The following is the Opelika-Auburn News 2019 All-Area Defensive Team for small schools (AHSAA Classes 3A-1A & AISA)
Nominations were submitted by coaches and the staff of the Opelika-Auburn News.
Johnny Brown, Jr., Reeltown
>> 5-10, 175
>> Brown’s skills in coverage and ability to attack the football was crucial for Reeltown as the Rebels made it to the Class 2A state title game. Brown ended the year with 34 tackles and three interceptions.
Aaron Frazier, Sr., Loachapoka
>> 5-10, 200
>> Frazier was the last line of defense at safety for the Indians, and more often than not he came through with a big play. Loachapoka’s quarterback was incredibly productive on the other side of the football, tallying 31 total tackles and two interceptions.
Quae Houston, Sr., Lanett
>> 5-10, 160
>>Like many of his Lanett teammates, Houston played on both sides of the ball and came up with big plays nearly every time he was on the field. He finished the season with 37 tackles, including four in the team’s state championship victory over Mars Hill Bible.
Kaderius Zackery, Jr., Lanett
>> 5-10, 170
>> If a pass was thrown Zackery’s way this fall, there’s a good chance he got his hands on it. Zackery registered 53 total tackles, three tackles for loss and seven interceptions as a key piece on the Panthers’ ferocious defense.
Cooper Childers, Sr., Dadeville
>> 5-10, 170
>> Childers did his part to help the Tigers get stop after stop this season. When it was over, Childers had 23 tackles, two tackles for loss and two interceptions to his name.
Daryl Monn, Sr., Glenwood
>> 5-9, 185
>> Monn was looked at as Glenwood’s shutdown corner, and time after time he made plays on defense while also playing running back for the Gators. He ended his senior season with 47 total tackles and three tackles for loss.
Demontre Moore, Sr., Loachapoka
>> 5-8, 185
>> Moore played several positions for the Indians — including running back and wide receiver — in his senior. Defensively, he recorded 10 solo tackles for the squad.
Rasheed Wilson, Sr., Reeltown
>> 5-10, 170
>> Wilson made major strides in becoming a more physical corner for Reeltown, and the results spoke for themselves. He capped off his high school career with 32 total tackles and four interceptions.
Braxton Allen, Sr., Chambers Academy
>> 5-11, 175
>> Allen took on the role of the team’s starting running back, but that didn’t stop him from chasing down ball carriers on defense. Allen helped lead the team to the Class A state title game yet again and ended the season with 110 total tackles and 432 career tackles.
Trey Hughley, Sr., Reeltown
>> 5-8, 205
>> Hughley suffered a devastating knee injury on the first play of his junior, but you would have never known it given how he played this fall. Hughley played running back and linebacker and recorded 97 tackles — including a game-high 12 in the Rebels’ state title game loss.
Demetrious Johnson, Sr., Lanett
>> 6-1, 192
>> If Lanett needed someone to make a statement on defense, Johnson was often the one who volunteered and got it done. Johnson had 98 tackles — including a game-high 16 in the Panthers’ state championship game — to set the tone for another stellar Lanett defense.
Eric Shaw, Sr., Reeltown
>> 6-5, 210
>> Shaw rejoined the football team fresh off three state titles in track and was simply outstanding. The South Carolina signee ended the year with 132 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
Joshua Washington, Sr., Notasulga
>> 5-8, 170
>> Washington was tasked with helping replace Notasulga’s best player at linebacker, but he proved himself capable of doing just that. Washington ended his senior year with 99 total tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack.
Scott Anderson, Sr., Glenwood
>> 5-10, 200
>> Anderson was regarded as the Gators’ best tackler, and he put that on display again and again this year. He ended his senior season with 90 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and one sack and helped the Gators reach the Class AAA state title game.
Brandon Bedgood, Jr., Loachapoka
>> 5-6, 170
>> Bedgood may not be the biggest player on the field, but he made it evident he could hit just as hard as any of the others. He ended his junior campaign with 63 total tackles and eight tackles for loss.
