The Rockmart Yellow Jackets have a lot of talent this year in their offense and defense, and 16 of those players have been honored by region coaches in 7-AA for putting up big numbers through the season.
Once again, the 7-AA Player of the Year award goes to a Rockmart quarterback as junior Javin Whatley was voted at the top of coaches list for the 2019 season. The Jackets took a third straight region championship with Whatley under center.
Head coach Biff Parson said Whatley’s naming to Player of the Year marks the second year in a row a Rockmart player has been awarded the honor. Last year, Markus Smith was the 7-AA Player of the Year.
“The credit goes to all my guys for working hard. It’s a team effort,” Parson said. “Without his team, he wouldn’t have been able to put up the stats that he did this year.”
Parson himself was named the 7-AA Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Model’s Jeff Hunnicutt.
In total, Rockmart saw 17 of their players take spots in the 7-AA all-region teams.
First team offense picks included senior running back Mekhi Floyd, senior tight end Reed Couch, senior wide receiver Juke Boozer and senior offensive lineman Matthew Waddell.
Offensive lineman Sherman Davis, a junior, and sophomore kicker Cooper Yanzetich were also included in the first team offense.
The defensive first team list included senior lineman Jamal Thompson, sophomore linebacker Daquan Banks and senior defensive back Paine Culver.
Second team honors on offense also included Tae Middlebrooks and Jourdan Rachel, sophomore and junior offensive lineman respectively. Senior Deacon Allen, juniors Travis Brown, Dalvin Millhollan and Jai Penson, sophomore Dedric Gibson and freshman Patrick Gardner made the second team defense list as well.
Parson said the character and standard set — as well as the work put in by players — as the reason for Rockmart’s success and honors this season.
“A lot of the credit goes to our coaches who develop these guys, and especially to the players for being coach-able,” Parson said. “They’re buying into the standard that we’ve set.”
Rockmart finished the region undefeated for the second straight year in a row as well.