Blount Press Row

Gracie’s/Blount Press Row Middle School Team

Pick Six list highlights of some of tomorrow’s brightest stars

_MG_7687-2The 2013 Gracie’s Restaurant/Blount Press Row All-Blount County Middle School Football Team. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Gracie's InsideChristian Markham is our pick as the Gracie’s Restaurant/Blount Press Row Middle School Player of the Year, but the Maryville Junior High eighth-grader is part of a hyper-talented group headed for a high school near you in the next couple of years.

Once you get a look at our best of the best “Pick Six,” please scroll down for the complete list of the Gracie’s/Blount Press Row All-Blount County Middle School Football Team.

The Pick Six
Blount Press Row selected Markham our player of the year from a talented field of stars of tomorrow. We wish them all the best in the coming years. With Markham occupying the top spot, here’s our best of the best “Pick Six.”

Christian Markham

Christian Markham

Christian Markham, Maryville Junior High
The Blount Press Row Middle School Player of the Year, Markham is the total package. The Rebel running back finished first in total offense, leading the way in rushing, receiving and return yardage. He finished second in overall scoring. Markham’s versatility led him to collect five touchdowns rushing, eight receiving, for the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference champion Rebels. A linebacker on defense he snared a pair of interceptions, one returned for a score, finishing second behind teammate Isaiah Cobb in tackles

 

_MG_7635Dylan Hopkins, Maryville Junior High
Hopkins will play early at the high school level. Size, speed, arm strength, it’s all there. The Rebel quarterback combined to run/throw for 20 touchdowns to lead Maryville in scoring. He completed 60 percent of his throws. At free safety on defense, Hopkins had a pair of interceptions. This kid is the real deal.

 

 

_MG_7654Tykee Ogle-Kellogg, Alcoa Middle
Ogle-Kellogg has the athletic potential to be an impact player on the high school level as a freshman. A receiver and quarterback on offense, he found the end zone for 17 touchdowns and five conversions. At free safety on defense, the tall Tornado snared six interceptions and recovered two fumbles to go with a season full of big hits.

 

 

_MG_7648Tristan Woody, Alcoa Middle
Woody keeps hope alive one day a defensive player will win the Heisman.
At defensive end, the Tornado eighth-grader averaged – that’s averaged – eight tackles and three sacks per game. It’s legit, too. He also recovered five fumbles and blocked a punt. The Alcoa center on offense, he had seven pancakes blocks.

 

 

_MG_7626Isaiah Cobb, Maryville Junior High
Cobb walks into a room and looks the part. The running back/linebacker led the Rebels in rushing yardage in 2013. He proved an excellent receiving option out of the backfield. On special teams, Cobb returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, with a fumble recovered for another score. He was the Rebels leading tackler on defense and named a team captain at season end.

 

_MG_7653Jalynn Sykes, Alcoa Middle
Sykes played three seasons for the Tornadoes, beginning his middle school career as a sixth-grader. He started at running back, cornerback and linebacker in both his seventh- and eighth-grade seasons. In 2013, Sykes scored 16 touchdowns and seven 2-point conversions. On defense, Sykes accounted for over 30 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions. A leader both on and off the field, Sykes finished the team leader in pancake blocks.

 

Blount Press Row All-Blount County Middle School Football Team

Jalynn Sykes, Alcoa Middle
Sykes played three seasons for the Tornadoes, beginning his middle school career as a sixth-grader. He started at running back, cornerback and linebacker in both his seventh- and eighth-grade seasons. In 2013, Sykes scored 16 touchdowns and seven 2-point conversions. On defense, Sykes accounted for over 30 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions. A leader both on and off the field, Sykes finished the team leader in pancake blocks.

_MG_7658Davis Maples, Alcoa Middle
Maples played tight end and middle linebacker for the Tornadoes in 2013. On defense, one of Alcoa’s top stoppers recorded 85 tackles, including several for loss. Causing numerous fumbles, he recovered three, all while calling the signals for the defense. The eighth-grade standout is another Tornado who began playing for the middle school as a sixth-grader.

 

 

Tristan Woody, Alcoa Middle
Woody keeps hope alive that one day a defensive player will win the Heisman. He’s that good. At defensive end, the Tornado eighth-grader averaged – that’s averaged – eight tackles and three sacks per game. It’s legit, too. He also recovered five fumbles and blocked a punt. The Alcoa center on offense, Woody had seven pancakes blocks.

_MG_7660Lucas McKeehan, Alcoa Middle
McKeehan was a starter for the Tornadoes on both the offensive and defensive lines. On offense, the Alcoa left guard was a dominant force. Defensively, the Tornado defensive tackle possessed the mobility of a big-hitting linebacker.

 

 

Tykee Ogle-Kellogg, Alcoa Middle
Ogle-Kellogg played wide receiver, quarterback and free safety for the Tornadoes. An exceptional athlete in terms of size, hops and mobility, Kellogg scored 17 of Alcoa’s touchdowns in 2013, adding five 2-point conversions. He finished with a conference-best six interceptions on defense, recovering a couple of fumbles to go with numerous big hits. Kellogg was the Tornado leader, both on and off the field.

