The Herald-Sun has released its all-area high school football team as well as coach and player of the year awards. Athletes and schools from Durham, Orange, Chatham, Person and Granville County are eligible for these awards.
Player of the Year: Payton Wilson, Orange
The N.C. State recruit made 103 tackles, 21 for loss, and 10 sacks in just eight games. Returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble. Started the year at wide receiver on offense, but moved to quarterback after the Panthers suffered injuries. Ran for 222 yards and five touchdowns, caught 15 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns, completed 13 of 27 passes for 125 yards and no touchdowns. Was also his team’s top punt returner and voted Big Eight Conference player of the year. U.S. Army All-American selection.
Coach of the Year: Mike Hobgood, South Granville
Led the Vikings to their best season in school history, going 13-1 with an appearance in the third round of the 2AA football playoffs. Suffered a heart attack during the season but was cleared to return in the season’s final weeks. South Granville completed its first undefeated regular season and won the Northern Carolina 1A/2A Conference title.
QB: Ben Miller, Jordan (Jr., 6-1, 185)
Triangle 6 Conference offensive player of the year. Completed 200 of 361 passes (55.4 percent) for 2,764 yards and 22 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Also ran 38 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Became the school’s all-time leading passer this season.
RB: Marvante Beasley, Orange (Sr., 5-11, 205)
Ran for 977 yards and eight touchdowns on 129 carries in seven games. Also made 22 tackles with two interceptions on defense. Big Eight all-conference pick.
RB: Allajah Mitchell, South Granville (Sr., 6-1, 225)
Northern Carolina Conference offensive back of the year after rushing for 1,765 yards and 28 touchdowns (15.3 per carry). Also threw one pass on the year for a 38-yard touchdown. Caught seven passes for 65 yards. Also made this team as a linebacker.
RB: Daylan Felton, Northern Durham (Sr., 5-8, 175)
Big Eight Conference offensive player of the year ran for 847 yards on 169 carries for 11 touchdowns and caught 33 passes for 559 yards and eight touchdowns.
WR: Caleb Harrington, Hillside (Sr., 5-7, 165)
Totaled 968 yards receiving on 46 receptions with eight touchdowns. Also ran 11 times for 124 yards. Big Eight all-conference pick.
WR: Kevin Petersen, Jordan (Sr., 6-0, 187)
Caught 45 passes for 988 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also completed 2 of 4 passes for 83 yards and ran 14 times for 87 yards and one touchdown.
OL: Mike Barone, Northwood (Sr., 6-8, 298)
Elon recruit and Big Eight all-conference pick.
OL: Tyrese Bobbitt, South Granville (Sr., 6-3, 310)
Center led the ground attack for two 1,000-yard rushers. Holds an offer from Fayetteville State.
OL: Cameron Chestnut, South Granville (Sr., 5-10, 260)
All-conference pick for the Northern Carolina Conference champs.
OL: Jaelin Shaw, Jordan (Sr., 6-4, 280)
Triangle 6 all-conference selection. Holds offers from Johnson C. Smith, Fayetteville State, Shaw and Winston-Salem State.
OL: Tyric Swenie, Northern Durham (Sr., 6-0, 240)
Two-way starter for the Knights. Started at left tackle on offense and made 62 tackles on defense. Big Eight all-conference pick.
ATH: Tucker Brown, South Granville (Sr., 6-1, 180)
Quarterback ran 153 times for 1,131 yards (7.4 per carry) and 21 touchdowns. Also completed 29 of 64 passes for 617 yards and six touchdowns with just three interceptions. Northern Carolina all-conference pick.
DL: Ta’Shaun Taylor, Jordan (Sr., 6-0, 208)
Made 111 tackles – 33 for loss – with 17 sacks and five forced fumbles. Triangle 6 all-conference selection.
DL: Josh Harris, Person (Jr., 6-5, 295)
Made 65 tackles – 24 for loss – and 13 sacks. The Rockets’ defensive tackle has offers from N.C. State, UNC, Georgia and Virginia Tech and was dominant at times. Has been invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Under Armour combines.
DL: Ryan Sellers, Orange (Sr., 6-0, 220)
Made 57 tackles – 24 for loss – with 11 sacks and one interception. Big Eight all-conference selection.
DL: Chuck Manning, Riverside (Sr., 6-2, 225)
Triangle 6 Conference defensive player of the year notched 98 tackles and 20.5 sacks for the Pirates. Recently committed to N.C. Central.
LB: Allajah Mitchell, South Granville (Sr., 6-1, 225)
Only player on this list to make the Herald-Sun team on both sides of the ball and win a conference award on both sides as well. Won Northern Carolina Conference defensive lineman of the year, which goes to any player in the front seven. Had 39.5 tackles for loss (100 total tackles) at linebacker with 12 sacks and one interception for touchdown.
LB: Joseph Patterson, Carrboro (Sr., 5-10, 220)
Made 147 tackles – five for loss – with one forced fumble and one fumble recover. Also had one blocked punt. Mid-State 2A all-conference pick.
LB: Payton Wilson, Orange (Sr., 6-4, 225)
N.C. State recruit made 103 tackles – 21 for loss – and 10 sacks in just eight games. Returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble. Voted Big Eight Conference player of the year and is a U.S. Army All-America selection.
DB: Brendan Harrington, Northwood (Jr., 6-1, 185)
Made 46 tackles and intercepted four passes, returning two for touchdowns. Added one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and one blocked field goal. Big Eight all-conference pick.
DB: Laderrick Neville, Northern Durham (Jr., 5-9, 155)
Posted nine interceptions with 113 return yards. Caused one fumble and recovered two more. Big Eight all-conference pick.
DB: Hunter Pettiford, Orange (Jr., 5-10, 190)
Made 64 tackles, two for loss. Also ran for 262 yards and four touchdowns on offense. Big Eight all-conference pick.
DB: Milton Purcell, Orange (Sr., 5-11, 190)
Made 39 tackles with four interceptions, returning two for touchdown. Blocked three field goals and one punt. On offense, he ran for one touchdown and caught two more. Big Eight all-conference pick.
ATH: David Madzivanyika, Hillside (Jr., 6-3, 245)
The defensive end/linebacker hybrid made 68 tackles with 9 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Forced two fumbles and had one recovery, and is garnering some ACC-level recruiting interest. Big Eight all-conference pick.
K: Conor MacDougall, Jordan (Sr., 6-0, 165)
Co-special teams player of the year in the Triangle 6 Conference. Made 17 of 19 field goals with a long of 43 yards, and was a perfect 30 of 30 on his PATs. Averaged 55 yards on 54 kickoffs.
P: Hunter Malsch, Northern Durham (Sr., 6-0, 165)
Averaged 38.0 yards on 41 punts with a long of 63. Landed 10 punts inside the 20. Voted Big Eight Conference punter of the year.
RET: Drew Davis, South Granville (Sr., 5-9, 145)
Didn’t return a kickoff or punt for touchdown but did average 25.1 yards per kickoff return (long of 51) and 13.1 yards per punt return (long of 81).