Quarterback: Braxton Buck, Soph., Holtville

Holtville’s season appeared to be in jeopardy when quarterback Drake Baker went down with an injury early in the year. Buck stepped into a role filled with high expectations and the sophomore was up to the task. Buck threw for 1,854 yards while completing 57 percent of his passes as the Bulldogs won seven games in 2018. He was responsible for 27 total touchdowns and led Holtville to its first playoff appearance since 2010. “The guys really believed in him,” Holtville coach Jason Franklin said. “He was admirable about stepping in and taking charge of the offense.”

Running back: DJ Patrick, Sr., Elmore County

Despite defenses stacking the box against the Panthers, Patrick put together another huge year in his final high school season. He finished with 1,390 rushing yards and scored 20 total touchdowns. Patrick set school records during a game against Leeds when he rushed for 310 yards and five touchdowns on just 19 carries in the victory. Patrick finished his career with 44 total touchdowns. “He’s a special athlete,” Elmore County coach Jordan Cantrell said. “He’s had a lot of success here and that’s because he was devoted in the weight room and on the practice field every day.”

Running back: De’Angelo Jones, Sr., Wetumpka

Jones was one of three Wetumpka players to rush for at least 1,000 yards this season but Jones became the team’s go-to back in short-yardage situations. He led the team with 20 total touchdowns, all of them coming in the rushing game. Jones finished the season with 1,056 rushing yards and averaged 7.9 yards per carry. “He’s so strong and physical,” Wetumpka coach Tim Perry said. “Very rarely does the first defender bring him down. He runs with a lot of passion and takes it personal. He plays that way, he practices that way.”

Running back: Kolby Potts, Jr., Edgewood

Before the season, Edgewood coach Darryl Free said Potts was going to be a player to be keep an eye on and he was right. Potts was the top offensive weapon for the Wildcats, rushing for 1,360 yards and 16 touchdowns as Edgewood returned to the state semifinals. Potts set a season-high in the final game of the season, rushing for 286 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. “He was going to give you 100 percent on every rep,” Free said. “Every time he touched the ball, you knew he would give it all he had. It was fun to watch.”

Wide receiver: Dajon Reeves, Sr., Holtville

When Drake Baker went out with an injury, Holtville’s offense needed to find some leadership. Reeves came to life in week four with 163 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Elmore County. Reeves finished the season with 12 touchdown receptions, scoring in each of the final eight games. “He wants the football and he knows what to do with it when he catches it,” Franklin said. “You know if he catches it, he can score. That definitely helps you as a quarterback.”

Wide receiver: E.J. Rogers, Sr., Wetumpka

Wetumpka’s offense was all about the rushing attack but Rogers was the clear go-to receiver for Tyquan Rawls. Rogers led all of Class 6A with 13 receiving touchdowns and led Wetumpka with 587 receiving yards on 37 receptions. Rogers had two touchdowns in the postseason, including one in overtime in Tuscaloosa as the Indians defeated Hillcrest 20-17. “I was proud of the progress he made this year,” Perry said. “He became a better route runner and wanted the ball in big situations. He surpassed our expectations.”

Offensive lineman: Torey Loftin, Sr., Wetumpka

Loftin was often used as a lead blocker for the team’s strong rushing attack and was also a key to the pass protection for Wetumpka. Loftin, who served as one of the team’s captains, allowed no sacks in 564 offensive snaps. “He started all 15 games his junior year and 14 games his senior year,” Perry said. “He emerged as a leader on the offensive line. He has a very high football IQ.”

Offensive lineman: Matthew Whitman, Sr., Stanhope Elmore

Whitman graded out at 91 percent this season, the highest of any offensive lineman in Elmore County. He recorded 48 pancakes and was a reliable force for the Mustang offense during his senior season. “He was an animal for us,” Stanhope coach Brian Bradford said. “He was the anchor for our offensive line. We designed most of our running plays to the right so we could run behind him.”

Offensive lineman: Sam Jackson, Sr., Holtville

Jackson was Mr. Dependable for the Bulldog offense this season. He spent most of his time as the blindside tackle for Buck and graded out at 89 percent. Jackson moved around on the line when needed, often lining up against the top opposing pass rusher. “There was never an uncertainty running to his side of the line,” Franklin said. “It didn’t matter who he was lined up against. He was steady and consistent for us.”

Offensive lineman: Jake Justiss, Sr., Tallassee

In its jump to Class 5A, Tallassee played against several teams which were bigger up front. That did not stop Justiss from having a strong season on the offensive line. He played as an offensive guard for the Tigers despite being listed as only 6-foot and 210 pounds. “He plays the game like it’s supposed to be played,” Tallassee coach Mike Battles said. “He was undersized for a lineman but he plays like he’s 6-3, 260. He plays aggressive and it doesn’t take long to figure out what the game of football means to him.”

Offensive lineman: Garrett Moseley, Sr., Elmore County

Elmore County needed its rushing attack to have success this season and that started at the line of scrimmage. Leading the way more often than not was Moseley, whose job was to make sure Patrick could get into space and use his speed for big plays. “He’s just a hard-nosed dude,” Cantrell said. “He’s always there and ready to work. He stepped it up and played strong tackle for us this season.”

Athlete: Kalvin Levett, Sr., Tallassee

After making the move from wide receiver to quarterback, Levett’s playmaking ability was on display on every snap for the Tiger offense. Levett finished with 1,099 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground while throwing for another 1,113 yards and six scores. Levett even added a receiving touchdown in the team’s season finale at Elmore County. “To ask a guy who was an all-state receiver last year to change positions because it will help the team, that’s special,” Battles said. “That speaks to the kind of guy Kalvin is and how good of an athlete he is.”

Kicker: Robert Stewart, Jr., Edgewood

The Wildcat offense did not give Stewart many opportunities but he took advantage of the chances he got. He scored 7 points in Edgewood’s 13-12 victory over Northside Methodist to start the season. He also kicked a 42-yard field goal for the team’s only points at Autauga Academy. Stewart made 7 of his 10 field attempts this season and 45 of his 49 extra-point attempts. “He was a weapon for us on offense,” Free said. “Having him on our sideline helped open our playbook because we knew we could take chances with him on our team.”

Punter: Peyton Coburn, Jr., Holtville

Holtville saw improvements in every part of its game this season and that included special teams. Coburn averaged 43.4 yards per punt, including a long of 60 yards. He pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line 15 times on 34 punts. “He had to split his time with the offense but he did a really good job of punting the ball,” Franklin said. “That was big to have a kid be able to flip the field and he did that for us numerous times.”

All-Purpose: Ali McMillian, Soph., Stanhope Elmore

The Mustangs had a handful of versatile weapons this season but McMillian may have stood out the most. He finished the season with 652 yards and three touchdowns on 35 receptions, including a 157-yard performance against Saraland in the postseason. McMillian’s biggest performances came on special teams, where he returned three kickoffs for touchdowns and averaged 29.3 yards per return. “He’s very dynamic,” Bradford said. “To be able to do what he did as a 10th grader in 6A football is impressive. He just has the natural ability to do it all.”

Honorable mention

QB: Alex Johnson, Soph., Edgewood

QB: Kerenski McGhee, Sr., Stanhope Elmore

RB: Terrance Thomas, Jr., Wetumpka

RB: Alex Gibbons, Jr., Holtville

WR: Kaleb Varner, Jr., Edgewood

WR: Malik Davis, Jr., Wetumpka

OL: Cody Tucker, Sr., Wetumpka

OL: Parker Watts, Sr., Elmore County

K/P: Zach Grindle, Jr., Wetumpka