Five South Effingham Mustangs football players were named to the all-Region 3-AAA first team, announced Wednesday by the region coaches.
“I’m really proud of our kids,” South Effingham coach Greg Manior said. “They worked hard to get to this point. They had a great season. They were put there for a reason.”
Fullback Gage Marks and offensive lineman Taylor Medlin were named to the first-team offense, and defensive lineman Asa Wright and defensive back T.J. Washington were named to the first-team defense. South Effingham’s Conner Carmack was named as the region’s top punter.
“Everybody recognized Gage as a first-team player,” Manior said.
Marks and Carmack are juniors, while Medlin, Washington and Wright are seniors.
Junior quarterback Jeff Hamilton was named to the second team offense, and freshman lineman Tyler Jenkins and senior tight end Nick Gulizia were named honorable mention.
Junior defensive end Cody Miller was named to the all-region second-team defense.
Junior placekicker Chris Zittrouer also was named honorable mention.
“I’m proud for T.J. and Asa, who are going to play at the next level (Rainy River Community College), but I’m really proud of my juniors,” Manior said. “They’ll know what it takes. I know they won’t get lackadaisical. They’ll work even harder, and that’s a good thing. I’m glad the older kids are getting recognized, and I hope it gives the younger guys something to look forward to.”
Jenkins was inserted as a starter after the first few games and quickly made an impact.
“He had a great season,” Manior said. “We’re really excited about the things he can do.”
Region coaches met this week to vote. In years past, Burke County coach Steve Summers organized the all-region meeting, but Summers was let go following the 2006 season.
Once in the room together, most coaches know what the other coaches’ players have done, but they still come armed with statistics to argue for their players if necessary.
“Every coach thinks they have great players,” Manior said.
The Mustangs finished the 2006 campaign 7-4, losing 35-0 to Shaw in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
South Effingham will have spring practice for its rising ninth graders beginning Monday. The varsity will begin spring workouts April 23 and those will culminate May 4.