Best of the Best

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TOP HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYERS RECOGNIZED

With the 2018 high school football season in the rear-view mirror, LowcoSports.com recently recognized the area’s best players by naming them to the R Bar & Grill All-Lowco Football Team.

With all 12 area teams qualifying for the postseason, including four region champions, two state champions, a state runner-up, and two teams who completed undefeated regular seasons, there were plenty of outstanding performers across the Lowcountry. Narrowing the list to the area’s top players was no easy task.

Coaches submitted their nominations, and a combination of statistics and coaches’ assessments of both their own players and opponents weighed heavily in determining who made the cut. Factor in the challenge of comparing players from various leagues ranging from SCHSL Class 4A to SCISA 8-Man, and the exercise becomes even more daunting.

Players named to the first and second teams were honored at the inaugural All-Lowco Football Awards Brunch on Jan. 5 at R Bar & Grill in Bluffton. May River High School quarterback Ahmad Green earned Offensive Player of the Year honors and Beaufort High School’s Will Kelley was named Defensive Player of the Year. May River’s Rodney Summers was named Coach of the Year after leading the Sharks to a 12-1 season in their third year of existence following back-to-back two-win seasons.

The list included players from public and private schools in Beaufort and Jasper counties. Here are the top picks from Bluffton and Hilton Head Island: 

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK: AHMAD GREEN, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Passed for 1,080 yards with 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and rushed for 1,034 yards and 14 touchdowns

RUNNING BACK: BRANDON MORALES, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Racked up 1,765 rushing yards (135.8 per game) and 23 touchdowns

WIDE RECEIVER: DIANTE RICHARD, HILTON HEAD ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL

Led area with 766 receiving yards and added 411 rushing yards with 12 total touchdowns

WIDE RECEIVER: SHAMAR SANDGREN, BLUFFTON HIGH SCHOOL

Caught 46 passes for 681 yards and 8 touchdowns and was dangerous return man for Bobcats

OFFENSIVE LINE: GABE LONG, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Selected for the North-South All Star game and anchored a dominant offensive line

OFFENSIVE LINE: CONNOR KOVACS, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Graded 90 percent for offensive line that led powerful rushing attack

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE: RODERICK GRANT, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Powerful interior lineman collected 119 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks

DEFENSIVE LINE: RONALD REID, BLUFFTON HIGH SCHOOL

Speed rusher was nearly unblockable with 96 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks

LINEBACKER: MELIK FROST, JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Two-way standout had 124 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks

LINEBACKER: JORDAN BARROW, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Sharks’ leading tackler (155) had 15 tackles and 4 pass break-ups

DEFENSIVE BACK: TERRY FIELDS, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Led area with 9 interceptions and broke up 6 passes

DEFENSIVE BACK: JAYDEN VOID, MAY RIVER HIGH SCHOOL

Shut-down corner racked up 23 pass break-ups with 3 picks

DEFENSIVE BACK: COLE DEMARZO, HILTON HEAD ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL

Collected 70 tackles, 2 picks, and 11 pass break-ups in just six games

SPECIALISTS

KICKER: EVAN HAYES, BLUFFTON HIGH SCHOOL

Led area with 8 field goals, including game-winner vs. Hanahan

PUNTER: JACOB WEAVER, HILTON HEAD ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL

Averaged area-best 46.9 yards per punt