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Knights’ Porter named Region 3-A football player of the year for 2011

Posted: November 29, 2011 2:21 p.m.
Updated: November 30, 2011 5:00 a.m.

NORTH CENTRAL SENIOR Tavarus Porter rushed for more than 1,000 yards in earning player of the year honors in Region 3-A this past season.

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Collectively, it was hardly the best of seasons for Kershaw County’s three public high school football programs which combined to win seven (see accompanying note) games in 2011.

Individually, however, it was a different story as 11 KC football players earned first team all-conference honors while seven North Central players were honorable mention all-league honorees by their respective conference coaches.

The biggest honor accorded to any local player went to North Central tailback Tavarus Porter, who was tabbed as the Region 3-A player of the year.

The 6-foot, 200-pound tailback rushed for a county-best 1,462 yards on 170 carries for an 8.6 yards per carry average with a long run of 90 yards for a touchdown . His 16 touchdowns --- and three 2-point conversion runs --- led all KC players in that category as well as in scoring with 102 points.

Porter also caught four passes for 63 yards.

Here is the school-by-school rundown of all-region honorees:


Camden (Region 6-AAA)


Jake Ansley (Sr. – Specialist)

– Ansley became the first Camden High kicker to lead the Bulldogs in scoring in a season. The two-sport standout scored 47 points as he drilled nine of his 13 field goal tries, including a school-record 50-yarder in a season-opening loss to Spring Valley. He also converted on 20 of his 21 PAT tries. Also the team’s punter, Ansley averaged better than 32 yards per punt with a long of 47 yards.

Hamid Mathis (Sr. – Linebacker)

– Mathis finished fifth on the team with 57 tackles --- with 41 solo stops --- from his outside linebackers’ post. He had a team-best 14 tackles for loss of yardage to go along with a pair of sacks. He had one interception, which he returned for a 36-yard touchdown.

Fidel Wise (Sr. – Linebacker)

– Wise sat out the entire 2010 season, but made up for that as a senior. One year after having missed his junior campaign due to an ankle injury, the 6-foot, 240-pound Camden High inside linebacker made up for lost time with a sterling senior season. He was the lone county player to be named to play in an all-star game as he was selected onto the South squad for the SCADA North-South All-Star Football Game on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Myrtle Beach.

Wise led the Bulldogs with 107 tackles, with 66 solo stops. He was tied for second on the team with 12 tackles for loss of yardage. He also recovered three fumbles and broke up four passes. Wise scored one time on six carries.

Sheldon Wright (Sr. – Defensive Line)

– a Three-year starter at tackle, the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder was third on the Bulldogs with 65 tackles. His five quarterback sacks led Camden as did his 11 quarterback pressures. Wright was tied for second on the team with 12 tackles for loss of yardage



(Region 6-4A)


Zach Connell (Sr. - RB)

Chris Platenberg (Sr. – Punter)

– The first-year varsity starter proved to be a worthy successor to the Demons’ string of specialists. Platenberg averaged better than 32 yards per punt with a long of 47 yards, but it was his ability to hem opponents deep in their own territory which made him a valuable defensive weapon. In a game with West Florence, he averaged better than 37 yards on six punts with half of those landing or being downed inside the WF 10 yard line.

Josh Ruiz (Sr. – DB)

– About the only place you were unable to find Ruiz was on the L-E bench. A starter on offense, defense and special teams, the 5-foot-8, 175-pound, third-year starter was fourth on the team in tackles with 58 stops --- 45 solo --- from his safety post. Ruiz broke up 10 passes, forced and recovered a fumble and had an interception. On offense, Ruiz rushed for 293 yards on 40 carries, for an average of 7.3 yards per carry, while scoring a pair of touchdowns. He was also the Demons’ primary punt returner while also returning kickoffs, as well.


North Central

(Region 3-A)


Myles Dunham (Sr. – Defensive end

) – Dunham was one of the most pleasant surprises for the Knights on both sides of the football. In addition to patrolling the edge on defense, he was also asked to play offense and was a nice compliment at tailback and fullback to Porter as he gained 73 yards on 14 carries while scoring a touchdown and adding a two-point conversion run.

Grayson King (Jr. – Quarterback)

– All King did was to improve in every category, along with the intangibles, as the season went along. Also the ace of the Knights’ pitching staff in the spring, the 6-footer completed 40 of his 203 passes for 1,110 yards and three touchdowns while seeing his interceptions drop markedly in the second half of the season. King also became adept at running the zone read and rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown in his second full season as a starter.

T.J. Love (Jr. – Offensive Line)

– Love, a 300-pounder, was a stalwart along the offensive line in starting every game for the Knights. He helped NC rush for 2,015 yards in a season in which Louis Clyburn’s offensive unit averaged 317.7 yards per contest.

Dennis Stevens (Jr. – Offensive Line) – It was no surprise that the Knights’ offense got better when the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Stevens returned to the lineup at tackle after missing several games in the middle part of the season due to illness. A player with a relentless motor, both he and Love played pivotal roles for an offensive line which did not allow an opposing defender to get to King for a sack all season.

Honorable mention Region 3-A:

Shaq McClinton (SR. – Defensive Back); Dustin McCathern (So. – Linebacker); Anthony Spinelli (Jr. – Athlete); Hunter Bair (Sr. – Offensive Line); Chris Vasquez (Jr. – Linebacker/Defensive Back); Clarence Williams (Jr. – Athlete); Reggie Outten (So. – Defensive End)


NC awarded win:

Due to the use of an ineligible player in its game with North Central, Lewisville High School forfeited its 41-28 victory over the Knights in a game played on Oct. 14. It was one of three games in which the ineligible player was used by the Lions.

The forfeiture of that contest gave NC a final 3-7 record for 2011.


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