Justin Jackson, Sr., Glenwood
>> 5-10, 200
>> Jackson was often credited as Glenwood’s defensive coordinator on the field, and he made the most of knowing where to be and when this fall. Jackson piled up 70 total tackles with six tackles for loss, seven sacks, four interceptions and two pick-sixes.
BJ Snellgrove, Jr., Glenwood
>> 6-2, 220
>> The Gators lose some talented linebackers for 2020, but luckily they have Snellgrove coming back. Snellgrove stood out as a junior, recording 91 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks and one interception.
Zachaeus Turner, Sr., LaFayette
>> 5-11, 200
>> LaFayette worked to be nation great in 2019, and Turner did his part to try and help the Bulldogs reach that lofty goal. When it was all said and done, Turner had 83 total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Tyquan Daniels, Sr., Notasulga
>> 6-0, 200
>> If there was an opportunity for Daniels to make a play on defense in 2019, he usually made good on it. Daniels was a key player for the Blue Devils and ended the season with 101 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, nine sacks, five forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.
Dijon Darden, Sr., Chambers Academy
>> 5-9, 255
>> Darden was already known for being a thorn in opposing offensive linemens’ sides before the fall, and he doubled down and made it clear he was one of the best defensive linemen in the AISA. He ended his third year as a starter with 88 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Eric McCants, Sr., Lanett
>> 5-9, 225
>> McCants always found a way to deliver for the Panthers and could leave even the biggest offensive lineman frustrated. He ended his senior season with 101 total tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.
Antavious Woody, So., LaFayette
>> 6-3, 250
>> Woody is well on his way to becoming a major college prospect and contributed at offensive line, fullback and punter in 2019. Defensive line was where Woody made the biggest impact, recording 92 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception.
Allandis Boyd, Sr., Glenwood
>> 6-3, 265
>> Teams knew not to run to Boyd’s side this fall, but that didn’t prevent him from making the plays that he has quickly become known for. He ended his high school career with 37 total tackles, nine tackles for loss and nine sacks.
Max McClendon, Sr., Dadeville
>> 6-2, 235
>> McClendon didn’t disappoint on the defensive line for Dadeville this year. He ended his time as a Tiger on the right note, tallying 66 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks.
BJ Smith, Sr., Lanett
>> 6-0, 180
>> Smith was often Lanett’s top tailback this year, but he made just as important an impact for the Panthers on defense. Smith ended the season with 55 tackles as the team made it two state championships in the past three years.
Brody Smoot, Sr., Chambers Academy
>> 6-1, 200
>> Smoot has long been one of the defenders the Rebels could rely on the most, and the senior only made that point clearer in 2019. Smoot helped the Rebels return to the state title game and ended the season with 76 tackles and seven tackles for loss.
Jordan Walker, Sr., LaFayette
>> 6-1, 185
>> Walker added the role of starting quarterback to his responsibilities this fall, but it didn’t stop him from making plays at safety. In addition to throwing for 680 yards and scoring 16 total touchdowns on offense, he also recorded 42 total tackles and three interceptions.
Mailon Reese, Sr., Lee-Scott Academy
>> 5-10, 175
>> Reese took on the challenge of playing both ways for the Warriors, and he did so with considerable amount of success. He became a trusted tailback with 846 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, and he also had 52 total tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack and one interception.
Connor Moore, Sr., Reeltown
>> 5-7, 140
>> Reeltown didn’t punt much in 2019, but when it did, it turned to Moore to handle those duties. He made the most of his 26 punts as a senior and ended the year with an average of 38.1 yards per punt.
Jackson Griner, Jr., Glenwood
>> 6-2, 19
>> Griner got in the mix at quarterback for Glenwood, but he also made big contributions at punter. Griner was a consistent punter for the Gators and also scored three touchdowns on fake punts this fall.
HONORABLE MENTION: Dean Sheffield, Chambers Academy; Jamauri Chislom, Dadeville; Alex Walker, Dadeville; Dai’Quan Giddens, LaFayette; Perry Jones, Lanett; Avery Ferris, Lee-Scott Academy; Quinci Nelms, Loachapoka; Antonio Green, Notasulga; Labrodrick Nunn, Notasulga; Logan Lee, Reeltown