Franklin County Times 2006 All-County Football Awards

By Staff
Mike Self, FCT Sports Editor
Coach of the Year: Perry Swindall, Russellville
In his ninth year at Russellville, Swindall guided the Golden Tigers to their sixth consecutive season of at least 11 wins.
In a region that placed four teams in the third round of the Class 5A playoffs, Swindall led the Golden Tigers to a perfect 7-0 record that extended their regular season winning streak in region play to a staggering 42 games.
The season ended in disappointing fashion with a loss to J.O. Johnson in the state quarterfinals, but Swindall and his staff squeezed the most out of a hard-working group of players that wasn't stocked with superstar talent like some Russellville teams in recent years.
With 11 wins this season, Swindall now stands just one victory shy of 100 for his Russellville career.
Player of the Year: Mike Abernathy, Junior Running Back, Russellville
Abernathy has already been offered a scholarship by the University of Alabama, and it's easy to see why.
The 6-foot-1, 241-pound back is blessed with soft hands, nimble feet, and a breakaway gear rare for someone his size. After being hampered by an ankle injury in Russellville's first two games, Abernathy quickly became the unstoppable force that many expected to see.
During a four-week stretch in the middle of the season that included crucial games against the Golden Tigers' toughest area opponents, Abernathy averaged 188 rushing yards per game and 8.0 yards per carry.
He finished the season with 1,527 yards and 17 touchdowns on 210 carries, while also leading the team with 55 catches for 584 yards and five scores.
Abernathy's 2,111 yards from scrimmage and 22 total touchdowns were the driving force behind Russellville's 11-2 record, a mark that included a seventh straight appearance in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs.
Defensive Player of the Year: Casey Morgan, Senior Defensive Lineman, Russellville
Morgan's high-motor style energized the Golden Tigers' defense and helped give them one of the most fearsome front sevens around.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound lineman was a dangerous pass rusher and was equally skilled at stopping the run. He led Russellville in both solo tackles (65) and sacks (seven) while also recovering three fumbles and even intercepting a pass.
Stats, however, don't do justice to Morgan's contributions. He was the emotional leader of the defense, and his toughness was on full display when he played the second half of the quarterfinal game against J.O. Johnson with a torn ACL he suffered just one week earlier.
First-Team All-County
Offense
QB Cory Trapp, Junior, Russellville
-Passed for 2,269 yards and 29 TDs.
RB Mike Abernathy, Junior, Russellville
-Totaled 2,111 yards from scrimmage with 22 TDs.
RB Kirby Nelson, Senior, Russellville
-Rushed for 698 yards and six TDs while also catching 41 passes for 359 yards and five scores.
WR Manny Ricardo, 8th-grader, Tharptown
-Big-play receiver topped the 130-yard mark in a game twice this season.
WR Morgan Stanfield, Senior, Red Bay
-Had season-high eight catches for 70 yards and two TDs in Week 1 vs. Shoals Christian; also caught 85-yard TD pass in Week 4 to help spark 24-21 upset of West Morgan.
TE Marc Dunn, Senior, Russellville
-Had 28 catches for 362 yards and six TDs in eight games.
OL Taz Tillery, Senior, Russellville
OL Anthony Hester, Senior, Vina
OL Byron Bean, Junior, Russellville
OL Jonathon Duke, Senior, Russellville
OL Josh McCullough, Junior, Russellville
PK Chris Frame, Senior, Red Bay
-Money on extra points (32-of-33) and in the clutch, nailing a 44-yard field goal to beat West Morgan 24-21.
KR Joe McKinney, Junior, Red Bay
-Returned two kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns.
Defense
DL Casey Morgan, Senior, Russellville
-Finished with 75 tackles and seven sacks.
DL Seth Fergerson, Senior, Russellville
-Recorded 50 tackles, four sacks, four fumble recoveries.
DL Brett Young, Senior, Russellville
-Had 56 tackles and recovered two fumbles.
DL Bradley Rhodes, Junior, Red Bay
-Provided physical presence up front for Tigers.
LB Clay Collins, Senior, Red Bay
-Hard-hitting leader set the tone for strong front seven.
LB Shawn Vandiver, Senior, Russellville
-Recorded team-high 76 tackles, three fumble recoveries.
LB Torey Baird, Junior, Russellville
-Finished third on team with 63 tackles; also had two sacks and three fumble recoveries.
DB Nash Creekmore, Junior, Vina
-Recorded 108 tackles, two INTs and two sacks.
DB Caleb Mitchell, Junior, Russellville
-Intercepted six passes, returning three for touchdowns.
DB Rashad Graham, Senior, Russellville
-Big hitter finished with 62 tackles, two INTs.
DB Jay Steward, Senior, Phil Campbell
-Forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles, one of which he returned 55 yards for a touchdown; had two INTs.
P Pablo Makepace, Junior, Red Bay
-Helped Tigers control field position with well-placed kicks.
Game of the Year: Red Bay 19 Phil Campbell 14 September 8, 2006 (Week 2)
This year's "Battle of the Big Cats" went right down to the wire, with the Bobcats surging in front 14-13 on an 18-yard touchdown run by Paxton Rice midway through the fourth quarter.
The Tigers, playing just days after the passing of close friend and former teammate Matt Hester, dug deep and found the strength to put together one final drive.
Pablo Makepeace, filling in at quarterback for an injured Cody Tucker, scored the winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with 1:11 remaining as Red Bay earned county bragging rights and began its push toward an eighth straight Class 2A playoff berth.
Second-Team All-CountyOffense
QB Tyler Cagle, Sophomore, Tharptown
RB Paxton Rice, Senior, Phil Campbell
RB Josh Senkbeil, Junior, Red Bay
WR Stephen Lacey, Junior, Phil Campbell
WR Paul Wilkins, Senior, Vina
TE Tony Jennings, Senior, Vina
OL Patrick Cochran, Senior, Vina
OL Evan Swindall, Sophomore, Russellville
OL Sheldon Raper, Senior, Phil Campbell
OL Stratt Byars, Sophomore, Russellville
OL D.J. Elrod, Junior, Red Bay
PK Josh Montgomery, Junior, Russellville
Defense
DL Casey Stockton, Senior, Russellville
DL Tyler Nichols, Sophomore, Red Bay
DL Terry Wilemon, Sophomore, Red Bay
DL Josh Puckett, Senior, Russellville
LB Trevor Hallmark, 8th-grader, Tharptown
LB Jarrod Seay, Sophomore, Tharptown
LB Nathan Rackard, Junior, Phil Campbell
DB Kelby James, Senior, Russellville
DB Josh Coats, Senior, Red Bay
DB Caleb Thompson, Junior, Phil Campbell
DB Cody Armstrong, Sophomore, Red Bay
P Jacob Daniel, Junior, Russellville

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