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All-Suncoast football

From left, Armwood’s Josh Grady, Plant’s James Wilder Jr. and Jefferson’s Quentin Williams are sharing all-Suncoast honors. Each player was invaluable to his team, and each earned the opportunity to play for a state title this season.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

From left, Armwood’s Josh Grady, Plant’s James Wilder Jr. and Jefferson’s Quentin Williams are sharing all-Suncoast honors. Each player was invaluable to his team, and each earned the opportunity to play for a state title this season.

In a season bordering on the unprecedented, we opted for the same landscape-altering approach to our all-Suncoast football team. For what we believe is the first time in our history, three individuals — Jefferson's Quentin Williams, Armwood's Josh Grady and Plant's James Wilder Jr. — share our player of the year honors. Why? All were the clear catalysts in their respective team's drive to a state final berth. Three state finalists, three honorees. See the symmetry? Granted, Williams, who won the state's Mr. Football Award with jaw-dropping numbers, was the only one of the trio to lead his team to a title. But we couldn't in good conscience deny Wilder, who may have meant more to his team than any other player on any team in the state; or Grady, who carried Armwood's offense for much of the postseason.

Players of the Year

Quentin Williams Sr., QB, Jefferson

In his spare time, Williams likes to play EA Sports NCAA Football on XBox. "I like to take one of those little-known teams and win a championship with them," he says.

It's fitting, because on the field Williams put up video-game passing stats in leading a record-setting offense to the Class 3A state title — no B button needed.

In becoming just the third Hillsborough County player to win the Florida Mr. Football Award, he set 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).

In the Dragons' championship game win over Miami Norland, he threw for three scores and ran for two as Jefferson ran out to a 30-point second-quarter lead that had the Vikings searching for the reset button in an eventual 44-34 Dragons win. Unlike his XBox accomplishments, Williams, a Bethune-Cookman commit, has a gold medal to show for it, one he has rarely taken off.

James Wilder Jr. Sr., RB/DE, Plant

Where do we start with J-Dub? The biceps? His powerful strides? His speed off the edge? How he drags tacklers? The stiff arm?

So many things stand out about Wilder's game, which explains why MaxPreps made him its No. 1 recruit in the nation. From the first game of the season, the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder battled bumps and bruises. But make no mistake, he did most of the punishing, rushing for 1,597 yards and 22 touchdowns on offense and 75 tackles and eight sacks on defense.

In the playoffs, Wilder averaged 143 yards and had nine touchdowns, including a 235-yard, five-touchdown effort in a 48-6 trouncing of Lakeland in the state semifinals that immediately became the stuff of legend. As a sophomore at Chamberlain Wilder had just one carry at running back, but will leave for Florida State as the area's most powerful runner in years, and arguably the best player Tampa Bay has ever seen. While most colleges saw his future more promising on defense, he's going to Tallahassee to do big things at running back.

Josh Grady Sr., QB, Armwood

The defining moment of Grady's career may have arrived after the most deflating one.

With 19.6 seconds to play in the Class 4A semifinals at Armwood's Lyle Flagg Field, Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer's Jacoby Brissett had just eluded an intense Hawks pass rush to find Tommylee Lewis in a corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown on third and 10, giving the guests a 20-19 lead.

As Grady, who already had thrown for three TDs, fastened his chin strap to try to salvage a miracle, Armwood defensive coordinator Matt Thompson turned his way and said, "This is what legends are made of."

"That's pretty much the last thing I heard from any coach before I went out onto the field," recalled Grady, a 6-foot-1 senior who totaled 3,061 yards and 26 TDs.

After a penalty provided Armwood some generous field position, Grady hit 210-pound tailback Matt Jones in space for a 28-yard gain. He then found sophomore Alvin Bailey on a button-hook pattern for 12 more yards. Five ticks remained on the clock.

Grady had left enough time for Ash Dudney to boot a winning 44-yard field goal. The senior captain, summoned to carry the injury-plagued Hawks offense most of the playoffs, had handled the season's most critical juncture with presence, poise and precision.

All ingredients of a legend.

Offense

First team

QB: Phillip Ely, Sr., Plant. Bama commit overcame injuries to throw for 2,731 yards, 26 TDs, led Panthers to 5A final

WR: Chris Moore, Sr., Jefferson. Cincinnati commit led bay area with area with 1,572 receiving yards, 22 TDs

WR: Andre Davis, Sr., Jefferson. Dynamic deep threat had 1,296 yards, 13 TDs for 3A state champ

RB: Rashad Lewis, Sr., St. Petersburg. Rushed for Pinellas County-best 1,666 yards with 27 TDs

RB: Conner Powers, Sr., Newsome. Wolves' workhorse was Hillsborough County's top rusher (1,851 yards)

RB: J.J. Hubbard, Sr., Robinson. "Waterbug" dashed and darted his way to more than 1,500 rush yards, 27 TDs

OL: Tyler Moore, Sr., Countryside. Nebraska recruit is considered one of the best tackles in the country

OL: Tyler Pierson, Sr., Countryside. Teamed with Moore to form best offensive tackle tandem in Pinellas

OL: Zach DeBell, Sr., Tarpon Springs. Georgia recruit was selected for Army All-American game

OL: Jordan Prestwood, Sr., Plant City. Converted tight end is seen as a can't-miss OT recruit, has committed to FSU

