuay III, Armwood, So. Led Hawks with five interceptions, three vs. Plant
DB: Jermaine McKinney, Armwood, Sr. “Juice” notched three sacks in state title game
P: Mattias Ciabatti, Hillsborough, Sr. Averaged 39.4 yards a punt, pinned 12 inside the 20
KR: Frankie Williams, Robinson, Sr. Five of his 12 touchdowns came on returns
DL: Abraham Esteva, Lennard, Sr.
DL: Earl Moore, Hillsborough, Jr.
DL: Tavis Campbell, King, Sr.
DL: Josh Smith, TBT, Sr.
LB: Fredell Moore, Spoto, Sr.
LB: Art Knight, Plant City, Sr.
LB: Tevin Newman, Robinson, Sr.
LB: Schyler Miles, Berkeley, Jr.
DB: Donald Smith, Spoto, Sr.
DB: Rashad Dunnigan, Jefferson, Sr.
DB: Christian Hardegree, Berkeley, Jr.
DB: Derrick Friga, Jesuit, Sr.
P: Neil MacInnes, Chamberlain, Jr.
KR: Charles Lovett, Hillsborough, Sr.
Alonso — Brandon Holloway, Marcus Neuman; Armwood — Alvin Bailey, Kevin McCoy, Ronnie Thomas, Jake Zilbar; Berkeley Prep — Reggie Barnes, Chase Carmichael, Destin Nichols, Speros Theofilos; Bloomingdale — Zack Vath; Brandon — Josh Celerin, Walter Keels; Cambridge Christian — Michael McDermott, Brandon Park; Carrollwood Day — Robert Davis, Dillon Floyd, Deuce Gruden, Markeith Kilgo, Max Orr, Jarrod Smith; Durant — Conner Bass, Daivonte Lumpkin, Je’Twan Smith, Clay Varnum; East Bay — Tevin Franklin; Freedom — Rob Lohnes, Isaac Tanner; Gaither — Angel Alvarez, Josh Scarberry; Hillsborough — Jeremiah Green, Tim Randolph, Rodney Williams; Jefferson — Christian Calle, Manny Cromuel, Rodney Mills, Demetrius Russell, Delryn Wilson; Jesuit — Parker Clonts, Travis Johnson, Bryce Walker; King — Chris Murray, Reese Sturgis, Greg Windham; Lennard — Alejandro Chavez; Leto — Jahmeire Caldwell; Newsome — Josh Adams, Cole Rector; Plant — Eric Patterson, Matt Suarez; Plant City — Antwon Amstrong, Sam Green, Javonte Sykes; Riverview — Phillip Mullings, Cole Ungerer; Robinson — Marqus Baker, Andrew Meddaugh, Blake Rice, Kody Thomas; Sickles — Brieann Dollard, Bryce Goeden; Steinbrenner — Tobi Antigha; Tampa Bay Tech — Kadesh Reeves, Tim Stewart; Tampa Catholic — Chivarsky Corbett, Hunter Joyer; Wharton — Marvin Murray, Bradley Prior, Emmanuel Simon, Tanner Stocker
Coach of the Year
Mike Fenton, Jefferson
After coming up short as the offensive coordinator of the 2002 and ’04 state finalist teams, Fenton won his first state title in his first trip as a head coach. A 33-year coaching veteran, Fenton overcame several on- and off-the-field obstacles and rallied the Dragons to the Class 3A crown.