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Grid coaches honor county's best for 2010

Posted: December 22, 2010 4:05 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2010 5:00 a.m.
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Tevin Alexander did a little bit of everything for North Central this past season as the senior started on offense, defense and on special teams.

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This past football season saw plenty of new faces play key roles for all four Kershaw County high school football programs.

Many of those same players were rewarded at season’s end by being names to the 2010 Chronicle-Independent Coaches All-Area Football Team. Players were nominated and chosen to the squad by all four county high school head coaches.

Here is this year’s team:

Offense

Dillon Morrow (Quarterback, Senior, Camden): Morrow burst onto the scene as a first-year full-time starter after sitting out his junior year with an arm injury. Morrow threw for 2,308 yards and 25 touchdowns. He completed 140 of his 262 pass attempts while also rushing for a touchdown

Darius Custard (Running back, Senior, Lugoff-Elgin): The 6-foot, 180-pounder was the 2010 Region 6-4A offensive player of the year. Custard ran for 1,449 yards and 14 touchdowns on 228 carries (a 6.4 yards per carry average.) He also led the Demons in receiving with 37 catches for 432 yards (11.7 yards per catch) and four more touchdowns, giving him 18 on the season for a county-best 108 points.

Tavarus Porter (Running back, Junior, North Central): Porter played through a leg injury which limited him to seven games this past season. Still, he managed to rush for 948 yards on 170 carries (a 5.6 yard per carry average) while leading the Knights with 10 touchdowns. Porter was responsible for 87 percent of L-E’s total rushing yardage.

Joseph Branham (Offensive line, Junior, Camden): Branham made a smooth transition to center after having started the season at tackle. Helped Camden to amass more than 3,455 yards in offense.

Kyle Ham (Offensive line, Senior, Lugoff-Elgin): The 6-foot-2, 215-pound tackle helped pave the way for an L-E offense which got better as the season went on. The Demons finished the season averaging better than 22 points in their 12 games.

Selwyn Hickmon (Offensive line, Junior, Camden): Overcame an in-season injury to his hand which limited his playing time. The offense clicked when he returned to his guard post as he helped the Dogs average better than 25 points per game.

Troy Love (Offensive line, Sophomore, North Central): The son of former NC standout and the late, Myronne Love, Troy Love made an immediate impact on the Knights’ offensive front in helping clear the way for a unit which averaged better than 210 yards per game.

Drew Charles (Tight end, Senior, Camden): A second-year starter who was reliable in the passing game as well as in the running game thanks to his blocking ability. A tough-nosed player who caught four passes for 22 yards.

Chris Douglas (Tight end, Junior, Lugoff-Elgin): Douglas made the most of his chance to play when an injury opened the door at tight end. He was a strong blocker who played a large role in L-E’s ground and air game which had more than 4,000 yards in offense.

Jerrod Beaufort (Wide receiver, Senior, Camden):  A second-year starter, the 6-foot-1 wide out had33 catches while gaining 482 yards in the air. He was second on the team with 44 points, including seven touchdown grabs. He also averaged better than 15 yards per kick return.

DaVante` Hayes (Wide receiver, Senior, Camden): Hayes returned to football after not going out for the sport as a junior. He hauled in 33 passes for 675 yards (20.4 yards per catch) while scoring five touchdowns. He also averaged better than eight yards per punt return and 29.5 yards on each kickoff return.

Alvonta` Jenkins (Wide receiver, Senior, Camden): The 6-foot, 200-pound senior was named to the Shrine Bowl and was the 2010 Region 6-AAA co-offensive player of the year. He led the Bulldogs with 47 catches for 850 yards (18.1 yards per catch) and a team-best 11 touchdowns. The Shrine Bowl selection had two touchdown grabs of 79 yards. He also punted for a 38.1 yard average

Raijon Jones (Wide receiver, Sophomore, North Central): Really came on in the second half of the season and was the Knights’ leading receiver over the course of the final three games. The speedster led NC with 21 grabs for 203 yards.

Grayson Quick (Specialist, Senior, Lugoff-Elgin): The Shrine Bowl kicker and punter and the 2010 Region 6-4A specialist of the year, Quick was a weapon in his four seasons as a starting kicker for the Demons. This past season, he converted on seven of his 12 field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards. He also drilled home 29 of his 32 PAT tries. As a punter, Quick averaged 38.5 yards per punt on 39 attempts with a long of 62 yards.