_MG_7670Jeremiah Burger, Carpenters Middle
Burger led the Cougars in both rushing and scoring for the 2013 season. Running for 236 yards, he scored four touchdowns. At free safety on defense, Burger recorded 17 tackles.

 

 

 

_MG_7668Dylan Bowen, Carpenters Middle
A tough run stopper, Bowen led Carpenters in tackles for loss from his linebacker position. He recovered three fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown. The Cougar fullback on offense, he got the tough yards Carpenters needed time and time again.

 

 

_MG_7672Tyler Blair, Eagleton Middle
Blair stepped in as the starter for the Royals at quarterback this season and became a player to watch at the next level. The Eagleton eighth-grader led the Royals in rushing and scoring in 2013. Against Norris, Blair ran for an eye-popping 217 yards. A linebacker on defense, Blair recording eight tackles for loss.

 

 

_MG_7622Hector Fernandez, Eagleton Middle
Fernandez was a two-year starter for the Royals. An extremely versatile player, Fernandez spent time at running back, quarterback and receiver on offense for Eagleton. On defense, he lined up at cornerback, safety and linebacker. As a return specialist, he averaged better than 20 yards per kick return.

 

 

_MG_7620Jesse Ewing, Eagleton Middle
Ewing was a devastating blocker from his guard position for the Royals. On defense, the Eagleton eighth-grader stepped it up even more, accounting for 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks. The tackles-for-loss stat was the best in the county.

 

 

_MG_7644Landon Harrell, Heritage Middle
Harrell has been a two-year starter for the Mustangs on both the offensive and defensive lines. A guard on offense, he played tackle on defense.

 

 

 

 

_MG_7638Dalton Roulette, Heritage Middle
Named the Mustangs most valuable player this season, Roulette was a two-year starter for Heritage Middle. A player with an intriguing skill set, Roulette spent time at guard, tackle, tight end and fullback for the Mustangs on offense. He was the long snapper for punts. On the other side of the ball, moved between middle linebacker and nose guard.

 

 

_MG_7641Brad Decker, Heritage Middle
Decker was a two-year starter for the Mustangs. The definition of a playmaker, he gained over 1,000 yards in 2013 and was responsible for 15 Heritage touchdowns. The Mustangs finished third in the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference behind champion Maryville and runner-up Alcoa, and Decker, who also returned kicks and punts, was a big reason why.

 

 

Christian Markham, Maryville Junior High
The Gracie’s Restaurant/Blount Press Row Middle School Player of the Year, Markham is the total package. The Rebel running back finished first in total offense, leading the way in rushing, receiving and return yardage. He finished second in overall scoring. Markham’s versatility led him to collect five touchdowns rushing, eight receiving, for the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference champion Rebels. A linebacker on defense he snared a pair of interceptions, one returned for a score, finishing second behind teammate Isaiah Cobb in tackles

Dylan Hopkins, Maryville Junior High
Hopkins will play early at the high school level. Size, speed, arm strength, it’s all there. The Rebel quarterback combined to run/throw for 20 touchdowns to lead the Rebels in scoring. He completed 60 percent of his throws. At free safety on defense, Hopkins he had a pair of interceptions. This kid is the real deal.

Isaiah Cobb, Maryville Junior High
Cobb walks into a room and looks the part. The running back/linebacker led the Rebels in rushing yardage and scoring in 2013. He proved an excellent receiving option out of the backfield. On special teams, Cobb had a returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, with a fumble recovered for another score. He was the Rebels leading tackler on defense and named a team captain at season’s end.

_MG_7632Jacob Wall, Maryville Junior High
A starter on both the offensive and defensive lines, Wall was a two-year starter at center. The Rebels most consistent offensive lineman, he played both center and tackle in 2013. From his defensive tackle position, he led in both quarterback sacks and hurries. Wall was voted a team captain by his teammates for his leadership during 2013’s championship season.

 

 

_MG_7630Sean Snelgrove, Maryville Junior High
In his first year out for football, Snelgrove kicked his way into the history books with a game-winning, 28-yard field goal in overtime as the Rebels edged Alcoa, 17-14, in the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference championship game. Snelgrove made good on 95 percent of his extra points. His kickoffs repeatedly pinned opponents deep. Twice during the championship game, kicking off from the 40, he put touchbacks into the end zone.

 

_MG_7664Trey Smith, Union Grove Middle
Smith made things go for the Wildcats at running back this season, all while doubling at outside linebacker on defense.

 

 

 

 

_MG_7666Jimmy Dukes, Union Grove Middle
Dukes, “J.D.” here at BPR HQ, delivered on both offense and defense for the Wildcats this past season. The Union Grove quarterback on offense, he ran for six touchdowns. One of the leaders of the future, Dukes started at safety for the Wildcats on defense.

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