The Ridgeland Panthers and Heritage were the two top teams in Region 6-AAAA this past football season and the All-Region teams were a reflection of that.
The all-star squads were released on Wednesday with the Panthers and Generals locking up all of the top awards.
Ridgeland senior Markeith Montgomery was named the region's Player of the Year after a standout season on both sides of the ball. Montgomery rushed the ball 104 times for a team-best 1,245 yards and scored 18 rushing touchdowns. He caught six passes for 144 yards and one more score.
On defense, the reigning Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year had 115 tackles and 28 assists to go with a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, one interception and seven pass break-ups from his safety position.
Montgomery's senior teammate Jalyn Shelton, along with Heritage senior Luke Grant, shared Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Shelton had 173 carries for 1,091 yards and 20 touchdowns for the high-powered Panthers' ground game, while throwing for two more scores. Meanwhile, Grant caught 64 passes for the pass-happy Generals, racking up 1,065 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air.
Heritage senior Zaine Burton was named the region's Defensive Player of ths Year after recording 74 tackles and 20 assists. He terrorized opposing backfields with 11 sacks and 32 tackles for loss.
Ridgeland senior Derayl Helton was named the Lineman of the Year. Helton anchored the defensive front for a Panthers' unit that allowed just 9.3 points per game this season and recorded three shutouts. Helton had 36 tackles, 40 assists, four sacks, 10 tackles for loss, a pass break-up and two fumble recoveries.
Ryan Carter was tabbed as the 6-AAAA Athlete of the Year. The do-it-all senior was a star for the Generals with 130 yards rushing, 545 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns, including a pass for a score on his only attempt of the year. He added 567 return yards and had 38 tackles, eight assists, five tackles for loss, a sack and four interceptions.
Coach of the Year honors went to Wesley Tankersley, who guided Ridgeland to a second straight region crown and one of the best seasons in school history. Ridgeland won its first 11 games, averaging over 46 points a night behind an offense that gained over 3,600 yards on the ground and over 1,000 in the air. In their 11 wins, their average margin of victory was over 40 points a contest.
Wide receiver Stephon Walker, tight end Jordan Tucker, offensive linemen Fred Norman, Jr. and Austin Garner and kicker Conner Middleton were first team selections on offense for Ridgeland, while first team defensive honors went to Tucker and Eli Foshay on the defensive line, Tim Bowman and Jordan Blackwell and linebacker and A'zavier Blackwell and Jordan Hughley at defensive back.
Offensively Logan Godfrey was a second team offensive pick for the Panthers, while second team defensive selections included linebacker Terrance Roberts and defensive back Shawn Wilson.
Tanner Hill, Gabe McDonald, Torrance Roberts, Chris Bivins and Logan Halenar were named as honorable mention.
For Heritage, defensive lineman Zach Goins and linebacker Hank Weldon were first team picks, as was Jeffery Curtis, who was first team as a punter. Quarterback Blake Bryan, offensive lineman Derrick Gibson, defensive lineman Lavarius Hood and defensive back C.J. Shackleford were second team picks, while Curtis was second team at linebacker.
Honorable mention picks included Noah Boaz, Chase Crosslin and Carson Sherrill.
LaFayette was represented on the second team offense by running back Dakota Cathey and offensive lineman John Green. Linebacker Jonah Hobbs and defensive back Austin Rodgers were second team picks, while Tyler Beard, Colton Lane, Jack Martin, Andrew Pendergrass, Vyshonn Daniel and Max Studdard were honorable mention for the Ramblers.