Defense

Tripp O’Cain (Defensive line, Senior, Lugoff-Elgin): An undersized (5-foot-10, 205-pound) end, who was never out-worked or out-hustled. O’Cain was second on the team with 79 tackles while leading the Demon defense with six sacks.

Jerel Robinson (Defensive line, Senior, Camden): The fourth-year starting nose guard clogged up the middle for Camden. The 6-foot-1, 320-pounder made 40 first hits and had seven quarterback pressures. He was also second on the team with 15 tackles for loss of yardage while forcing and recovering three fumbles.

Ladricus Tuner (Defensive line, Junior, Lugoff-Elgin): The Spring Valley transfer plugged the middle for the L-E defense, while also having the quickness to track down ball carriers on the outside. Had three sacks on the season

Daniel Witmore (Defensive line, Sophomore, North Central): A high-energy player, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Witmore made it tough for teams to get on the outside of the NC defense. Was a force this past season in Boonetown and only figures to improve over the next two years.

Sheldon Wright (Defensive line, Junior, Camden): A second-year starter, Wright registered 59 tackles (35) solo from his tackle post. Had 3.5 sacks and team-bests of 13 quarterback pressures, 23 tackles for loss of yardage and four caused fumbles.

Zach Connell (Linebacker, Junior, Lugoff-Elgin): The insertion of Connell to fullback in the middle of the season was just the shot in the arm the Demons’ offense needed as he teamed with Custard to give L-E a dangerous 1-2 punch in the backfield. Connell made the most of his 84 carries, gaining 539 yards and scoring five touchdowns. Plagued by a nagging shoulder injury, he also registered two sacks from his linebacker slot.

David Duncan (Linebacker, Senior, Camden Military Academy): The leader of a Spartan defense which improved each week as the season progressed, Duncan was a returning player who understood Will Rice’s system and was an extension of the coaching staff on the field.

Zac Hall (Linebacker, Senior, North Central):  The multi-talented senior led the Knights in tackles while also having seen time at fullback in the second half of the season. He ended the year as NC’s second-leading rusher and found his way into the end zone twice.

Markus Kershaw (Linebacker, Senior, Lugoff-Elgin): A first-year starter, Kershaw made an immediate impact . He was third on the team with 74 tackles and could be, oftentimes, be found in the opposing backfield. He had four stops behind the line of scrimmage in a state playoff game with Ashley Ridge.

Zack Neal (Linebacker, Senior, Camden): The four-year letterman and second-year starter was the quarterback of the defense from his inside linebackers’ post. He finished the year with 62 tackles (34 solos) while picking up two passes, both in the waning minutes of the 7-3 win over Marlboro County, locking up second place in the region for the Bulldogs.

Josh Ruiz (Linebacker, Junior, Lugoff-Elgin): The high-energy Ruiz led the Demons with 93 tackles, including a pair of quarterback sacks. That only tells part of the story. Ruiz also carried the football and caught eight passes out of the backfield for 96 yards and two touchdowns. He also saw duty on special teams, returning punts and kicks.

Tevin Alexander (Defensive back, Senior, North Central): Alexander was a multi-purpose player who roamed at safety for the Knights on defense, a wide out on offense while also returning punts and kicks. He caught 11 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.

Cedrick Malone (Defensive back, Senior, Camden): Malone made the smooth transition from linebacker to safety. He finished the season with a team-best 80 tackles, including 44 first hits. He had a pair of interceptions with six passes broken up.

Tony Murphy (Defensive back, Senior, Lugoff-Elgin):  A pleasant surprise at cornerback for the Demons. A three-year starter in wrestling, Murphy brought that toughness to the gridiron and was not afraid to come up and make plays against the run, as well as covering the passing lanes.

Tayler Workman (Defensive back, Senior, Camden): Workman led Camden with five interceptions, returning two of those picks for touchdowns of 53 and 47 yards. He was second on the team with 75 tackles (51 solo stops) while breaking up a team-high 10 passes.

Honorable Mention

Camden: Jeffrey Belton, Tim Dixon, Jamaal Jackson, Hamid Mathis, Steven Reed

Lugoff-Elgin: Jacob Branham, Raulo Chafin, Will Dorton, Tresten Lyles, Thomas Perkins, Zach Salmond

North Central: Hunter Bair, Andrew Galuppi, Anthony Spinelli, Donte Stoney

Camden Military Academy: Tyrone Moore, Ned Prezioso, Patrick Stone, Justin Sutton

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