OL: Cody Waldrop, Jr., Armwood. Guard was interior force in Hawks' daunting power run game

K: Michael Hill, Sr., Tarpon Springs. Accurate kicker had four field goals 40 yards or longer

Ath: Tre Dudley-Giles, Jr., Pasco. Scored touchdowns as a receiver (nine), punt returner (three), running back (one), quarterback (one) and cornerback (one)

Second team

QB Jacob Guy, Jr., Pasco

WR Will Irwin, Sr., Land O'Lakes

WR Tyron Baker, Sr., Spoto

RB Dazmond Patterson, Jr., Plant City

RB Isaac Bailey, Sr., Nature Coast

RB Matt Jones, Jr., Armwood

OL Tony Posada, Sr., Plant

OL Taylon Culbreth, Sr., St. Petersburg

OL Tyler Sweetland, Sr., St. Petersburg

OL Kevin Reeves, Sr., Jefferson

OL Jamall Carter, Sr., Pasco

K Andres Vasquez, Jr., Sickles

Ath Alvin Delaine, Sr., Hernando

Coach of the Year Mike Fenton, Jefferson

The offensive coordinator on Dragons teams that fell one game short of a state title in 2002 and '04, Fenton finally broke through as a head coach.

Defense

First team

DL: Dante Fowler, Sr., Lakewood. FSU recruit had 20 sacks, 32 tackles for loss

DL: Anthony Chickillo, Sr., Alonso. Backfield menace, Miami commit averaged 12.3 tackles, had 18 sacks

DL: Thomas Bronson, Sr., Hernando. Edge rusher had 14 sacks, 47 tackles for loss and six caused fumbles

DL: Cody Pogorelc, Sr., St. Petersburg. We're sliding this fearsome 'backer (18 sacks) down to the defensive edge on our team

LB: Terry Johnson, Sr., Countryside. Pinellas Defensive Player of the Year had 95 tackles

LB: Ramik Wilson, Sr., Jefferson. Dragons' defensive leader played in a variety of spots, had 90 tackles, 18 sacks

LB: Anthony Harrell, Sr., Jesuit. Wake Forest commitment (98 tackles) also was Tigers' No. 2 rusher

LB: Eric Striker, Jr. Armwood. Hawks speedster collected 127 tackles, 16 sacks

DB: Nick Addison, Sr., Spoto. Two-way standout was lockdown corner, accounted for 2,637 yards total offense

DB: Denzel Thompson, Sr., Countryside. Led Pinellas County with nine interceptions

DB: Jamie Byrd, Sr., Pasco. Hard-hitting, Division-I prospect led 11-1 Pirates in tackles (73)

DB: Jermaine McKinney, Sr., Armwood. Blitz-happy safety had three sacks in state title game

P: Mattias Ciabatti, Sr. Hillsborough. For a good part of the season he was Terriers' top offensive weapon

KR: Frankie Williams, Sr., Robinson. When teams actually kicked to him, he averaged 42.6 yards per return

Util: Nelson Agholor, Jr., Berkeley Prep. Three-way Division-I prospect had three picks, but did so much more

Second team

DL David Tinsley, Sr., Armwood

DL Shawn Council, Sr., Brandon

DL Adarius Rayner, Sr., Largo

DL Tyriq McCord, Jr., Jefferson

LB Jackson Cannon, Jr., Land O'Lakes

LB Keith Lewis, Sr., Freedom

LB Jamone Myrick, Sr., St. Petersburg

LB Nick Morrison, Jr., Sunlake

DB Alex Dixon, Sr., Countryside

DB Wesley Moore, Jr., Land O'Lakes

DB Leon McQuay III, So., Armwood

DB Stevie Murph, Sr., St. Petersburg

P Adrian Krupka, Sr., Sunlake

KR Teddy West, Sr., Lakewood

Util Danny Taylor, Sr., Spoto

Honorable mention

Armwood – Cameron Dees, Kyle Wilcox; Clearwater – Ryan Hagen, Jon Hogan; Countryside – Mike Love; East Lake – Tyler Higbee, Chris Leppinen; Gulf – Jeff Kruse; Hernando – William Alderman, Darren Hambrick, Derek Wilson; Hillsborough – Charles Lovett; Hudson – Gary Myrick; Jefferson – Alain Del Rio, Rashad Dunnigan; Jesuit – Derrick Friga; Land O'Lakes – T.J. Chamberlin, Spencer Michelson, Kent Taylor; Largo – Derek Doss, Jarvis Stewart; Mitchell – Codi Folsom, Marcus Hicks; Newsome – Joe Worth; Pasco – Mike Clower, David Emmanuel, Janarion Grant, Mark Landry; Pinellas Park – Jeremi Powell; Plant – Austin Aikens; Robinson – Ruben Gonzalez, Tevin Newman; Springstead – John McCloskey, Lou Wendelstedt; St. Petersburg – Stevie Murph, Raeshaun Washington; Sunlake – Jacob Jackson, Matt Sanders; Tampa Bay Tech – DeVonte Danzey; Tarpon Springs – Darius Daniels, Brodrick Lee, Derek Matson, Runaldo Wright; Wesley Chapel – Jake Fisher

The Times' all-Suncoast team is comprised from players in Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and is voted on by staff reporters.

All-Suncoast football 12/25/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 24, 2010 7:25pm]
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